Single Slate Sťance
By Professor Spellbinder

The art of using but a single ungimmicked slate for spirit writing at the Sťance table is explored by Professor Spellbinder. He gives the historic roots of the method as used by P.T. Selbit and others, along with routines they published for non-sťance magic from the early 1900's. Then he brings the effect up-to-date with colored chalks and sends it back to the earliest days of magic by conjuring up a spirit guide with it.

The spectators are sitting around a sťance table. The slate is shown and the spectator washes it off himself to see that it is completely unprepared. The spectator places the slate in a large envelope and sits on it. The spectator is asked to select one chalk from among several different colored chalk pieces. Let us say that he selects a green chalk.

“Excellent,” says the medium. “That color chalk is the very color this spirit guide always seems to prefer. You seem to have made contact with the spirit. Perhaps the spirit will tell you his name. He has never revealed his name before to any living person. Do you know his name? No? I have written his name on this piece of black paper. Let’s have other members of the company suggest names for the spirit.”

As each person calls out a name, the medium writes it on a slip of black construction paper using the green chalk. When several names have been chosen, the slips of paper are mixed up and placed before the spectator is on good terms with the spirit guide.

“Stretch out your hands over the papers,” says the medium. “Let the spirit guide your hand to one of them and slide that one towards yourself.”

The spectator does so, and the medium gathers up the unused slips of paper and places them on a brazier for burning.

“Turn over the paper you have chosen and reveal the spirit’s name,” says the medium.

The spectator turns over the paper and reveals the name written on it – “Michael” (for example).

“Let us see if you have truly made contact with the spirit guide,” says the medium. “Remove the slate from the envelope.”

There, on the formerly blank slate that the spectator washed clean and has been sitting on all this time, are the mysterious words written by the spirit in green chalk: “My name is Michael.”

Of course, for the experienced medium, this is just the beginning of a sťance in which many wonderful spirit reveleations will continue to be made, but our article just brings us this far. For those who prefer to use the slate for less spiritual revelations, like revealing the name of a selected card, or the name of a famous celebrity, early 1900's excerpts from methods of P.T. Selbit, S. Wilson Bailey, and Harold Osborne are also included.



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