Cassadaga, a Seneca Indian word meaning "rocks beneath the water" was established as a Spiritualist community by George P. Colby in 1894. Born in New York in 1848, Colby was told during a séance that he would someday be instrumental in founding a Spiritualist community in the South. That prophecy was fulfilled in 1875 when Colby was led through the wilderness of central Florida by his spirit guide "Seneca" to the future site of Cassadaga. Colby and the followers who joined him at Cassadaga belonged to the American Spiritualist Association, a movement that sought to foster communication with spirits and encouraged people to develop their psychic abilities. The movement was founded in the 1840s in Chautauqua County, New York, and eventually spread nationwide. The Spiritualists were only one of several religious groups to establish Florida communities in the late nineteenth century. Florida appealed to many people because of its relatively untouched landscape, and to religious practitioners as a tropical "Garden of Eden" where they could freely express themselves and develop communities dedicated to their needs. Settlements by the Shakers and the Koreshan Unity were established in the same year as Cassadaga but failed to survive, owing in part to the utopian goals of the organizations' members. Cassadaga is one of the few religious communities founded in Florida during the 1890s to remain in existence to the present day.
Spiritualists do not all agree with one another about various aspects of Spiritualism and you will find many trains of thought on the spirit and ethereal world. What is commonly held by them all, as fact, is that the spirit survives physical death and moves into another "dimension" where it continues to exist as an individual, with all the characteristics of its human personality. It is commonly held that spirits actively seek communication with the world which they have now left behind. No spiritualist "conjures up" the dead. Mediums only act as channels where a spirit takes the initiative to make contact. Spiritualist communities have very strict guidelines on who may or may not 'channel' or give 'reading' within their grounds. This is to avoid becoming associated with the multitude of fraudulent individuals who portray themselves as true mediums or psychics. While there are many genuine individuals who have the gifts outside of these communities, there are many, many sham artists. Spiritualist communities insure their mediums are genuine through a series of training circles and tests that may often take years to accomplish before becoming 'certified' by the communities.
Within the grounds of the community are regularly scheduled events such as: message services (tenants of spiritualism followed by open readings/clairvoyant demonstrations from various camp mediums), healing circles, guest speakers and psychic development training circles. Cassadaga is a 'must-see' for individuals who are interested in opening their perspectives on life after death. Members of FPRF have been privilege to know many of the camp mediums and have witnessed the paranormal phenomena known as 'table tipping'. A type of séance where spirits cause heavy objects (like tables) to bounce up and down - at times to the point of levitation (literally lifting off the floor) with no apparent mechanism causing the event to occur other than a medium (along with our members) placing the tips of their fingers on a table and asking questions of spirits. Similar to pendulum techniques but on a much larger scale. A must see for both ghost hunters and parapsychologists.
Cassadaga is located between Orlando and Daytona Beach just a few minutes off I-4.
Directions: From I-4 use exit #54 (S.R. 472), travel west to C.R. 4101 (Dr. Martin Luther King Beltway), then turn right to C.R. 4139, then right again for the short ride into town.
Truly a place in time where spirits roam freely.