|Mediums, with psychic force emanating from their hands|
carte de visite, ca.1870
Eugène Rochas Papers, APS
While one may be tempted to take a condescending attitude towards those nineteenth century believers, it is worth remembering that Spiritualism - and spirit photography - is alive and well to this day. Of course, a renewed interest in Spiritualism is more easily explained at certain points in time. Just before World War II began, for example, Spiritualism enjoyed a revival. More puzzling was the surge in popularity during the 1980s, which made much less sense, unless one believed that the waning Cold War inspired Spiritualist leanings. The passion with which people embrace the principals of Spiritualism -- even today -- illustrates that progress does not seem to alter the universal need people share for believing that they can communicate beyond the grave.