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Old 23 Aug 21, 10:47 AM  
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The First Trip 1993 – Day Nine – Cassadaga and Capones – 18th September 1993

One of the things I had read about in the Lonely Planet Guide to Florida was about Cassadaga, which is a town of mediums and spiritualists about an hour North of Orlando. We decided we wanted to pay it visit and two of our party were keen to visit a spiritualist or a medium whilst we were there. In the end the other person bottled out when we got there, but I went through with it. More of that in a short while. For those that don’t know anything about the place, here is a description from Wikipedia:

The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp began circa 1875, when the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association was founded by George P. Colby, from Pike, New York, a trance medium who traveled to many different states, giving readings and seances. He was well known and in his travels was referred to as the "seer of spiritualism." Colby attended summer Spiritualist Camp meetings at Lily Dale, New York, the town adjacent to Cassadaga, New York that would lend its name to the Florida community.

Colby worked with several spirit guides who would give him knowledge. One of his spirit guides was a Native American named Seneca, who had manifested to Colby during a seance in Lake Mills, Iowa. According to Colby, Seneca had instructed him to travel south to Florida, where he eventually arrived at a place called the Blue Springs Landing, near Orange City, Florida. According to Colby, the area that Seneca had led him to was the same area that Colby had seen during the seance in Iowa.

Colby had arrived in Florida in 1875, and on December 18, 1894, the charter was granted to form The Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association. Later, on January 3, 1895, Colby had signed a warranty deed to the association for thirty-five acres. The people who came to the Spiritualist Camp in the early days of its formation were affluent and well educated. The association later received additional acreage that expanded the camp to the current fifty-seven acres. – Wikipedia

We set off early from Kissimmee with a view to getting there mid morning and then back mid afternoon so we could go out in the evening. Using a map we had picked up at the hotel, we headed North up the I4 and stopped off at a Wendy’s for a breakfast of pancakes which was a new experience, before heading into Cassadaga around 11am in the morning. It was very well signposted and as you head off the I4, you drive through trees and what looks like swamp before coming into the town. First impressions were that it looked like a cowboy town from a Clint Eastwood movie, but it was smart enough and we parked up and headed to the local bar/coffee shop/Post Office.

We knew from Lonely Planet Guide that there was a phone there and a list of all the mediums/psychics that were seeing people that day and basically, you picked one of them called their number and they gave you directions to where they lived for a reading. As I mentioned, two of us were due to do this, but at that point the other person pulled out and I decided to go it alone.

It was fairly quiet in there and I found the phone in a corner. The list was there as described with a few details on what type of spiritualist they were. I just picked one at random and dialed their number, the lady answered, gave me directions to where she lived and with that I left the crew where they were and headed to her house which was just down the road. I can’t remember the lady’s name, but she was really nice, invited me in to sit at a table in a meshed veranda, told me what would happen and how much it was. She held my hand and she said some sort of a prayer and we just chatted then for about 45 minutes. I was careful not to give anything away to her as I wanted her to tell me things that I hadn’t given her and waited to see if she would come up with any revelations or contact the dead, but it felt more like having a coffee with a friend and she didn’t do any of that stuff. She listened to me, gave me advice on what she was being told and told me what the future might look like based on my choices. I came away feeling that I had learnt a few things, but maybe it was just me looking at myself as she spoke to me. Did any of what she told me come true? Maybe yes and maybe no, but it was an experience to do it. I have to state I don’t believe in contacting the dead and all that stuff, but I do think some people have an ability to pick up on how people think and behave and can predict how they will act in the future. It was an interesting thing to do.

I caught up with the others and they had been for a wander around the gift shop and bookstore, but were ready to leave. My wife said the place was full of wierdo’s as a few people had spoken to them when they heard their accents. All in all, we were there around 3 hours and if that is your thing, it is worth a visit. I believe Dale Winton went there when he did his Florida series just before he passed away, so if you want a sense of what it is like, have a look on You Tube, although there is a horror film of the same name, so beware of what you search for.

We headed back down the I4 as we were going out in the evening for dinner at Capones Dinner Show and on the way we called into some of the “tat” shops you see on the 192. We all picked up a few t-shirts and headed back to get changed.

As designated driver I couldn’t have too much to drink which was okay as everything was unlimited including soft drinks. If you have never been there, think Bugsy Malone movie and that is basically the show with adults. We drove the short distance down the 192 and parked up. We were early and next door was a British Pub – I think that is what it was called – so we headed in there and had a drink of the local Guinness! We queued up outside the venue as per the photo below with lots of other Brits and everybody was pointing into the roof of the overhang where we were queuing and when we got to the spot, there was the biggest spider in the world (no exaggeration) sitting on a web above our heads. Others were walking around the spot in case it came down on their heads.

When you got to the front of the queue they were managing parties through the door as it was set up like a prohibition speakeasy, so when you got your tickets, they whispered a password to you and you went up to another secret door which looked like a bookcase, a thing slid back and you were supposed to say the password to the person there to gain entry. Unfortunately, when we came in none of us paid any attention and we had not taken any notice of the password they told us, so the thing slid open and we all stood there looking at each other. Eventually one of the staff came over and whispered the password to my wife who spoke to the person behind the door and we were let in. The effect had been completely ruined by our own incompetence unfortunately.

What I would say is that the show was okay, the food was good (pasta and pizza) and the drink was there for anybody that wanted it. We left quite late with a view to having another drink at the British Bar but there were loads of motorbikes outside and it put us off, so we headed back to the hotel for a good nights sleep ready for the next day.

When we got back to the hotel we went into the room and remember the gap under the door, we opened the door and I could hear a noise, I turned on the light and there was a huge hissing cockroach standing up on its back legs hissing at me. I edged around it as my wife was screaming at this point, told her to leave the door open, I took a run at it and booted it straight out over the balcony as we were on the second or third floor. We looked over but couldn’t see it anywhere. We called the manager and they said they couldn’t do anything at that late hour, but it didn’t calm the wife who hardly slept. When we were out the next day, they had obviously disinfected as we could smell it and sprayed some stuff near the door as we were told not to touch the floor with our hands near the door. They had also screwed a piece of wood to the bottom of the door to cover the gap, but we still put a towel down each night!
Trip report 1993: The First Trip 1993
Trip report 2008: The Stacey J Aswad Memorial Tour
Trip report 2013: What No Stacey?
Disneyland Paris 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014
Florida 1993, 1997, 2008, 2013
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Old 23 Aug 21, 08:33 PM  
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Oh I'd die with the cockroach hissing at me 😂 I've not heard of cassadaga before so that's a new one for me , good to hear of different places away from the parks
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