They Spoke With The Dead

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Spiritualism’s 150th anniversary celebration concluded with a pilgrimage to the property in Hydesville, now a barren and brackish piece of land. As I carefully picked my way through the little wilderness, I wondered what artifacts I might find. In 1848 a crew of diggers led by David Fox claimed to have discovered in the basement some hair, a few bones, and broken bits of a pottery bowl. Proof of the peddler’s story? Disgusted skeptics called the evidence a plant. Then, in the early part of this century, children found a skeleton hidden behind a decrepit cellar wall. It had been there, according to estimates, for about fifty years.