How To Conduct A Proper Seance In A Graveyard

How exactly do you hold a seance? The practice of speaking to the dead is nothing new, and seances can be traced back as far as the early 1700s. Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, is known to have conducted seances in the White House to contact two of her deceased sons. There are rumors of other presidents and first ladies holding seances in the White House as well.

Even though plenty of people have tried reaching out to spirits, it remains a taboo subject some consider blasphemous. However, others believe it is the safest way to contact loved ones who have passed, as more serious rituals - such as summoning the dead - carry potentially dire long-term consequences.

If you're planning on conducting a proper seance, it's important to hold your ritual in a graveyard, as they're breeding grounds for the supernatural. Once there, you should follow all the ritual's steps carefully and zero in on a specific ghost so you can ask them questions they'll have insight on and leave them appropriate gifts. While Ouja summoning is a popular way of making contact with the afterlife, there are actually a ton of ways for spirits to talk to the living, so be on the lookout for subtler abnormalities. 

Calling out to the dead can be scary, but with a trustworthy group and the right preparation, you'll be an experienced medium in no time. 


  • Assemble Your Group

    One of the most important details of a seance is the group who performs the ceremony. To get the best possible results, the people you decide to work with need to be carefully selected.

    The group should consist of at least three people, but you can have as many as 12-13 participating. This should include people whom you trust, and who you know will take the task seriously. If members of your party do not truly believe what they're doing will work, the spirits are not likely to respond.

    It is also essential your team contains adults only. Seances are not appropriate for children. The group should have one leader who will fill the role of medium. The medium is responsible for talking to the spirit on the group's behalf. It helps if the medium has psychic abilities or is in tune with their spirituality, but this is not required.

  • Gather Supplies
    Photo: Midnightblueowl / Wikimedia Commons

    Gather Supplies

    Different people prefer a wide variety of objects when performing seances. However, the following items work best in a graveyard setting: 

    • Dressed candles (dressing a candle means it has been coated in oils, herbs, and prayed over. You can dress candles yourself or purchase them pre-dressed)
    • Ouija board (used to contact the spirit)
    • A small tray (to hold candles and herbs)
    • Incense, sage, and herbs (Frankincense is excellent, as it strengthens psychic abilities. Some other good herbs to include are cinnamon, bay leaf, and peppermint)
    • Salt (for protection)
    • Offerings (If you're asking the spirits for a favor, or taking anything, such as graveyard dirt, you need to pay before leaving the cemetery. Examples of offerings include flowers, coins, or liquor)
    • A bible (Optional. Some like to pray to spirits using Psalms)
  • Choose A Graveyard Where You Know The Spirits

    While it may seem like more fun to go to notoriously haunted graveyards, it's actually favorable to go to one wherein you know the deceased. A family or friend's spirit will be more likely to respond and want to help you out.

    If you are not able to access a graveyard where a family member or friend is buried, you can use any cemetery, but it's important you study the person you wish to contact. Try to find out what the person's occupation was and what kind of person they were. After all, you only want to contact spirits who were nice, respectable people in life.

    This also makes it easier to plan out offerings, as you can bring the spirits things they genuinely enjoyed while they were alive. 

  • Pay The Gatekeeper
    Photo: Maxpixel

    Pay The Gatekeeper

    A gatekeeper is said to be the first person to have been interred in a cemetery, but others believe one of the spirits just chose to watch over the other graves. Whatever the case may be, all graveyards are said to have a gatekeeper.

    Since you will be making use of the cemetery, it's important to pay your respects to the gatekeeper by letting them know your intentions and paying the price of admission. 

    So where exactly does the gatekeeper reside and how do you pay them? The gatekeeper usually rests in a statue or monument, but if you are unsure, speak aloud at the entrance of the cemetery, informing the gatekeeper you wish to contact a spirit and you're leaving a gift. Nine pennies is the traditional gift, but some like to leave flowers or tobacco behind as well.