Enter at Your Own Risk: The Perils of Attempting to Make Contact With the Spirit World
Tools of the Trade
This article will explore three of the most common methods used to communicate with the spirit world. Included will be a few dos and don'ts for everyone: those who have experimented with contacting the other side, and those who wish to do so in the future. Whatever the case, just know that you might be opening a portal to a place where nightmares are reality and dreams are only an illusion.
The Ouija Board
We have all seen movies in which a group of people, usually teenagers, get together for an innocent night of toying with a Ouija board. It's all fun and games until they bring forth an evil entity that then proceeds to pick them off one by one.
The premise may seem silly, but it is closer to reality that you might think. I have heard numerous real-life horror stories that began under similar circumstances. They don't usually end in violent death, but they are terror-filled all the same.
One woman who shared her experience with me, explained that she and a few of her friends had been bored one evening and had devised their own version of a Ouija board using a piece of cardboard and a glass jar. Apparently, those on the other side don't stand on formality.
As the session got underway, she recalls that they requested a spirit to show its presence. In response, the jar that they were using as a planchette flew off of the board and smashed against a wall. Thoroughly shaken, the group quickly abandoned their quest to conjure up a friendly ghost.
If you are thinking of trying your hand at communicating with the spirit world using a Ouija, here are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, never use the board alone. As with anything else, a group of people adds a level of protection that one doesn't have when they are by themselves.
Spirits, much like the living, will take advantage of a lone person if they get the chance. It is much easier to manipulate a vulnerable individual than it is an entire group. Being alone with the spirit world can also open one up to possession which is a whole other ball of wax.
Someone who clears their mind and focuses on making contact with a spirit can leave themselves wide open for an opportunistic entity intent on rejoining the living. For your own sake, if you must dabble with a Ouija board, do so in the company of trusted friends just in case you engage with a specter. Keep in mind that, much like any other unwanted guest, it is easier to invite them in than it is to send them back where they came from.
Second on the list of things to remember when using a Ouija board is to always end the session by saying "goodbye." If you don't perform this simple act, the board remains active even though you are no longer using it. This means that even as you are going about your life, oblivious to the spirit board that is tucked away in the closet, it is still inviting all sorts of mischief into your home.
Do yourself a favor and close the door that you may have opened by signing off before you store your board. By doing so, you will put an end to a troublesome situation before it begins. Better to be safe than sorry.
Last, but not least, if you do make contact with a talkative spirit remember that they are almost never who they say they are. Those who are no longer living, as well as beings who have yet to walk the Earth in human form, can lie with the best of them. They will tell you anything you want to hear if it means that they can be part of this world.
So, if you are wanting to know how your granny is doing on the other side and she manifests in your first Ouija session, you can bet dollars to donuts that it is not her. You are, more than likely, being bamboozled. Spirits are sly and can tell when someone is an easy mark. For your own good, keep your guard up and remember that you are in control.
Always remember that, when you use a Ouija board, you are opening a line of communication with an infinite number of spirits who have spent an eternity trying to contact the living. They will do anything they have to in order to keep you interested, which includes being whoever you want them to be. Be skeptical and take anything they say with a very large grain of salt.
Another means of contacting spirits that is growing in popularity is the black mirror. These are modified versions of a traditional looking glass in which the reflective surface has a shiny black sheen rather than the silver to which we are accustomed.
In some instances, black mirrors are used in much the same way as a crystal ball. In this scenario, a person poses questions to the mirror and waits for an answer to be revealed in the dark reflection. This is used mainly by those who wish to know the outcome of future events.
Many proponents of this unconventional method of communication claim that responses to their queries appear as moving pictures that play out in much the same way as a film. Others report that the answers they seek are revealed in the form of still images.
Besides predicting the future, black mirrors can also be used as a conduit to the realm in which those who have passed on now reside. I have only heard of a few instances in which this had been achieved.
In each case, the person who made contact using a black mirror reported that spirits appeared to be, not only reflected in the glass, but also present in the room with them. It is, apparently, a terrifying way to speak to a lost loved one. Much like the Ouija board, you can never be sure of who you are bringing forth.
One woman achieved contact with a spirit, but was so disturbed by her experience that she smashed the mirror into pieces when she became fearful that the shadowy image that appeared would escape the confines of the glass. She could tell by its sinister reflection that this was not something she wanted to allow into this world.
I have not used a black mirror and don't intend to. There are various accounts of people having great success with them and that's all well and good. Like everything else, one has to know what they're doing in order to be safe in their endeavors.
As a precautionary measure, it is always a good idea to say a blessing over any object you intend to use for communicating with the spirit world. In the case of a black mirror, you should state your intentions and assure all who might be listening that you mean no harm. A little prayer can go a long way in protecting you from darker energies that may be on the prowl.
Black mirrors, by most accounts, are a risky proposition. If you choose to try your hand with one for whatever purpose, be careful, they are not for amateurs.
The séance is a tried and true method of communicating with the other side. This is one that I attempted as a teenager with no results to speak of. Still, others have had varying degrees of success using this old standby.
Again, this is something that should not be attempted alone for the same reasons as the Ouija board. Always remember that there is safety in numbers. A three person minimum is acceptable, but larger groups are preferable.
We all know the basics of a séance. All you need is a gang of willing participants, some candles, a darkened room and you're good to go. Traditionally, the lights are dimmed and everyone gathers in a circle around the burning candles. In case you're wondering, white candles work the best since they represent openness and invitation. They are, more or less, a welcome mat for spirits.
As the group holds hands, everyone concentrates on a singular goal which is to call forth someone from the other side. Usually, they have a relative or friend in mind before making the request. Someone in the group is designated as the one who will do the talking. This person then asks the chosen ghost to let its presence be known. More often than not, nothing happens. There have been times, however, when contact is made. This is when things get interesting.
I had one couple who participated in a séance tell me that, much like in a movie, a cold wind had blown through the room when they inquired if a spirit was present. They reported that the candles had all gone out at that moment; plunging them into darkness.
Another story that was sent to me related that the table on which the ceremonial candles had been placed had shaken violently during a conversation with something identifying itself as one of the participant's deceased parents. This had occurred when the spirit was asked to provide details that only the parent would have known. The dead, much like the living, do not react well when they are cornered.
If you feel the need to gather your friends for a night of conjuring, use your common sense. As with any form of contact with those in other realms, be aware that nothing is as it seems. Always assume that no one is who they claim to be. Remember that if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. You have been blessed with instincts for a reason; trust them.
Don't forget to shut down the séance immediately if you begin to feel uneasy. End the session by saying "goodbye" and informing whoever, or whatever, might be present that they are not welcome in your home. Wish them well and send them on their way, trust me, you'll be glad you did.
It seems obvious, but I will say it anyway. Never, under any circumstances, attempt a séance or any other form of spirit contact in a cemetery. You will be biting off more than you can chew. It is dangerous and disrespectful. I have heard horror stories that you cannot imagine from people who have made this dire error in judgment. Sometimes, what is done can't be undone and this is not a time when you want to put that to the test.
A Final Thought
At the end of the day, if a person wishes to communicate with those who have gone before, they will do so by hook or by crook. This has simply been a friendly reminder that there are consequences to every action. Always remember that nothing is as it seems in the shadow world. Enter at your own risk.