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Science and the Séance…

Some Random Updates…

During an EVP session today I seem to have been visited by another knocker… possibly some very quiet voices as well, but I’m only halfway through audio review. Hopefully I’ll have some details in the next few days.

I think many people enjoyed following my first two-week EVP experiment. I’ve been toying with some new ideas and experiments to document on The Big Séance. After viewing the rest of the this post, can you guess what those ideas might be? Does anyone have any thoughts? Let me know… 

Science and the Séance…

Today I ran across an amazing BBC documentary on Spiritualism, séances, and the mediums of the day. Guess who it opens up with? Maggie and Kate Fox! I feel like I’ve gotten to know them so well this year. The author of the book I read recently is also featured in this video. I’ve decided I am SO very ready for Hollywood to make a movie about the Fox sisters. Anyway, below is Part 1 of 4. Watch it if you have some free time. It is great!


EVP Update: My visit from a rapper!

Tonight will be my last recording for this official two-week EVP experiment. I’ll review that session tomorrow evening. Yesterday was day 13 in my EVP experiment. If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I had several days in a row of disappointing sessions. Well apparently all it took was a little bit of whining, encouragement from many of you… and some serious begging through a meditation before last night’s experiment. It took me several hours to review the audio and before I knew it I had typed three pages of notes. I may not have any impressive voices… but I definitely had a visitor.

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Below are summarized segments from my notes and some audio files. Times are represented in minutes and seconds. For example, one minute and 30 seconds = 1:30.  “Tap” and “knock” are pretty much used interchangeably as it is hard to decide which is which right on the spot.

(From the Tascam digital recorder)

Thirty seconds into the recording there is a knock (before I even said anything), at 1:24 a tap. I then ask “Is that you making that noise?” No response.

I then ask “Can you make another noise if that was you?” Several seconds later… “Like two taps or two knocks?” A few seconds later after getting no response I asked “Have you been present with me before in one of these sessions?” Two loud and clear taps at 2:02. The first one further away and the second one closer to the recorder.

At 2:35 I ask if they could give me two more knocks just for validation. I got two taps at 2:51.

I then decided that 1 knock was going to mean “yes” and two knocks was “no”. I asked “Have you been with me in one of these EVP sessions before in the last couple of weeks?” and 15 seconds later there was a faint unidentified noise in the background followed by a tap.

A few questions with no responses.

At 5:10 I ask “Do I know you?” A very light tap can be heard at 5:20. I mentioned “I THINK that was a tap” and then “Yes? Thank you.” Maybe there was another light tap before I answered but I cannot hear it in the audio.

At 5:50 there is another tap while I’m in the middle of a rather long question. I was asking for them to pass on a message, tell me who they are, etc. After the tap I finished my question and also asked where they were talking to me from… the other side? No response. My question ended at 6:00. At 6:16 there is a tap.

At 6:30 “You seem to be good at the knocking thing. Can you tell me… are you male?” For several seconds there is no response. “Maybe that’s ‘no’.” Immediately there is a tap at 6:47.

At 6:52 I asked “Are you female?” No response.

At 8:17 I’m playing music and ask “How many of you are with me?” At 8:34 you can hear a very loud knock somewhere in the house.

At 9:07 I ask “Can you make anymore noises? I think the noises are just how you want to communicate today.” No responses.

I then started up the pink noise portion of the session got no responses to several more questions.

At 11:42 I ask “Is there something I can help you with?” A few seconds later at 11:46 (pink noise still playing) you can hear what sounds like a very soft and low-pitched “no” (11:42 in PX-820… sounds a bit different but still there). A second later… “Or are you here to help me?” No response.

At 12:32 after pink noise is turned off I ask “Are you still there?” At 12:23 in the PX-820 there is two syllables of something heard very softly… right before “Are you still there?” At 12:41 there is a knock. I say “Okay!”

A few seconds later (12:53) I say “I’ve been asking for the presence of Sarah Estep or Cathy…” Before I could finish the question there was a very loud tap right in the room! I say “Ooh… Sarah, is that you?” No response.  At 13:98… “Sarah Estep?” No response. At 13:15… “Or Cathy? Is that you Cathy?” A few seconds later… “Cathy from The Big Circle?” No response.

At 13:31… “I’m kind of excited! Who is this?” You can hear a few very light pops or taps. At 13:48… “I feel like I can’t go on without knowing who you are.” No response. At 14:04… “Should I continue? Or should I end this session and listen?” No obvious responses. You can hear two very soft taps that are very close to the microphone… but I can’t be sure if it’s something I’m doing or not.

A few more questions with no responses.

At 16:04… “So could this knocking be from Sarah?” No response. At 16:18… “Cathy?” At 16:31 there is some kind of knock in the room.  At 16:40… “Was that a ‘yes’ for Cathy? Did I hear you correctly? Is this Cathy then?” A few seconds later…  “Knock if it’s Cathy”. Other than a dog barking outside, there are no responses.

At 17:05… “Are you someone other than Sarah or Cathy? Or ________? Could you knock if you’re someone else?” At 17:20 there are two faint knocks that I acknowledge hearing in the recording. I’m not sure if this was the answer of “no” or if this was an entity just knocking in response to my question, in general.

At 21:02 I began to do my usual thank you to anyone helping me, but I didn’t get very far. I began “Well I want to thank you for your energy…” and there was a pretty loud knock close by. I excitedly say “Oh!” and you can hear a dog barking loudly outside in the background. A few seconds later… “Thank you, there’s one.”

At 21:16… “I feel like maybe you’re playing games with me. Every time I move on I hear a knock” (more dog barking). A few seconds later… “…but as I was saying, thank you for your presence and your energy… and your assistance.” A few seconds later… “Any last messages… before we end?” No response. A few seconds later… “Thank you.” Then my elbow popped and I laughed and said “Now my bones are popping!”

End of recording.

Just some of the audio…

Beginning… “Is there someone present with me today?”

Let’s have a conversation

Have you been with me before?

How many of you are with me?

Possible voice before “Are you still there?” and knock

“Sarah, is that you?”

“…should I end this session and listen?”

“…thank you for your energy”

“Is there something I can help you with?” (“No”)

My thoughts…

SOOOOOO…. Did the FOX sisters stop by? I’ve asked for their presence before, but not recently. Was it Sarah? Cathy? I got lost in the answers. I was caught off guard by this rapper and wasn’t expecting to translate knocks. I have NEVER heard so many pops and taps in my house. I’ve been sitting here this entire evening and haven’t noticed one creek!

As exciting as this has been, it has been very tiring going through it all and getting it up before bed. Listening to some of these audio clips again, I’m wondering if there aren’t other “voices” I missed the first time around. I’ll keep working on them.

I’m excited to hear what you think!

PEACE!


Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism

I was very excited to get this book and to start reading it. Then life happened. I absolutely hate for a book to take me longer than 2 weeks to read when I’m busy, but this book took me three weeks. For an earlier post about the Fox sisters from three weeks ago when I started the book, CLICK HERE

I think you’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about Kate and Maggie Fox with this book, Talking to the Dead: Kate and Maggie Fox and the Rise of Spiritualism by Barbara Weisberg. If you read books on ghosts or paranormal investigation topics you know that most of these books include a small section that usually credits these two sisters for starting the movement known as Spiritualism on accident in the late 1840s. Usually when you read this section you get a little bit of the author’s personal opinion on whether or not the Fox sisters pulled off the biggest hoax ever. Before reading this book I knew that they admitted to being frauds but then later recanted, but it seemed to me as if most authors that mentioned the sisters believed there was at least an element of authentic spirit communication happening.

The two younger sisters (Maggie and Kate) claimed to hear “rapping” and knocks in their home coming from what they eventually decided was the spirit of a murdered peddler from years before. They were one of the first to attempt to communicate with spirits with this system of rapping. They eventually developed a system of “yes” and “no” answers and even spelling out messages. People came from all over to see it and they were an overnight sensation!

Throughout this book I kept thinking to myself… “So was it real or not? Just tell me!” As I read I started out with the feeling the author was pro-spiritualism and seemed to believe almost every detail.  Then toward the end I was surprised to find the author seemed to actually be very skeptical and was only telling the story from documented history. Strangely though, there are a lot of holes in the records and history involving the Fox sisters… I mean it wasn’t THAT long ago. It seems that some people believe they were legit and some people don’t. I definitely learned they had some sketchy and unclear moments.

In this book we learn a lot about Maggie and Kate’s parents and other siblings. Leah was a much older sister and was very influential in Maggie and Kate’s futures as mediums and speakers who travel around the world demonstrating their abilities. The book doesn’t always paint a nice picture of her. I had never heard of Leah. It seems to me that she is just as important in the story.

I learned about their loves and relationships. Maggie went through a particularly rough time with a man who tried to change her (Elisha Kent Kane, the explorer). I despised this man more and more with every detail I learned.

There were a lot of famous and influential people who supported, followed, or were clients of the Fox sisters.

There is much history of the Spiritualism movement in general included in the book. These women had leadership roles and started a movement in the days that women weren’t really accepted as leaders and weren’t supposed to be influential and smart. There were times they were definitely in danger. These were some ballsy girls!

In general, I had no idea that they were famous into adulthood and led the movement for such a long period of time. They were full-blown celebrities for a while. The book follows them till death and closes out with a summary of the Spiritualism movement since then.

So what do I think now? I think there is definitely proof of spirit communication and we learned a LOT from the Spiritualism movement (Obviously… this is The Big Séance). I also think a lot of frauds came out of it… and maybe there is much to learn from that too. But I think this story has to have some element of truth to it. I fell in love with the Fox sisters in this book and I really want to believe that they weren’t complete frauds.

On a final note, there are 34 pages of notes & bibliography at the end of this book. I didn’t read these pages, but I feel good knowing they’re there if I need them. 🙂

If anyone has suggestions of any good reads on the Spiritualism movement in general, I’d love to read more! 

 


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