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My Mum's Scary Séance Experience

Updated on April 22, 2011

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.

A Seance

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.

Ouija Board

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.


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    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Not saying this is impossible Baileybear, but sure sounds like a it was an idea a complete non-believer came up with, for a start, the participants would have to have some knowledge of the information that comes through in the first place (especially if obscure stuff is revealed), and what if their imaginations are all 'saying' different things, surely the combined results would not make an iota of sense!!

      I would agree that 'scaring oneself silly' is not my idea of entertainment, and these kinds of activities are only worth pursuing when researchers wish to find out more about the subject. I would definitely not advise going near a ouija board to anyone.

    • profile image

      Baileybear 6 years ago

      I didn't realise until I looked it up that participants have their hands on the pointer of the ouija board & move it themselves, even though they don't think they are (get in hypnotic state & their imaginations work overtime & are in suggestive mode). If all blindfolded, just get gibberish. Not sure how scaring oneself silly is entertainment!

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Baileybear, thanks for dropping in and commenting. It is always wise to maintain a healthy degree of scepticism and question what we hear and see that appears to be supernatural. This allows us to sort out the 'wheat from the chaff' so to speak, rather than just blindly believing in everything :)

    • profile image

      Baileybear 6 years ago

      freaky. I'm skeptical about the supernatural, but I'm open-minded enough to admit that some stuff we don't understand

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      I am not sure I think it is "evil" Mayhmong, but I know it is the unknown. I reckon Ricky deserved all that he got though :)

    • mayhmong profile image

      mayhmong 8 years ago from North Carolina

      that was spooky!? I have to give your mom credit for participating in such an evil act?! BTW, I think Ricky deserved it for making a joke outta of it. Good thing he didn't died.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Jasperjohn, if you want to know more about the "Three Shades" you should visit my other hub about my Mum and her career. The link is :

      I think this will help. If not let me know as I can probably find out all you need to know via my Sister and my Mum.


      Cindy / Misty

    • profile image

      jasperjohn 8 years ago

      Sorry this isn't really about your story.I recently found in an old collection of postcards that my late father collected what i assume to be a promosional photo for The Three Shades.Looking at the picture above its clearly the same group and i am just trying to find out what ever i can about them.I would be really grateful if you could provide a little background.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Violet, yes it was pretty scary stuff, and to this day my Mum always tells my sister and I never to try a séance ourselves, and was horrified when we talked about trying one in my sister's haunted flat. So far we haven't tried one, probably because we are both a bit too wary of what might happen with just the two of us there.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      This was enjoyable to read! Was giggling at Ella's horror and visualizing the toe in your Mom's mouth, hehe, but my goodness this was a séance that should convince any skeptic there is something going on beyond the five senses. It's cool to know who your Mom's guide was.

       My mom and sis had a similar experience with a seance when I was a young teenager  in a pyshic's  home , with doors in the kitchen opening and closing and creepy fingers touching the entire group- they never tried this again as it freaked them out.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Robie2, Yes, there are many things we don't understand which is why it is always a good idea to keep an open mind. Thanks for your comment.

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 9 years ago from Central New Jersey

      A fascinating tale-- there are so many things we just don't understand--including oija boards:-) I'm sure something was going on, but just what I can't explain. I like to keep an open mind

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 9 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      Isn't that some thing. If you look for something hard and long enough you will certainly find it.

    • spryte profile image

      spryte 9 years ago from Arizona, USA