Psychic George Colby and the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp

Believe it or not, there is a town in central Florida often called "Psychic Capital of the World". This spiritualist community of clairvoyants, mediums, trance psychics and others has been established for over a century. It is called Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp and one could say it is one of the oldest, continuous psychic communities in the world. The story of how this psychic community came to be is a remarkable one. It was established by a psychic medium who was lead to an exact location in Florida by a spirit guide. This psychic medium was also told, clairvoyantly, that a large, permanent spiritualist community would be created there. And, so it was.

Cassadaga Spiritualist CommunityThe primary founder of Cassadaga, Florida was trance psychic medium George Colby who was born in New York, 1848. Born to Baptist parents, the family moved to Minnesota and joined the local church. Colby’s psychic talent seems to have galvanized when he was formally baptized in at the age of 12. At his baptism Colby received a message from beyond that he would go on to lead a Spiritualist community in the Southern United States. Not long after that, George Colby began to gain notoriety for his clairvoyant and healing abilities. By 1867 he left the Babtist church and began to traveling around the country making his living as a psychic medium and visiting various Spiritualist centers. The spiritualist movement, a uniquely American religion, was in full swing at this time.

In 1875, while traveling through the state of Iowa, one of George Colby’s spirit guides, Seneca, instructed Colby to go to Wisconsin and contact another psychic medium, T. D. Giddings. The two men were to hold a join séance at which time the spirit guide, Seneca, would provide details and instructs on what to do next. Colby dutifully went to Wisconsin and during a series of séances by both men, the spirit guide Seneca told them that a collection of spirits had determined that a spiritualist center was to be established in Florida and Colby would lead in establishing of this community. This new center would be located near Blue Springs, and the exact spot for the new spiritual center would be near pine tree covered hills over looking several lakes.

Soon, George Colby, T. D. Giddings and the entire Giddings family was traveling across the U.S. from Wisconsin to Florida. This was no easy journey, especially for Colby who was suffering from TB. At that time, Florida was an undeveloped wilderness of tropical foliage, moss-laden live oaks, and stately palms. Change was slowly coming to Florida with what would become later known as the Florida East Coast Railway, opening up a passage from the rest of the US to Key West. Old Kings Highway, built by the British prior to the American Revolution, had been the main entrance into the state. Colby and the Giddings’ family only made it to Jacksonville where the railway ended. They then needed to take a steamboat to the place called Blue Springs. And, there they waited until the spirits provided further instructions.

Late one evening, the spirit guide Seneca gave the group a message to travel east to the edge of Blue Springs to find the location of George Colby’s previous clairvoyant visions and Seneca’s description. The group loaded into wagon with a mule and followed a rutted path to the east. Sure enough, they came upon the pine covered hills over looking several lakes. Colby and Giddings agreed this was the exact spot they were foretold they’d find. Colby and Giddings immediately began to homestead the land. Colby would file for a homestead grant in 1880 and in 1884 received a grant for 145 acres, of which he would eventually deed 55 acres to the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association.

The word ‘Cassadaga’ is a Native American word from the Seneca tribe meaning ‘rocks beneath the water’. Colby seems to have chosen the word Cassadaga to honor the psychics, spiritualists and mediums of Lily Dale (specifically, the Cassadaga Free Lakes Association, of Cassadaga, New York) who were instrumental in helping Colby complete his vision of a sustained, continuous Spiritualists community. In 1893, the Spiritualist movement united in the U.S. and formed the National Spiritualist Association. With the help of the Lily Dale psychics and mediums, Colby was able to formalize the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association (which included the donation of land for the new community, as previously mentioned).

The Cassadaga Spiritualist community in Florida has had a long (over a 118 years now) and colorful history. George Colby claimed to have found a natural spring on the land which he claimed healed him of his TB. This allowed him to begin traveling around the U.S. providing public displays of his mediumistic skills (and spread the message that after life contact was possible). Newspaper articles in the Eastern and Northern cities invited psychics and mediums to visit (and even take up residence) in Cassadaga. Early visitors tended to be well educated and affluent. Also, Cassadaga unofficially became a retreat for mediums in the Northeast who wanted to escape the harsh winters there.

Many locals were slow to embrace Cassadaga’s unique spirituality with some local preachers telling their congregations to avoid Cassadaga or be damned. Then, as now, Spiritualism, psychics and mediums are not widely accepted and the town still faces the occasional protests from fundamentalist religious circles, sometimes even seeking to disrupt services at the Colby Memorial Temple. The community was never meant to make a profit and for many years operated at a loss. At one point some of the lands and buildings had to be sold off to pay bills. Cassadaga is also one of the few places providing spiritual healing opportunities. Unlike many of the mega-churches that have appeared across the U.S. in the last 30 years which bring in millions of dollars a year in donation, Cassadaga has remained much as was a century ago with it’s inhabitants remaining true to their original, spiritualist’s roots and a testament to a bygone era … and perhaps are looking at the dawning of a new era where many forms of spirituality can be embraced and the possibility of communication with the astral plane can be openly discussed.

Cassadaga has seen it’s share of celebrities, detractors, scientists investigating psychic mediums and has had good times and bad. With the emergence of the ‘new age movement’ (which seems to attract those who are open to alterative approaches to spirituality and also tend to be educated and affluent) the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp has seen a resurgence, of sorts.
Ironically, there really is no place to ‘camp’ at the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. Psychics, mediums and spiritualists can own the homes build in the ‘town’, but not cannot own the land. There is the Cassadaga Hotel and accommodations are also available outside the Cassadaga Camp. There are now over 300 residents who live in Cassadaga and many provide private readings for the public. In fact, there is a complete calendar of events for the town from séances, to public demonstrations of mediumship, to healing circles and even orb photography. Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist camp was even declared a U.S. Historic District in 1991.

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Thus began the quaint community of Cassadaga, the oldest Spiritualist community in the Southeastern United States. Created by a psychic medium; foretold by spirit guides; and still serving the public today in it’s modest way. Below are a few reference sites if you’d like more information:,_Florida

Interested in what messages spirits and those in the spirit world have for you? Give Psychic Medium Ricky a call at 1-866-407-7164 … a very talented psychic medium. You might also want to check out psychic Izobelle who works through (or call her at 1-866-327-9032).