A Long History

Rise of Spiritualism

Industrial Revolution

Industrialism and Ghosts

Post-bellum America

Supernatural and Hope

Supernatural Restores Faith

Ghosts Build Communities

Comfort to Bereaved

Why the Supernatural was Entertaining

Transcending the Real

Ghosts and Mystery

Ghosts and Thrills

Entertainers Cash In

Laughing at Ghosts 

Anthony Hopper






















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Why Were Americans Interested in the Supernatural?

Industrialism Fuels Americans' Interest in Ghosts (continued)

All of these practices helped to generate interest in paranormal phenomena among Americans living in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (10). In fact, some scholars have argued that the practice of cavorting with the dead, either vicariously through books or directly via the aid of a ouija board or a medium, became so widespread throughout the United States that it "...became a national pastime that transcended class, gender, and ethnic barriers" (11).












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September 8, 2004










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