9 things to know if you want to have a séance (and do it as legitimately as possible)

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It’s that time of year when people start thinking about spooky Halloween ghosts and witches. And when you put those two things together, you might get it in your mind to have a séance. But before you gather your people to start conjuring, there are some things to know if you want to have a legit séance so that you get it right and keep yourself protected. It can be done! The first thing to remember: A séance does not have to be terrifying.

HelloGiggles talked to Suzie Kerr Wright, a psychic medium and astrologer, who told us, “Most séances don’t involve screaming mediums, shape shifting faces, thunder, and lightening, etc. like in the movies! They are very peaceful, healing experiences. Although you may experience [very faint] breezes, candles flickering, possibly a sense of someone in the room or behind you.” She added, “Sometimes the group can hear a sound [or] voice something off in the distance. It happens!”

But overall, a real séance doesn’t have to be so theatrical.

If you’ve ever practiced reiki or visited with a medium, you might have an idea about how energy and vibrations work. A séance is really just about calling up that energy and trying to communicate with it.

Here are some ways to make sure you’re doing it right.

1Know who’s in the room with you.

There are varying opinions about how large a group should be to hold as séance, but Wright says a minimum of three is the best. Meaghan Ryan Coates, a practicing extra-sensory medium and healer based in Los Angeles, told HelloGiggles that some “will probably disagree” with her, but even two people is enough to call up some spirits. That said, you want to make sure that everyone is open to the séance. Or at least knows their intentions going in. Coates says,

“Everything is vibrations, so you have to make sure your vibration is on the higher end. What you bring in will match what you are. If you go in really scared, or drunk, or angry, that’s what you’re going to pull in.”

Wright agrees, saying that, “You don’t want to have people in your circle who are negative and unwilling to contribute to the energy. And never allow anyone to do this impaired (drunk, high, etc). Just don’t.”

2And know what you want out of it going in.


Now that you have your positive, open, sober friends in the room, you want to set an intention. Are you trying to just call out to spirits in general or are you trying to talk to someone in particular? Wright says that participants, or “sitters,” “must know that not even the most powerful group can always connect with a specific individual. This is not a direct hotline to Grandma. So the most basic requirement of a séance is an open mind to all possibilities of who you may hear from.”

3Consider bringing in a professional.

If you want to communicate directly with someone, a séance might not be the best way to do it. If you’re trying to contact a friend who passed away recently, you might still  be in too much grief to be open to their energy, Coates told HG, which is why she suggests going through a medium. The medium is just that: A go-between, since they don’t have an emotional block when it comes to the person you’re trying to contact. Wright told HG,

“It is preferable to have a professional medium attend because they will understand better how to communicate with spirit, when to ask a particular spirit to move on, how to set up protection adequately and how to close it out so no one leaves with attachments.”

That’s not as dramatic as it sounds, she reassured us. It’s just a medium will know how to control the situation better and clear the air, literally, of any lingering energies whether they’re good or bad.

4Make sure everything, including you, is clean.


Coates suggests taking a sea salt or Epsom salt bath both before and after the séance. Taking one beforehand will cleanse your energy, since you never know whats sticking to you. (Remember, you’ll pull in what you’re putting out.) Afterwards, she said, a salt bath is also recommended, especially if something spooky or scary happened. If you’re not into a salt water bath, smudging the room before and afterwards is a good idea. Wright adds, “Open the session with a meditation or prayer of protection and light and close out the séance with a prayer of gratitude, blessing and release.”

5And set the scene.


Now that you and your energies are all cleared, you can bring out some props. Wright suggests a table and some chairs so that everyone is comfortably sitting. You can choose to keep the lights on or off, but the darker the room, the more likely you are to connect with “earthbound” spirits (the ones we normally just call “ghosts,” rather than angels or something else).

Use candles, Coates said, since they’re “like a louder magnet for the spirits.” But keep them WHITE, or at least pink, since they “bring in love,” according to Coates, if you don’t have white on hand or can’t find them.  “Unless you want to do demonic stuff, which I don’t recommend,” Coates says. In addition to candles, sandlewood or sage incense is a good way to increase the vibrations in the room, too.

6Actually, the more props, the better.

You can decide what works best for you, but Coates told HG that you’re going to want an Ouija board or a piece of paper with the alphabet for your séance. If someone in the group is freaked out by the Ouija board because they watched too many horror movies, then skip it and go with a pendulum, in the name of making sure no one is blocking energy with fear.

Ouija boards are actually a really old tool that someone just turned into a consumer product, but they do work, Coates assured HG.

Coates says that along with the candles, a little salt in a circle or simple olive oil to bless or “charge” the candles on the table can work. The salt, oil, and stones, like black tourmaline which is usually cheaper and easier to find than onyx, Coates said.

Wright suggests crystals and stones for protections, too. “Rose quartz is good for love and heart healing, amethyst is the most widely used for protection. You may choose to put some items on the table such as feathers.  Small bells and light objects that the  spirit may have an easy time moving or manipulating, and possibly a recording device can be placed in the center of the table.”

7Find a prayer or chant.


Wright suggests a prayer beforehand, but after that ,you might go with simple meditation. But because not everyone knows how to meditate without fidgeting, finding a chant or message to get everyone in the same head space might work for your group. Some people believe in “calling on the four corners,” Coates says, but she doesn’t think that’s totally necessary. To each, their own.

Calling on spirits can be tricky business, which is why both Coates and Wright suggest that a professional be there with you. But really, Coates says, “channeling is the act of letting the spiritual energy talk to you, which is what most mediums are able to do, but it can happen to anyone who is open enough.” So it is possible to hold a séance with just your friends, in the right conditions.

8Remember that “ghosts” are just like people.


When you do a séance, you’re generally pulling in the earthbound spirits, Coates said. “And some ghosts might be assholes,” she tells HG, “which is why you want to be really careful.”  So, just remember that you’re talking to spirits who likely mean no harm, but if you have negative or skeptical energy around, it’s kind of a crap shoot. It’s akin to calling out “hey, what’s up?” into an auditorium full of people, Coates advised.

Wright had the same advice. “Don’t be rude to the spirit. No yelling, demanding, etc. If Uncle Joe isn’t the first one who comes through, at least ask politely for a message from the individual who has taken the time to try to connect with you or someone at the table,” she said.

9If it feels scary, stop.


You don’t know what you’re calling up or who’s going to try to come to you. (Remember, ghosts can be idiots, like people can be, too.) If a spirit is feeling negative or shameful, you might feel weird while the séance is happening or even afterwards. That’s why you want all of those crystals, stones, and positive energy to protect you. But if it feels weird, scary, “or the ghost is saying some spooky sh*t,” just ask the spirit to go away and end the séance, Coates said. She added that you really don’t want to forget to take that salt bath afterwards, as a way to “ground” yourself.

Whatever you do, keep it positive and stay open. Wright says, “What you are experiencing is far more natural than you think. And remember, not every energetic being we connect with is going to have ill intentions. There is nothing to be afraid of unless you are intentionally drawing in negative energy.”

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