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How the Ghost Trend Began

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#1    Brian Topp

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:55 AM

This guy did an article on how the ghost trend started, worth reading.


It is easier to claim it is paranormal than taking the hard route and find out what really happened.

#2    ShadowSot


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 03:10 AM


By the end of the Civil War in 1865, half of Americans were ghosts, and Spiritualism went mainstream. Then, just like that, the ghosts were gone. Some of them showed up in England, a few decades later, at the end of the first World War. But in America they silently receded back under the floorboards. In the 1880s, the Fox sisters told the papers that they made the whole thing up. Only nobody would believe them.

Spiritualism really came to a head following the Civil War in the US, with so many families hoping to contact lost loved ones. That's part of why it was so successful in England following WWI and II.
Though the work of skeptics, like the  famous Harry Houdini, had a lot to do with why it sort of faded back into the background as many spiritualists were revealed publicly to be scam artists.
Some of their same tricks are used by faith healers today, like Peter Popoff and others, or included in magic acts. Like the spiritualists who claimed to produce ectoplasm from their mouth actually producing cheesecloth, which can be shoved into a small space.
  Sort of like modern magicians pulling long strings of cloth apparently from their mouth.

It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.
-Terry Pratchett

#3    Rafterman


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Posted 26 July 2013 - 01:26 PM

Interesting.  Having moved to that area of NY (I'd call it Central more than Western) in 1995, I was continually amazed at all of the kookiness that went on in the area in the late 1800s.  It must have been really interesting to live there back then.

And if you go to Moravia today, don't blink, you'll miss it.

"You can't have freedom of religion without having freedom from the religious beliefs of other people."

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