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.
- Photo: Evan O'Neil / Wikimedia Commons
Pay The Spirit You're Contacting
In addition to paying the gatekeeper, you'll want to leave the spirit you contact a payment as well. Typically this should include coins, flowers, and a shot of whiskey.
Items are negotiable, so if you don't have these specific things on-hand, you can substitute comparable gifts. For instance, if you don't have whiskey, you can replace it with fruit or bread. If you don't have flowers, you can burn floral-scented incense. Feel free to get creative with your gifts, but always leave something behind for payment.
You're paying the spirit for their services as well as for the usage of their graveyard dirt.
Obtain Graveyard Dirt
Graveyard dirt can be used in all types of spell work; for a graveyard seance, it can be a form of protection in addition to salt.
Collecting graveyard dirt is not as easy as picking a grave and skimming some soil from the top. In fact, the top layer of dirt isn't necessarily considered graveyard dirt, but instead grave dust. After choosing your grave, you'll want to ask permission to take the dirt. To do so, start digging, but if you get an uncomfortable feeling, the spirit may not be okay with giving over their soil. If that happens, stop collecting from their grave.
It's also essential you leave a gift, both for the dirt and for helping you with the seance. Flowers should be left leaning against the tombstone and liquor and coins can be placed in the spot where you removed the dirt. Be sure to cover the hole with soil when you're finished leaving your payment.
Never take more graveyard dirt than you need, a handful will do.
Prepare The Site For Your Ritual
Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you may find it helpful to pray with your group to ask for protection or for the spirits to guide you. Once the gatekeeper has been paid and you have found the grave where you'd like to hold your seance, prepare your items.
Take your Ouija board and set it up. Light your candles and incense and place them on a tray. Candles will provide warmth for the spirits in addition to providing light for your group. Place your herbs around the candles.
Take your salt and graveyard dirt and sprinkle it in a circle outside of where your group will be performing the seance. Make sure everyone stays inside the circle, it's there to protect you.
- Photo: Ann Larie Valentine / Flickr
Spirits Communicate In A Variety Of Ways
There are many ways for a spirit to show it is with you and it's important to pick up on some signs that may not be obvious. A certain scent may appear out of nowhere, usually floral. The candle flames may turn all blue. You may feel a cold spot in the air.
All these anomalies can be signs of the spirit reaching out to you. Sometimes it's hard for the spirit to communicate, so be aware of your surroundings and make note of any changes involving your senses.
Of course, some spirits are stronger and can communicate directly with Ouija boards and other items.