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Weird Wednesday: A Spiritualist Camp in Haslett

Mysterious Forces have prevented Linda Godfrey from providing this month’s Weird Wednesday feature, so we’re going to take a look at some folks who wielded their own mysterious forces in the late 19th century in Haslett.

haslett-spiritualistsLost Lansing from the Lansing Online News has an interesting feature on the spiritualist camp that thrived over 100 years ago on the shore of Lake Lansing. They write that the land on the south side of Lake Lansing was the site of a spiritualist retreat named Haslett Park.

The camp was was founded in 1882 by the leader of the local spiritualist group, James Haslett. The spiritualists believed that it was possible to contact the spirit world to receive guidance on earthly issues and knowledge about the afterlife. This was done through special individuals known as mediums. The mediums adopted alternate names, such as Doctor or Mistress, when they worked and each medium relied on the help of a spirit guide or “control” to relay messages from the dead. In 1890 a special house was built on the camp grounds for the mediums. It provided rooms where the mediums could stay while at the camp and where classes on developing their abilities could be taught.

However, the article continues…

In addition to its public face Haslett Park also had a secret society. It was established in 1888 and called the Haslett Park Club Circle. The purpose of this group was “for the spiritual advancement of all” as well as the promotion of the yearly spiritualist meetings at Haslett Park. The circle consisted of eight men and women from the Lansing area. This included Mrs. M. J. Mead, a medium from Mason who used the name Lady and was assisted by spirits named Yunundeo and Yokie.

There had been hopes that Haslett Park would become the national headquarters of the spiritualist movement. Attendance, however, gradually petered out after the death of James Haslett in 1891.

Check out Lost Lansing for more cool features about the history of Lansing!