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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan






By David T. Cobb

It seems today because of economical reasons individuals who love to research spirits and ghost are now a days inviting it into their own homes.

Séance (pronounced /ˈsay-ons/) 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.

Types of séances

Religious séances

In the religion of Spiritualism, it is generally a part of religious services to communicate with the dead. The term "séance" is not often used to describe this, except by outsiders; a preferred term is "receiving messages." In these sessions, which generally take place in well lit Spiritualist churches or outdoors at Spiritualist camps (such as Lily Dale in upstate New York or Camp Cassadaga in Florida), an ordained minister or gifted contact medium will relate messages from the dead to the living. [4] Generally Spiritualist "message services" or "demonstrations of the continuity of life" are open to the public. Sometimes the medium stands to receive messages and only the sitter is seated; in some churches, the message service is preceded by a "healing service" involving some form of faith healing.

In addition to communicating with the spirits of people who have a personal relationship to congregants, some Spiritual Churches also deal with spirits who may have a specific relationship to the medium or a historic relationship to the body of the church. An example of the latter is the spirit of Blackhawk, a Native American warrior of the Fox tribe who lived during the 19th century. Blackhawk was a spirit who was often contacted by the Spiritualist medium Leafy Anderson and he remains the central focus of special services in the African American Spiritual Churches that she founded.

In the Latin American religion of Espiritismo, which somewhat resembles Spiritualism, séance sessions in which congregants communicate with spirits are called misas (literally "masses"). The spirits contacted in Espiritismo are often those of ancestors or Catholic saints.
Paschal Beverly Randolph.

Stage mediumship séances

Mediums who contact spirits of the dead 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

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.

Informal social séances

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.

Holding Professional Séances In Your Own Home

Lisa Lee Harp Waugh

Lisa Lee Harp Waugh The Great American Necromancer.

Necromancer Lisa Lee Harp Waugh has been performing private and public séances for over 30 years. Her humble start in Marshall, Texas to her celebrity status of today did not come with it's pitfalls.

" Your life becomes not your own,"says Waugh. People seek you out and will go to any lengths to get you to call up from the grave a departed friend, lover or stranger." " It got so bad I went into seclusion and moved from Marshall.

Today Waugh charges a small modest fee to teach basic séance etiquette. techniques and control. She also does Private séances which can range in fee's from $150.00 to $2000.00 depending of course on how many sitters or present.

Many paranormal investigators do all suggest that using the talents of The Great American Necromancer Lisa Lee Harp Waugh has brought them some interesting results and evidence. More and more actual Ghost Hunters and paranormal investigators are beginning to investigates mediums, psychics and individuals that communicate directly to the dead and spirits from other realms.

The Séance Today Texas Style

Today a lot of high tech equipent is present in the room as Lisa Lee Harp Waugh settles in to call the dead to communicate with the living. Only she is being filmed , audio taped and the room is being monitored by todays state of the art ghost hunting equipment.

Present in the room are 15 independent paranomal investigators from greater Dallas and myself.

The Group of tall white candles clusyered in a circle on the large antique table are all lite. Waugh begins by introducing herself and explains that though fee's have been paid there are no gaurentees that any sprits, sppoks, ghost or shades will neccisarily appear and perfom as expected. This she goes on to explain does not mean they have not entered the room just do not expect the expected.

Ghost sometimes come and whisper knocks and movements of objects. Sights and real sounds and of course personal emotional feelings in the individuals present. Some communicate openly and might actully appear.

She went on to say that none of us present would be dissapointed but we would be actually struct possibly dumbfounded about what we were to wittness. As Waugh slipped into a self induced trance somone states in a whispr that the tepature in the séance room has actually dropped by 8 degree's. EMF Meters begin to count serious fluctuations and camera's and digital sound recorders documented every change and nuance in the fridged air that now sourrounded us.

"I thought to myself this is more astounding then hunting for ghost in a supposed haunted house cemetery or reported as real location. "

The chill in the room was what I personally would call the chill of the grave cold rto the bone I was and that was only the begining.

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During the course of the séance, the medium would speak under the apparent control of a spirit, relaying messages from the dearly departed. Other methods of spirit communication included automatic writing, writing on sealed slates, writing with planchettes (similar to the Ouija board), impressing images onto photographic plates which had been kept in sealed enclosures, and painted images which gradually appeared upon previously blank canvas.