ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Edgar Cayce in Selma, Alabama
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Edgar Cayce in Selma, Alabama
Edgar Cayce in Selma, Alabama
This historical marker in downtown Selma tells the
story of Edgar Cayce, the famed "Sleeping Prophet"
and his years in the Alabama city.
Edgar Cayce in Alabama
The man widely known as the
"Sleeping Prophet" ran a
photography studio in this
Selma storefront  from
Edgar Cayce
This photograph of Cayce
was taken in 1910, shortly
before he moved to Selma,
Edgar Cayce, The Selma Years - Selma, Alabama
The Sleeping Prophet in Alabama
One of the best known and most remarkable
individuals of his time, Edgar Cayce spent
more than a decade of his life working as a
photographer in
Selma, Alabama.

Widely known as the "Sleeping Prophet"
because he did his psychic "readings" while
in trance-like state or sleep, Cayce made an
uncanny number of true predictions or
prophecies during his lifetime. Uniquely, he
believed his ability to prophesy was a gift
from God given to "make manifest the love of
God and man." He is also remembered
today as the "Father" of the New Age

Edgar Cayce was born in Beverly, Kentucky, a
small community seven miles south of
Hopkinsville, in 1877. His parents were
farmers and he spent his early years working
in the fields and learning about plants and
soils. He would remain an avid gardener for
his entire life and also believed strongly in
herbal remedies and cures.

Much is made by his critics of the fact that
Cayce only had a ninth grade education while
living in the farm country in Kentucky, but
such criticism fails to take into account that
nine years of formal schooling in the late
19th century was the equivalent of a college
education today. Cayce was educated in the
time before the "dumbing down" of American

In 1900, while working as an insurance
salesman in Hopkinsville, Cayce suffered a
severe attack of laryngitis. The complete loss
of his voice forced him to change careers
and his took up photography as a way to
make a living.

The disabling condition continued for more
than a year until it was suddenly cured while
under hypnosis. It was discovered at the
same time that Cayce could also diagnose
and recommend cures for others while in a
state of hypnosis.

News of his unique ability spread, with a lot
of help from newspapers of the day, and
people began visiting or writing to him in
hopes that he might be able to help them.
Cayce refused to charge for his readings and
is thought to have done more than 20,000
readings during his lifetime.
Cayce left Kentucky for Alabama in 1912 and
opened a photography studio in downtown
Selma. He also lived in the storefront and
continued to work there for eleven years,
during which time his fame as a psychic
grew dramatically.

In 1915, just three years after arriving in
Selma, Cayce again lost his voice while
giving a psychic reading. It did not return for
three months and according to newspapers,
was one of the most remarkable such cases
then on record.

As his fame spread, Edgar Cayce began to
leave Selma for extended trips to other cities.
In 1920, for example, the Montgomery
Advertiser's Selma Bureau reported that
Cayce had just returned from a month-long
visit to Birmingham, Atlanta, Little Rock and
points in Texas and was expecting a visit to
Selma by the famed writer Sir Arthur Conan
Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Cayce left Selma in 1922 and went on to
found an institute and hospital based on his
work in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He died in
1945. A historical marker points out his
former studio in downtown Selma, just up the
street from the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
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