Anybody ever attended a SEANCE?

You know, those spooky-style meetings of 3-10 people, all holding hands in a dark room? I’m talking about the Victorian-style thing, usually held after midnight, with a weird guy (medium) to summon the spirits of the departed. There usually is a trumpet for the spirits to speak through, and lotsa paper 9for automatic writing). These were quite the rage in late-Victorian times; does anybody do them anymore? And, for those who have participated, what’s this “ectoplasm” like? Is it like the spirits just sorta cough up a pile of snot, or something? Do you get to take it (ectoplasm) home? And, whrn your medium has actually conatcted “Uncle” Al, or your late grand-aunt martha, what do the departed talk about? Are the dead interesting conversationalists, or bores?
I’m up for something interesting this Hallowe’en, where can I attend a geniuine seance?:confused:

No, but, I have been convinced by people to not ever EFF with this shit.

I’m not a person who scares easily but, this is someplace I, for one, probably wouldn’t go.

From what I understand, even if you don’t believe in it or take it seriously, you’re setting yourself up for some weird shit.

Do what you want but, I, for one, would stick to safe antics at Holloween like putting razor blades in apples. Good luck.

I’m amused that the first reply this thread came from a poster named Omnipresent.

Good one!

About 15 years ago, the popular Los Angeles morning deejays Mark & Brian hosted a seance broadcast on the radio, on the night before Halloween. It was pretty hilarious. At one point, the seance leader said to one of the DJ’s, “Your face! Your face has disappeared!” To which the DJ replied, “Mark, has my face disappeared?” “No, Brian, I can see it just fine!” The silliest moment had to be when the seance leader suddenly began channeling a (very badly acted) Indian chief suggesting it was a good time to invest in housing stocks.

Some weird shit started happening afterwards, though. I was working swing shift as a security guard at the time, and over the next few days:

  1. It rained on Halloween night. For the first time in memory.

  2. As a result of 1), one of the other guards took a portable water pump to clean up flooding on the street. The pull-start rope broke off in his hand.

  3. The guy who worked graveyard shift accidentally spilled about five gallons of water into his trunk. (I never found out exactly what happened, he was too embarrassed to talk about it.)

  4. Weirdest of all, my car overheated, which turned out to be caused by…an empty radiator. Seriously, all the water was gone. We’re talking BONE DRY. And it was full last time I checked it, and never had a leak before or since.

Of course, all those events could be just coincidence, but what’s the fun in that? :smiley: Plus, ain’t it interesting how they all had something to do with water?

Me and my friends used to do this regularly when young (late 60’s).
It was In then ,I guess.
Nothing ever happened of course, except we had to sit in front of a lit candle, and once my friend got too close and singed her bangs.

This is more of an IMHO sort of thing than GQ, so I’ll move this over there.

Back in 1998 I was working for a law firm specializing in divorce which was representing a man whose wife was an ardent believer in Spiritualism. He supplied us with an audio cassette of a seance she had attended. He thought we might be able to get it submitted into evidence as proof that his wife was more-or-less an idiot and therefore should not get primary custody of their children, and it fell to me to listen to it.

During the seance the spirit of John Lennon turned up, channelled through the medium. The wife seemed to find this very impressive, although she had actually been hoping to reach her first husband. Lennon tended to be very evasive and enigmatic in his answers. His voice was the medium’s, although he used a good many expressions which appeared to be British (and, from what I recall, they sounded rather more working class than I thought would be appropriate from what I remembered of seeing Lennon interviewed.)

Lennon said he now worked “for The Big Boy”, meaning that he ran errands for The Lord Almighty. The participants had to figure out that he was Lennon as he wouldn’t come straight out and tell them at first. He also spent a good deal of time humming a song (I don’t remember which one, though it was a Beatles tune), which he said was the late husband’s favorite.

Another participant at the seance–I father she was an associate of the medium–seemed very anxious to get the wife to say this had been her first husband’s favorite song. It wasn’t one he particularly liked, from what she recalled, but she bought the whole Lennon business, and seemed to think it was impossible that the medium could have guessed that her husband had liked the Beatles. On the whole it was pretty dreary and sad.

There used to be a camp of sorts in Florida where people went to attend seances, observe mind reading, etc. It may still be in operation. James Randi has written about it numerous times; in one of his books he tells about a time he and Lindsey WIlliam Gresham (author of the unde - novel Nightmare Alley) took a friend along and showed him how a mindreader doing a “Carnak the Magnificent”-style act was doing his tricks without the benefit of telepathy.

In a book some years back I saw a series of photographs taken at an observance at the camp; a woman, allegedly in a trance, sat in a sort of tent as what appeared to be coiling smoke exuded from her general vicinity, slithered out of the enclosure, and appeared to take form as a woman in a robe outside. The book said the whole process had taken many minutes. The figure in the mist looked–to me, anyway–strikingly like some kind of flat photographic blow-up.

We used to do them when I was a kid, and they were very silly. What struck me is how I went to one when I was much older, and even though it was just as silly in every respect, other participants took it quite seriously.