From my very limited view of the world, it seems as though the belief in the paranormal, the presence of ghosts, and all things strange has been increasing over the years. It certainly has for me. Whether this is due to the media’s attention placed on paranormal content like TV shows, radio, and podcasts or the world’s growing distance to traditional Christianity. Spiritualism has had many ups and downs over the centuries, with very clear revivals in certain decades.
The Apparitionists by Peter Manseau takes a look at the late 1800s during the invention of photography and how that came to influence people’s belief in the existence of spirits. I was introduced to this book by a colleague of mine at work who was telling me how interesting the concept was, and I’ve had this on my reading list for awhile. I finally had the chance to read it during quarantine and found it to be very interesting for the kinds of ideas it presents and the overall narrative of how photography developed in close proximity to Spiritualism and the fairly prominent court case that was spread around the US with the creation of Morse Code at about the same time. This intersectionality of technology and spirituality is super interesting to me because we are seeing it again in modern times.Continue reading Musings on The Apparitionists by Peter Manseau and the Rise of Spiritualism