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The summer of the spirits: spiritual tourism to America’s foremost village of spirit mediums
journal contributionposted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by Andrew SingletonAndrew Singleton
The historic Spiritualist village of Lily Dale, New York, is a popular summer tourist destination in America, attracting approximately 20,000 visitors per year. This research argues that many of these visitors are “spiritual seekers”. Spiritual seeking is an important movement in the west. To date, however, there has been insufficient attention paid to the specific places in which this spiritual questing is undertaken. This research uses the concept of spiritual tourism to understand the summer journey to this part of America. Drawing on a range of ethnographic data, it finds that affective destinations play an irreducible part of many people's spiritual lives; it may only be through travel to dedicated places that seekers’ aspirations can be fully realized.