On August 19th, Ruby and Snaxshot held a séance to revive the spirits of the snacks long believed dead and gone. There were candles. There was music. There were Ruby cocktails. And there were the spirits of Dunkaroos, Lunchables, and Airheads...we even revived the haunted soul of Heinz's greatest curse to human kind...PURPLE KETCHUP. Here's what it looked like:
Below are instructions to host your own séance, whether you're seeking to revive a snack long-lost to the depths of eternity, or another beloved inanimate object. Tread carefully!
Creating the Right Atmosphere
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 quiet space 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.
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. Skeptics weaken the energy of the séance, making it hard for spirits to come through. Choose people who believe in the supernatural and desire to contact spirits.
- 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.
Tip: Generally, it’s best to ask at least 3 people to participate. One person will act as a medium, while the other people who attend the séance are called “sitters.” The sitters strengthen the energy of the séance to help the medium successfully contact the spirit world.
Ask the sitters to prepare basic questions for the spirit.
Once you contact a spirit, you’ll want to ask questions. You might have a limited amount of time to talk to the spirit, so it’s best to have your questions prepared ahead of time. Tell guests to think of a few questions that they hope to ask before you get started. It's best to use yes-or-no questions because you'll get clearer answers.
- If you know who you want to contact, the questions should be for that person. However, you might also create general questions to ask if you’re just hoping to reach the spirit world.
- For instance, you might plan to ask your deceased grandmother, “Are you okay?” “Are you around us?” or “Do you think I’m on the right path?”
- Keep in mind that you might not get clear responses to your questions. It’s easiest to ask yes-or-no questions.
Set your table with the candles and ritual supplies you plan to use.
Your candles and ritual supplies will set the atmosphere for your séance. Additionally, they make the area more welcoming to spirits. Arrange your table so that it feels right to you. Here are some items you might choose:
- Candles to light the space and attract spirits with their light and warmth. White candles are a great option because you can use white for any ritual. You might also try violet candles to enhance psychic powers, blue candles to enhance communication, orange to attract good things and banish negative things, or silver/light grey candles to enhance psychic powers and repel negative powers.
- Incense to increase psychic powers and attract spirits. Choose scents like cinnamon, frankincense, or lemongrass.
- A photo of the person you want to contact if you’re trying to summon a specific person.
- An item that belonged to the person you want to contact.
- Your spirit board or pendulum, if you’re using one.
Tip: You can do a séance on the floor if you choose. Simply make a circle with your friends and place the candles and ritual items in the middle of the circle.
Make sure everyone turns off their electronic devices.
This will help everyone get in the right state of mind to experience the séance. Ask everyone to silence and put away their devices 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.
Choosing a Tool to Contact the Dead
Use a spirit board for easy communication with spirits.
A spirit board usually has the alphabet and the words “yes,” “no,” and “maybe” printed on it. This allows the spirit to give more detailed responses so you can ask more than just yes-or-no questions. Additionally, anyone can use a spirit board. Include a spirit board in your séance if you want clearer answers.
- For instance, a Ouija board is a popular type of spirit board.
- Follow the instructions that came with your spirit board. Typically, everyone at the séance places their hands on a pointer, called a planchette, that moves across the board to indicate the spirit’s answers.
- You can also make a spirit board by writing the alphabet and basic answers like “yes” and “no” on a piece of paper.
Use a pendulum if you’re asking simple yes-or-no questions.
A pendulum is a weighted object that’s hanging by a cord or string. Hold the pendulum by the end of the cord. Then, tell the spirit to swing the pendulum back-and-forth for “yes,” sideways for “no,” or in a circle for “I don’t know.”
- You can find pendulums made from precious stones or wood. Sometimes they hang from a metal chain.
- You can also improvise a pendulum using a necklace.
Try spirit rapping as a basic option for yes-or-no questions.
Rapping is a great option if you don’t have any materials to use. This method of communication asks the spirit to make a noise or give a sign as a response. Ask the spirit to rap once for “yes” or twice for “no.”
- Rapping works best for yes-or-no questions because they’re easy to answer.
- Listen carefully for a noise after each question.
Variation: You might also ask for the spirit to give signs. For instance, they might vibrate or spill a glass of water. Similarly, you might put 3 candles in front of the medium. Label 1 candle “yes,” 1 candle “no,” and 1 candle “I don’t know.” Ask the spirit to extinguish a candle to answer each question.
Ask a psychic medium to attend the séance and act as a conduit.
It’s believed that some people possess the ability to see and talk to spirits. These people are called mediums, and they’re able to lead a séance for you. If you know a medium, ask them to attend your séance and contact the spirits.
- You may be able to hire a medium by searching for 1 online. However, be aware that some people may be frauds.
- Using a medium may help you have more success because they're generally more attuned to the spirit world.
- A medium may help you have a safer séance if you’re worried about negative entities. Typically, a medium can tell what type of spirit they’re talking with.
Tip: If you don’t have a medium attending your séance, it’s best to ask 1 of the sitters to act as a medium. This person will lead the séance, but you’ll still need to use a spirit board, pendulum, or spirit rapping to get answers from the spirits.
Film or record the séance to pick up more responses.
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. Later, you can listen to the recording to see if there are special messages or unseen movements.
- For instance, you might listen for an audio response to your questions that wasn’t audible by ear.
- If you film the séance, you might look for signs of a spirit, such as an orb of light or a shadow.
Welcoming the Spirits
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.
- Check in with the other sitters to make sure everyone is relaxed. If necessary, meditate for 5-10 minutes so that everyone is focused on the spirit world.
Make sure everyone is ready to take part in the séance.
Talk to the sitters and get a feel for their moods. It's normal for people to be a little anxious, and some may giggle nervous or look worried. However, if someone is cynical or frightened, you might ask them to sit out.
- Don't force someone to participate in a séance if they're not ready. It will likely disrupt your ritual and may upset the person further.
Join hands and close your eyes to begin the séance.
Each person should take the hands of the people on either side of them. Then, you’ll each relax and shut your eyes. Keep your eyes closed until the séance begins.
- Holding hands closes the circle and allows your energy to build up inside the circle.
Focus on the purpose of your séance to help you make contact.
Everyone participating in the séance must focus on the same goal. For instance, your purpose may be to contact a deceased relative. This intensifies your energy and increases your chances of success. Think about the purpose of the séance as you wait for it to begin.
- If you choose, the person acting as the medium can state the purpose aloud to keep everyone’s thoughts on it. They might say, “Tonight we are here to contact the spirit of Greta Darlow,” or “Tonight we gather to seek guidance from the spirit world.”
Recite an opening incantation if you’re acting as the medium.
The opening incantation officially begins your séance and invites the spirits to join your. Generally, this incantation is spoken by the medium. State the incantation in a clear, firm voice.
- You might say, “We welcome any good spirits who are near us to join our circle. Please make your presence known,” or “We are reaching out to Ms. Greta Jeane Darlow. Please join us in our circle tonight when you’re ready.”
- If nothing happens for several minutes after you recite the opening incantation, say it again. Continue to repeat the incantation every few minutes until something happens.
Tip: You might say a prayer or spell for protection before you begin. You could say, “We pray for protection from beings that would do us harm. We ask God/Goddess that only good spirits be allowed in our circle tonight,” or “Together we ask the spirits this night, to send us only the blessed and bright, we claim protection for everyone here, and no evil beings can come near.”
Ask the spirit a question when you feel it’s near.
Either the medium should ask all of the questions, or the sitters can take turns asking. 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 may be difficult to notice.
- Remember that yes-or-no questions are more likely to get a clear answer. 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?"
Hold hands throughout the séance to maintain the circle.
Breaking the circle is thought to be unsafe, so continue to hold hands for the entirety of the séance. If someone gets up and leaves, or becomes distracted in some way, the spiritual energy will be lost. This will likely end your séance immediately. Ask all of your sitters to stay put until the séance is complete.
- If someone really needs to leave, you can try continuing the séance without them. However, it’s likely that the spirit will leave when the circle is broken.
Decipher the spirits' answers to your questions.
Pay attention to the responses you’re getting through the tool you’re using to communicate with the spirit world. A psychic medium might speak for the spirit. If you’re using a spirit board, spell out the answers. If you’re using a pendulum, rapping, or signs, consider if the spirit seems to be saying “yes” or “no.”
- Pay attention to what's physically happening in the room. Things like water being knocked over, a flickering candle, or a slamming door may be signs that a spirit is present.
- Listen for sounds that are out of the ordinary and have no explainable source.
Ending the Séance
Continue the séance as long as you're still receiving answers.
A séance can last anywhere from 15 minutes to longer than an hour. Ask everyone to stay in the circle until the spirits seem to be gone, you’re no longer receiving answers, or you’ve run out of questions. Decide to end the séance when it feels right.
- A séance can be an emotionally intense experience that elicits a range of different reactions. If someone is crying or upset, it’s best to end the séance or to allow them to leave.
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.
- You might say, “Thank you Grandma Greta for joining our circle tonight. We appreciate your guidance and love,” or “We thank you spirits for coming to our circle and sharing your guidance with us.”
Turn on the lights when everyone feels ready.
Allow people a few moments to quietly pull themselves out of the spiritual realm and back into the physical, present moment. Then, turn on the lights and adjust to the world of the living. Give yourself a few minutes to process what happened.
- Some people may take longer than others to feel ready to talk.
- It may help to eat a snack to ground yourselves in the real world.
Talk about the séance and what you learned when everyone is ready.
Discuss what happened and what you all experienced. Then, analyze the signs and answers you received from the spirits. Try to figure out what the spirit may have been telling you.
- For instance, could a door that slammed shut have been caused by a draft? Or do you think 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.