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