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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The spooky, the mysterious...the bizarre! » » Performing a seance evening for the first time (29 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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GReed3649
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Personally, I'd love to see ANY séance in person. As far as I know, there's just not anyone doing them in my area. On the plus side that indicates a fairly wide open market, on the downside, it would be nice to see what someone else considers a "séance".

I really wanted to check out the "Classic Victorian Séance" conducted by Bloody Mary Museum down in New Orleans, but they only run them on Sunday evenings and I had to leave Sunday afternoon. The "medium" I talked to assured me that they did nothing to aid the spirits in their communications, but then she was also seemed genuinely confused when I asked it was an open or shut eye séance.

I'd certainly be interested to see your table in action though. I do like some of the modern takes on classic effects. I just picked up a couple of Spirit Bells from Taylor Imagineering and MAN, talk about taking things to a whole new level.
WitchDocChris
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Quote:
The "medium" I talked to assured me that they did nothing to aid the spirits in their communications, but then she was also seemed genuinely confused when I asked it was an open or shut eye séance.


Probably because they don't actually use those terms.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
MentalistCreationLab
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Do you know who coined the terms Open and Shut. One of them is on the Café. Interesting trivia question for a convention prize game.
GReed3649
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WitchDocChris: I thought those were the terms that were used by the Spiritualist mediums, but you're the second person that's mentioned that probability and it certainly would explain the confusion...but even if "real mediums" don't actually "use" the terms, shouldn't they at least be familiar with the concept? So how does one politely ask a potentially earnest medium whether or not they're using trickery? Or is there simply no way to ask such questions without being a ******?

MentalistCreationLab: I thought those terms were coined a good many decades ago, but at this point I've read so many different books; some dating back to the 20s and 30s, that it's hard to keep all the "whats" and "wheres" straight.

For the record, I'm always looking for more and better information, so if I say something idiotic, please feel free to correct me.
WitchDocChris
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Why would they have any idea of terms used in an industry they most likely actively avoid?

If you are unsure from the advertising, location, etc. and feel the need to confirm, you can ask with something along the lines of, "Is this genuine or theatrical?"

Looking over the website for the seance you mentioned, they are very clearly presenting as the real thing. With that in mind, even if they are theatrically assisting their seances, they're not going to tell you.
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
MentalistCreationLab
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GReed3649 instead of reading spiritualism works from the 20s and 30s I would recommend reading the earlier works written before 1900, such a works written by Hudson Tuttle October 4, 1836 – December 14, 1910 who lived in upper Ohio and wrote many works. In some of these works he describes attending early seances which is interesting and could give you some new thought on how a seance could play out within a theatrical setting. Just remember when Hudson was writing he was writing from a personal experience and as a spiritualist.

Also read his and Emma work published in 1910.... Most of his works are available at the digital libraries so you can read them online free.
Bernice
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Quote:
On Jun 27, 2020, GReed3649 wrote:
I really wanted to check out the "Classic Victorian Séance" conducted by Bloody Mary Museum down in New Orleans, but they only run them on Sunday evenings and I had to leave Sunday afternoon. The "medium" I talked to assured me that they did nothing to aid the spirits in their communications, but then she was also seemed genuinely confused when I asked it was an open or shut eye séance.


The seance room from that museum: https://youtu.be/7OZ34bQQJi0?t=565

Ha ha! They totally know what a shut-eye is.

P.S. That Youtube channel is full of interesting places.
Wizard of Oz
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Yeah, Carpetbagger has a lot of fun videos. I envy the sights (and sites), he's seen.

His tour of Ken Klosterman's legendary underground magic collection would have any magician drooling. It's in two parts. Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw8CrEb6t6w&t=241s
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
GReed3649
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MentalistCreationLab: Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely give Hudson Tuttle a look.

WitchDocChis: Interesting point, but then I assumed that they would have read at least SOME of the same books I have, before setting up to conduct an authentic Victorian style séance. I like the idea of a "theatrical" séance.

Bernice: Thanks for the link. I still forget to check YouTube for stuff and there were a couple three different videos about Bloody Mary's. That said, the video you linked was VERY interesting and enlightening. I'm glad now that I didn't kick out for the "tour", but I still think the séance would be worth a look. After watching the video I'm thinking that it would most likely be an eye opening affair. I was also interested to see that she refers to herself as The Current Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She seems a bit Caucasian for that particular title, but who am I to judge.

Wizard of Oz: Thanks for that link as well, that was truly unbelievable. I'm definitely going to have to watch that a couple times.
Bernice
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I, too, forget to search Youtube. You get sucked in by the advertising and your mind creates hope. Then you see the rather pedestrian truth in video and you're glad you didn't spend anything.

I'm also hoping to find a seance like I read about in "The Psychic Mafia" by M. Lamar Keene. I really want to be in a dark room full of charlatans and "marks".

Have you tried Camp Chesterfield or other spiritualist camps?

https://sunsetcamp.org/us-spiritualist-camp-directory/
http://readersandrootworkers.org/index.p......izations
WitchDocChris
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On Jul 3, 2020, GReed3649 wrote:
WitchDocChis: Interesting point, but then I assumed that they would have read at least SOME of the same books I have, before setting up to conduct an authentic Victorian style séance. I like the idea of a "theatrical" séance.


Again - why would they read those books?

I can see them reading the historic accounts of seances, sure. But the deceptive side of seance? Those books aren't in Barnes and Nobles or the local witchy store. You have to go looking for them, and people who are presenting as real mediums aren't going to do that.

Quote:
I was also interested to see that she refers to herself as The Current Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She seems a bit Caucasian for that particular title, but who am I to judge.


Voodoo doesn't know skin color. Though as I recall I've seen a few different folks claiming that title Smile
Christopher
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Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
TEB3
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Bloody Mary did an "invited guest lecture" at the MOTM last year. And yes her seances at her store/shop/cottage whatever are aimed at shut-eyes. She told us she had 3 or 4 different mediums that basically worked "shifts" for her. Everything is focused on and the power comes from "The River" which is NOLA's Mother Goddess. She is a real "work" but all of us kept a straight face. And of course she passed around snifter cards with some of her sacred potion scents in case we wanted to drop buy while we were in town.
Jed Maxwell
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On Jul 5, 2020, TEB3 wrote:
Bloody Mary did an "invited guest lecture" at the MOTM last year. And yes her seances at her store/shop/cottage whatever are aimed at shut-eyes. She told us she had 3 or 4 different mediums that basically worked "shifts" for her. Everything is focused on and the power comes from "The River" which is NOLA's Mother Goddess. She is a real "work" but all of us kept a straight face. And of course she passed around snifter cards with some of her sacred potion scents in case we wanted to drop buy while we were in town.


MOTM?
"You're a mentalist!"
Dr. O
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Meeting of the Minds.
GReed3649
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WitchDocChris: I swear I'm not just trying to be argumentative and I truly appreciate your thoughts on this subject. It's my understanding that even the official "Spiritualist Mediums" both the traveling variety and those who set up in the camps, were familiar with the concept of open and shut eye mediumship. Again, many books, over many years tend to blend the information. I freely admit that I never attempted to learn the art of seance from a non-magical starting point, but I have to think that it would be harder to avoid the information while doing historical research than it would be to stumble upon it.

I understand that Voodoo is a religion and anyone is free to practice and believe what they want, but a blonde haired, blue eyed woman calling herself "The Current Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" seems like a bold choice. Honestly, it's the "The" that I have a problem with. I suspect there are probably quite a few "Voodoo Queens" of various races in and around New Orleans. Of course I have no idea what kind of credentials one needs to lay claim to the title, perhaps she was elected, or had the title thrust upon her. Perhaps she was chosen, much like the Pope...but as a casual observer with only a layman's understanding of the religion, her claim certainly caused me to do a double take.

I was mildly surprised to see that she comes in at number 8 on this list of Voodoo Preistesses though and there certainly do seem to be more white folk on the list than I would have expected.

http://www.hauntedneworleanstours.com/to......eistess/

Bernice: I've actually considered checking out Camp Chesterfield, but at the time I couldn't really afford (or justify) the trip. Now, I'm kind of worried, that about the quality of the show their putting on. I'd heard that they'd been slipping over years and fewer and people were actually attending.

I would have loved to have seen them in their glory days though. If anyone has attended any of the camps recently I'd love to hear their thoughts.
WitchDocChris
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To be clear here, since this world has borrowed many terms from that world, when I say "conjuring" I mean what illusion-magicians do on stage. Not to be confused with the practice of raising spirits or other entities.

I've read a fair amount of esoteric books, both 'practice of' and 'history of' a variety of esoteric systems. These works rarely, if ever, mention conjuring. There is a general tone of condemnation towards conjurors as being phonies and frauds.

I've been lightly involved in the esoteric/new age world since my early teens and it over a decade of that before I ever found a book on conjuring. And that was only because I had the very specific thought of, "I think I'll learn a card trick to show my girlfriend." It was only after that thought that I started finding other conjuring books and the community.

I've never read or heard the term "shut eye" outside of a magic-industry resource, except for that short lived show. In my experience the esoteric world seeks to actively distance themselves from being thought of as a conjuror and thus will often try to avoid using terms from the magic industry, or will clarify that they mean 'real' stuff and not sleight of hand.
Christopher
Witch Doctor

Psycho Seance book: https://tinyurl.com/y873bbr4
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