The community of Lily Dale is surrounded by mysticism and acts as a mecca for Spiritualists and psychic mediums.
The History: The community of Lily Dale was the result of the Spiritualism movement in the late 19th century. First incorporated in 1879 as the Cassadaga Lake Free Association, it was a home for Spiritualists, suffragists, and freethinkers. The name was changed in 1903 to the City of Light and finally transformed to Lily Dale Assembly in 1906. Since its initial establishment, Lily Dale has been a community for psychic mediums and those hoping to further the science and religion of Spiritualism. Today, over 20,000 visitors come through the gates of Lily Dale annually, and the community is home to over 50 registered mediums. Workshops and church services are held where guests and mediums tap into Spirit.
The Haunting: Lily Dale may not be your typical haunt, but it is definitely one of the most spiritual locations one might visit. You won’t hear stories of murder or war, and there’s no word on whether there are any poltergeists or malevolent spirits. However, the community taps into the spiritual world in every aspect of life, and that can be felt as you walk through the town, shops, and surrounding forests. The hub of the energy is Inspiration Stump which is believed to be a vortex. Guests are no longer permitted to stand on the stump because of medical problems many experienced (seizures, fainting spells, nausea, etc.), however, the daily service is held there and it is beautiful if nothing else.
It’s hard for a place like Lily Dale–peaceful and serene–to compete with places like the Lizzie Borden House filled with death and destruction. Is Lily Dale scary? No. Spooky? No. Haunted? I’m not really sure. There is definitely an otherworldly feel as you walk around Lily Dale. It’s quiet and far removed from the hubbub of modern day life. Many of the mediums living in the community are extremely friendly, and there is definitely an energy surrounding the town. However, your level of experiences will definitely depend on how sensitive you are. I would consider Lily Dale a spiritual experience, and not a paranormal experience.
Many people may not even be aware that Lily Dale has a restaurant, but as a matter of fact, they have four eateries. The feel of Lily Dale’s restaurants is very casual, most of them located outside. Lucy’s Coffee Shop, Monika’s Delites, and Spirit Cafe all offer snacks and baked goods. The Sunflower Cafe offers a wide variety of options from salads to sandwiches. I got the turkey bacon ranch wrap and it was enormous. Some portions are large such as the wrap, and others were small like the chicken fingers. They offer some different things aside from burgers, sandwiches, and wraps, one of them being a hummus bowl with veggies and pita (and I wish I had gotten that). Prices are a bit on the high side for how informal the restaurant is (cafeteria style, plastic chairs, and tables, etc.). They do offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a delicious strawberries-and-cream dessert.
Type of Experience: Restaurant and B&B
Dining Style: Casual
Price Range: $3.99-11.99
Address: Lily Dale Assembly,5 Melrose Park, Lily Dale, New York
Phone Number: (716) 595-8721
Hours of Operation:
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