Spiritualism in fiction

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This article provides a list of fictional stories in which Spiritualism features as an important plot element. The list omits passing mentions.

Written works[edit]

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  • William Dean Howells, The Undiscovered Country, an 1880 novel on Spiritualism and its dangers for the mental stability of its fanatical adherents.
  • Henry James, The Bostonians (1886), whose heroine is viewed as having fallen under the spell of female trance lecturers such as Mrs. Ada T.P. Foat, modeled on the real-life Cora L. V. Scott. The novel illustrates how Spiritualism was adopted by persons involved in late-19th-century reform movements.
  • Bolesław Prus, Pharaoh, an 1895 historical novel incorporating scenes inspired by Spiritualism.
  • H.G. Wells, Love and Mr. Lewisham, a novel published in 1900, in which the main character falls in love with a girl whose stepfather claims to be a spirit medium. A large portion of the novel deals with the questionable ethics of some practitioners of the occult. (This novel marked one of the earliest departures from science fiction for Wells—and was a best-seller.)
  • Hamlin Garland, Tyranny of the Dark, a 1905 novel which follows the budding romance between a skeptical man of science and a beautiful young spirit medium. (Much of the novel's material was based on the author's actual investigations.)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle, The Land of Mist, a novel published in 1926. The third of Doyle's Professor Challenger stories, The Land of Mist deals with the conversion to Spiritualism of Challenger's friend Edward Malone, his daughter Enid, and finally Challenger himself. Doyle was a committed Spiritualist, and this book's presentation of Spiritualist ideals is somewhat more earnest than that in most books of its type, while the descriptions of séance phenomena are substantially more pedantic.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Black, Michelle, Sèance in Sepia. Five Star. ISBN 978-1432825485.