• Graveyard Shift

11 Ways To Summon The Dead: A Step By Step Guide

In all honesty, busting out spells in hopes of resurrecting the dead sounds like an all around terrible idea. You may think that bringing a loved one back to life is an amazing idea, but you have no way of knowing what you’re really bringing back. Pet Sematary, anyone? Since the dawn of time people have wanted to learn how to bring back the dead. It’s a natural reaction to want those whom you’re mourning to come back, even if it's just for one last conversation. Because of this, there are myths and legends galore about all of those who have actually found ways to do just that.

Witches and necromancers have claimed to possess spells for reanimating the dead - but even in these stories the reunion is temporary. The spirit world is contacted for communication purposes only and then laid back to rest. There’s an arsenal of tactics that allegedly allow for a friendly little chit-chat with the dead. So, if you insist on giving it a try, collected here is a brief outline of the most popular ways to do it. Pretty much all these summoning processes require the cloak of darkness, a candle-lit atmosphere, and a relaxed and opened mindset for the conjurer. Good luck.

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    If You’re A Natural Born Necromancer, You’re Ahead Of The Game

    If you’ve mastered the dark and creepy art of necromancy, then you’re one of the lucky ones who can simply wander into a cemetery, summon the spirit you wish to speak to, and reanimate the corpse of your choosing (the fresher, the better).

    It’s best if the ritual is performed within a year of the death, and the talisman and incantations used will depend entirely on the motives behind the divination. The necromancer might partially mutilate the corpse and sit still for days wearing clothes that belonged to the deceased in order to get the spirit to reanimate the body.

  • Photo: emily mucha / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Using Ouija Boards To Converse With The Dead Is The Most Common Method

    Whether it’s a modern board from a toy store or some creepy old relic from a secondhand store, or even handmade from cardboard, the rules and general outcome are the same.  

    A proper Ouija board must consist of the entire alphabet, the numbers from 0 to 9, the words “Yes” and “No,” and  - most importantly - “Goodbye” at the bottom. The planchette is the device that  facilitates the communication. The idea is that you relax, place your fingers lightly on the planchette, and simply ask the dead your questions.

    If anyone is there, they will guide you over the appropriate letters and numbers in response.

  • Photo: Tom Simpson / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Try Gazing Into A Mirror Or Crystal Ball When Seeking Answers From The Dead

    Scrying, or the ancient art of mirror gazing, has been used not just to communicate with the dead, but to catch glimpses into the future. Witches and seers use mirrors, crystal balls, or even water - really any reflective surface will work. The room must be completely dark, with the exception of a few lit candles and maybe some burning incense. 

    If using a mirror, place one of the candles between yourself and the mirror and try to position yourself so your image is not taking up the mirror. Quiet your thoughts, gaze into the mirror or ball, and focus your thoughts on the person you wish to speak with. The image in your mind should appear and you can ask your questions - the answers may come to you in the form of images or as waves of emotions.

  • Photo: neilalderney123 / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Good Ol' Fashioned Spell Casting Can Help Wake The Graveyard

    On the anniversary of a loved one’s death, you can combine several natural ingredients to form an incense, and then burn it while chanting a summoning spell. Collected in old European grimoires were recipes for such things. One common recipe recommends combining pepper, aloe, musk, Vervain, and saffron to be burned in a cemetery. If you’re planning on summoning the spirit to their former home, you can adapt the recipe by adding sweet grass or tobacco.

    Having a personal item that belonged to the deceased also helps draw out the correct spirit, and the incense must be burned at 11 am from within the safety of a salt circle. Then you recite an incantation such as:

    "Guardians of the Spirit realm, hear and guide my plea.

    When the witching hour rings true, bring my friend (loved one, etc.) ___ to me.

    Other souls who hear my call are not welcome in this place.

    Only the one known as _____ may enter sacred space."

    Say the spell three times, twenty minutes apart, then wait. Signs of a presence can include the smell of their favorite perfume or cigars, or candles may go out or begin flickering erratically.