In order to live in Lily Dale, the residents must pass a test proving that they are a medium, a healer or more commonly, a psychic of some sorts. Some residents read Tarot cards or palms. There are some numerologists and many mediums that supposedly allow the spirit to speak through them. There are also meetings at the “inspiration stump”, an actual large tree stump in the middle of a slightly wooded area. They each take turns getting up in front of the group of tourists, who gather in a wedding style setup on lawn chairs listening intently. They single people out and give them some answers that they seek.
For a small admission fee, visitors can explore the grounds, which include a museum, The Marion Skidmore Library, Lily Dale Museum and Historical Society, bookstore, a pet cemetery, shops, and a snack bar as well as a variety of daily and weekly scheduled events: mediumship demonstrations, thought exchange meetings, and healing services, among others. Lily Dale was also used as the backdrop for a series of young adult paranormal novels by New York Times Bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub, who grew up a few miles from Lily Dale, New York. The series includes LILY DALE: AWAKENING, LILY DALE: BELIEVING, LILY DALE: CONNECTING and LILY DALE: DISCOVERING. Wendy Corsi Staub has also written an adult bestselling thriller set in Lily Dale entitled IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, published by Kensington Books in 2002. Recently, the town took center stage in the upcoming premiere of the HBO documentary titled No One Dies in Lily Dale.
On Monday, July 5th, viewers will follow visitors on their emotional quests, chronicling their mysterious and deeply personal interactions with the town’s unusual residents. Directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Steven Cantor (HBO’s “Devil’s Playground”), people at home will be able to see why thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to this quaint Victorian community every year. Be sure to watch NO ONE DIES IN LILY DALE premiering THIS Monday, July 5th at 9pm on HBO.