My Mum's Scary Séance Experience
My Mother's Scary Séance Experience
Many years ago when my Mother was touring as part of a professional singing trio called "The Three Shades" they found themselves staying in digs (accommodation) with several other fellow artistes. The accommodation in question was an old house located immediately next door to an ancient (pre-12th century) Church in a village called either Letchworth or Lechlade (she can't remember which one it was all these years later) .
In that era it was not uncommon for groups of artistes to entertain themselves in their free time by holding seances for a bit of fun. Mum had developed a bit of a reputation for being quite successful when acting as the spokesperson on these occasions, and she usually had better results than when others attempted to talk directly to the spirits present.
On this particular night there were about 7 artistes all staying in the house, including Mum's Trio, (herself, Rosemary and Ella), a trick cyclist called Ricky, a pianist called Les and a double act whose names now escape her. Somebody suggested it could be a bit of fun to hold a séance, and that it would probably be best if Mum did the "talking" because of her past results. The Trick Cyclist was a true sceptic and made it clear he thought it was all a load of nonsense and he didn't believe in ghosts or any of it, but he did agree to sit in on the séance although he went on to pepper it with loads of sarcastic remarks until everyone told him to shut up or leave.
Ella, one of the girls from the Trio refused point blank to get involved as she was too scared, and insisted on sitting away from the table by the nearby electric fire instead.
The Three Shades (Mum far right)
As the séance began Mum's requests asking if any spirits were present was not producing any responses other than the aforementioned sarcastic remarks from Ricky. They had all agreed that to avoid any tricks being played on them by the others, they would not only keep their hands in constant contact with the next person, but would do the same with their knees under the table. After several minutes of fruitless effort, one of the group suggested that it might be an idea if Les the pianist took Mum's place as the speaker. Les agreed and the séance went on with far more impressive results.
To create the right kind of atmosphere the group had lit two candles for illumination, and the only other light in the room was the three bar electric fire that Ella was still huddled up to. The old fashioned door with a doorknob had been closed, and if you can picture the scene, all but Ella were sitting around a large heavy circular wooden table with their hands on the surface of the table, fingers touching, with knees touching below the table. Les asked if anyone was there, and almost immediately the candles began flickering, in spite of the fact there were no windows open, and no drafts in the room. After several seconds the candles went out. Having re-lit the candles Les asked if the spirit in question could provide a stronger sign, at which point, much to Ella's horror, two of the three bars on the electric fire changed from red, to a blueish white colour, shortly followed by the third bar doing the same thing. Ella was terrified and pleaded with the group to stop the séance, but they all wanted to continue, not least because Ricky the trick cyclist was still completely unconvinced and being very sarcastic about the whole event.
Les asked the spirit or ghost to show a stronger sign he was real, (mainly to prove this to Ricky). Immediately the door to the room swung wide open much to every-one's shock. Initially the general opinion was that as the door had an old fashioned door knob type catch, it had probably not been shut properly in the first place, so one of the group got up and closed the door, this time ensuring the catch had definitely caught properly. Once they returned to the circle Les repeated the same request for a stronger sign. The door swung wide open a second time, but this time the room filled with a really strong scent of flowers as if to prove the point.
As if this wasn't enough to have scared all of them and hopefully convince the sceptical Ricky that this séance was real, they decided to go on to use a Ouija Board too, (something most Spiritualists will tend to advise against unless you are a psychic yourself).
Once they had the Ouija Board out they asked for a further sign there was a spirit in the room. They all then heard a loud knocking coming from the table itself, even though no-one could be doing this because their fingers and knees were all touching. Les asked the spirit to tell them who he was, and the glass they by now all had their fingers on spelt out that he was my Mum's spirit guide and that he was called "Lorenzo de Medici". Mum later found out that he had been a famous patron of the arts in his lifetime and an Italian Merchant Prince.
The Ouija Board went on to tell them that Ricky (the trick cyclist), was soon going to have an accident in his act, to which a smothered guffaw came from Ricky who hadn't had any kind of accident in his act in years.
Lorenzo de Medici
By now everyone was pretty scared and finally listening to Ella's pleas they agreed to call it a night and go to bed. Ella, Rosemary and Mum were all sharing a room, the idea being that Rosemary and Mum would share the double bed whilst Ella had the single bed.
Everyone headed up the stairs to their rooms as quickly as possible. Ella took the lead as she couldn't wait to get out of the séance room, and as everyone passed the point where the stairs took a right angled turn only Rosemary was left at the rear. On the point where the stairs changed direction a large Grandfather Clock was situated on the stair. Nearly everyone successfully passed this and continued up to their rooms, but just as Rosemary's turn came the whole face of the clock fell off and crashed down in front of her on the stairs. At this point she vaulted over the fallen clock face in terror and they all hightailed it to their rooms. Ella refused point blank to sleep alone in the single bed, so in the end all three of them shared the double bed, with Ella sleeping so that her head was by the other two's feet. Mum still remembers to this day how she woke up with Ella's toe virtually in her mouth.
Fortunately they were all leaving the next day so didn't have to chance another night in the same accommodation, and I don't believe they ever held another séance.
What was interesting was that some weeks later Ricky the trick cyclist had quite a nasty accident in his act for the first time in many years, and everyone who had been present at the séance gave each other "old fashioned looks" remembering what had been foreseen by the spirit in the séance. Apparently the warning had been true, but who knows if this was enough to convince the sceptical Ricky of his séance experience. He was certainly hurt quite badly in the accident, and hopefully not as cynical or sarcastic about such things in the future.