The Morris Pratt Institute in Whitewater, Spiritualism, and the Occult.
Whitewater, Wisconsin is known as the “Second Salem” based on vague impressions
of the Morris Pratt Institute, better known to area residents as
“The Spook Temple,” In its day, it was called “The Temple” by local residents,
or the “Spook House.”
Several of the nation’s top Spiritualists taught at the school, and many
leading Spiritualists of the era visited it during its heyday. Constructed
with profits made from a psychic revelation provided to founder Morris
Pratt, the Institute operated from 1902 to 1939 as the only Spiritualist College
in the nation.
The story of the school with its triumphs, weddings, deaths, and tragic suicide
unfold from the shadows of the past along with the life of Morris
Pratt, Moses Hull, Mattie Hull, and A. J. Weaver. Of course the story of Spiritualism
runs deeper than the school and many of the celebrated figures including
the Fox sisters and Emma Harding Britten are described as well as
the unequalled Cora L. V. Scott and Mary Folsom-Hayes. As the dark aspirations
of the Golden Dawn and the interactions of detractors such as
Harry Houdini are intertwined with the story of Spiritualism, they too also
merit a berth in this book.