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Topic: Swami Spirit Altar or the Like
Message: Posted by: scooter3333 (Nov 15, 2007 01:59PM)
With regard to seance magic, what could anyone recommend as the most realistic and/or effective manifestation piece (rapping/spirit bell, etc.) for "communicating" with the other side. Preferably reliable, fully controllable, with little room for prop failure. Would love to find a Ouija that moves on it's own or was programmable that you could be some distance from. No luck yet. I am intrigued by the Swami Spirit Altar. Pricey, but could be worth the money. Any ideas? Prefer no IT work.
Message: Posted by: Harlequin (Nov 15, 2007 02:29PM)
I found the Swami Spirit Altar to be a little overpriced. I got one second hand and really like it, but in knowing the secret, I wouldn't have wanted to pay full price for it. With practice it's very reliable, although there is room for error. It looks great in my study though.
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Nov 15, 2007 04:42PM)
I too own a Swami Altar - expensive but there aren't many around.
Mine not only allows Q&A with a bell or whistle (sitter's choice) but also moans, cries and sings creepy songs in a child's voice. All at my command, naturally.
I've built a special book to help me control it - never been caught.
And at the end of a performance, it plays the Candyman musicbox theme...
He's a versatile little fella!
Message: Posted by: TEB3 (Nov 15, 2007 08:13PM)
Rather than electronics, computers, remote controls, what's wrong with an OTL message, a GOOD story, a period of quiet for anticipation, and finally..."Zounds, there has been a "visit".

I know this is a somewhat plain and perhaps stupid concept, BUT IT DOES WORK for the consumer. Besides who are we trying to fool, each other or those who pay our bills?

TEB3/Lary/and Traveler (after a long day in the forest)
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Nov 16, 2007 04:31AM)
I quite agree Lary, and I think your Poe seance is one of my favourite pieces - I'm a big fan.

The Altar I use not for seances, but for a "Seance routine" during a mentalism/bizarre show; last time he was aired was in Chillingham castle, in NE England, for a corporate group dinner, before going on a ghost hunt; lots of alcohol, male bravado, and University educated people in halloween dress - In this scenario no-one is going to sit still and take it seriously for too long.
The Altar allowed me to hush them, and centre them right away. I then invited people to suggest questions to ask the spirit, etc etc. It really nailed the atmosphere.
And then what did I do?
OTL with glorpy
Locking slates
FISM flash
Goodnight & enjoy the hunt!
Message: Posted by: Dr Spektor (Nov 16, 2007 07:58AM)
Hi tech and low tech all have places in bizarre magic... the key is always be prepared for plan B....

Case in point on another thread... I was ready to use the RGhost on a spec but I must have accidently activated it beforehand... (silly me) so I just went into basic PW and a SUC to do an alternate effect and bingo - one of the most powerful effects of the performance.

However, I was really looking forward to the Spirit caress ;( - but the audience never knew there was anything wrong.

My mantra is that you should always have a plan B which is low tech (but maybe high skill) for low or hi tech plan A's.
Message: Posted by: JonWhite (Nov 16, 2007 11:13AM)
For the Ouija that moves on its own, I've had a half formed project on the backburner for a while:

How about building a USB programmable x - y plotter mechanism into a table which moves the planchette via pk?

(Would love to get a Swami though, but price currently and sadly prohibits.)
Message: Posted by: scooter3333 (Nov 16, 2007 05:11PM)
Jon - you read my mind. I've been looking for someone to do the same thing with a Ouija. I think the workings could be inside the board itself, and it could still be fairly thin. Obviously it would work fingers on, but the real shocker would be when it kept spelling fingers off. Obviously USB would be the way to go to tailor it to each sitting. I'm surprised Lebanon hasn't come up with it yet. Here's hoping you and I get a great "testing" deal on their first two as a thank you...

Docsteve - I agree that the swami altar is a quick focusing device for those groups that just don't want to travel down that quiet road to the dark places. There's nothing like getting to the point where "everything" is happening though "nothing" is happening when people go along for the ride, but sometimes you need a very quick and "real" effect to set the tone. I was thinking the swami altar would accomplish that well (and clearly it does for you) but it's quite the expensive little effect. I was hoping someone could recommend other things they use to create that same impact of "connection."
Message: Posted by: Bill Fienning (Nov 17, 2007 10:51PM)
I have made previous references to Ed Fowler's spirit bell. It is not mechanical and very reliable. It is also cheap. It is the spirit bell that I use in my seances.
Message: Posted by: LebanonCircle (Nov 18, 2007 03:11PM)
I've tried the X Y plotter approach and the problem is the noise of the motors driving the plotter mechanism, they're just too noisy for a seance environment.

I looked into this idea quite a lot before I came up with the Swami...
Message: Posted by: DrNorth (Nov 18, 2007 04:39PM)
I don't know if this approach has been used, but what about a PK gimmick and a special plancette done under the table the Ouija was on? Done right the board would be clean. Hell any Ouija could be used.
Message: Posted by: docsteve (Nov 18, 2007 05:12PM)
I've played with Entity & the Magicurios board - You can move the planchette fine, but not with any accurracy for spelling. "Yes" & "No" OK though. And hell, Whatever your view on electronics, everyone should have an Entity :)
Message: Posted by: JonWhite (Nov 19, 2007 01:38PM)
On 2007-11-18 16:11, LebanonCircle wrote:
I've tried the X Y plotter approach and the problem is the noise of the motors driving the plotter mechanism, they're just too noisy for a seance environment.

I looked into this idea quite a lot before I came up with the Swami...

Dan, that you've already tried this really doesn't suprise me :)

I'd thought about the noise issue but figured that the planchette would only start to fly around by "spirits" alone at the very end of the performance when all heck broke loose, and could perhaps be covered by wind noise or somesuch...

(Swami...must resist...cannot afford...arghhh...)
Message: Posted by: Experimentalist (Nov 20, 2007 11:21AM)
There's an inexpensively built effect in one of the New Invocation compilations called "Horracle". It potentally sends the planchette flying right into a spectators lap.

You could possibly also use the principle for Ben Harris' effect "Zoom" with a lightweight (balsa wood) planchette.