Since its completion in 1929, Hammond Castle Museum has attracted rumors and urban legends of supernatural association and occult happening. While most of these wild stories can be dismissed as pure fiction, the building occupies a fascinating place within the broader historical context of the development of spiritualist and spiritualist-adjacent fields in American culture. The spiritualist movement enthralled America’s upper and middle classes during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Both John Hays Hammond Jr. and his wife, Irene, were fascinated with wide-ranging topics including Astrology, Divination, Numerology, Extrasensory Perception (ESP), and Mediumship.
Every Thursday evening in August, September and October (and even a couple of Wednesday nights in October too) we offer Spiritualism Tours. This specialty tour explores the history of American spiritualism, with a particular focus on contextualizing the movement within broader contemporary cultural trends and discussing the Hammonds’ own complicated engagements with these cultural phenomena. From John Hays Hammond Jr.’s attempts to communicate with supernatural entities using a Faraday Cage, to Irene Hammond’s work on a comprehensive survey of astrological signs; over the course of this approximately 55-minute fully-guided tour, the dramatic gothic-inspired architecture of the building and night-time atmosphere will set the stage for a fun and informative seasonal experience unlike any other!
Member benefits apply to Spiritualism Tour tickets. All proceeds from this program will support the restoration and preservation of Hammond Castle Museum.