Before the spirit board, after the time death was taboo to speak about, there was a period where mediums took over the boredom of certain curious families and they called it: SEANCES.
Before Ghost Hunters!
Due to YouTube and other means of entertainment found on the internet the curiosity surrounding spirit boards surfaced and led to videos where unnerving adventure happens.
However, before the creation of these traditional board games, communication with the spirit world happened in a different matter. Séances took place in homes and parlors conducted by those born with the ability to communicate with the other side i.e. mediums.
What Does Séance Mean?
When people hear the word séance, they think of a medium sitting at a table holding hands with those seeking messages from the other side. The room is in low lighting, and the medium is either possessed by a spirit or delivers messages for a small fee.
The seances, like all practices, have different forms of sessions. Outsiders refer to the concept as seance, but those that see themselves belonging to the spiritualist religion call it receiving messages.
Styles of Séance
A Spiritualist Séance is the one most people are familiar with from the Victorian era. The session took place along with a medium or psychic practitioner using their gifted abilities.
Those types of seances take place in a circle sitting position. By holding hands the circle take shape while the sphere itself is in chalk. Informal social séance is where the spirit boards come in motion. These séances are mostly for the purpose of testing the boundaries of the living and the dead.
The Church of Spiritualists and its leaders perform religious Séances Stage, Mediumship Seances, and Leader-assisted Séances. Religious and Stage Mediumship are séances to receive messages for large crowds of people allowing recordings of the sessions.
Leader-assisted Séances is the one often used in movies and often considered fraud. It allows the leader or medium to become the “ghost” while holding the session with a large group of people while sitting at the table.
Many see the use of seances to receive messages as a form of fraud or trickery used as quick rich schemes. Scientists wrote articles and provided evidence that séances are nothing more than stage magic.
There are some who still take part in séances, but many use the term mediums, leaving the term of séances in the past. There are some trying to make it come back with television shows, but there are still many who see seances as either dark magic.
Additionally, like any medium communication with the other world it is scrutinize by many skeptic. Séances came before the traditional spirit boards, and even to this day, some use the combination of the two forms.
Today seances still take place in homes and parlors, but many can be discovered under a new name hoping to shed new light on what a séance is.