Haunted Yorkshire

They're Closer Than You Think!


Some essentials for successful contact with the other side.

There are several important things to consider when embarking on this traditional attempt to reach the “Other Side” – simple signposts on a road less traveled that can mean the difference between success or failure, contact and a waste of time.

First and foremost there must be a defined PURPOSE. This should be established at the start and should be clearly defined so that all participants are absolutely certain that they understand the reason or need for the séance. These reasons could vary – contact with a dead relative, contact with the spirit world for purposes of divination, guidance or comfort – but they should be defined and, most importantly, adhered to throughout the process.


Equally important is the talent and skill of the conducting MEDIUM. This should be a person whose abilities have been proven in prior séances; this can usually be determined by word of mouth recommendations: remember, cost does not always determine quality in this process and some very skilled mediums offer their services for nothing, or next to nothing. Other important qualities to look for are evidence of compassion and sincerity on the part of the conducting medium as these are important to the contact process. In the event that such a qualified medium is not available, a person who displays the highest level of empathy, sensitivity and seriousness can sit in as a reasonable substitute. This must be someone that all agree upon and who has demonstrated at least circumspectly the ability to make contact with the Other Side.


The quality of the SITTERS is also extremely important and those people who are given to making light of spiritual matters or who may be there for the sake of their own entertainment should be tactfully asked not to participate if a serious attempt at contact is desired. Again, this hinges on the importance of PURPOSE and the clear understanding of this goal in the minds of every participant. Sitters can also be chosen with regard to relevance: for example, if one is attempting to contact someone’s dead relative, it is helpful to have family members who are supportive and understanding, and, of course, whom the dead person was positively connected to in life. Participants who might negatively impact a séance should be gleaned out by thorough questioning from the conducting medium or primary sitter.


Skeptics and non-believers can dramatically affect the outcome: sometimes producing no results at all; sometimes annoying and even angering the Spirit Guides in their attempts to assist with contacting those who have passed on. Similarly, a person who is fearful or nervous, either of the process or of the supernatural in general, should not be included in any serious séance.


The TIME the séance is held can be important, and this applies to calendar dates as well as actual timing. For example, if the attempt is to contact a particular individual who has passed on, it is advisable to stage the séance on or as near as possible to a date of significance to that individual, either a birth date or the anniversary of the person’s death or some other important anniversary such as a wedding day or favorite child’s birthday. There is some veracity to schools of thought that support the spirit’s identification with these significant events even after death (note how many reports there are of spirits occurring in photographs of family events or appearing in times of significance to the family) and it can be helpful to be aware of these facts and apply them to your efforts. It is wise to keep in mind however, that serious attempts to contact family members or other persons who have been long dead are not as successful even with the attention to date and time details. This has more to do with the fact that the person has been dead for an extended amount of time rather than any other factor. Note: Attempts to contact persons or personages who have been long dead more readily fall under the practices of necromancy, a whole other realm of contact that should not be attempted lightly by anyone and never without the stern hand and steady influence of a serious Adept.


As for TIME of day, night seems always to be the preferable time, and this is not pure Hollywood hogwash. In the night time hours there is less interference from outside influences, when in the day everything from planes overhead to traffic going by can cause serious interruptions in the concentrated thought process necessary to séance success. And timing a séance around the midnight hour is not necessarily Hollywood hogwash: the hour between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. have special significance, but extra care must be taken at this time, especially in the half hour prior to Midnight.


LOCATION can also play an important role in the success or failure of a séance. If a serious consulting medium is used, he or she sometimes has set aside a certain area in the home which is used regularly for conducting séances. If the medium is coming to you, then it is acceptable to hold it in a neutral location (in this case even exteriors will do), or in a location significant to the person(s) you are trying to contact. Séances have been held in the homes of the deceased, at the gravesides of the deceased, in historic locations with significant history and energy attached: the choices are wide open. But in general, the location should be quiet and though seclusion is not necessary, separation from the normal ebb and flow of everyday life is most conducive. Note: Please, under no circumstances, choose locations that are so far “off the beaten path” that you are putting yourself or any of your companions in danger. Some cemeteries are really “cool” at night and it might be where dead Uncle Harry is buried. But if the neighborhood around the cemetery is dangerous, then Uncle Harry won’t mind a bit coming to your house for a visit! Always choose with caution and discretion.


The use of DIVINATION AIDS, such as tarot cards, crystal balls, pendulums, etc., should be left up to the discretion of the conducting medium, where appropriate. In the event that a qualified medium is not present, the primary sitter can use such aids at his or her discretion, however, absent these devices, a successful séance can be conducted merely by channeling the latent energy of those present in the room. Note: Ouija boards are not reliable in the séance format for several reasons; most notably that it is more difficult to control the flow of spirit energy through the board. For example, Uncle Harry may happily come through, but who (or what) else may come through in such a heightened spiritual atmosphere is an unknown variable. There are very real reasons that most reputable occultists warn against the use of the Ouija board: it is truly the scratch off lottery ticket of the spirit world, and as such should be wholeheartedly avoided.



As with any ritual gathering, when everyone first comes together there is a “cool down” period, a bit of unwinding while everyone shakes off the troubles and thoughts of the day and prepares individually to meet the task at hand.


Refreshed, with clear minds and a concentrated purpose, the sitters should sit in a circle – around a table, on the floor – and are usually placed at the discretion of the conducting medium (for example, the person who is most anxious for contact may be seated at the right hand of the medium for maximum energy).


Silence can be inhibiting at this point, so it might be helpful to play some calming or meditative music faintly in the background. Remember, the attempt is to enhance, not overwhelm. Barring this, a “white noise” machine, or nature’s sound type CD is also effective.

A tape recording should be made to refer to later. If this is being done, now is the time to begin recording.


The consulting medium or primary sitter will ask all sitters to breathe deeply, closing their eyes and relaxing to obtain a near-meditative state. Then, hands are joined and the PURPOSE of the séance is stated for all to hear and fix on: this must be kept uppermost in everyone’s minds.


During the séance-proper, depending upon the strength and skill of the medium, numerous minor spirits may make unscheduled appearances. This is due to the fact that a significant amount of energy is being directed at the spirit realm from the gathering of the sitters, and spirits are attracted to this. Most spirits are helpful, some are known and some are nameless, but most are there to facilitate the process once they become aware that an attempt to communicate has commenced. Often, the conducting medium will identify his or her personal Spirit Guides and at this point the séance becomes a sort of engine, guided by the medium and the Guides, and fueled by the combined energy of all present.


Often, during this process, negative entities or spirits will come through. It is in these instances that a trained medium is most valuable, but in the event that one is not present, it is important for the primary sitter to remain calm and to project an air of authority. Remind all present not to be fearful, and to stay focused upon the PURPOSE. The will of all present should be employed to diffuse the situation and, if necessary, to command the encroaching spirit to leave the circle. Really bothersome encounters can be effectively neutralized by momentarily putting aside the fixed purpose and asking all to calmly visualize the entire circle encompassed by a radiant white light or protection. Soon, the entity and the negative energy will recede. Under no circumstances should anyone release hands, although this is the first thing that most people want to do.


Remember, the negative entity is still present in the room, despite the fact that you have “disconnected” the circuit that made you aware of it in the first place. There have been reports of such entities persisting beyond the séance setting, and appearing as negative manifestations in familiar environments. This is not something you necessarily want to take home as a souvenir.


But returning to the PURPOSE, and assuming that only helpful spirits have responded to your call, do not expect the traditional “disembodied voice” or “knocking” – although sometimes the latter does frequently occur. Rather, the spirit will communicate through the conducting medium or through other intuitive or “sensitive” individuals that may be present. The extent of the communication process may vary, but generally this is brief, not lasting more than a half hour at the most, sometimes only minutes. All sitters should be encouraged frequently by the medium or primary sitter to share any thoughts or messages they feel they may be getting. Everyone should be advised to dismiss any fanciful or silly messages or images, as this is not conducive to the process.


If no contact is made on the first or even the second attempt at a séance, do not be discouraged, but keep trying. Also, make certain that the sitters are appropriate to the task: weed out those who may be having a negative effect overall through no fault of their own, or opt for a one on one attempt with the medium at another time.


After approximately 30 minutes, the sitters should be gently encouraged to return their focus to the circle and to each other. There should be several minutes of sustained silence, similar to coming out of a deep meditative state, and then all present should gently release the energy by releasing their hold on each others’ hands.


At this time, a friendly poll can be conducted to compare the impressions of the sitters as well as to receive guidance from the conducting medium, as appropriate. Each sitter should be given pen and pencil to record their thoughts and impressions as these may seem insignificant immediately, but upon further study may reveal important messages from the Other Side.

Above all, be patient. Sometimes it takes several attempts at the séance process to produce successful results. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts fail; keep trying!