Haunted Florida: Cassadaga

Medium signage, circa 1980s | Photo via Florida Memory

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If you hop in your car and drive 90-minutes northeast, you’ll run right into the sleepy town of Cassadaga, Florida — home to the ‘psychic capital of the world.’ 

The small, unincorporated Volusia County town is the center of local lore, and, is, ironically, without a cemetery. This begs the question — where are residents of Cassadaga buried when they pass?

If you guessed “half a mile north in Lake Helen” — you’re right. The Lake Helen-Cassadaga Cemetery is notorious for the “Devil’s Chair” — a haunted brick structure where many cite seeing the devil himself, as well as many other unexplained phenomena.

The ‘gate’ to Cassadaga, circa 1900 | Photo via Florida Memory

The town also happens to be home to a large spiritualist population. Since its inception in 1875 by George P. Colby, the town’s roots lie in the tradition of spiritualism — “a movement based on the belief that departed souls can interact with the living,” a belief system popular at the time in George’s northeastern upbringing.

Upon the town’s founding, George opened the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, which still exists today, for spiritualists from around the world to gather and learn about its foundation.

Nowadays, the camp is more of a ‘community’ than a regular campsite and is regarded as the largest in the United States, after becoming a historic district on the National Register Of Historic Places in 1991.

“The Camp,” circa, 1908 | Photo via Florida Memory

Who are the residents of this camp, you ask? Try mediums, healers, psychics, and spiritualist church members, some of whom claim the land exists in a “spiritual vortex” with a thin veil separating the living from the dead, making it quite literally prime real estate for those of the spiritualist faith.

Want to visit? Check-in at The Cassadaga Hotel, which is notoriously haunted and touted as a “Spiritual Sanctuary.” Upon receiving your room key, guests can opt in to “lectures, spiritual and psychic mediumship development classes, meditation circles, energy healing seminars, and personal transformation workshops for the soul.”

Cassadaga Hotel, circa 1980s | Photo via Florida Memory

To learn more about this piece of haunted Florida, check out local podcast “Florida Men on Florida Man’s” episode titled “Cassadaga Nights.”

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