How To Conduct A Seance

Is there something you forgot to say to a dead loved one?

Do you want to communicate with the other side?

Do you have the mental fortitude to handle yourself if you make contact?

Seances are not something to undertake lightly.

Communicating with the spirits can be deeply unsettling and at times dangerous.

Group conducting a seance

Photo credit: flickr/michellekopczyk

Updated 2/11/2020 – They can also answer some of the questions that keep you up at night.

Seances captured the public imagination several hundred years ago and gained popularity in the late 1800s.

Some of the seances were exposed as frauds.

Others produced disturbingly realistic results that skeptics found difficult to disprove.

Like all psychic endeavors, seances require time, patience, and an open mind.

There is no guarantee your seance will succeed.

It helps to have someone with strong psychic abilities working with you as your medium.

Be patient with yourself and with the spirits.

Communicating with the dead is not an exact art.

Each experience is unique and not every spirit communicates the same way.

This means you will have some trial and error during your first few seances.

Luckily there are a few ground rules to guide you along the way.

Here is how to conduct a seance:


You need at least three people for a seance.

Some say the number of participants should always be divisible by three, but this has not been proven.

Choose those among your friends and family you trust.

Avoid those who are not emotionally stable, and never invite children to a seance.

You never know what could happen.

Gather your friends close in a place where there won’t be any distractions.

Are you ready?

The Medium

Seances require a medium.

This person will communicate with the spirit.

Choose your medium from among those gathered.

Select the person with the most experience communing with the spirits, either from previous seances or advanced psychic abilities.

Now you must decide who to summon.

Choose carefully.

Not all spirits are friendly.

For your first seance, summon the spirit of someone who cared about you.

If you don’t, the consequences could be very disturbing.

Setting The Table

Their bodies are gone.

Their souls still hunger for earthly nourishment.

Setting the table entices the spirits to reveal themselves.

Choose a round or oval table for your seance, as this helps create a symbolic circle.

Prepare a simple, aromatic meal.

Bread or soup are used traditionally and are easy to acquire.

Set the food in the center of the table using the dishes of your choice.

You can be as elaborate or simplistic as you like.

Create Atmosphere

The grave is cold.

Spirits seek warmth and light, something only you can provide.

Select at least three candles.

If you opt for more candles, select increments of three (3, 6, 9, 12, etc).

Place them around the table to form a circle of light.

Dim the artificial lights, and turn off all electronics and other distractions.

Keep pets and small children out of the room for their own sakes and to keep you focused.

Join Hands

People holding hands conducting seance

Photo credit: flickr/undream

Forming a circle opens the way for the spirits.

Take your seats around the table and join hands.

By linking, you invite the spirit to appear and control the atmosphere around you.

Hold hands comfortably.

Most seances last at least a half hour, during which you must remain linked.

Breaking the circle breaks the contact with the spirit world.

Take comfort from the presence of the living.

You are about to speak with the dead.

The Summoning

It is time.

Speak the following words together.

“Our beloved [name of the spirit], we bring you gifts from life into death.

Commune with us, [name of the spirit], and move among us.”

Pause after each chant and wait for a response.

Spirits like to take their time.

Be patient and above all else, don’t get angry.

Repeat your chant until the spirit responds.

When it does, brace yourself for your first contact with another realm.

Waiting For a Response

Spirits speak in mysterious ways.

Keep repeating your chant while you wait.

It could be a knocking or a rapping sound, a breath of wind, or the spirit could even speak to you directly through the medium.

Alternatively, provide a Ouija board for easier communication with the spirit.

While you wait, go over any questions you have for the spirit.

Hold these questions firmly in your mind.


The spirits are ready for you.

How you ask your questions is determined by the spirit’s communication.

Communication is sometimes easy.

If the medium channels the spirit, you will have the ability to ask and receive full questions and answers.

Few mediums and spirits have that power.

Establish ground rules with your spirit.

A standard guideline is one ghostly knock means no, two means yes.

Take turns asking questions to keep everyone satisfied.

Keep Your Control

People conducting a seance

Photo credit: flickr/undream

Some spirits do not wish to be disturbed.

Others like to cause a disturbance.

Seances sometimes get out of hand.

You need to know what to do if that happens.

If a spirit starts to threaten or unsettle you, end the seance.

Break your circle of hands immediately.

Turn on the lights in the room and blow out the candles, stepping away from the table.

Without the proper atmosphere, most spirits cannot linger.

End The Seance

When your questions all are answered or the spirit starts to fade, end the seance.

Thank the spirit for joining you.

Invite them to leave in peace, perhaps with a message for spirits on the other side.

To dissolve contact, break your circle of hands and blow out the candles.

Depending on your comfort with the dark, it might be a good idea to have someone standing by the light switch during this process.

Contact with spirits is exhilarating, frightening, and often emotional.

Plan to spend some time with your friends and family after the seance to help each other process your experience.

If the seance was a success, take notes about your encounter and plan to try again sometime soon.

The spirits will be there, waiting.