Author Kurt Leland presents

Celia Thaxter: Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gurus

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

5:30 p.m.

Research Library

Join us for a special Halloween presentation of lesser known aspects of the life of Portsmouth’s own nineteenth-century poet and artist, Celia Thaxter (1835-1894). Though famous for her book on the murders of two young women on Smuttynose Island, Celia’s interest in Spiritualism and Theosophy is less familiar. In addition to attending seances in the hope of speaking to her deceased mother, she had some ability as a medium, but came under the influence of a possible fraudster. She also joined the Boston branch of the Theosophical Society, which promoted a form of spiritualism strongly influenced by Indian philosophy. There she met a young Indian man who became her spiritual guru for a short time. Always questing for the answers to life’s mysteries, Celia Thaxter explored even ghosts, ghouls, and gurus.

Due to limited space, reservations are required for this free event. Please call (603)-431-2538 to make your presence known.


Kurt Leland is a national lecturer for the Theosophical Society in America. The author of nine books, he has currently been researching the development of the Theosophical Society in Boston, with which Celia Thaxter was intimately connected in the mid-1880s.




Image: Celia Thaxter with her son Karl Thaxter, c. 1852. P25.0095