November 2 Program: Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism

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Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism

Thursday, November 2, 2023, 7 p.m.

In person: FCHS Archives & Research Center, 2011 E Logan St, Ottawa, KS 66067

Online: Zoom (registration required) or Facebook Live


It seems one of the eternal questions that has plagued humanity centers around what happens to us when we die. Most modern religions try to tackle this question, but none did so with more fervor than modern Spiritualism. What started in a cabin in New York with two young girls quickly spread across the globe. Soon, spiritual mediums who claimed they could communicate with the dead could be found in almost every town in the nation.

Katie Keckeisen’s presentation, “Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism,” examines the emergence of this religious phenomena, its connections to both the Civil War and World War I, and how it led to a battle of words between the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the greatest magician of all time.

portrait of a woman with long dark hair and dark eyes.
Katie Keckeisen

Katie is the local history librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. She previously worked as the Collections Archivist at the Kansas Historical Society. In addition to her work in museums and archives throughout the United States, Katie researches and writes about the history of death and funerary practices in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This free program is available in person at the FCHS Archives & Research Center (2011 E Logan St, Ottawa) or online via Zoom (registration required) or Facebook Live.

“Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism” is part of the Humanities Kansas’s Speakers Bureau, which features humanities-based presentations designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

For more information, call (785) 242-1232 or e-mail Diana Staresinic-Deane.

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