A séance is defined as a meeting where the purpose is to make contact with the souls of the dead. Séances are usually conducted at night, around a table, and most times these meetings, or sittings as they are sometimes known, are led by mediums. Mediums are people who claim to be able to communicate with the deceased and deliver their messages to the living.
People have been fascinated with communicating with the dead since the very beginning of humankind. In Australia, cave paintings showing skulls, bones, spirits and depictions of the afterlife have been found. These are believed to be 28,000 years old. Mediumship became hugely popular in the Victorian era and this meant that many mediums employed fraudulent methods to make themselves more well known.
Today, we are looking deeper in the dark practice of séances, the mediums and the tricks they used. We’ll look at famous practitioners, supporters and those who sought to debunk mediums and phenomena. If you’ve ever wanted to know about ectoplasms, table-tipping, levitation, and direct voice mediumship read on if you dare…
15. Speak To The Dead?
Death is difficult to accept and so, since the dawn of time, people have anxiously tried to communicate with those who have crossed over to the other side. Rituals are practiced all over the world, by a multitude of different cultures all with the same goal in mind: receive and send messages to the dead. Whether or not anyone has actually succeeded in doing so still remains to be seen but practices like this still continue today.
Although the first book on the subject of communication with the deceased was published in 1760, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that the religion of Spiritualism was born. Spiritualism is the belief that spirits live on in the afterlife, or spiritual realm and that they continue to evolve. Spiritualists believe that the souls of the dead can communicate with the living, using séances, and help guide them.