Monday, July 5, 2010

HBO's "Lily Dale" Is Deadly at Times

Is Lily Dale the real deal? God only knows.

I’ve never been to Lily Dale. I suspect that after tonight's HBO documentary, “No One Dies in Lily Dale,” many more people will be traveling 60 miles south of Buffalo to try and connect with dead loved ones.

And just as many people will resolve never to get near the place.

“No One” – which premieres at 9 tonight and runs throughout the month -- is an intriguing but slightly dull look at the 131 year-old spiritual community. It is unlikely to change anyone’s mind on whether the place is loaded with mediums that connect with the dead or is just one big fraud.

One thing is clear: If someone is really hurting and has lost a loved one painfully and prematurely, he or she will consider traveling for hours to visit Lily Dale to seek reassuring answers and comfort from one of the area's 40 mediums. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The film features a Chicago police officer desperate for answers after tragically losing his teen-age son to a senseless act of violence. He finds the answers and seems satisfied that Lily Dale is the real deal.

"He (the medium) said some things that make me believe," said the police officer.
The film offers a good balance by also focusing on some more skeptical visitors who wonder if they are talking to charlatans.

I have no idea. But I will say some of the mediums dress and speak so oddly that they would qualify as extras in paranormal movies.

I suppose we’ve been spoiled by TV dramas and think all mediums should look like Jennifer Love Hewitt (“Ghost Whisperer”) or Patricia Arquette (“Medium”).

Maybe in their next lives it will be true of the Lily Dale mediums.

The stories of how the Lily Dale mediums became mediums are interesting enough and the overhead shots of the area are spectacularly beautiful and more colorful than some of the outfits worn by the mediiums.

My favorite in the film is straight-talking visiting medium Michelle Whitedove (above), who arrives late to give the film some much-needed energy.

She's needed because after awhile the 90-minute film drags. I’ve had walks in the park that were more exciting.

But don’t let me keep you from visiting “No One Dies.” In 15 minutes, a viewer should get the message and know if he or she wants to continue hearing it get beaten to death.

Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 4
* Channel 4 weekend anchor Mylous Hairston added the Sunday sports duties again to his newscast. He did a solid job showing highlights of Wimbledon and other sports in an extended sports segment on a holiday weekend with a minimal amount of local news.
However, having news anchors do the sports makes a viewer question how much Channel 4 values sports when it doesn't feel it needs a specialist to anchor that portion of the newscast. Channel 2 has the largest sports staff in the market and is the only station that always assigns someone in sports to anchor the sports segment. At least I can't remember a time recently that a sports anchor didn't anchor the sports segment.


  1. My friends want to go to Lilydale. I went to the Psychic get-together that was held in Cheektowaga not long ago simply for blog fodder. Blog fodder was, indeed, all I got. My "psychic" was from Lilydale, and she lectured me for not giving me any information and opening up to her (aka I gave her no info to expand upon). Then she told me I was a spoiled brat. Hmpf. So....I'm going to Lilydale with my friends, but only to find that psychic and see if she might remember me, psychically speaking. If not, she's getting a piece of my mind, what's left of it, anyway!!

  2. Maybe that pyschic is on the show. They show most of them. Good luck.

  3. come on people! Get off your high horse! These mediums are not perfect, I mean this is who they are, it's not something you go to school for at least not in the academic school. They do the best they can with the gift they get. It has nothing to do with religion, beliefs or values or even culture. It's about the love and truth as simple as that. People have to live with an open heart and be connected to mother earth and the sun - moon. The energy is all around us, just waiting for us to tap into it and do some good, whatever that means to each one of us. We all know deep down in our inner consciousness that when we leave our physical body, we go into another dimension. Our spirit lives forever. Be the best person you can be even in hard times like Susan in the show "no one dies in Lily Dale" where she lost her son. I feel her pain BUT the truth of it is that she hasn't let him go. My message to her is this: both your spirits were to bond in this mother- son relationship in order to learn from one another and that's it. He was lent to you for a period of time with love and bond but no dependencies should be inflicted and that's what you're doing. Let him go so he can cross over and continue on his voyage of love and peace and maybe be to someone else what he was to you in this life.