Halloween is a time to be scared and nothing is scarier that the paranormal. With an open mind explore the spooky side of life but be warned that some of your friends will not be comfortable and should not be coerced into participating. Proceed at your own risk.
Tarot or Psychic Reading
Enlist the services of a professional tarot reader, sometimes called a medium, for an unforgettable activity during Halloween.
Booking a medium at this time of the year may be difficult so plan early. Consult with the medium in advance, and she will let you know how many readings she can comfortably complete in an hour or two. If the number of guests exceeds the number of readings, hold a raffle to determine the participants.
You can find mediums online at MediumFind.Net, on Craigslist under the Services/Events" banner, the back pages of local entertainment newszines, or in the Yellow Pages (look under "psychics"). Inevitably in any group of friends, someone is bound to be a tarot reader.
A séance is an attempt to communicate with the dead, sometimes with a medium or psychic leading the activity.
Sequester a small group of willing participants and sit around a small table, with a white candle placed at the center. Keep the noise to a bare minimum and turn off all lights. While holding hands and focusing on the flame, concentrate and call forth the spirits. State that spirits are not allowed to cause any harm to participants, then ask a question or ask for a sign of their presence. Quiet, calm, and patience will bring an answer from the other side.
Read Stephen Wagner's article How to Conduct a Seance for additional rules and always make sure to end a session respectfully.
Retreat to a quiet, dark room with a limited number of players and no onlookers for the best response. The board should be placed on a small table where the forearm can be comfortably held at a 90º angle.
Under the glow of a single white candle, have participants put their fingertips on the planchet and concentrate on a question. Summon the spirits and first ask a simple question (like how many people are in the room). Talk calmly and evenly, and make sure all participants remain in the moment. It may take a while to get a response so take time to clear your mind, and mediate quietly while awaiting an arrival.
Make sure to read Stephen Wagner's article How to Use a Ouija Board for additional rules and always make sure to close a session properly.
Ghost Tours and Walks
You've seen the ghost hunting tv shows and now you want to explore the ruins of a wayward mental hospital or a murder house. Ghost tours and walks are an excellent activity to learn more about the dark history of a location and sometimes even get to play with special equipment or tools of the trade. Almost every major city has them (New Orleans, San Francisco, Savannah, Boston, etc.) and to find one near you Google "ghost tour" and your city. Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, have a bottle of water, fill a pocket with snacks, and have a good camera handy. Call for reservations no matter what their website says and look for groups discounts. Remember to always tip your host! And most importantly, keep an open mind and remain in the moment. Those who go in expecting an elaborate supernatural show may be disappointed. There's no way to predict when something may manifest or want to communicate but you want to be ready if it does.
Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board
In a quiet, dark room lit only with a couple candles, chose a victim to lie flat on the floor, eyes closed. The viewers surround the victim, each placing two fingertips underneath the victim's body. The person closest to the head begins by saying "She's looking ill," which the others repeat, then "she's looking worse" is spoken and repeated back. The general direction of the call-and-repeat describes how the victim is looking worse and worse, followed by saying "she is dying," and, finally, "she is dead." Then the victim is told a story about their death and asked to imagine it happening to him or her. It serves the dual purpose of "freaking out" the participants and convinces them that it will be easier to lift this person. Then the phrase "light as a feather, stiff as a board" is chanted by all the viewers as they attempt to lift their companion's body using only their fingertips. After these repetitions, the victim will seem lighter or even entirely weightless. Read more.
This activity is best late at night when you are most relaxed. This experiment reproduces sensory deprivation while in a fully aware state, thus allowing the veil between our world and the other side to weaken.
Sit in a relaxed position in a comfortable chair. Don't lay down or you may actually fall asleep. Affix halved ping pong balls over the eyes with medical tape or Band-Aid. You'll need to shine a red light directly into the face throughout the experiment and you must keep your eyes open. Put on headphones and play white noise at a level to block out other ambient noise. Relax in this state for 15-30 minutes. You may begin to see other beings come into focus while in this meditative state. Come out of it slowly and steady no matter how scared.
Is it Safe to Explore the Paranormal on Your Own?
It's natural to have a curiosity about what may lie beyond the veil. Whether it's a ouija board or ghost hunting tv show, we've all had some kind of experience with the paranormal. But like any discipline, you must actually read, study, and seek out the advice of the experts. Respect for all spooky things is key.
Paranormal experts have urged me to advise readers that exploring the paranormal "should not be taken lightly as it may unintentionally open doors that may be difficult to close. What seems like a parlor game can lead to everything from haunting to possession." So bad things may lurk in the shadows, and regardless of your beliefs, they may believe in you. Proceed at your own risk, and only participate if you feel comfortable.