As a witch, I certainly believe in the existence of disembodied spirits or, for the lack of a better terms, ghosts. I’ve had my share of “paranormal” experiences. In fact, I fully believe that I have a few spirit roommates that reside in my home. Luckily, they seem harmless and tend to spend their time in my basement. The worst part of it is that they open and close doors and like to make banging sounds to let me know they are there. If this the worst they’ve got, I’m fine with them staying for as long as they’d like.
The other thing you should know about me is that that I am one of the biggest skeptics in the world. People are usually confused when they hear this because people usually equate pagan spirituality with superstition. I don’t tend to take offense to this since I’ve met my fair share of bat-shit crazy pagans. With that being said, I tend to take any paranormal experience I have with a grain of salt and look for other possibilities before jumping to the conclusion of ghosts.
A friend of mine who has had her personal share of ghost stories heard about a séance at a local art gallery hosted by a local medium and occult teacher. I immediately agreed to go with her, even though I couldn’t tell whether this was a real séance or simply a performance art piece. Nevertheless, we were there when the doors opened.
We were led to our seats at the main table with the medium and shortly thereafter the séance started. We were told about the spirit we were attempting to communicate with for the night. The story sounded a bit farfetched. To sum it up, the medium purchased a needlepoint from a thrift store and found a letter hidden in the lining. After her discovery, the medium experienced paranormal activity in her home. I rolled my eyes so hard I almost traveled back in time.
We started the séance by extinguishing all the candles except for the one on our table. Once the medium asked for the spirit to give us a sign, the candle went out and we were left in complete darkness. The séance continued as one would expect, a ball was thrown from our table, a book flew from the bookshelf, and a glass shattered. Then, as one would expect, a darker spirit made itself known. The walls shook, a door slammed, and I felt a firm touch on my shoulder despite the fact that both the people next to me were gripping my hands.
The séance ended and after the medium cleansed the room, we discussed our experiences. I was prepared for everyone to share my skepticism, but they all felt as though they had a genuine experience. In the effort to remain fair, below are my cases for and against this being a true connection with a spirit.
Evidence that this was a true experience with a spirit.
- Everyone, including the medium and the gallery owner, seemed shook by the experience. Unless these two, one of which was admittedly drunk, are amazing actors, their reaction was too genuine to overlook.
- Some shared an experience that others did not have. For example, my friend heard the sound of a lullaby being sang, and I didn’t hear it despite sitting next to her.
- No one else reported being touched. To add, when I was touched my psychic senses immediately registered this as something threatening.
- The room was completely dark, making it unlikely that someone could navigate it unaided.
- Both of our hosts are respected by their communities. It may be too big of a risk to be found out as a fraud.
- After the séance ended I scoured that place like I was a Hardy Boy. I found no evidence that anything was staged.
Evidence that it may have been an elaborate parlor trick
- There were several people there who had helped set up the séance. Even though they were dispersed between the other guests, they may have been able to help with a hoax.
- The host did not join a table, but say alone at the front of the room. This left her available to possibly create the experiences we had.
- For a moment, I saw a green light that looked similar to the light of an IR camera. However, after I noticed it, I couldn’t find its source.
Who’s to say whether this was a real experience. Overall, I had a blast. It was a good way to end the Halloween season. To be quite honest, even if it was a stage performance, I’ll happily pay the admission for next year’s séance.