Ghosts. Time was if you said you believed in ghosts, you'd be pitied for ignorance. But this wasn't always the case. During the Victorian era, many tried to apply the scientific method to prove the existence of spirits. While they didn't succeed, they weren't the first to try.
For as long as humans have been dying, their survivors must have tried to communicate with them.
Here are some methods of speaking to the dearly departed that have come down through the ages.
Table rapping--this is basically knocking on a table. Three raps mean yes, one means no and 2 raps means I don't know. Most communication is limited to yes or no questions but there is a complicated series of raps and pauses for sentences. The first documented reference to rapping is by Tertullian one of the fathers of the Catholic church. In 250AD, he wrote that demons made prophesy this way. Fast forward to 1554 to Rushton Hall in England and a servant was reading from a bible and asked if there was a God and there were three raps upon the table.
Table tipping/turning-Imagine a table that has the alphabet circling the edges either on a cloth draped over the table or embedded in the wood. A suspended metal ring picks out the letters by tipping or turning the table. The first documented case of this is in 360 AD when Valens, then Emperor of Rome wanted to know who the next emperor would be, the letters spelled out T-H-E-O-D. He had everyone put to death with that name. Theodosius was the next emperor. Table tipping eventually gave way to the Ouija board, which was used during World War I by American spiritualists.
Speaking/Singing--this is possession by the entities allowing them to use the mediums voice. This tradition goes back to the Oracle of Delphi
Automatic Writing-just the hands of a person are possessed and compelled to write what the spirit wants to communicate. The medium can be in a trance or waking state.
And the last one is Scrying--basically you stare at a reflective, translucent or luminescent substance to communicate with spirits or divine the future. This is the classic crystal ball, but stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire and smoke are often used. Nostradamus is said to have gotten his visions from peering into bowl of water. And anyone who tried to summon Bloody Mary used scrying.
Many of the characters in my historicals are mediums that do no allow possession of their hands but engage in conversations with spirits just like they would a living friend. But if I had to pick one way to communicate with the dead, I'd really like to try scrying.
What about you? Leave your answer and a email for a chance to win an electronic copy of Ghost of a Chance.
Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounced: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal."
All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house?
If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at email@example.com She’d love to hear from you.