Lessons from the Spirit World

Why McCain and Obama should visit Lily Dale

Illustration by Marcellus Hall for TIME

Where do you go to get your vision corrected, your crystal ball polished? I figured August offered one last chance to check the instruments before the campaign homestretch. And in an election year haunted by all kinds of ghosts, I thought I'd check in with the people who talk to the dead all the time--just to get a different feel for the spirits that move us.

A hundred years ago, the New York Times described the Lily Dale Assembly, a gated compound in far western New York State, as "the most famous and aristocratic spiritualistic camp in America." Freethinking, forward-leaning, this...

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