seances | Teen Ink


April 3, 2010
By LILmusicFREAK26 BRONZE, Suisun City, California
LILmusicFREAK26 BRONZE, Suisun City, California
2 articles 4 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, Rather than be loved for who i'm not" Kurt Cobain


Do you know what a séance is? Well neither did I so this paper gave me the opportunity to find out. Séances were first conducted in the 3rd century but didn’t become popular until the 1800’s. (Encyclopedia, 298-299) So I’m going to tell you a little about séances and what goes on during them. So let’s get started.

First I’m going to talk about mediums. Mediums are people ascribed supernormal powers who receive information not available through normal senses. (Encyclopedia, 220-221) What mediums do is they let spirits take over their bodies to communicate with the living. The reasons mediums do what they do is because they want friends and family to be able to talk to them one last time. (Wikipedia, séances) Some other names for mediums are: oracle, wizard, wise women, witch, sorcerer, priest, prophet, and channeller. (Encyclopedia, 220-221)

Next I’m going to tell you about ectoplasm. Ectoplasm is a lifelike substance, solid, or vaporous in nature, which allegedly extrudes from the body of a medium and can be transformed into materialized limbs, faces, or even entire bodies of spirits. (Encyclopedia, 104-105) Ectoplasm may extrude from the mouth, ears, nose, eyes, and bellybutton. It comes to materialize into a face or a limb. (Encyclopedia, 104-105)

Next there are apparitions. An apparition is the supernormal appearance of the dead person or animal or of a living person or animal to distance to be within the range. (Encyclopedia, 13-18) An apparition can be a person or an animal. (Encyclopedia, 13-18) Apparitions are reportedly described to look like fuzzy, luminous, transparent, or ill-defined. (Encyclopedia, 13-18)

Next is controlling and channeling. Control is an alleged spirit of the dead that acts as a medium’s primary interface with the spirit world. (Encyclopedia, 67-68) They communicate using the mediums vocals. Channeling is a form of mental mediumship. (Encyclopedia, 67-68) Channeling involves communication through automatic writing and automatic speech with various non-physical beings. (Encyclopedia, 67-68) The channeller may allow the spirit to use their whole body including vocals or they may receive information through paranormal hearing.

Lastly is well-known séances. The first is Mina Stinson Crandon or better known as Margery. (Encyclopedia, 71-72) Margery was accused or fraud because they couldn’t believe something like ectoplasm could come out of a human body. (Wikipedia, séances) Crandon was said to be the greatest mediums ever. (Encyclopedia, 71-72) Her husband was the one to call the American Society of Psychical Research. (Encyclopedia, 71-72) For years ASPR to figure out how Crandon could produce things like ectoplasm and make things move. (Encyclopedia, 71-72) On Crandon’s deathbed they (ASPR) asked her to reveal her secret. (Encyclopedia, 71-72) She said “why don’t you guess? Because you’ll be guessing…for the rest of your lives.” (Encyclopedia, 71-72) Crandon died Nov. 1, 1941. (Encyclopedia, 71-72)

Next is Ehrich Weiss or better known as Harry Houdini. After Houdini’s mothers death Houdini went to several séances to try and contact his mother. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) One day Lady Doyle the wife of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle said she could contact his mother. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) He was skeptical but said ok. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) Lady Doyle went into a trance and began automatic writing. She began with a huge cross at the top of the paper and started writing to her “darling Ehrich.” (Encyclopedia, 168-171) Once Lady Doyle finish Houdini told Sir Doyle that he is Jewish and his mother would never draw a cross. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) After that Houdini started a reward of $2,500 to anyone who could produce a spirit photograph under test conditions, and another $2,500 to anyone who could produce physical paranormal phenomena and have it recorded by scientific tools. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) That’s when he met Mina Stinson Crandon a medium from Boston. He thought Mina was a fake so he tried to prove it. (Encyclopedia, 168-171) Houdini accused mediums of fraudulent mediumship, he said he couldn’t believe the almighty would let something so disgusting out of the human body. (Wikipedia, Houdini séances) Later Oct. 31, 1926 Houdini died and Bess his wife held séances for 10 years but Houdini never appeared Houdini once said “anyone can talk to the dead, but the dead do not answer.” (Encyclopedia, 168-171)

Lastly we have Mary Todd Lincoln. Mary started her mediumship after her son William died. (Wikipedia, Mary Todd Lincoln) Mary suffered a head injury during Lincoln’s presidency. (Wikipedia, MTL) Mary may have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. (Wikipedia, MTL) Mary started her mediumship in order to talk to her son William. (Wikipedia, MTL) William died of typhoid fever. (Wikipedia, MTL) After Tad (one of Mary’s sons) died she went into a deep depression and her bipolar disorder went out of control. (Wikipedia, MTL) When she returned to Illinois after Abraham was assassinated she was convinced her last son was deathly ill. (Wikipedia, MTL) So she traveled to Chicago to see him Robert saw his mother needed help so he admitted her to a psychiatric hospital. (Wikipedia, MTL) Mary went to the pharmacist and asked for laudanum enough to kill herself finally the pharmacist caught on and gave her a placebo instead. (Wikipedia, MTL) Mary suffered from severe cataracts which affected her eyes. (Wikipedia, MTL) In 1879 she suffered a spinal cord injury from a ladder step. (Wikipedia, MTL) She was housebound to the residence of her sister. (Wikipedia, MTL) She died there 1882 at the age of 63. (Wikipedia, MTL)


Guiley , Rosemary Ellen. The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1992

"Séances ". 03/03/10 Séance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 10 2010 at 12:27 pm
LILmusicFREAK26 BRONZE, Suisun City, California
2 articles 4 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'd rather be hated for who I am, Rather than be loved for who i'm not" Kurt Cobain

i wrote this paper just a week ago for school and i got 112/120 so i decided to put it up here.