How to Perform a Séance

Three Parts:Creating a Spirit-Friendly AtmosphereWelcoming the SpiritsEnding the Séance

A séance is an event during which the living seek to get in touch with members of the spirit world. Typically, a group of people gather to create a welcoming atmosphere and invite spirits to answer questions or deliver messages from those who have passed away. The only rule for conducting a séance is that everyone present should believe that it's possible to communicate with the other side. While communicating with spirits can be frightening, since we tend to fear what we cannot fully understand, most people who experience a successful séance are left with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the world beyond what we can see or touch.

Part 1
Creating a Spirit-Friendly Atmosphere

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    Invite people who believe in the spirit world. A séance is much more powerful if everyone there really believes that it's possible to communicate with spirits. If even just one person is skeptical or thinks the whole thing is silly, the power of the séance will be weakened. A séance is built upon the collective positive energy of the participants, called "sitters," so make sure everyone you invite is truly on board to have a supernatural experience.[1]
    • You might want to invite people who have lost someone they want to get in touch with. A séance is an opportunity to communicate with loved ones on the other side.
    • Don't invite someone who's deeply afraid of ghosts, or who tends to get nervous when something out of the ordinary happens. This could be disruptive to the séance.
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    Ask the sitters to prepare questions. Having questions in mind to engage the spirits will give the séance more structure. Rather than just asking the spirits to come and make their presence known, people can try to summon the spirits of specific people and receive information that would be impossible to get in any other way.
    • For example, someone who lost her grandmother could plan to summon her grandmother's spirit and ask if she's OK.
    • Bear in mind that people should not have the expectation of receiving a clear, straightforward answer to their questions. The spirits do not communicate the same way that humans communicate with each other.
    • "Yes" or "no" questions usually produce more satisfying results than questions that would require a long-winded answer.
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    Consider having a medium conduct the séance. If there's someone in the group who has had experience conducing a séance, or who is more psychically gifted than the others in the group, he or she might be the right one to mediate the séance. A medium opens the séance with a prayer, invites the spirits to join the circle, and asks the spirits questions.
    • Having a medium isn't a requirement, but it can be useful to have an experienced person lead the group, especially if there are first-timers among the group.
    • If you want to conduct a séance, but you don't know anyone you'd want to nominate to be the medium, you can actually hire a professional medium to facilitate the experience. If you choose to do this, be sure to look into the person's credentials and make sure the price is reasonable.[2]
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    Choose a quiet room to use. It's important to conduct the séance in a place where there will be as few interruptions as possible. Choose a space that's quiet with lighting you can adjust to a dim setting. Make sure the room is comfortable and not filled with distracting electronics, loud artwork or other items that might take away from the experience.
    • Many people mistakenly think that a séance must be conducted in a haunted place. The room or building you choose does not have to be haunted. Spirits will come to any place if they feel welcome when you call them.
    • You may, however, wish to hold the séance in a place that holds spiritual meaning for you and the others who will be present. For example, you could hold it in the home of a loved one who has passed on if you seek to connect with that person through the séance.
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    Set a table with candles. The typical seating arrangement in a séance is circular, so it's best to set a round table, although this isn't mandatory. Cover the table with a tablecloth and set out several candles. Using candles instead of electric lighting will help create a spiritual atmosphere. Arrange straight-backed chairs around the table for your guests.
    • If you feel it will help to enhance the mood, you can also use incense and instrumental music to create a spiritual setting.
    • If you wish to sit in a circle but don't have a round table, arrange comfortable cushions in a circle on the floor, and set the cloth and candles in the middle of the circle.
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    Consider using equipment to make contact with spirits. All you really need to conduct a séance is the presence of willing sitters, but some people like to use special equipment that can make it a little easier to communicate with the spirits. Spirits frequently communicate through objects, so you may want to have an array of options on the table.
    • For example, you could use a Ouija board to help you ask questions and have the answers spelled out.
    • Even an item as simple as a glass of water can be used as a tool for communication. You could ask a spirit to alert you to its presence by disturbing the water.
    • Recording the session could add another layer of communication. Recordings often pick up sounds or images that aren't heard or seen by the people present. Consider setting up a video camera or tape player to record what happens.

Part 2
Welcoming the Spirits

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    Begin the séance near midnight. This is not absolutely necessary, but the time between 11:30 and 12:30 seems to have special significance in the spirit world. In the physical world, there are fewer interruptions at this time of day, and it's easier to get in the right frame of mind to be open to supernatural possibilities.[3]
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    Have everyone hush and turn off their electronic devices. This will help everyone get in the right state of mind to experience the séance. Make sure everyone has used the restroom, checked their phones, and so on before the beginning of the séance. Once the session is underway, any type of distraction could throw off the energy and prematurely end the séance.
    • At this time you might want to ask your sitters if they're ready to participate in the séance. Get a feel for people's moods. It's normal for people to seem a little anxious; you might see someone giggle nervously or look a little worried. However, if anyone seems to be acting cynical about the event, or if anyone looks frightened before it even starts, you might want to ask that person to sit this one out.
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    Be seated in a circle and light the candles. Have everyone sit down and patiently wait while you light the candles in the center of the table. Make sure electric lighting has been turned off or dimmed. Light incense and turn on instrumental music if you wish. Once everything is ready, assess the environment and make adjustments if necessary to create just the right atmosphere.[4]
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    Summon the spirits to join you. There's no set script for beginning a séance, but many people choose to recite a prayer of welcome to set the tone for the event. You (or the medium, if it's a different person) should thank everyone for coming and announce that it's time for the séance to begin. Ask everyone to please join hands and close their eyes, then recite the prayer and ask the spirits to join you.
    • Some people pray for protection from angry or evil spirits and ask that only well-intentioned spirits join the circle.
    • You may summon specific spirits by name during this time. For example, you could say "Grandmother Margaret, we gather here tonight in hope that we'll receive a sign of your presence. Please feel welcome in our circle and join us when you're ready."
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    Ask questions and be patient. Either the medium should ask all of the questions, or sitters can take turns asking. In any case, ask one question at a time, and pause for several minutes to wait for an answer. Be sure everyone stays quiet, since the presence of a spirit be difficult to notice.
    • Remember that yes or no questions are more likely to solicit satisfying answers. Questions like "Are you with us?" and "Do you have a message for us?" are better than "What is it like to live in the spirit world?"
    • Make sure no one breaks the circle while the questions are being asked. If someone gets up and leaves, or becomes distracted in some way, the spiritual energy will be lost.
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    Decipher the spirits' answers. In very rare cases, a spirit will communicate by having someone in the group translate a message. The medium or another person who's psychically open might begin addressing the group with words the spirit has given him or her. Most of the time, however, the answers are more subtle than this, and the meanings are more difficult to interpret.
    • Pay attention to what's physically happening in the room. If a glass of water gets knocked over, a candle begins flickering wildly even though there's no draft, or a door inexplicably shuts, these may all be signs that a spirit is present.
    • Listen for sounds that are out of the ordinary and have no explainable source.
    • It can help to ask the spirit to answer a yes or no question by giving the group a sign. For example, you could say, "If you're the spirit of my grandmother, or you have a message from her, make some water spill out of the cup."

Part 3
Ending the Séance

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    Continue the séance as long as you're still receiving answers. A séance can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or longer. Try to keep everyone in the circle until the spirits seem to be gone and you're no longer receiving answers to your questions. The ending of a séance usually occurs naturally when the spiritual energy in the room eventually dissolves.
    • A séance can be an emotionally intense experience that elicits a range of different reactions. If someone in your group begins to cry inconsolably, scream, or otherwise exhibit extreme negativity or fear, either have someone escort that person to a room that's less spiritually charge, or go ahead and turn on the lights to end the séance.
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    Thank the spirits for coming when you're ready to stop. It's always a good idea to give a séance closure, as you would any other type of spiritual service or ritual. End the séance by thanking the spirits for joining your circle. You may want to say a prayer of closure. Thank the sitters for their participation as well, then blow out the candles to formally end the session.
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    Turn on the lights and process what happened. Allow people a few moments to quietly pull themselves out of the spiritual realm and back into the physical, present moment. Talk about the events that occurred during the séance to find out what everyone can learn from the experience.
    • Analyze the signs and answers you received from the spirits. When that door slammed shut, could it have been caused by a draft? Or are you all absolutely certain that a spirit was responsible?
    • If you recorded the séance, watch and listen to the session. Turn up the volume and listen for voices and sounds that no one noticed during the séance.


  • Make sure you're dealing with a "good" ghost and try to avoid demonic presences.
  • You may have to revisit your prospective ghost more than once to get clearer responses to your questions.
  • One good method of getting answers to "Yes or No" questions is to lay out three lit candles. Clearly specify one as "Yes, one as "No", and one as "I can't/don't want to answer" (It helps if they're different colors). Then, instead of asking the spirit to splash water or move something, simply as the spirit to extinguish the candle that corresponds to their answer.
  • Some ghosts are said to be grounded or visiting. Establish this in your original communication and see if you can be of any assistance to the spiritual presence.
  • Before you stop your séance, everybody in your group should say " Now is done, leave in peace" three times before letting each other's hands go.
  • When contact has been made, check yourself and your friends so you can establish continuous trust and credibility.


  • If the spirit speaks of someone/something as a portal, stop talking. Portals are ways that spirits come to our realm, the realm of the living. Suffice it to say that some very weird things will happen if you don't stop.
  • Make sure that you're talking to a person's spirit and not a demon. If you have a specific person you're looking for, ask them to confirm their identity. If you have an Ouija Board, be wary of words or names like "Soso/Zuzu", "Asag", or "Marax" being spelled out (all three of these are the names of demons).
  • Your friends may mess with you and move things on the table intentionally.

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Categories: Ghosts | Ouija Boards