The Séance: Creepy or Thrilling?


Just finished The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn (set in the late nineteenth century) and am reading Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels (set in the 1960’s).  Séances feature in both, no naturally, I now have séances on the brain.  Why doesn’t anyone hold séances any more?  It seems like this idea would be embraced as a unique party entertainment.  Did people used to be more open-minded than they are now?  Or do they just prefer to get their spooks from scary movies?  Does anyone even use a Ouija board anymore??

My sister and I had a Ouija board and used it every now and then, generally to ask it who we were going to marry.  I swear she was pushing.  She swore I was.  We both insisted we were barely touching it.  And I was barely touching it–I can’t vouch for her.

Anyway…with all these thoughts of séances, I wondered who I’d want to attempt to summon if I was ever asked to participate in a séance.  Eliminating family to even things out a bit, I decided it would have to be Jane Austen.  You probably saw that coming, right?  I wouldn’t be able to resist the opportunity.  This train of thought naturally led to the consideration of which Austen character I would try to summon (suspending belief here…I know none of them are actually real, so don’t worry about me!)

Many of you would probably say Mr. Darcy.  But I have to admit…he’s not even my favorite Austen hero.  Knightley is my favorite.  But I wouldn’t summon him.  Maybe Elizabeth, just for the fun of it.  Possibly Mr. Bennett, because I think he’s hilarious.  Darcy is even a possibility, if I could get him pre-Elizabeth.  That could prove to be very entertaining.

What about you?  Would you accept an invitation to a séance?  Who would you wish to summon (not counting family members)?  Which Austen character would you summon, given that fantastical opportunity?

Posted in books, life on 08/11/2011 03:00 am


  1. I kind of love that 19th century fondness for seance parties, spiritualists and all that. The last time I tried a Ouija board was in high school. It was kind of a bummer to learn that it was manufactured by Mattel. Ouija boards should always have a mysterious origin, don’t you think? As for summoning a JA character, hmm…. I think I’d go with Elizabeth or Mr. Bennett, preferably both at the same time. Now that would be something.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Both would be awesome, Eve. I agree! And Ouija boards should definitely hold a little mystique.

  2. An Ouija board was considered evil in my devout religious household upbringing. Then when I realized “Hey, it’s made by Milton Bradley!” Ha.

    I would attend a seance if Alyssa hosted. I’m betting that would be fun. And I would want to talk to Wyatt Earp, Marilyn Monroe, and John Adams.

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Ouija boards are pretty hokey…but they’re fun because they’re mysterious and weird. :) I’m sorry you missed out, David.

      Good choices for the seance!

  3. I like seances well enough in fiction and movies, but I don’t think I’d care to participate in one. :)

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.