How to Plan a Seance Party
A Seance party can be a fun and fantastic journey into the mysterious world of "Things that go Bump in the Night" or a seriously dull evening of boring negativity. The difference is ENTERTAINMENT. That's what it's all about! performers who do professional Seance for the sake of having fun and giving their spectators a roller coaster ride to the edge of reality and beyond, seldom have any problems getting booked and providing something unique to a party planner's menu. We all like to be frightened by haunted house rides and scary movies, don't we? But we don't want it to be too real either. No party guest likes to be scared for too long. Those "Mediums" who profess genuine Psychic powers and offer "real" Seance should be avoided at all costs!
In the traditional turn of the century Seance (which is still performed even today in some circles) folks sat around a table, sang hymns, and waited patiently for some unearthly sign from the Spirit World. This unfortunately leaves a lot to be desired if you want something up-beat and memorable for your party guests. The wise performer who demonstrates spooky effects in the darkened room, supplying plenty of humor to lighten the mood, is a better bet. Most audiences really don't know what to expect when they hear that Seance will be held at a private party. This is part of the tension that will later add to the mystery of the party and what makes a Seance package so attractive for someone searching for something new and unusual. However, some guidelines are suggested to get a maximum positive response instead of too much uncomfortable fear.
The host or hostess should strive to set-up the Seance participants in three groups that add up to twelve. The Medium occupies the thirteenth chair as in the classic Seance. The three groups are four people, or two couples who are true believers in Psychic things, two couples who are absolute skeptics to anything "supernatural", and finally, two couples who are completely undecided about the whole area of spirit communication. In this way the best mix of emotions can be brought into "The circle" and everyone will have an experience they will never forget. The believers get the validation for what they knew was real, the skeptics get a chance to see something that may challenge their conservative outlook for a few brief moments, and those left undecided will enjoy the whole wild ride.
Somebody "fun", or a personality who everyone will immediately recognize should be chosen to "bring back from the Other Side" well before the Invitations are sent to the Seance group. For example, I have brought back the ghosts of James Dean, Elvis, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Bela Lugosi, Jimi Hendrix, and many other notable stars that have died in unusual circumstances and that give a chill of recognition to the group as the Seance proceeds.
Themed music or film clips can be playing in the background or before the group sits down at the Seance table to help focus their minds on who (or what) is scheduled to make their ghostly appearance. Avoid bringing back "Uncle Harry" or someone dear to anyone in the group. This will only cause discomfort for everyone and send a message that you may be trying for "the real thing", which is not what most party revelers are interested in being a part of. If you want a "real" Seance, go to your local palm reader or storefront psychic. They will be more than happy to supply you with an exorcism or Seance that will probably cost you a lot more than a Seance done for pure entertainment. It's also likely to send your guests away wondering whether they have been at a party or a funeral. Keep it up-beat!
The first part of my Seance is done in full light, with several "light Seance" demonstrations to create a friendly rapport with the sitters. I want them to trust me as their guide for the evening's entertainment and feel comfortable with what is going to happen. It's a process that takes a bit of time. The Medium shouldn't just walk into the room cold and say to everyone "...and now, here's the Ghost!" That's hokey and unrealistic to today's sophisticated audiences. Telling a powerful background story of the spirit to be brought back, soft unobtrusive music and setting the mood with candlelight and a fine cognac gently opens their minds, sets the mood, and lets them know I'm not a doom and gloom psychic weirdo out to fleece their wallets or bring them down. This is very important.
Unfortunately, society's current view of most psychic "mediums" is largely a negative one. A "disclaimer' may be provided to the group if the host or hostess desires. This is a pre-show statement made by the performer or host/hostess that tells the audience that everything they are going to see is fake and not caused by anything supernatural. This is a matter for the performer and party planner to decide upon before the guests arrive. It's a tricky thing that is tailored individually for each client--as each complete Seance package should be.
This can either help provide comfort to sensitive or younger audience members, or blow the whole mood for those who want to be scared by the thrill of the dramatic atmosphere that is hopefully created. If presented with class and not taken too seriously by the performer, a Seance show can be something that elevates your party to a thought provoking experience long remembered by your guests. Plan well ahead. Although a private Seance will provide exceptional party thrills for your guests all year round, Halloween approaches.