The Theosophical Society in America - Atlas Obscura

Wheaton, Illinois

The Theosophical Society in America

Explore an oasis of esoteric wisdom in Wheaton, Illinois.

Enjoy an afternoon walking where shamans, gurus, and enlightened spiritual wanderers have trod—Wheaton, Illinois. Known as the western suburb that's home to Wheaton College and the alma mater of Billy Graham, Wheaton is a center of American Evangelical Christianity. What people often don’t know is that Wheaton is also home to another spiritual movement. Tucked away on pristine grounds and surrounded by a tranquility rare to find in Chicagoland is Oclott, an early 20th-century estate and home to the Theosophical Society in America.

Theosophy is the esoteric spiritual tradition founded in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavastky, spiritual leader of great renown and the first Russian national to become naturalized as an American citizen. Since its inception, The Theosophical Society has searched for truth and wisdom among far-flung religious and philosophical schools found in every corner of the globe.

Join Atlas Obscura Field Agent Matt Holmes for this fascinating look at Wheaton's subculture while exploring the grounds of Olcott. Marvel at the gathered wisdom in the Henry S. Olcott Memorial library and its unparalleled collection of tomes spanning the religious, philosophical, and spiritual traditions of the east and the west.  This diverse one-of-a-kind library spans subjects from comparative religion to parapsychology, emphasizing the ancient wisdom tradition of Theosophy. Learn about Theosophy's teaching and roots and see the great mural and other stunning works of art which visually tell the story of the Theosophical view of existence. 


  • Meet in the lobby of the main building.
  • Parking available on site. 
  • The event will run rain or shine.
  • The tour has ADA access. 
  • Please wear comfortable shoes appropriate for a walking tour.
  • This tour is family friendly, though we must insist that parents keep a close watch on their children.
  • Wear your walking shoes and bring your cameras!


Email Matt Holmes at

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.