Increasingly, spiritualism and the occult are not viewed as having been on the outskirts of society and culture, but rather as culturally central for many Victorians.1 The essays in this volume build on and extend Victorian supernatural scholarship. Binaries that often seem intuitively clear in our contemporary moment, such as faith versus reason, spiritualism versus science, and tradition versus progress, did not similarly structure the Victorian age. As the essays in this collection will indicate, spiritualism was scientific, and even, perhaps, a type of secularism. It was a technology; and far from being opposed to other social and progressive movements of the era, such as socialism or modernism, was actually linked to them. A guiding principle in many of the essays here is that spiritualism and the occult provide flexible allegories for many concepts that are distinctly modern – such as the permeability between remote places, instantaneous communication from afar, and the recording and reproduction of the historical past. The occult presents helpful allegories, in fact, for many modern cultural technologies such as mechanically enhanced communication, speedy inspiration, and the relationship between individual and group identities, which are often fostered at a distance. Placing death beside life, as spiritualism and the occult did, produces a modern aesthetic that insists on commensurability between disparate people and things as well as the virtual immediacy enabled by many much more recent technical media.