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Topic: Tips for séance
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 30, 2015 06:41PM)
Hello,

I am hosting Murder Parties but after 2 or 3 times, guests lose interest and stop coming. So I'd like to enhance the experience and add a séance ending to scare the hell outta them and make them come back for more thrills.

I've done my homework and spotted a few evil tricks, so I came here for your enlightened advice.
I like the Darkboard from Outlaw Effects or the Wenger Bell from Hell. Though that's a lot of money to invest, so which one would be the best to leave an everlasting impression? Or any other suggestion you may have...

Also, are there magic candles that would lit or extenguish by themselves?
Lastly, I'd like to have some special effect like a shelf shaking or a book falling down, how can I achieve this?

For the set up, I already own creepy music and sound FX, I write my own spooky scenarii and I live in a 19th century mansion.

Thank you for your help.

Cheers from France.
Message: Posted by: bartleby (Oct 30, 2015 09:19PM)
Welcome Sneaky. I started my journey about a year and a half ago. I started by listening to this...
http://themagicwordpodcast.com/scottwellsmagic/paranormal-lecture

I recommend it heartily.
Message: Posted by: Brynmore14 (Oct 30, 2015 10:19PM)
Learn from the worlds best:

Seancesandspookshows.com
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Oct 31, 2015 12:04AM)
[quote]On Oct 30, 2015, Brynmore14 wrote:
Learn from the worlds best:

Seancesandspookshows.com [/quote]


That's a good place to start for content.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 07:39AM)
Thank you very much for your answers, though I don't need tips on how to set it up but more on the tools to use.
And YES, I am a big fan of Seancesandspookshows!
Message: Posted by: Brynmore14 (Oct 31, 2015 08:05AM)
Ouija usually makes an impression. Spirit bells too. PK Timber can be cool. It really depends on what fits with the story you are trying to tell.
Message: Posted by: Gismologic (Oct 31, 2015 08:18AM)
There are many excellent books;
Seance - Scott Moore Davis
Spirit Theater- Eugene Burger
There are pretty extensive lists here on the forum.

If time is of the essence, (like tonight!) you probably could
get many low tech ideas by googling "Paul Voodini" and downloading some of his work..
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 08:51AM)
Yeah, I think I will go for the Ouija board and I just love Outlaw work. The Wenger Bell is cool but I think it's a one-time effect. If my guests see this every time they come, they will get bored again and guess this is just a trick.
Everything is based on my house age and history, so the "haunting" has to be subtly set up.
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Oct 31, 2015 10:21AM)
If you decide to order a Darkboard (an excellent prop) be prepared to be patient for delivery.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 02:42PM)
[quote]On Oct 31, 2015, Pizpor wrote:
If you decide to order a Darkboard (an excellent prop) be prepared to be patient for delivery. [/quote]

Hum, hum.... People's been whispering in my ear about that......

So..... I'm gonna get a basic Ouija board in my local magic store with the Spirit Glass from Adrian Deery instead.
Message: Posted by: CryptKeeper (Oct 31, 2015 02:46PM)
Sneaky Pete great idea buy lots of outlaw products we all love them too highly recommendable. Spend 600 on a gaffed board for a party trick is the way to go for sure. You can master it in no time it basically works itself. The stock photo of you is also very believable.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 03:02PM)
Huh?

For your info, I am not here to praise Outlaw on a commercial purpose.
And I am not having those "whimsy parties" just for the fun of it. A house that old is a lot of upkeep.....
Message: Posted by: dennper (Oct 31, 2015 03:20PM)
We hold sold out seances on a regular basis. A candle, a ouija board, some seance cards, maybe some grave dirt. $40 a head, 90 minutes, always kills. Although we own and sometimes utilized such things as a Spiritus Magnus, trust me, gimmicks are not needed, and if you do use any gaff, do not use more than one in an evening, and do not repeat for the same audience. And it must be subtle.

Set the mood, do it straight up and serious, and people will love it.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 03:42PM)
Yes, thank you Dennper. That´s what I'm gonna do.
I already own the bleeding cards by... I don't remember who, and a couple of the changing portraits by Eddie Allen that I bought at my local store.
Though, I'm gonna buy the Spirit Glass, just to "prove" there's a presence of some kind.... With a well thought scenario, it should be enough to get my audience breathless.

Like I said earlier, I don't want to repeat tricks endlessly and get caught.
Message: Posted by: TEB3 (Oct 31, 2015 03:53PM)
These three books should supply you with plenty of "no gaff" material.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/teb3

TEB3
Message: Posted by: actorcoop (Oct 31, 2015 04:32PM)
Outlaw's products are top notch, but without the context you my find yourself in a tough spot. Look into Paul Voodini's seance material to learn how to put together a gaff less seance, then incorporate the tech you want to jazz it up a bit.... Your location is MORE than enough to cause a few spooks if you're smart with your presentation.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Oct 31, 2015 05:26PM)
Yeah, yeah, I am being paid by Outlaw to praise them all over. Nuh uh.

Except that I have been told that they won't deliver me before "Kingdom come".... So I will listen to all the great advices here and get my hands on Voodini's stuff. Oh, wait..... He also paid my pretty face to say this.
After I mastered perfectly his moves, I will treat myself with fancy FX.
Message: Posted by: Darkness (Oct 31, 2015 10:11PM)
Would you be kind enough to show us an ad promo for your murder party? I'm very interested in helping you. e.g. website, Instagram of you and audience, FB event page, twitter, anything? Or just send me the links and I'll offer some marketing suggestions as well on how you can use what we do to ramp up the entertainment value.

I'll even send you a complimentary Heaven & Hell pendulum that will be released in a couple of weeks if I believe it will help you out. All with my compliments.
Message: Posted by: minty (Nov 1, 2015 01:55AM)
[quote]On Oct 31, 2015, Sneaky_Pest wrote:
Hum, hum.... People's been whispering in my ear about that......

So..... I'm gonna get a basic Ouija board in my local magic store with the Spirit Glass from Adrian Deery instead. [/quote]

There have been some posts just last week about how long people have been waiting to receive purchases from Outlaw. They always get censored pretty quickly though.

Adrian Deery's Spirit Glass comes highly recommended. Great product, great communication, great packaging and speedy delivery (to the UK, in my case). Lovely chap to deal with, and a glass that looks totally ungimmicked with virtually nothing to go wrong.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 1, 2015 08:54AM)
Thank you for your feedback on Adrian's glass. That sounds so neat! I could display it on a shelf in the living room, among other antique glasses.

And I've done more digging all over the web, so here's what I liked most:

Dead Ringer by Tim Wisseman (Spirit Bell) - $299.95
Fearson's Free Energy System - $80
Cesaral Spirit Sounds - 390€
Spectral Wind by Christopher Taylor – $349.95
Death Toll (Spirit Bell) by Bruce Ballon - $299.95
Duel Morphic Spirit Lamp by Unleash Your Dreams - £129.99
Spirit Glass by Adrian Deery - $75
Crystal Spirit Bell from The Dark Waltz - £75
Apophenia The Countess’ Tasseography Cup - £75
Wenger Bell from Hell - $425

Of course, I won't buy everything, I need to sort out the pros & cons of each object.
Message: Posted by: EVILDAN (Nov 1, 2015 11:55AM)
You can do a lot with carpet thread and binder clips.
Don't discount "low tech."

I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND Adrian Deery's "Spirit Glass."
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 1, 2015 12:07PM)
Hum... I actually live in the house... Plus, I have 3 kids, a cat and a dobermann.... I vacuum under the dining table after each meal, so do you think strings will like that "evilish" treatment? But that could be cool indead
I'm still looking for a way to make a book fall down, so that could be helpful
Message: Posted by: WitchDocChris (Nov 1, 2015 02:42PM)
I also recommend Adrian Deery's spirit glass/bell. I've got one on my desk right now and adore it.

The biggest tip I have regarding seances is that atmosphere and imagination will do far more for you than any expensive gimmick. Learn to tell a good story and get your guests involved on an emotional level. In my opinion something like a seance is all about the atmosphere of the paranormal, and allowing your sitters to experience a ghost story first hand. People will always, always, always be able to imagine a spookier, scarier, more interesting ghost story than you could ever 'show' them with gizmos and electronics.

So I say pick up a thing or two (a talking board (Ouija or whatever), a spirit bell of some sort maybe)- rig up a thing or two (Falling book, planchette that moves on its own when people aren't really looking) and then just get them hooked with the narrative of attempting contact.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 1, 2015 03:02PM)
That's exactly what I was thinking when I came.
I will write a scenario based on a true story for the Murder Party and then I will invite my guests to "summon" the spirit of the victim.... Or the murderer! I'll get the Ouija board on the dining table and the séance will start. They will know the spirit is floating around us thanks to the bell and a book falling down. And voilà!
Message: Posted by: topherhester (Nov 1, 2015 05:19PM)
I can only repeat what's been said. I've found that subtle goes a long way in these performances. I just went to a "seance" done by a local magician out of McKinney TX and one of the first things he did was knock and have spirit knocks answer him. He didn't even do this under the guise of contacting spirits. He was telling the story of the Fox sisters and how they were frauds and then he knocks and three knocks follow (assumingly from a confederate or a hidden rapping device). The point is, the effect was done way too soon and while he was explaining frauds. The lay people in the room hear fraud and the head the effect just described and being faked and it took away from the credibility of the performance. he basically set himself up to be seen as a fraud for the rest of the show.

I like to start with non gimmicked routines. Some actual esp card guessing. Ouija or wine glass on the table, and then start to have things subtly start to move, especially when done off beat where people second guess if it even moved or not. So my advice is not to get caught up on too many fancy props and moving objects. Think real haunted house and not animatronic haunted house.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 1, 2015 05:41PM)
Well Toper, my husband kinda got nuts because I don't stop telling him about all the cool gimmicks there are, so he said I have to stop looking or our house is gonna be like the Haunted Mansion at Disney. So he agrees with you. Too much will be too fake.
Tomorrow morning (Paris time) I will email Adrian for his glass and stick to it.

Maybe later, when I master a perfect routine, I can add something fancy.
Message: Posted by: Lo Pan (Nov 1, 2015 09:01PM)
Meh - I wouldn't worry too much about it - time will tell who becomes a part of this community and who fades away - let's get back to bizarre!
Message: Posted by: R. Steiner (Nov 1, 2015 09:15PM)
Hey Sneaky_Pest, welcome to Spooky. Glad to have you here. Looking forward to hearing about the work you do (even with the horrible French accent...)

I, too, have one of Adrian's bells. It is a lovely piece of work. He sent it out within a day of receiving payment and it arrived well-packaged.

I also have Dead Ringer, as well as a Hobbs box and one of the gaffed Outlaw boards (yes, had to wait quite some time to get them), both of the latter will work with the outlaw bell that comes with the board. Personally, I like the Dead Ringer, because it looks so innocent. However, I am moving more toward ungaffed seance work - allowing the psychology of the mind to take over. That, I have found, is our best ally. After all, it is the depths of our own soul that scare us the worst. I was recently reading how Steven Spielberg, when he was making Jaws some 40+ years ago, decided to have a mechanical shark made, to be used in the movie to scare the audience. The trouble was, the filming was in the salt water and it kept destroying the mechanical workings of the 'shark', so he had to use the shark much more sparingly than he had originally envisioned in the actual footage and, instead, relied on other atmospheric aspects of the movie to scare the audience. He learned, then, what folks like Paul Voodini have revelaed in their un-gaffed works on the subject.

All the best to you.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 1, 2015 09:41PM)
Hello Steiner,

thank you very much for your kind words.

I am very interested in what you're suggesting. The mind power is fascinating, and I do believe scientists when they say we're only using 20% of our abilities. Would you say that one should read "clinical" psychology books to get to know better how all these things work? Or rather mentalism books?
Any way, it can't be bad for my personal knowledge.

A good experience to make would be: having the same people several time during a tricked séance, and then without any props, and see what happens. I'll try to do that.

It's like the placebo effect. Very stimulating to study!
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Nov 1, 2015 11:28PM)
@Sneaky_Pest, 'K.I.S.S.' is the best for any performance.
As, for a board or bell, do not use them for a Q&A session. IMHO
(If you are going to ask a bunch of questions, use a Magic 8 Ball. :-) )
You can OVERKILL anything to the point, they know it is just a trick.
That, is not we strive for in bizarre...
Best, to you in your venture !!!

Gary
Message: Posted by: MentalistCreationLab (Nov 2, 2015 02:03AM)
What about Campana di Filippo - A Kinetic Spirit Bell by Alain Bellon from 2005 that thing is a masterpiece. Simple and highly effective. Although may be difficult to obtain since Bellon seems to be pursing other interests these days. Should he return one day just buy everything he has for sale before he decides to return to the grotto.
Message: Posted by: R. Steiner (Nov 2, 2015 07:57AM)
[quote]On Nov 1, 2015, Sneaky_Pest wrote:
Hello Steiner,

thank you very much for your kind words.

I am very interested in what you're suggesting. The mind power is fascinating, and I do believe scientists when they say we're only using 20% of our abilities. Would you say that one should read "clinical" psychology books to get to know better how all these things work? Or rather mentalism books?
Any way, it can't be bad for my personal knowledge.

A good experience to make would be: having the same people several time during a tricked séance, and then without any props, and see what happens. I'll try to do that.

It's like the placebo effect. Very stimulating to study! [/quote]

If you were to read clinical psychology books, I would reserve those for sleepless nights where you need assistance falling asleep. While they may give you insights into how the mind works, you may need to actually spend hours searching for these bits of gold. Rather, consider reading works by masters of this art of psychology in storybook form - Stephen King comes to mind - and study how they use atmosphere to create something more than what solely meets the eye.

Other books in our genre of performance could include The Dark Waltz (already mentioned), Sheherazade (by Borodin - out of print but they do show up on the secondary market from time to time), and Tales of Enchantment by our own Walt Anthony, and anything written by Christian Chelman (The Curator, as he is known here...you're in for a special treat since some of his works have not yet been translated into English from French...search out the posts he makes here on The Café...lots of gold in them posts!). Of course, there are many others that folks here will be able to recommend as personal favorites.

Of course, I would quickly add to the the recommendation for Mystic Energy by our own Bill Montanta (who has already posted in your thread under his Café name MentalistCreationLab). That piece (and the second and forthcoming third installment) is not for everyone, but rather for folks who aspire to do 'it' for real. I bet he'd be happy to exchange some thoughts with you around his work if you were to send him a PM.

The placebo effect can be very powerful indeed.

All the best to you on your journey.
Message: Posted by: weepinwil (Nov 2, 2015 08:27AM)
At most of my seance people don't leave tips. Thanks for the ideas.
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 2, 2015 03:04PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2015, Godzilla wrote:
@Sneaky_Pest, 'K.I.S.S.' is the best for any performance.
As, for a board or bell, do not use them for a Q&A session. IMHO
(If you are going to ask a bunch of questions, use a Magic 8 Ball. :-) )
You can OVERKILL anything to the point, they know it is just a trick.
That, is not we strive for in bizarre...
Best, to you in your venture !!!

Gary [/quote]

Thank you for your encouragement.
I don't want to use the bell to ask questions, but to "materialize" there is a presence. I will only use it once at each session. Though, yes I want an alphabet board to have the spirit answers. But.... What is a "magic 8 ball"? Is it the pool ball that you shake and gives you stupid sayings like the chinese fortune cookies?
Also can you tell me or link me to an explanation of the K.I.S.S. performance cause Google is sending me look for the rock group and if I add the word magic, it sends me to some magic kissing card trick, pfft!
Message: Posted by: Pizpor (Nov 2, 2015 03:10PM)
K.I.S.S. = Keep it simple.
Message: Posted by: fredr500 (Nov 2, 2015 03:16PM)
(and the last S is for Stupid)
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 2, 2015 03:22PM)
[quote]On Nov 2, 2015, R. Steiner wrote:

If you were to read clinical psychology books, I would reserve those for sleepless nights where you need assistance falling asleep. While they may give you insights into how the mind works, you may need to actually spend hours searching for these bits of gold. Rather, consider reading works by masters of this art of psychology in storybook form - Stephen King comes to mind - and study how they use atmosphere to create something more than what solely meets the eye.

Other books in our genre of performance could include The Dark Waltz (already mentioned), Sheherazade (by Borodin - out of print but they do show up on the secondary market from time to time), and Tales of Enchantment by our own Walt Anthony, and anything written by Christian Chelman (The Curator, as he is known here...you're in for a special treat since some of his works have not yet been translated into English from French...search out the posts he makes here on The Café...lots of gold in them posts!). Of course, there are many others that folks here will be able to recommend as personal favorites.

Of course, I would quickly add to the the recommendation for Mystic Energy by our own Bill Montanta (who has already posted in your thread under his Café name MentalistCreationLab). That piece (and the second and forthcoming third installment) is not for everyone, but rather for folks who aspire to do 'it' for real. I bet he'd be happy to exchange some thoughts with you around his work if you were to send him a PM.

The placebo effect can be very powerful indeed.

All the best to you on your journey. [/quote]

Well, one can't get any more boring than me, you'd be surprised to know what I read or things I like to look at. So... Clinical psychology isn't something that would discourage me.

And YES, my biggest problem is to find the books you all adviced me in FRENCH. I can chitchat and understand what you're saying here, but reading a whole book in english would be exhausting. My brain would have a lot of work to translate, print in my mind and learn the tricks taught in it at the same time. And I'm not fluent enough to understand technical words.

But I like the idea that suggesting things could be more powerful than any clever electronic trick, so I'm gonna study all this. I am very curious, I like learning new things and challenging myself. It's what makes me get on in life.
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Nov 2, 2015 06:47PM)
Sneaky_Pest ... Yes, on the above K.I.S.S.

And, you are correct on the 8 ball.

~G
Message: Posted by: Sneaky_Pest (Nov 2, 2015 07:21PM)
Oh. Thank you for telling me about the mysterious K.I.S.S acronym. Now I feel S.S.... Super Stupid.

Though, I won't use an 8 ball. I don't have enough mind manipulation power to make them believe an actual spirit would talk to us with that. I cannot picture myself telling them
"ohhhh and what if we tried to contact something from the other side?
[Grabbing 8 ball] ahhhhhummmmm.... Let's concentrate guys.... Ahhhhhummmmm, spirit, are you there?
[shaking ball] oh - my - gawd! Holy Molly, Bloody Mary and all the saints of the dark world! Look, they said "maybe"!!!! Wowwww I can't believe it. It's a pure miracle!"

I'd rather fake psychography.... I'm better at acting!
Message: Posted by: Godzilla (Nov 2, 2015 08:16PM)
Yes, I do not want you to use an 8 ball, was only joking with you.
That, is why I added the :-) to the post.

Best,
Gary
Message: Posted by: Brynmore14 (Nov 2, 2015 08:35PM)
Get yourself to Belgium and watch a master at work:

https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Chelman

http://www.surnateum.com/