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Spiritism

“Spiritism” and “Spiritualism” are terms, often used interchangeably, referring to the belief in communication between the living and the living spirits of the dead. History records periodic surges of interest in the spirit phenomenon, but as an organized religion it began at Hydesville, New York, in 1848. John D. Fox and his wife traced strange, tapping sounds in their home to the room of their teenage daughters, Margaret and Katie. After the continued experience of this and bedclothes pulled off the bed by invisible hands and chairs and tables removed from their places, the two girls devised a means of intelligent communication with the author of the noises, who would reply to questions with a number of raps. This widely advertised event set off a Spiritism revival in the United States that soon spread to England and Europe.