Herman Storer was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1825 to William and Mary Storer. He began work as a printer and publisher and married his first wife, Sarah Butler, while living in New Haven. She died in 1849 at the young age of 21. Herman remarried to Emily Trowbridge. By 1865 they were living in Brooklyn, and he was working as a chemist. It’s not clear when he became a physician, but he is listed as being one in the 1880 Boston census.
When he became a Spiritualist, Herman worked consistently, either as a medium, lecturer or healer. He was a Spiritualist for more than 50 years and very prominent in camp meeting work, especially during the 1870s and 1880s. He took an active role at Nickerson’s Grove camp and later at Onset Bay. “He had a large clientele as a Spiritualist healer, but he did not wholly discard the use of medicine; much of it, however, he claimed to use under spirit direction. He was a broad and liberal minded man,” according to the Boston Globe, 28 Dec 1896.
The Boston Post, 1 April 1895, published an article about Storer relating his conversion to Spiritualism to those attending the Boston Spiritual Temple on the 47th anniversary of modern Spiritualism: “The calendar indicates that we have made forty-seven stops on the spiritual highway, but the calendar does not indicate the progress made in public opinion since the dawn of modern spiritualism. I have been a spiritualist for forty-five years, and the joy and blessing of my life I attribute to this source.
“I began, as ignorance usually begins, by denying the manifestations. My friend, an editor of a country journal, had been down to Eliken Phelps’ and published the wonderful manifestations said to have happened there. I sent out word to him that I would not attempt to build up my journal on the basis of sensational stories. He came in to see me, and I saw that he was thoroughly convinced of the seances. At his invitation I went down to Stratford and called upon Dr. Phelps. I heard something in the front room. I went and looked. There the piano was being pushed from where it usually stood to where it now rests, and a piece of music came up and rested on the stand.
“I looked at the doctor. He had been a Congregational minister and was the picture of a reverend and reliable man. My house has been full of brother ministers and lawyers belonging to the family. They have been confounded and no evidence of anything, but spirit work has been discovered. I asked them if a medium could be found to give some more evidence. He mentioned Miss Brook, a girl of 13, at Bridgeport. I went down there at once and was invited to join the circle at her home in the evening. The circle began to ask silent questions, and though the raps came we were all ignorant, except the questioner, as to the responses. By and by it came my turn. I asked if there was any spirit that would communicate with me. At once the table was covered with raps.
“My first wife spelled out her maiden name and how long she had been in the spirit—less than two years. And then came a message spelling her baby’s name. Facts followed facts, then my future mediumship was predicted, which after two years came true and has been with me ever since.” Storer died the following year in April 1896.