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The phenomena of Hydesville    

Spiritism was not created by a person or by a spirit. It was not result of some old book found accidentally. Spiritism was founded through a gigantic work carried out by legions of spirits. They started to reveal Spiritism at approximately the same time, in many places around the World, giving us information about the invisible and intangible Universe.    

The earliest record of spirit communication started with noises. It is be considered to be the most important record of the Christian history. 

 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in the book History of the Spiritism, tells us these records with all their detail.    

Doyle says that the noises had started occurring in a village called Hydesville, in New York State at a residence inhabited by a family named Fox, consisting of the father, the mother and two children, Margaret, 14 years old, and Kate, 11 years old. Their religion was Methodist.   

The Fox family heard strange noises in their house that seemed to be produced by scratches. Some times they were simple taps, other times sounded as dragging of furniture. The noises went on for days. The girls were so alarmed that they went to sleep in their parents room.    

On the night of March 31, 1848, the sounds became stronger and more vibrant than ever.  Kate in a courageous impulse, defied that invisible force to repeat the taps according to the number of fingers she chose in her hand. This challenge was answered immediately. Kate continued asking and each request was soon replied with a new reply (noise).   

A code based on the number of taps was soon established; for example, one tap was equivalent YES, two taps NO, and so on…   

Mrs. Fox had a great surprise that night in the conversation that they had with the invisible force. The unknown force said that Mrs. Fox had seven children. She protested saying that she had six, until remembering herself that she really had another son, who died in early days. The death of a child was common in those times when women had large number of children.   

What could that force be? It was a strange and intelligent force, that demonstrated specific knowledge of Mrs. Fox’s life and knew it better than herself?    

Some neighbors had been called to witness the strange phenomenon; some had been astonished, other terrified, when they received the right answers about their personal questions.   

Then, that unknown invisible intelligence said that he was a spirit and that he had been murdered in that house. The spirit indicated the name of the previous house owner. He explained that he had stayed there and was killer to steal his money, and that he was buried deep in a cellar.   

Then, one of the persons suggested using letters of the alphabet for the formation of words, stipulating determined number of strokes for each letter. This spiritual telegraphy facilitated the communication and started to be used with success.   

The phenomena of this communication at Hydesville had great repercussions. The curiosity of the public was so great that the Fox family moved to New York City, where they continued to give public sessions of the spiritual communication.   

In Europe, a short time later, the spiritual phenomena started at events they called “games or hall games”. The people did not have entertainment as we do today and so the games quickly became a common activity. In these games, the people had fun making questions to the Spirits and receiving their answers through an established code, which was based on raps of a small three legged table that would rise and hit in the floor with one of its legs. Thus making the communication.

The scientist, Allan Kardec, upon seeing this “game” decided to research the phenomenon in order to unmask what he thought to be a fraud.   

(See Kardec page)  

 

 

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