Thursday, August 9, 2012



Cassadaga, Florida.

Where Mayberry meets the Twilight Zone (Trademarked-I've got the t-shirt to prove it).

The Colonel and I took a side trip to Cassadaga on the way to Jacksonville. We were heading to Jacksonville in order to pick Spud up from college summer school.

You need more back story...

The Colonel and I watch a television series called The Glades. It is a cop show and we normally don't watch cop shows but this one takes place in Florida and we like the main character, Detective Jim Longworth. Detective Longworth has been relocated to Florida from Chicago (you will have to watch the series to find out why) He is played by actor Matt Passmore who is an Australian but you'd never know it. He has an American accent down pat (not the nasally Chicago accent but a "middle-of-the-road" Midwestern one). 

A murder takes place in Cassadaga in one of the episodes of The Glades. The Colonel and I googled Cassadaga to see if it was real and where it is located and we saw that it would be on the way as we headed to Jacksonville.

Cassadaga is named "The Psychic Capital of the World". How does a little town in Florida become the world's psychic capital?

In 1875, a New Yorker named George Colby (1848) was lead through the Florida wilderness by his three spirit guides to Cassadaga's present location. His guides told him to organize a psychic center there.

Colby, who was ill with TB when he arrived, homesteaded the land and a small spring on his homestead is rumored to have provided the elixir that healed him. In 1895 he deeded 35 acres to the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association. This organization of a psychic center would fulfill a prophecy from Colby's childhood stating that he would one day establish a psychic center in the South. Many affluent and well-educated people came to the Spiritualist Camp in its early years. George Colby passed away in 1933.

Today Cassadaga has a hotel, auditorium, memorial temple, bookstore, library, healing center, welcome center and educational buildings.

Cassadaga is home to several psychics and mediums and they live in unique, little (and some not so little) houses along its sloping streets. 

Walking the quiet streets of Cassadaga, The Colonel and I had a feeling of being in another time and place...exactly like being at the crossroads of Mayberry and the Twighlight Zone. It was a good feeling, unique and peaceful. On our walk we saw little meditation gardens.

Interesting gardens.

And gardens with statuary that one doesn't normally see cohabiting the same slip of soil: saints and sphinxes.

 There are several little lakes around Cassadaga. This is Spirit Lake. Its water level was low, yet still pretty.

Another pretty lake.

There were little shops in Cassadaga too. The Colonel and I visited the bookstore but not the Purple Rose. I liked the sign. What exactly constitutes metaphysical stuff?

The little side trip to Cassadaga was worth the effort. It is an interesting, unusual place and as it turns out a very real place.

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