By Mark Strivings

I've long had a fascination with seance work. This, to me, is the ultimate form of mystery theater. Many of our number, as mentalists, perform seance, either in a theatrical setting or 'for real'. Here are a small handful of ideas that you may find helpful. One of these days I may actually do a book on this subject For now, this will wet your whistle.

Unexplainable sounds, tike bumps and screeches and moans in the seance room are worth their weight in gold (and terror). My good buddy, Mark Edward, who is the Associate Medium in the Houdini Seance at the Magic Castle, sells an audiotape comprised of little bumps and hisses that are barely audible. This is meant to be played out of sight during the seance. The unexplained noises add a tremendous amount of atmosphere to the proceeding. They are so random and subconscious, that they literally help to build the terror. Priceless stuff! My little contribution this time out falls into this category, because it truly is random and quite unexplainable.

This was discovered quite by accident. One of my favorite things to do is to hide in plain sight. As the saying goes, "If you can't hide it, paint it red." That's what is at play here. It is simply an idea for an unexplainable thump or two in the room.

Go to your local grocery store and buy a couple of different brands of soda pop and bottled water, all in those liter and two liter size plastic bottles. After you're done consuming the beverage, put about two inches of fairly warm water in the bottle and place the cap securely back on. Set it in a comer and wait.

As the water cools, the bottle will flex and shrink and grow again, creating a distinct popping sound when it happens. It just happens and then it's gone! Experiment with different types of bottles and temperatures of water. Experiment, too with water that has been refrigerated and gradually warms up to room temperature. I can't give you any hard and fast rules to follow except experiment. Once you find a combination that works well for you, guard that bottle.

Simply set up the bottle somewhere in the room, or adjacent room in the time before the seance starts. By the time things get rolling, you'll have some unexpected (even by you!) noises that will add to your atmosphere.

There are times when you need to read something in the dark. Years ago, Nelson and others marketed a business card that was coated with 'glow-in-the-dark' paint on it. The card would be 'charged' early in the proceedings. Once the room went to black, the medium could simply remove the business card and, keeping everything shielded from sight of course, use the card to illuminate and read something that was written during the light portion of the seance. This information could then be revealed from the 'other side1 later on. Powerful stuff! And if someone saw the business card, it didn't arouse suspicion because it was an everyday object. Ah, paint it red, eh?!

Many of you reading this have on you right now, the power to duplicate this feat anytime it's completely dark. There are a few brand of watches that literally can glow in the dark. They have watch faces that can be back lit and give off a pretty solid glow. The IndiGlow brand leaps to mind. This can be used to illuminate the writing on a card in the dark.

Likewise, most pagers have a backlit readout that works the same way. Nobody thinks twice about a pager, they are so common today. Little do they know...

Another thought about pagers. Most of them have a silent function where they vibrate instead of beep when they are activated. What if that pager were touching the underside of a wooden table when the vibrating function went off? Try it, it's a very cool effect. Done in a very small dose during the dark portion of a seance, this literally freaks people out. You must be careful, though, not to over do it No more than a split second. Other wise it becomes recognizable for what it is and the effect (and perhaps the seance) is destroyed. When you're done with it, simply put it back where it came from, in plain sight. Unnoticed. Try it. It works.

Understanding Mind Control

Understanding Mind Control

This book is not about some crazed conspiracy thinkers manifesto. Its real information for real people who care about the sanctity of their own thoughts--the foundation of individual freedom.

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