Photograph of a woman, taken at the M.S. Lamprey studio in Fisherville, N.H. between 1881-1909. Probably photograph of Mrs. Sophia B. Craddock, a noted spiritualist and test medium of the city.
This story about Mrs. Sophia (Bradley) Craddock (or her preferred “S.B. Craddock”) started with my purchase of a photograph. Shown here to the left, it was taken in Maurice S. Lamprey’s Washington Square studio in Fisherville, New Hampshire.
I can’t be 100% certain that this unmarked photograph is of Mrs. Craddock. However, Sophia Craddock was the most famous spiritualist, “trance speaker” and “test medium” in the Concord area where she resided between the years of 1880 and 1906. Spiritualism, which was the belief that the dead communicated with the living (usually through an individual called a ‘medium’) was most popular between the 1840s and 1920s.
As early as 1876 New Hampshire Spiritualists were numerous enough to hold a state convention. Reportedly “by 1897, spiritualism was said to have more than eight million followers in the United States and Europe.”