Lily Dale New York
Spiritualist Community

Lily Dale New York

lily dale

Exploring The Spiritualist Community of Lily Dale, New York

Nestled in the heart of Western New York, Lily Dale New York is a charming destination that offers a unique, spiritual experience for visitors.

For those seeking solace, spiritual growth, and a chance to connect with spiritual-minded individuals, Lily Dale New York provides a nurturing environment rich in history and immersive attractions.

But what sets this little town apart from others? Let’s delve into the world’s largest spiritualist community and discover the magic that awaits you.

From the fascinating history of Spiritualism to the tranquil nature walks and the opportunity to communicate with spirits through registered mediums, Lily Dale New York offers an experience unlike any other.

On this page, I will guide you through the captivating journey of exploring Lily Dale New York’s spiritualist community, its various attractions, the unique opportunities to deepen your spiritual connection, and my personal experience.

Lily Dale's History

Lily Dale New York stands unique as the world’s largest center for spiritualist community.

The roots trace back to 1844 with the arrival of a mesmerist in New York State, igniting local interest in Spiritualist techniques.

From then onwards, the community pledged itself to the propagation of the science, philosophy, and religion of Spiritualism, drawing thousands of visitors annually to foster spiritual development.

The Lily Dale Museum, nestled in a refurbished schoolhouse, serves as an excellent initiation into the history of Spiritualism.

Exhibits showcase academic and scientific research on the subject and artifacts and memorabilia from the early days of the spiritualist movement.

The Lily Dale community comes alive in the summer, drawing over 22,000 visitors and lily dale residents for classes, workshops, public church services, and mediumship demonstrations.

Spiritualism in Lily Dale

Life in Lily Dale New York thrives on the bedrock of Spiritualism, with residents and visitors engaging in various spiritual practices and events.

The core belief of Spiritualism is that life is ongoing, and we don’t really die; instead, we transition to different states of existence.

Spiritualists believe that spirits of those who have passed can communicate with us, and they try to make contact with these spirits through mediums.

Lily Dale, known as the Lily Dale spiritualist community, is a hub for scientific research on spiritualism and mediumship, with many studies conducted in the community.

In addition to workshops and classes, visitors can also partake in readings, healing sessions, and other spiritual activities to deepen their connection with the spiritual world.

Some of Lily Dale's Unique Attractions

- The M. Skidmore Library and Lily Dale Museum, showcase the history and artifacts of the Spiritualist movement.

- The Forest Temple and Inspiration Stump, offer opportunities for spiritual connection and communication with spirits.

- Leolyn Woods, a 10-acre old-growth forest, provides a peaceful retreat perfect for leisurely strolls and connecting with nature.

- Explore the Fairy Trail, a lovely whimsical path adorned with tiny gnome houses and fairies.

- Pet Cemetery (Click here and read about my bizarre experience with the guardian of the cemetery).

- Browse the Bargain Shoppe for snacks, gifts, and spiritualist items

- Indulge in psychic readings and other activities that make Lily Dale a truly unique destination.

Exploring the Marion Skidmore Library and Lily Dale Museum


The M. Skidmore Library and Lily Dale Museum are treasure troves of history and artifacts related to the Spiritualist movement.

The museum, curated by historian Ron Nagy, features photos, artifacts, documents, and memorabilia from the early days of Spiritualism in Lily Dale.

One can also marvel at spirit paintings, spirit trumpets, and a collection of signs belonging to many mediums who have passed away.

Additionally, the museum has an extensive and fascinating collection of precipitated spirit paintings

According to Ron Nagy, "precipitated spirit paintings is a work of art, usually a portrait, which appears on canvas without the use of human hands during a Spiritualist seance."

In the library, you’ll find an extensive collection of books and resources on Spiritualism, psychic phenomena, and metaphysics.

The peaceful atmosphere of the library offers a quiet space for reflection and study, deepening your understanding of the spiritualist movement and its impact on Lily Dale.

Forest Temple and Inspiration Stump: Connecting with Spirits

forest temple

Nestled within Leolyn Woods, the Forest Temple and Inspiration Stump are sought-after locations for spiritual practice, connection and engaging with spirits.

The Forest Temple, an outdoor area designed for spiritual, mental, and emotional uplift, hosts daily services led by local registered mediums or students, who bring messages from the spirits to those in attendance.


Inspiration Stump, a spot within the woods where people report feeling more connected to spiritual energies, also serves as a site for services twice a day during the summer season.

Local mediums offer these services. Through these services, messages from spirits are communicated to the audience members.

Both locations offer a unique opportunity to experience spirit communication in a serene, natural setting.

Leolyn Woods: A Walk Through Nature

Leolyn Woods, spanning 10 acres of old-growth forest, provides a tranquil refuge for visitors, offering peaceful nature walks and chances to connect with the spiritual energy of the place. 


The Fairy Trail, a whimsical path adorned with tiny gnome houses and fairies, invites guests to take a leisurely stroll through the woods.

Visitors and residents alike contribute to the enchanting decorations, adding an element of wonder and magic to the experience.

It is the perfect place to find solace, inspiration, and a deeper connection with nature and spirituality.

fairy trail

Lily Dale Mediums

medium sign

For numerous visitors, Lily Dale’s allure lies in the prospects of personal interactions with spirit communication via meetings with registered mediums.

There are approximately 36 registered mediums at Lily Dale.

Some, such as Gretchen Clark-a well-known medium, have grown up in the community. Most, though, have bought homes and moved in.

Regardless, all the mediums at Lily Dale must pass numerous tests before they are allowed to charge visitors for readings.

You can find a list of all registered mediums in the community on the Lily Dale Assembly website directory. 

With the right medium, your experience in Lily Dale can be truly transformative and life changing.

Healing Temple: A Sanctuary for Spiritual Healing


Providing a serene space for visitors, the Temple serves as a sanctuary for spiritual healing and meditation, promoting inner peace and balance.

The temple offers a variety of spiritual healing practices, such as meditation, prayer, and energy healing, which can help alleviate stress and anxiety, as well as promote a spiritual connection and healing.

Visiting the Temple can bring a sense of peace and relaxation to your Lily Dale experience.

Whether you’re seeking spiritual enlightenment or simply a quiet space to meditate, the Temple is a must-visit destination during your time in Lily Dale.

Summer Activities

The summer season in Lily Dale buzzes with a packed calendar of activities and events, such as:

  • Workshops
  • Classes
  • Spiritual healing sessions From June 21st to September 1st, the town comes alive with spiritual seekers attending:
  • Workshops
  • Classes
  • Lectures
  • Talks
  • Spirit Message services at Inspiration Stump and the Forest Temple are also regular events during this time, providing unique opportunities for spirit communication.

Whether you’re interested in meditation, energy healing, or spiritual communication, the summer season in Lily Dale has something for everyone.

With an array of spiritual topics and experiences on offer, visitors can deepen their understanding and connection with the spiritual world during this vibrant time.

Staying in Lily Dale: Hotels, Guest Houses, and Campgrounds

Lily Dale offers a range of accommodations for visitors, such as local hotels like The Amber Tree Inn, Angel House, Southern Comfort Inn, and The Maplewood Hotel.

Guest houses, like The Angel House and Harmony House, provide a more intimate and cozy lodging experience.

For those who prefer to be closer to nature, the Lily Dale Campground and RV Park is a great option, offering visitors the opportunity to camp in a beautiful, serene setting.

The Decision to Visit Lily Dale NY

For years, I kept the idea of visiting Lily Dale, Spiritualist Community, located in Chautauqua County, New York, alive in my mind.

One day, I decided to take the idea and turn it into a reality. I made hotel arrangements, packed a few items, and headed north.

With a map in my hand and a full tank of gas, I was ready to commence my journey.

The trip was lengthy and exhausting. It took me approximately eight hours to get there. I made several stops along the way, always anticipating arriving at my final destination.

When I reached Chautauqua County, I drove a few miles until I saw a sign that said, Lily Dale. After a long drive, I was finally there. I made a turn into a side road and drove straight ahead. On one side of the road were a few houses, and on the other was a lake.

When I reached the end of the road, I saw a booth with a large sign on the side that said Lily Dale Assembly-The City of Lights.

I drove up to the gate and was greeted by a friendly young man.

"How are you today? How long do you plan on staying?" he asked.

"A week," I replied.

He told me the price and gave me a gate pass.

As I drove into the spiritualist community of Lily Dale, I was struck by the vast difference between Lily Dale and the outside world.

On the other side of the gate, the atmosphere felt dense and charged, while inside Lily Dale, the ambiance was serene. It was as if I had entered another world.

There are two well-known hotels in Lily Dale- The Maple Hotel and Leolyn Hotel. However, I decided to stay in Maple Hotel because of its haunting reputation.

As I drove to the Maple Hotel, I noticed several well-preserved Victorian-style houses. Everything around looked impeccable.

When I arrived at the Maple hotel, I checked in immediately and went to my room. Besides a newer bed, curtains, and a few necessities, very little had changed since its inception in the 1800s.

As I walked down the stairs to explore Lily Dale, I met a Latina woman who had been a medium since childhood. For some particular reason, we became inseparable during my stay there.

Recently, the reason why we connected so well was made known to me. She was a stepping stone that spirits had placed in my path to connect me to the next level of my spiritual journey.

Never discard people that come into your life for a short time. They may be placed in your path to help you see something you have missed along the way.

My first night at the Maple hotel was a bit frightening. I met a woman who was a frequent visitor. She wanted to know what floor my room was on.

When I told her the floor, she said, "Okay, that's not so bad.

"What do you mean by not so bad?" I asked her.

"It's the second floor you need to stay away from. There is too much spirit activity up there. The first time I came here, they gave me a room on the second floor. I could not sleep because of all the spirit activity in the room. I ran downstairs and requested another room. I did not go to the room to get my belongings until the following day," she said.

Additionally, she said, "A man was given a room on the second floor. When he went to his room, he saw a little girl sitting on the bed. He quickly went downstairs and told the woman at the desk that the room was occupied. The receptionist looked at the guest book and said no one was assigned to that room. In fact, no little girl was staying in the hotel. The man insisted on having another room on a different floor."

When it was time for me to go to my room, I was a bit nervous. After hearing all those stories and confirmations from other guests, how could I not be scared.

When I got to my room, I sat on the bed thinking about all the stories I had just heard. I got ready for bed but could not fall asleep. I kept expecting strange, unfamiliar spirits to appear before my bed. I kept praying and hoping nothing would happen.

Suddenly, I felt my mom's energy enter the room, approach me, and kiss me on the cheek. The sensation felt so real to me.

After that, I fell asleep immediately. When I opened my eyes, it was morning, and the sun's rays had entered my room. From that day, I did not experience fear or discomfort.

During my stay at Lily Dale, I enjoyed its many attractions - ghost walk tour, museum, library, fairy trail, healing temple, bookstores, shops, pet cemetery, and much more.

Moreover, I attended a few exciting workshops. My stay was quite pleasurable and noteworthy. I had a wonderful time.

The ghost walk tour is a must for all individuals visiting Lily Dale. Besides providing the history of Lily Dale, the tour includes visiting significant landmarks.

The tour is conducted at night, which makes it more exciting and mysterious. Since numerous people attend these tours, the group is usually divided into two.

The group leaders are people who are part of the community and well-informed. Since the area is so dark, a flashlight is supplied to everyone.

The last part of the tour is the stump area located in the middle of the woods.

People in the 1800s would gather around the stump area to give and receive messages from departed spirits. It is said that the stump and surrounding area are spiritually charged.

Upon arriving at the stump area, the group is directed to sit on one of the many benches located there. In the middle of all the darkness, messages from spirits are received and given.

An interesting and humorous story concerning the tour was told to me. As usual, the group was divided into two.

The first group had completed most of the tour and was sitting around the stump area listening to spirit messages given by a medium.

It was so dark that the medium decided to use his flashlight to illuminate his face so that people could see where he was standing.

When the second group arrived, they saw what seemed to be a head floating in mid-air. They thought it was the head of a ghost.

Without attaining the proper explanation, many ran away screaming.

Lily Dale is definitely the place to visit if you are looking for a spiritual adventure. Spirits are eagerly waiting for your arrival.


Lily Dale, largest spiritualist community worldwide, offers a unique and immersive experience for those seeking a deeper connection with the spiritual world.

From its rich history and fascinating attractions to the opportunity for personal encounters with spirit communication, Lily Dale is truly a one-of-a-kind destination.

Whether you choose to visit during the vibrant summer season or enjoy the peaceful tranquility of an off-season retreat, Lily Dale is sure to leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul. 


lily dale orbLily Dale Forest

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Lily Dale?

Lily Dale is the largest spiritualist community, located in Western New York. It offers an opportunity for spiritual growth and connection with like-minded individuals.

When is the best time to visit Lily Dale?

The best time to visit Lily Dale is during the summer, from June 21st to September 1st, when there are a variety of activities and events to enjoy.

What activities and attractions are available in Lily Dale?

Experience the spiritual atmosphere of Lily Dale through visiting the museums, temples and nature walks, or participate in workshops and classes. You can even communicate with spirits using one of their recommended mediums.

How can I find a medium in Lily Dale?

Finding a medium in Lily Dale is easy - just take a look at the Lily Dale Assembly website directory to find a list of all mediums.

What accommodations and dining options are available in Lily Dale?

Lily Dale provides guests with various accommodation choices, such as hotels, guest houses and campgrounds, plus plenty of dining options like Monika's Delites, Bough House Restaurant, and Whiskey Hill Saloon.

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