There are numerous methods used when people try to communicate with spirits. I'll cover some of the most common methods used in modern days, there are many other forms used that I will not cover simply because of the length required. In general, I'd have to say this... There are only a small amount of people who should ever try any of these, people trained and experienced in recognizing the good and the bad, with psychic abilities to enable them to decipher what they're perceiving. You always hear of the other guy... it's always the other guy... SOMEONE has to BE the other guy, don't let it be you. Okay, here are some basics:
The Ouija Board
Quite a few sites have now posted write-ups concerning the Ouija Board and due to the simple fact that they CAN be dangerous to use when the right circumstances take place, I thought it would only be right to talk about it here, with a twist to what you would commonly hear. As like the photo shown above, all ouija boards have some minimum requirements; the words "Yes", "No", and "Goodbye", as well as the letters A-Z and numbers 0-9. Some variants of the boards may have additional writings or symbols but in general most ouija boards are the same. It truly is a shame that these boards can be purchased in many toy stores but even if they were not sold in toys stores, a ouija board can be made using almost any material, even paper, and any type of pointing device and still have the same potential as those one would purchase.
If you noticed in the previous paragraph, I stressed the word CAN be dangerous... because ouija boards are not always dangerous and like everything else in the paranormal world, there are many factors involved with it that need consideration. One question I have to ask is "How many people have NOT used the ouija board at one point in time or another?" Probably relatively few. How many people have experienced paranormal activity solely due to the use of the ouija board? Also probably very few. There are, I believe, key factors involved when haunting activity occurs due to ouija board use, factors I'll talk about shortly but for now let me discuss the most common reasons people use the board: Party tricks. Face it, because of the reputation surrounding the ouija board and its links to the "spirit world", many people use it for the thrill, or on a dare. In most cases, no harm is ever done. In this type of situation, if and when the planchette, or pointer, moves, it can be attributed to the people holding the planchette, either consciously or unconsciously... in most cases. I've known many, many people using the ouija board and never experience any paranormal problem, I attribute that directly due to their INTENT, but I still do not condone the use of the ouija board strictly because of the possibilities involved.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe the key in what happens from ouija board usage is the intent of the user. If the people using the board are doing so for petty amusement, usually that's what they get... something to laugh about. On the other hand, if someone using the board is very serious about what they're attempting, that makes a world of difference. There are three main reasons why I would think people seriously use the board. The first, and probably most common is in an attempt to contact a loved one who has passed over. The second and much more scary reason, is to purposefully call in ANY spirit for no other reason than to "see what happens". The last reason is for a small percent of users who some would consider social outcasts, those people who don't have many friends and try to find a "friend" through the use of the board, wanting to feel welcome and a part of something special. Each one of these can be potentially dangerous in outcome but, of course, not always. Even when someone uses the board for serious reasons, a high percentage of the sessions do little harm to anyone. The problem is the small percentage of problems that DO arise from these uses.
Most people know this but I want to state a point here. The movie "The Exorcist" was, in fact, based on a true story. The victim though, was a Jesuit boy who, back in the late 40's (if memory serves correctly) began playing with the Ouija Board. He was duped into thinking that who or what he was talking to was a "playmate" and when his invisible friend asked of he could come in and join him, the boy agreed... the invitation the spirit needed to manifest. Over time, the boy became possessed by this spirit and went through numerous exorcisms by the Roman Catholics before finally being freed. Supposedly, the possessing spirit was a devil by the name of Beelzebub who, in theology, is one of the most powerful devils under Lucifer. All this, on historical record, because of a "game".
Does this mean that everyone is in danger of demonic or diabolical attack every time they use the board? No... but how would you know when it's your time? A very common tactic used by negative forces concerning ouija board usage is false identity. This is where the main problem lies. How do you know for sure that you're talking to sweet Aunt Jane? You ask the secret code word... she answers correctly... it must be her. Diabolical and demonic spirits know your thoughts, they know they answers you're looking for. They also know your desires and needs and try everything they can to be a perfect match for those in an attempt to get you to invite them in further... once the invitation has been extended to them, they have no further need to talk to you... or be nice to you... they're in, and now the infestation and oppression stages start.
Again, I don't believe anyone should use the ouija board for any reason. If anyone close to you has died, accept my condolences, but let them go. Miss them, love them, but move on. Of course, though, there will always be people who will continue to use the board and for them, let me offer a few words of advice. If you are EVER asked to let a spirit come into the house, into your life, or anything similar, STOP using the board. A human spirit would never ask that, only an inhuman spirit would and for only one purpose: to make your life a living hell. Another thing, I've found that inhuman spirits can't spell to save their lives (pardon the pun). If you are communicating with something, watch the spelling. If something knows the answers to all your questions, appears to be a perfect match to your needs or you start to feel "empty" without the company of this invisible "friend", be VERY cautious, stop using the board. You could be dealing with something that you can't control.
To be brief here, the pendulum is, for intent and purpose, the same as the Ouija Board. It's sole function is spirit communication but is far less common nowadays than the ouija board. Like the name suggests, the only major difference between the two is the pointing device used. While the ouija board uses a planchette, normally a triangular shaped device with a crystal, glass, or plastic windows to display the letter to be annotated, the pendulum uses a pointed weight at the end of a line, acting as a pendulum would, to point to the letter of interest. The letters and numbers are often configured differently than a ouija board but in functionality, it's all the same. As with the ouija board, the outcome varies according to the actual intent of the user.
Automatic Writing and Channeling
Of all the various forms of spirit communication, I would consider automatic writing and "channeling" the most potentially dangerous forms. What is channeling? Channeling is, in effect, possession. It's possession with a purpose. Channeling in performed by a person who typically, has good natural psychic abilities. The goal behind channeling is to allow a foreign spirit to actually possess, or take over, the receptor for the purpose of direct verbal or written communication and on rare occasions, in demonology aspects, to enable a direct exorcism of the foreign spirit. What is Automatic Writing? "True" automatic writing is, in most aspects, the same as channeling. The receptor allows a foreign spirit to enter him or her to enable it to directly write out its thoughts or comments. Neither channeling or automatic writing should ever take place without experienced supervision, because it is actually a form of possession, someone should always be available to help should anything go wrong. At times however, either of these can happen spontaneously to an inexperienced psychic who has not learned how to "shut down" when their gifts are not needed.
Channeling and automatic writing can be extremely dangerous to the individual because when they are "under", they no longer have control of themselves, they are now being controlled by the possessing spirit and I've seen others get attacked by the channeler while they were under. If, even for the purpose of channeling or automatic writing, a person were to be possessed by an inhuman spirit either by choice or because the inhuman spirit posed as something it's not and no one caught on to that fact, the channeler is in grave danger if it cannot be removed promptly. Even human spirits channeled in can become stubborn and decide it doesn't want to leave when you want it to.
If conducted properly and experienced people are available to assist, channeling and automatic writing can provide a wealth of information surrounding a haunting or investigation. I've seen people, through these means, obtain information that, first off, they could have never known, and secondly have proved invaluable to getting to the root of a problem, enabling a resolution to take place. It can be a great tool if ALL precautions are taken, it can be disastrous is done fly-by-wire or with no preparation or assistance. I believe that very few people should even consider to attempt anything of this nature due to the inherent risks of inviting a possession.
In my opinion, séances rarely work to the desired result. A typical séance involves two or more people, usually more, gathered around a table littered with candles and incense with soft, mystical music to set the proper mood and mindset. In most cases, the purpose of a séance is to call on a known person who has passed over to come back to this realm and give a sign of their presence. To be done to the best results, the group of people serious in attempting this will often have one person to act as a channeler in the event that something does appear.
Like the ouija board, séances can be dangerous, sometimes more dangerous if the people involved do not understand anything about the supernatural.
There is one huge difference between the ouija board and a séance... a séance is designed around one basic fact... the invitation. A person using a ouija board does not necessarily invite anything initially, they typically ask if "anyone" is present. The séance's purpose is to invite a spirit. That can prove to be very dangerous. I highly recommend to anyone who insists on conducting séances, that they have a good psychic in the group, who will be able to determine the TRUE nature of the spirit, if one actually manifests. If the group were to invite, either knowingly or not, a negative, inhuman spirit, they may have started a process they would have never dreamed possible, the infestation, haunting, and torment of one or all of the people involved. What I find most often is, sadly, most people conducting séances do not take their action seriously enough, expecting to have a good time and go home when their done. Most of the time that IS the case but unfortunately not always.
Again, luckily during a séance, very little, if anything actually happens but let's look at something else briefly. Very seldom would a human spirit who has crossed over, come BACK because of a séance. An EARTHBOUND human spirit is a different story though. The people conducting the séance should know the background of who they're trying to contact. If a friend or loved one died unexpectedly due to an accident of one form or another, or committed suicide, there is a possibility that their spirit may remain earthbound. Therefore there IS a chance that a séance may work to the desired results. If a friend or loved one has died in a "normal" way, old age or illness, most likely they have passed over. Young children that have died almost always pass over. Again, know the background of who you're trying to contact. An inhuman spirit would always LOVE to join the party, and that's why having a good psychic in the group is necessary.
Your efforts in contacting sweet Aunt Jane on the ouija board didn't work, so why not try a séance. A non-psychic may not know the difference where a good psychic will know that something is wrong (at minimum). Watch for signs if something does actually manifest. Use the rules I listed in the Spirit Classifications page as a guide. "What type of spirit can cause this type of manifestation?" The "psychic cold", the unnatural coldness of the atmosphere is a good indication of a spirits presence but both good and evil spirits can produce a psychic cold. Extreme feelings of HEAT on the other hand, are almost always caused by inhuman spirits.
When people tell me they've conducted a séance, or they are thinking of doing so, I always ask two simple questions. "Why?" and "What do you expect to get out of it?" I ask those two questions because séances generally don't do anyone any good at all, except put people at risk. If it's answers you're looking for, a true psychic can provide those answers without the need for a séance.
Crystallomancy is the staring into a glass window, pool of water, mirror, or any other shiny, transparent, or reflective object to induce self-hypnosis (staring into the fire of a fireplace or candle has the same effect). The famous scenes of the gypsy staring into her crystal ball for the answers to all your questions and telling you your future. Many people believe that by inducing self-hypnosis by any means of crystallomancy, they are putting themselves on the same level as the spirits and are able to communicate or receive information directly to or from them. Another form of this is called the psychomanthium, where the person enters a dark room or closet (or the like) lit only by dim red lights and sits directly in from of a mirror. This method often is used to summon or contact darker forms of spirits.
On the opposite side of the coin, instead of a person staring into a window or the like, you will often find pictures on the internet or on television where a ghost or apparition is seen in a window, as if looking out of it. This is the same type of effect, in reverse. "Mirror, mirror on the wall..." remember that?
This can be a very intriguing method of communication for some people, mainly because, if nothing else, of the mental state it puts the person in while attempting communication in this way. I find, though, that crystallomancy has very few practical uses, or should I say provides very little concrete anything, as compared to the other methods I've discussed.
When it comes down to it, I can conclude this page fairly simply... there are many different methods of spirit communication, many of which I didn't even discuss, but regardless of everything else, spirit communication can be considered fun, interesting, informational, and inspiring to those who have tried it but it can also be dangerous. Many websites speak solely about the ouija board because it's the most popular but what they are really talking about is ALL forms of spirit communication. I feel, for the most part, the same as them concerning this particular issue. Most of the time, most communication attempts don't work, or may be faked, but there is ALWAYS the possibility of contacting or inviting something you could never, in your wildest imagination, be prepared for, the inhuman spirit. Is it really worth it? I would never condone the use or practice of any form of spirit communication but unfortunately, the reality is that people do it, every day and when things go wrong, and they DO go wrong, I'm here to help.