"We all know about e-mail today," the
Wizard lectures, "but did you know that e-mail has been
used for centuries by the spirits? They called it ectoplasmic
messages, but it's just plain old e-mail. They didn't have
computers and telephones back then, but what they DID have was
Here the Wizard produces a pair of school slates. "Back
in the days of old, you would have taken one of these to school
to write down your lessons. Books and paper were expensive, but
these could be erased and used over and over again. Here's an old
message sent to me last week by Moaning Myrtle. Has anyone heard
Of course all the Harry Potter fans will recognize her as the
ghost who haunts the girls' bathroom in Book #2. Her old message
reads, "Meet me in stall # 3. M M," but the Wizard
erases it with a damp sponge.
"This is how we cleared our e-mails back in 'da day.
Now we're all set to see if any spirits are about and want to
contact us by e-mail. Spirits don't like interference from humans
and they prefer to leave their messages in the dark beyond reach
of human hands. That's why we need two slates. I'll just number
The Wizard numbers each slate in the corner,
after first brushing it off with an eraser or paper towel to
verify that it is clean. He counts as he numbers, until he has
shown everyone the four clean sides of all slates.One last time,
the Wizard shows the slates front and back, with the numbered
corners clearly showing. Then the Wizard places his chalk between
slates 1 and 2 and gives them to an onlooker to hold tightly
"If there are any spirits about,"
says the Wizard, "they will sense the darkness between
the slates and know it is safe to leave a message. Of course,
there are no guarantees we will get any response at all. Let's
take a look."
The Wizard does not touch the slates, but merely
directs the person holding them to open them up. Inside is seen
to be a new message from Moaning Myrtle, or whichever spirit you
decide should respond. It can reveal a previously chosen (forced)
secret, or just be a general message. It is nice if the message
has some meaning to one of the on-lookers.