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Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

Gina Lanier has been a special featured guest many times on several paranormal programs that are nationwide on the radio and worldwide on the Internet.

From a letter by poet D.H. Lawrence, "To anyone else who reads this remember, 'The Dead don't die. They look on and help'"

 

AMERICAN GHOST SOCIETY - AGS

Lucky 13 Conference

Real Séance photos 2009

Sharyn McPIke( The owner) Tells one of her many haunted experiences of the very haunted ghost filled Lincoln Theater.

Sharyn McPIke( The owner) Tells one of her many haunted experiences of the very haunted ghost filled Lincoln Theater.

The Annual American Ghost Society Séance with Ken Berg

Photos by Greg Myers of Paranormal Task Force

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The American Ghost Society Psychic Ken Berg held and conducted an Authentic session of spirit communication, LIVE from the stage of the haunted Lincoln Theater. The large group of participants got in touch with the ghosts who haunt the theater during this re-creation of a Victorian Séance. Many in attendance said it was unlike anything that they witnessed at the theater before!

"There are many real ghosts that haunt the old Lincoln Theater, The spirits of the building were created by the history that has passed through its doors and has managed to take root within its walls. The Lincoln is a glorious place and the ghosts who dwell here are glorious in their own right, from a stagehand who died here to the restless phantoms of those whose lives ended on this spot before the theater ever existed"

With that said, let me be the one to welcome you to the Lincoln Theater and to assure you that you have nothing to fear when the doors close behind you and you enter the shadowy world of the auditorium." "The ghosts of this place are but flickering images of the past, lost in a world that is of a time and space different than our own." " Now is your chance to enter their world, this stately old theater, and meet those who linger here face to face!" ... Troy Taylor http://www.haunteddecatur.com/lincoln.html

With that said, let me be the one to welcome you to the Lincoln Theater and to assure you that you have nothing to fear when the doors close behind you and you enter the shadowy world of the auditorium." "The ghosts of this place are but flickering images of the past, lost in a world that is of a time and space different than our own." " Now is your chance to enter their world, this stately old theater, and meet those who linger here face to face!" ... Troy Taylor http://www.haunteddecatur.com/lincoln.html

The Lincoln Theater, located on North Main Street in downtown Decatur, is one of only two of the city's grand theaters that remain standing today. It opened in 1916 with a large seating capacity and a sprawling stage. It was a labyrinth, and remains so today, with its mezzanine, high balcony, basements and sub-cellars. The theater holds many secrets, and according to some, many ghosts.

The theater was not the first building to stand on the site that it now occupies in downtown Decatur. Aside from frontier construction by the early settlers, the first real building on the site was the Priest Hotel. W.S. Crissey opened it on the northwest corner of the Old Square in 1860, although it was completed and operated for many years by Franklin Priest. In 1880, Riley Deming took over the establishment and changed its name to the New Deming. It was later purchased by Augustine Wait and in 1892; he changed the name to the Arcade Hotel. Eight years later, he would remodel, expand, and call it the Decatur & Arcade Hotel. There was a horrible fire in 1904, which destroyed the building, but it was rebuilt on the same site a short time later. It was in 1915 however, when disaster struck.

Please double click images to enlarge.

Ken Berg AGS Lucky 13 Conference real Séance photos 2009

Séance (pronounced /ˈseɪ.ɑːns/) is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma" ("a movie session"). In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from spirits or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits; in modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.

One of the earliest books on the subject of communication amongst deceased persons was Dialogues of the Dead by George, First Baron Lyttelton, published in England in 1760. Among the notable spirits quoted in this volume are Peter the Great, Pericles, a "North-American Savage," William Penn, and Christina Queen of Sweden. The popularity of séances grew dramatically with the founding of the religion of Spiritualism in the mid-nineteenth century. Perhaps the best-known series of séances conducted at that time were those of Mary Todd Lincoln who, grieving the loss of her son, organized Spiritualist séances in the White House, which were attended by her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, and other prominent members of society. The 1887 Seybert Commission report marred the credibility of Spiritualism at the height of its popularity by publishing exposures of fraud and showmanship among secular séance leaders. Contemporary séances continue to be a part of the religious services of Spiritualist, Spiritist, and Espiritismo churches today, where a greater emphasis is placed on spiritual values versus showmanship.

Mediums who contact spirits of the dead like Psychic Ken Berg, or other spirits while on a stage, with audience members seated before them, are not literally holding a "séance", because they themselves are not seated; however, the term "séance" has been applied to their activities. One of the foremost early practitioners of this type of contact with the dead was Paschal Beverly Randolph, who worked with the spirits of the relatives of audience members, but was also famed for his ability to contact and deliver messages from ancient seers and philosophers, such as Plato.

Leader-assisted séances are generally conducted by small groups of people, with participants seated around a table in a dark or semi-dark room. The leader is typically asserted to be a medium and he or she may go into a trance that theoretically allows the spirits to communicate through his or her body, conveying messages to the other participants. Other modes of communication may also be attempted, including automatic writing, numbered raps, levitation of the table or of spirit trumpets, apports, or even smell.

This is the type of séance that is most often the subject of shock and scandal when it turns out that the leader is practicing some form of stage magic illusion or using mentalism tricks to defraud clients.

Among those with an interest in the occult, a tradition has grown up of conducting séances outside of any religious context and without a leader. Sometimes only two or three people are involved, and, if they are young, they may be using the séance as a way to test their understanding of the boundaries between reality and the paranormal. It is in such small séances that the planchette and ouija board are most often utilized.

Ken Berg AGS Lucky 13 Conference real Séance photos 2009

On April 21, 1915, a spectacular fire broke out and destroyed the hotel, claiming two lives and damaging several of the surrounding structures. The blaze was believed to have started because of some oily rags that were left near the hotel’s boiler. A night watchman discovered them smoldering and tried to put them out, but was driven back by thick smoke that began churning from the refuse. The blaze quickly spread and while all of the fire equipment in the city arrived on the scene within minutes, smoke was soon billowing from the lower windows. Water began to be pumped from the trucks but because the smoke was to thick to enter the basement, the firefighters had no idea of the exact location of the fire. It was said that a roar came up from the crowd assembled in Lincoln Square when the first flames appeared.


The Decatur & Arcade Hotel burned to the ground in April 1915... leaving lingering spirits behind in the ashes.

The fire came from the rear of the hotel and could be seen glowing through the front doors. The firemen began dragging hose into the building but within ten minutes, the blaze had entered the walls and was eating through the roof of the hotel. At that point, Fire Chief C.W. DeVore began directing his men to turn their attentions to the other buildings nearby, as there was no hope for the hotel. The nearby structures, including the Bachman Bros. & Martin Co. furniture store, the YMCA, the First Presbyterian Church and the Odd Fellows Building, were saved but as the north wall of the seven-story Arcade building collapsed, it struck the Bachman Bros. warehouse with a tremendous crash and a loud explosion. The furniture store was saved from heavier losses thanks to a heavy firewall that refused to give in and a new sprinkler system.

The two men killed in the fire were William E. Graham, an engineer for the Decatur Bridge Co. and C.S. Guild, a traveling salesman from Lockport, New York. The bodies were found in the ruins, although several other hotel guests were never found. Whether or not they escaped from the inferno is unknown. What is known is that the disaster could have been much worse. If it had not been raining before the fire broke out, it's possible that the entire west part of downtown, including many homes, could have been destroyed. The hotel was never rebuilt and the Lincoln Theater took the older building's place.

Many have pondered the question as to whether or not the spirits of the people killed in the hotel fire might walk in the dark corners of the Lincoln Theater. It now stands directly on the location of the former hotel and many have speculated that the ghosts could have passed into the new building and may have taken up residence there.

Fires in Decatur had been far too common in years past. A number of public buildings had been destroyed by fire, including the Powers Opera House, which burned twice. Being built on the site of a hotel destroyed by fire must have made the designers of the Lincoln Theater especially aware of the possible dangers and they were determined to make this building "absolutely fireproof".

The new theater was constructed by Clarence Wait in 1916 on land that he had inherited from his father's estate. The Decatur architectural firm of Aschauer & Waggoner was hired to draw up plans for the theater and the buildings surrounding it. These buildings included the Odd Fellows Lodge and seven smaller stores that fronted Main Street with offices on the second floor. These smaller stores were given the name of Lincoln Square, which was also the name of the theater until it was shortened in 1930.

The theater was designed and built on a section of land that would be L-shaped, with an entrance in the middle of the block. To insure that the place was "fireproof", the original boilers were housed in the Odd Fellows Building and separated from the theater by a thick firewall. This wall, which was about two-feet thick, surrounded the entire building. The interior of the building was also carefully designed as the walls, floors, railings, ceilings, fixtures, and even the curtains, were all said to be impossible to burn. Architect Charles Aschauer claimed that the entire block could burn down, but this theater would be left standing and little did he know that there would be times when this boast would be tested!

The public got its first look at the interior of the new theater in October 1916 when John W. Dooley held a Christian Science lecture there. The formal and official grand opening took place at the end of the month, on October 27, 1916. The Lincoln opened to "standing room only" crowds of Decatur's finest citizens, dressed in black tie and formal wear and eager to see the new, glorious theater of which they had heard so much about. The first program to be presented was George M. Cohan's stage comedy, Hit the Trail Holliday starring Frank Otto. In addition to the show, speeches were given that night by Mayor Dan Dineen and by Clarence Wait, who once again bragged about the "fireproof" status of the theater and its solid and safe fire escapes.

The audience loved the show and raved about the spectacular design of the theater, from its private seating boxes, to the massive ivory-colored columns, to the 1,346 seats, all of which offered a splendid view and wonderful acoustics. Also new to Decatur was the mezzanine seating, which ran just below the balcony and offered seats that were only slightly above the level of the stage.

In those early years, the main emphasis at the Lincoln was on stage shows and vaudeville acts. The community also put the theater into use as well and it hosted many small, local productions and the Decatur High School commencement services each spring. Many famous stars appeared here, including, Ethel Barrymore, Al Jolson, Ed Wynn, Jeanette MacDonald, and many others. Audiences also thrilled to such attractions as a sparring exhibition by Jack Dempsey after his famous fight with Georges Carpentier.
 

In February 1926, the theater hired a 12-member orchestra to provide music for all stage productions and the silent films that were starting to gain popularity. Vaudeville still remained the most popular attraction the theater had to offer however and the orchestra's leader brought a young, unknown comedian named Bob Hope to the Lincoln in 1926 to show Decatur how to dance the "Charleston". Hope was just starting his career in those days and he would return often during the 1920's to appear in vaudeville shows and comedy productions.



One of the most enigmatic of the performers to allegedly appear at the Lincoln was the stage magician and master illusionist, Harry Houdini. Houdini was not yet a worldwide sensation by the time that he came to the Lincoln late 1910's, but he was well on his way to becoming one. According to Lincoln Theater legend, Houdini's visit has been permanently marked on the wooden stage of the theater by a narrow trap door that has been nicknamed the "Houdini Hole". Below the hole, metal hooks are imbedded into the ceiling of the basement as silent reminders of the magician's visit.

For a number of years, people believed that the hole in the stage had been cut for the magician to escape through during one of his illusions and that the hooks below had held some sort of safety net. However, this turned out to be incorrect. At the time Houdini would have played the Lincoln, he was perfecting an escape that used a very large water tank, into which he would be lowered upside-down and then have only a few moments to escape. The rectangular hole in the Lincoln stage was cut so that a hose could drop below the tank and empty into a drain in the basement. The metal hooks were actually used to hold the support ties for the drainage hose.

But was the "Houdini Hole" really used by Houdini? There are those who claim the famous magician never played at the Lincoln at all. They dismiss the recollections from those who remember his visit, believing that they are mistaking some other performer for the legendary illusionist. The name for the "hole" in the stage, they state, was a mistake and likely, those who remember a famous magician coming to the Lincoln have mistaken Harry Blackstone for Houdini.

 There is no denying that Blackstone did perform at the Lincoln several times but those who have claimed to recall Houdini's visit remember Blackstone as well. A check of newspapers of the time offer few clues. There are advertisements for visits by Blackstone and even little known illusionists like "Alla Axiom", a "master mind reader and crystal gazer" but no mention of Houdini. How do we explain this if Houdini really played the Lincoln? According to one interview that I conducted with a staff member who worked at the theater for many years, there was no advertising for Houdini because he was not famous at the time. He was part of a vaudeville troupe that played the theater and received billing in the troupe's advertising but not with the theater. He was still a couple of years away from his great fame, this man explained, which is why no mention was made in Decatur newspapers of the day.

Still curious as to how so many people remembered Houdini --- even though others insisted that he never played the Lincoln -- I continued my research. I soon found other clues about Houdini and the Lincoln Theater. According to an interview with magician Harry Blackstone, Jr., the son of Blackstone, his father toured the vaudeville circuit, often following in the wake of Houdini. The two men had similar acts and while friendly, were fierce competitors. If one of them played a theater or circuit, the other soon followed. For this reason, the younger Blackstone stated, since his father played the Lincoln then this means that Houdini almost certainly did too.

But did he? Well, we will likely never know for sure. Someone, be it Houdini or Blackstone, left a permanent mark on the stage of the Lincoln Theater and an indelible mark on the history of this grand old place.

 

Ken Berg AGS Lucky 13 Conference real Séance photos 2009

Stories have circulated about hauntings at the Lincoln Theater since at least the 1930's. Reports by witnesses from those early days of film in the theater have suggested that as least one ghost haunts the building. However, in more recent times, the numerous encounters here have led many to believe that a multitude of spirits may linger in the Lincoln.

The most famous ghost of the Lincoln is rooted in a legend from the vaudeville days. His name was "Red" and he was a stagehand at the Lincoln during the days of live performances. He was deeply attached to the theater and loved the place, working long shifts and coming to the theater on his day off just so that he could be among the actors and entertainers. It was said that Red always dreamed of becoming a performer himself, as he was a commanding presence with his bright, auburn hair, but he was simply too quiet and shy to ever take the stage. He contented himself to working behind the scenes and perhaps even standing on the stage at night, looking out on the empty theater. Perhaps he imagined an audience in those darkened seats, assembled to watch him perform in the latest show.

One night, during a performance, Red was working on the catwalks. This area is about 75 feet above the stage itself and was used in those days to lower props and scenery flats. Red was used to working up in those dizzying heights and it never really bothered him. Then, on that fateful night, the unthinkable happened.

Red slipped from the metal grid work and fell. He plunged downward and collided with the "pin rail" of the "sand trap", a concrete platform that is also located high above the stage. The "pin rail" is a metal bar with sharp hooks jutting from it. The ropes that controlled the flats and curtains were tied on these hooks. When Red collided with the rail, his arm was snagged by one of the hooks and torn from his body, thanks to the force and speed of his fall. He landed on the stage in a bloody heap with his arm still tangled on the rail overhead. Needless to say, he died moments later.
And he has been haunting the place ever since…..

At least that's what the stories say but unfortunately, the truth behind the tale isn't nearly as exciting.

There really was a stagehand nicknamed "Red" who worked at the Lincoln Theater during the vaudeville days. Red also had only one arm but he did not lose it (along with his life) in a horrific accident. He was a veteran of World War I and he had lost his arm during the fighting in Europe. When he returned to Decatur, he took a job as a stagehand at the Lincoln and soon became a "novelty" because he managed to do all of his work with one arm. In fact, he was faster than many of the other stagehands (most who were much younger than he was) at pulling the ropes and lowering the lights and they were using both of their arms. Red was a likable man and completely devoted to the theater. This was perhaps the reason he was so memorable to later generations of staff members as the "stagehand who never left the theater".

As mentioned, Red did not die in a terrible accident but he did die at the Lincoln Theater. According to my sources, he sat down to take a nap after his lunch one afternoon in 1927 and simply never woke up. He passed away in his sleep --- leaving an indelible impression behind. Soon, after people began to speak of a ghost at the Lincoln Theater, they immediately assumed that it was Red.

Over the years, dozens of witnesses have reported strange sounds and footsteps in the otherwise empty theater and these are sounds that cannot be explained away as simply the theater's acoustics. They have also reported whispers, strange voices and even a shadowy apparition in the theater's balcony. However, this strange figure is not described as looking like Red, but rather as a woman in a long, old-fashioned dress! This is only one of the many reports that cause some to believe there are a number of ghosts in the building. Several other witnesses have reported their own brushes with hazy forms and figures seen out of the corner of the eye ---- and none of these descriptions match! Could there be a legion of phantoms left behind in the theater?

In addition to visual sightings, there have been a number of other encounters as well, including the aforementioned footsteps and sounds. Many have experienced inexplicable cold chills in certain spots in the building and others claim to have been touched by unseen hands. Several others have mentioned seeing theater seats in the auditorium actually raise and lower by themselves, as if an unseen audience was watching the proceedings on the stage.

I had my own strange encounter a few years ago when I was working in the quiet theater one afternoon, making preparations for an upcoming Halloween show. I happened to be off to the side of the stage, behind some curtains, when I clearly heard someone walk up the steps and out onto the wooden stage. When I came out from behind the curtain, I was startled to find that there was no one there but me! I quickly searched the area, and even the rest of the theater, but the place was completely empty.

Other unexplained incidents have occurred around what may be the most haunted spot in the theater. It is a metal, spiral staircase that is located in the back corner of the stage. Many witnesses claim to have had unearthly encounters on and around the staircase. For example, in 1994, an entertainer who was performing in a traveling production reported that he saw a man lurking on this staircase. He was in the back corner changing his costume when he heard a voice whispering to him. When he looked up, he saw a shadowy figure on the steps. He was unable to describe the figure, but he was convinced that it was a man. He complained about the presence to a nearby theater staff member, but when they checked the staircase, they found it empty. The man was gone but there was nowhere that he could have vanished to! Strangely, the actor had no idea about the legends of the Lincoln, nor that the staircase was rumored to be haunted.

In addition, I can personally vouch for at least one encounter on this intimidating staircase, because it happened to me. I still have no other explanation for what occurred, other than to say that I was followed up the stairs by one of the theater's resident ghosts!

I was in the theater one evening in October 1995 with a reporter and a cameraman from a local television station. They had contacted me about haunted places in Central Illinois for a news special and one of the places that I took them to was the Lincoln Theater.

After an interview about the hauntings, I decided to join the cameraman, Robert Buchwald, for a trip up the spiral staircase. He took his camera along, hoping to film the theater's stage from this vantage point. It was a good thing that he brought it, because we would have had no other source of light to make the trip up there with. We rounded the staircase and then reached the top. We looked around the small and confined space for a few moments, exploring a small room that leads to the theater air ducts. Other than this dusty chamber, there is not much else to see up there. We stood talking for a few moments, and then what happened next was enough to convince even a skeptic like Robert Buchwald that there may be more to the Lincoln Theater than first meets the eye!

It seemed innocent enough at first. We had climbed the spiral staircase and left the reporter down on the stage by herself. We weren't surprised to soon hear the sound of her footsteps as she followed us up the stairs. Her hard-soled shoes made a distinctive sound as they echoed on the metal steps. Realizing that we had the only portable light, and the staircase was quite dark, Robert leaned over the railing with the camera so that the reporter would have some light to see by. Just as he did this, from out on the stage, we heard the sound of a voice calling out to us. We looked and saw the reporter standing in the middle of the stage ---- dozens of feet from the base of the steps and much too far away to have been climbing the staircase just moments before!

We suddenly realized that the footsteps on the staircase had not belonged to the reporter. So, who was climbing the staircase? We didn't know but when the sounds finally stopped, we didn't stay up there long enough to find out!

Does the ghost of "One-Armed Red" really roam the dark corners and back hallways of the Lincoln Theater? Or is he just a legend created to explain the generations of strange phenomena that has been reported there? Could there be a large number of spirits still inside of the building, drawn to the energy of almost a century of sadness, heartbreak and tragedy?

Most importantly, is the Lincoln Theater really haunted at all?

If you are skeptical about the many tales of the theater, I challenge you to wait before answering these questions. Wait to ponder them until some night when you have the opportunity to come to the theater and sit in the dark auditorium --- by yourself. Is this place really haunted? Or is that just the sound of an old building settling in the shadows behind you?
Is it your imagination ---- or is it something else?

© Copyright 2006 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

Scott from ghostly Talk Lokks on as Ken Berg AGS Lucky 13 Conference real Séance photos 2009

Scott From ghostly Talk watches the an Authentic session of spirit communication, LIVE from the stage of the haunted Lincoln Theater.

The American Ghost Society Psychic Ken Berg held and conducted an Authentic session of spirit communication, Victorian Séance.

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.

 

 

THE SÉANCE RITUAL

What the typical séance ritual usually shares with the Hollywood counterpart is the placement of the sitters and the concerted effort to focus rapt attention on the purpose at hand. Beyond that the similarities end.

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!

Also See: SPIRIT CHANNELING: MEDIUMS CONTACTING THE DEAD IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Spiritualism became extremely popular in the early 19th Century. Many people suddenly wanted to communicate with the spirit world, and those with the special gift of being able to see or speak to the dead sprang up everywhere. Some even managed to photograph the spirits. Despite this, the ordinary person still wanted something simple that they could try, that didn't require any "special gifts". In 1890, Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard provided the answer when patented the first Ouija board.

The name Ouija first appeared in 1901 when an employee of Kennard, William Fuld started production of his own boards. The meaning of the word Ouija is unclear, but it is most likely that it is from the ancient Moroccan city of Oujda, who's Fakirs were renown in Victorian times times for the psychic abilities.

The history of séance communication may be traced back to the third century. It was during the 1800's that the séance became popular mainly due to the stardom of the Fox sisters.

Patience in a Seance is the Key! Relax and wait.....The early séance tended to be dramatic with plenty of theatrics. These séance  usually took place in darkened parlors with a round table and some theatrics such as  tables moving. These days a séance is far more casual and only involves mentalmedium ship. Mediums consider music and sometimes prayers as helpful to the success of the séance. Sitters are not allowed to  to touch the medium during a séance. Younger sitters tend to attract more spirit attention than do older sitters. A round table with a limit of eight chairs seems the best. Hands are usually placed flat on the table or sometimes holding the hands of other sitters.

 

 

Also see: REAL AMERICAN GHOST HUNTING:

MORE Photos from AMERICAN GHOST SOCIETY (AGS) 13th Annual Conference (Decatur, IL) Visit here now!

 

PHOTOS BY GREG MYERS

ARTICLE BY LISA LEE HARP WAUGH

Please visit here to learn more!

 

The American Ghost Society was Founded in 1996 by Author & Researcher Troy Taylor

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All Memberships in the American Ghost Society Include:
Regular Updates and Mailings; Access to Meetings and Seminars, including the AGS National Conference; Access to local paranormal investigations or investigations with representatives in their region; a New Member Packet of information and merchandise; Discounts on Ghost Books; and a One-Year Subscription to the American Ghost Society Newsletter, The Bump in the Night Ghost Report! Please visit here now!

 

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2012 PREDICTIONS FROM THE DEAD

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Brad Steiger Official Web Site Visit It Here Now: "www.bradandsherry.com"

Brad Steiger: Official Web Site

Of all the forlorn, countless souls awash in time, none reach out to us more than those of the dead at Gettysburg. They were young men, mostly, with hopes for a bright future and moved by sincere patriotic dreams, caught up and cruelly thrown down again, in the great, hot whirl of mortal combat.

GHOSTS OF FREDERICKSBURG TOURS

Kenneth Deel

Kenneth Deel is a Demonologist of the Catholic faith, a Spiritual Warfare Counselor, and often a Catholic faith adviser (Catechism). He has over 28 years of research / experience on these topics, with his first experience occurring when he was about seven years old. He is near completion of his book which should be in print by 2009. And will begin a producing an educational documentary as a companion to his book, after the book is completed. Currently host and producer for his new radio show: “Demonology Today”, along with co-host Alan Glatzel, and Deborah (Glatzel) Johnson (“The Devil in Connecticut” Haunting survivors). He is also currently a Staff member of the IAMHAUNTED.com online paranormal community, and will also lend a hand as a contributing writer and art director for the upcoming IAMHAUNTED magazine.

Ken is also a graphic artist, and has provided high quality professional banners, logos and other media for PTF and other organizations.

Ken has returned to the MPR/PTF family after a brief absence. Ken has been an invaluable resource for both MPR/PTF team members and numerous clients in the past with closure brought to many of our cases. We are very proud to have him back as part of our family and am sure our current and future clients will also benefit greatly from his return.

 

 

Patti Starr

Certified Ghost Hunter

atti Starr, Certified Ghost Hunter, Ghost Chasers International, Inc.Patti Starr, Certified Ghost Hunter


 

Gina Lanier

Also read: Is It Really Paranormal? Questioning The Unknown Side Of Ghosts And Demonic Possession - With tales of being raped or beaten by ghosts, to stories of even a ghost giving a person a loan of some cash. I ask myself do these things really happen? -- Ginalanier.com

 

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Can inanimate objects such as paintings, a doll or a pile of bones be really haunted? Strange images appear in haunted paintings, Skulls are said to scream and strange looking items disturb us. Some spend the day browsing through but would you spend the N

 

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