Spiritualism is a diffuse religious movement centered on the notion that direct contact with spirits, including but not limited to the spirits of the dead, is possible through the medium of human bodies. Originating in upstate New York in the late 1840s, spiritualism can be described as a particularly modern Western analog to possession cults and spirit practices elsewhere in the world, with which it has in some cases also mixed over the past century. Part of the so-called occult revival of the late 19th century, spiritualism influenced early Theosophy, gave rise to a number of New Religious Movements, and was the main impetus for the development of psychical research, also known as parapsychology.

In its more doctrinal varieties, spiritualism is influenced by the ideas of ...

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