New York City’s history of the “alternative” is not limited to the musicians, poets, and artists plaque’d and remembered all over downtown. Dark secrets lurk without reference in some of New York City’s best-known landmarks. Discover this lost information on Occult New York: A Manhattan Walking Tour with Mitch Horowitz (author of Occult America: White House Séances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation) and open your eyes to the city’s pivotal, yet often overlooked role in igniting the occult revival and revolutions in alternative spirituality from the 19th century to today. The walk includes a visit to the Fred F. French Building, the epitome of esoteric imagery designed by a New York City occult art aficionado who left his “mysterious markings” on buildings throughout the city; the Marble Collegiate Church, where Reverend Norman Vincent Peale spread the philosophy of “positive thinking”; the Lamasery, which was once a salon for the occult Theosophical Society (of which Thomas Edison was a member); and the New York New Church, a “wellspring of supernatural ideas” in the mid-19th century when the church was led by an ancestor of the Bush family. Black magic indeed!
Sun., May 22, 2 p.m., 2011

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