10 episodes

In this limited series, Jamie Loftus investigates and interrogates American spiritualism, a century-old tradition of communing with the dead that takes place in camps full of mediums across the country. Who is drawn to these camps, how did the religion come together, and why are the tarot card readers and the seance-havers fighting? Ghost Church is a look at grief, religion, and loneliness, with on-site reporting and interviews with everyone from spiritualist psychics to Protestant pastors to a very lonely carnival employee. 

Ghost Church by Jamie Loftus Cool Zone Media

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 645 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

In this limited series, Jamie Loftus investigates and interrogates American spiritualism, a century-old tradition of communing with the dead that takes place in camps full of mediums across the country. Who is drawn to these camps, how did the religion come together, and why are the tarot card readers and the seance-havers fighting? Ghost Church is a look at grief, religion, and loneliness, with on-site reporting and interviews with everyone from spiritualist psychics to Protestant pastors to a very lonely carnival employee. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Introducing: Ghost Church by Jamie Loftus

    Introducing: Ghost Church by Jamie Loftus

    Jamie Loftus investigates American spiritualism, a tradition of communing with the dead that takes place in camps full of mediums across the country.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 3 min
    1: Not a Cult

    1: Not a Cult

    American Spiritualism is a frequently invoked, rarely understood religion that hinges on speaking with spirit through mediums. In our first episode, Jamie Loftus puts your little baby brain at rest -- it's not a cult. But what is it?
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 49 min
    2: No Proof is Necessary, No Proof is Sufficient

    2: No Proof is Necessary, No Proof is Sufficient

    This week, Jamie returns to Cassadaga for a Gala Day with one Reverend Doctor and one Reverend Doctor / Former Dojo Owner, then attends her first spiritualist church service, complete with a message from the spirit after hymns. Back in 1848, spiritualist's founding Fox sisters become stars overnight, immediately stoking skepticism and smothering press attention.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    3: The Tables Are Tipping

    3: The Tables Are Tipping

    This week, Jamie goes to a table tipping class — a Spiritualist tradition that uses tables to connect people with their dead. Elsewhere in the past, the Fox sisters go on tour, where the skeptics put increasing pressure on the teenagers to meet their hype.

     

    Further Reading:

    Talking to the Dead, Barbara Weisberg

    Calling the Spirits: A History of Seances by Lisa Morton

    The Road to Seneca Falls by Judith Wellman

    Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    4: Four Roads to Cassadaga

    4: Four Roads to Cassadaga

    This week, Jamie passes the mic to four women of Cassadaga to tell their stories about how they came to American spiritualism -- from being raised by NASA scientists to a tragic loss.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 51 min
    5: Apples, The Manipulator, and The Curse of Spiritualism

    5: Apples, The Manipulator, and The Curse of Spiritualism

    This week, Jamie visits a legendary Cassadaga medium and traces the story of spiritualism's Fox sisters to its end -- where the sisters abandoned the religion that had defined their lives.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
645 Ratings

645 Ratings

FaeryKing ,

Very entertaining and interesting!

I am a JL fan and have listened to her other podcasts. This is typical of her work: well researched without being too scholarly, funny without being too light hearted or sarcastic, and entertaining with challenging ideas and interesting historic tidbits. Listen to this once if you want to have a fun and engaging story of a truly American religious movement. Listen twice to really get all of the layers of intersectionality worth of several “Oberlin dissertations.” (A Sarah Marshall throw back!🤪)

Elwood-66 ,

Wow. All kinds of bias just 3 minutes into the episode

An obviously biased and misinformed hipster made all kinds of assumptions and spouted enough disdain for certain demographics to offend this rarely offended listener within the first few minutes. I’m continuing to listen because we share an interest but it’s sad to hear her potential and interest in the subject wasted on discrimination and profanity.

milosz on the wing ,

TLDR

Great fun. Good narrator. There is a ghost behind your shoulder right now.

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