Today, it gives me great pleasure to host author Mae Clair with her latest Supernatural Thriller book of fiction: Cusp of Night!
Some of you will know that Mae has a special interest in all things supernatural, and today she talks about Spiritualism and Séances through the Centuries.
Take it away, Mae! …
Spiritualism and Séances through the Centuries
The mid to late 1800s experienced a growing interest in spiritualism. This was especially true after the Civil War, when family members were desperate to communicate with the husbands, brothers, and loved ones they’d lost. Mediums grew in popularity, promising to to reach beyond the veil of Summerland, allowing the living to speak with the dead.
Even those unskilled in the spiritual world tried their hand at breaching the Aether. The desire for communication was so great, the practice of trying to contact the dead so commonplace, “home circles” became popular, replacing dancing and games of charades as entertainment. Family and friends gathered for weekly séances, hoping spirits would interact with them through table tilting, rapping sounds, or automatic writings.
False mediums saw an opportunity and began to advertise their skills in the personal sections of local newspapers. No dark séance was complete without the appearance of ghostly ectoplasm, spirit lights, or the medium sending his or her “spirit trumpet” soaring through the air. In an effort to expose fraudulent mediums, the American Society for Psychical Research made it their mission to investigate those who presented themselves as authentic. The era produced a number of well-known mediums who were later exposed as frauds, including the Fox Sisters, Margret and Kate, who lit the spark igniting the Spiritualist movement.
In my upcoming June 12th release, Cusp of Night, my main character, Maya Sinclair learns that the brooding brownstone she’s rented once belonged to a renown spiritualist—Lucinda Glass, also known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill. Maya finds herself caught up in the twisted history of an old urban legend and a specter of evil from the days when Summerland, table tilting, and home circles were commonplace.
In order to save herself and those she cares about, Maya must reach through the barriers of old world spiritualism to stave off a spirit who transcends centuries—and who has every intention of destroying those in the present.
Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.
Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house–a woman whose ghost may still linger.
Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to unearthing the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts: