My story takes place about four and a half years ago, when I was in my late teens and very interested in the paranormal.
I have always been keen on ghost stories, Ouija, automatic handwriting and other ways to contact spirits and have fun with the 'other side.' Of course, I have been warned and warned about Ouija and messing about with things that were too big for me, but being a curious and adventurous teen, I wasn't about to listen to anyone except my friends. When I started at College, I quickly acquired a circle of friends who shared my interests, three in particular called Tony, Simon and Rachel.
Tony was interested in all things spooky, but not to the extent of where he would take books out of the library about it or spend much time dwelling on the subject. Simon and Rachel on the other hand were very into it, especially Rachel who had a past of psychic and ghostly experiences. Before I go any further, you will need to know that Tony, Simon and Rachel went to the same school when growing up and so had known each other for years, I was the new kid from a school miles away, though I was accepted and welcomed at every opportunity. The three of them had been playing with Ouija and other devices of spiritual communication for years and even 'knew' certain spirits who always seemed to come and speak when they made a board or held a seance. All attempts I had made in the past to communicate with the other side had failed miserably, though I still heartily believed it was possible to succeed with Ouija etc.
We planned our night of ghostly fun one sunny afternoon at college and as Rachel was the only one of us who had her own apartment at that time, we decided it would be wise to go do it there instead of trying to individually persuade our parents to let us have a sleepover.
So, we arrived after dark, armed with wine, cigarettes and all in a good mood, expecting to be thrilled and chilled, but otherwise unharmed and safe at the end of the night. When we got there, Rachel showed us round so we knew where the bathroom was so there would be no difficulty later on. Then we sat and shared a drink and some spooky stories to get us in the right frame of mind, Rachel who didn't smoke or drink declining from that and sitting to one side. I was not particularly close to her, I was closer to Simon and Tony, but I liked her company and so tried to keep her as involved as possible, though I did get the feeling she thought we were wasting time and wanted to press on.
The first thing we did was cut out six smallish squares of plain white paper and then Rachel took a chunky marker pen and drew pentagrams on them. She told us that she was into Wicca, but it was good magic and she was going to perform a simple protection charm on her apartment so that if anything did go wrong, she would be safe when we left her at the end of the night. We agreed that it sounded like a good idea and when she was done drawing the symbols, we helped her stick one high up on each wall, one on the dead centre of the ceiling above us and beneath her dining table, which would be used for the Ouija.
Then we made the typical homemade board; letters, numbers, 'hello' and 'goodbye' cut out of paper and stuck around the table wide enough so we wouldn't be cramped when sitting together. Then Rachel brought through two candlesticks in holders from her bedroom and lit them, placing each one opposite each other on the table, a good three or four feet apart. The last addition was a large brandy glass. Rachel told us she wanted to use a brandy glass because if a spirit got in touch with us, then it would prove it's presence by the moving of the glass even more because it would be too awkward a shape for us to move alone. We were ready to begin.
I had a notebook and pen by my side to take down any important notes, or to write down letters so we could unscramble them if the board started to speak gibberish, as I was told they sometimes do. We turned off the main lights in the lounge so we were sat in the dim glow of two single candles and took our places around the table. The table was a large rectangle shape with two chairs on each side, Simon sat next to me, I was on the right and he on the left. Opposite us, Tony sat in front of Simon and Rachel in front of me. She told us to place just the very tip of our little fingers on the edge of the base of the brandy glass and to block out any exterior thoughts that might interfere with the spirits making contact and we took a deep breath, waiting for movement.
It was slow to begin with, I almost started to think we were wasting our time and the whole thing was going to turn out to be a huge disappointment, but then the glass started to edge itself slowly towards the right of the table. We watched with mounting interest and curiosity as it began to speed up and soon was making huge circles right around the the letters we had placed. It moved so fast we could barely keep up with it, but it was not spelling anything out, just spinning and spinning until we had to let go because we just could not keep up. It was a little frustrating, but we were determined to communicate with something that night after all our planning at college. Rachel took complete control of the event, she did the speaking and she was certainly very brave. She took the glass and moved it to the centre of the table again, telling us to place our little fingers on it again and then addressing the spirit, telling it to calm down and be patient because then we would be able to speak and find out what it wanted to say. The the glass began to twist on the spot instead of making those giant, swirling circles, it twisted around on the spot, making us have to lean forward over the table so we could keep our fingers on the glass. Simon told us that he had heard if a glass does this, it means that there are too many spirits and they are fighting over the glass, unable to control it in any one way, so Rachel scolded a little (brave girl) and said that if one did not take control of the glass, we would leave the table and no longer attempt contact.
The glass finally began to behave itself, a spirit by the name of 'Satan' greeted us and my doubts crept up again. I am not a skeptic, but a name like 'Satan' seemed a little too obvious, even if I know enough about ghosts to know that they will do pretty much anything to scare you or get your attention. Contrary to my hesitation, Rachel, Simon and even Tony seemed to know this spirit and remarked out loud how they had not spoken to him in such a long time. This surprised me, but then I did know they used to play around with Ouija at school. Simon told me that Satan was usually the first spirit to turn up and was never any trouble really, just a bit of a prankster and generally good natured. I still felt a tad uneasy, but as my friends were so relaxed and even nostalgic, I decided to go along with it and let them have their fun. Satan chatted with them for quite a long time, ignoring me even when I asked questions or tried to get involved, I guessed newbies were not welcome! It was enjoyable anyway, watching the unusual event and seeing my friends have such a good time. But then, strangely enough and for no identifiable reason that I can see even now, the mood began to change. It became ice cold all around us to the extent of where our bare arms were stippled with gooseflesh and as we breathed, we could see our exhalations as steam in the air. This was summer too, so it was very strange, the effect it had was profound and it became eerily quiet. Rachel's apartment was in the middle of a busy and also rather rough estate, so the noises of car alarms, people talking as they passed by, dogs barking, traffic etc had been heard all night, now everything was silent it became very strange indeed. Plus, it was still not that late, it felt like the world outside had had its volume switched off.
Satan decided to take a dislike to Tony, again for no real reason. Before, if I had pondered that the spirit might not like anybody there, I would have presumed it would have been me because of the previous ignorance and the fact he already knew the other three and had done for quite a long time. But as we tried to maintain a polite conversation, the brandy glass would keep shooting towards the corner of the table where he was sat, often flying off toward him with such a force we couldn't keep our fingers on the base of the glass. Tony, being something of a fearless idiot, decided to taunt the spirit because he felt under attack, sort of self-defence in a way. Firstly much to our horror and disbelief, he commanded the spirit show itself and secondly, he swore at it and was generally disrespectful and rude. Even me being a novice knew this was a ridiculous idea.
The room became even colder if that was possible and we began to shiver a little, then some of the pentagrams we had so carefully placed around us began to drop from the walls and the ceiling. As this had been our protection spell, that was somewhat alarming and I began to feel a little panicked. The glass continued to shoot off towards Tony and as the atmosphere became denser and more concentrated, Rachel announced that we were going to take a break and rest for a while. She turned the main lights on and blew the candles out, placing the glass to one side. Tony wanted to go for a cigarette to calm his nerves but Rachel did not allow smoking in her apartment, so she told him he would need to walk down her corridor and down a small flight of steps to get to the back door where he could stand in the garden and have a smoke. I smoked back then too and so did Simon, but we decided to wait for a little while and talk to Rachel, catching up with Tony in a few minutes. We told him this and he said okay, walking off down the corridor and closing the door behind him. In that short amount of time, Rachel got up to sit on her sofa and Simon and I placed our arms on the table, sitting back and taking a breather. In no time at all, there was an odd sound in the corridor and then Tony barged back through the door, holding a shoe in one hand and looking accusingly at us. We asked what the problem was and he said that just as he reached the top of the stairs to go down for his smoke, the shoe in his hand had hit him on the back of the head and nearly sent him head first down the stairs. By the look in his eye he was obviously convinced one of us had done it, but as I had mentioned before, he closed the door behind himself when he had prepared to leave, plus Simon, Rachel and I still had our shoes on and I know none of us had thrown anything. We had been too scared and worried about Tony's threats to the spirit to start throwing things, plus Simon and I were in somebody elses home and would never began randomly throwing things around, plus Rachel had been sat on the sofa completely away from the door that lead to the hallway. She even told us none of her shoes were stored in that hallway, because they would be in an awkward place and she would likely trip over them on her way out. Even more spooked, all four of us decided to go downstairs together for a smoke.
We stood around downstairs, observing how warm the night air was in comparison to the chill in the living room upstairs and finished our cigarettes, Rachel stood in the garden looking thoughtful and a tad concerned.
Back upstairs, we placed the pentagrams back where they had been before, had a quick drink to steady our nerves and got back down to it again. We lit the same candles, turned off the lights and got ready to use the brandy glass. After a slowish warm-up again, the glass began to move and swirl about the table, it seemed we had quite the busy night ahead! This new spirit announced himself as being called "Leo" and was remarkably nice and also rather amusing. Also, Simon, Rachel and Tony were also familiar with this ghost and said they had spent many hours with him years previously and that often, the three of them had spoken to him individually in their spare time. They seemed a lot more optimistic about this one, so I began to get a good feeling again, that everything was fine and we would be okay. For the most part we were, except this one also refused to speak to me and even told me to "shut up" and "not be so nosy" when I tried to ask questions and involve myself. In a way, this was something of a relief, so I kind of sat back and observed. The three of my friends and "Leo" chatted like old friends for a while, but then the room started to dip in temperature again, it began to get extremely cold and I needed to put my jacket on.
Rachel decided she wanted to swap over to automatic handwriting instead of Ouija, because she felt we might get a more detailed result here, plus some proof to show our friends at college. Automatic handwriting, for those who are not familiar with the term, is a process where one holds a pen between their little finger and fourth finger and a spirit writes through you, guiding the pen or pencil as it would a glass on a table. Rachel was probably more practised with this method compared to Ouija and so was more than prepared to volunteer to be the one holding the pen. She sat with her back straight, my writing pad in front of her, the pen in place and a peaceful expression on her face. The candles on the table started to act very strangely, the flame on the one nearest to Tony became very long and bright yellow, reaching heights and flickering and waving. The candle next to me had an extremely stubby, blue flame that was more of a soft, eerie glow than a proper flame. These things might sound like the typical things flames do, but not on brand new candlesticks that had only been lit for the first time about an hour before.
"Leo" had beautifully swirling handwriting, huge loops in his letters and attractive details which was very odd in comparison to Rachel's usual scrawl which she showed to us later from one of her college pieces. There was no doubt whatsoever when comparing the two handwriting samples that they looked as though they had been written by two completely different people. Plus, Rachel was right-handed and had used her left hand for the session. Leo drew some pictures of flowers and clowns and all sorts of child- related pictures. As Rachel drew and wrote, Simon sat and told me that when they first met Leo, he had told them his death date and how he died and where etc and then three of my friends had gone to the town hall to research. They found out that Leo had indeed died at that given address, during the blitz in WWII in fact and he was just a young boy when he was killed. Which certainly explained the apparent affection for drawing clowns and flowers and the other types of things that children sketch.
The night drew to a close on a much happier note than I had previously anticipated. We finished the wine and checked that Rachel felt comfortable enough to be left in her apartment alone and she said she was fine. As Simon, Tony and I walked to the bus stop to make our separate ways home, Simon told me that when Leo had started to speak to us, he had felt a coldness grip his hand, but he did not feel scared or upset, it was more like an act of comfort. Tony appeared to be shaken up still, ranting endlessly about the flying shoe and how the glass kept flying off the table at him, to which we scolded him and told him he deserved all he got for taunting the spirit and asking it to show itself; something you NEVER do during a seance of any nature. Doing that can invite a spirit permanently into someone's home, or I guess it could turn your hair white with fear if you see something you don't want to.
I slept fitfully, as did the others and the next day as I was getting on the bus to go to college and see my friends, my mobile phone rang. It was Tony, sounding shaky and positively ill. He told me to tell the others that he was okay, but he wouldn't be coming into college that day because he hadn't been able to sleep all night. I asked him why as I took my seat and he told me that sometime during the night he had been woken up by the feeling of someone sitting on the end of his bed. He could not see anything at all, but there was an indentation on the end of his mattress where it looked as though someone was sitting. The feeling of being watched all night had scared him sick and he needed to recuperate. I guess it taught him a lesson though, don't try to provoke a spirit and if you insist in using one of these dreadful spiritualist tools, always act with respect and patience.
Nothing else happened after that and we lived to tell the tale, but that night often occurs to me when perusing this site. Thank you for reading, it was all completely true and has kept my away from Ouija and seances since, I would also like to take this opportunity to remind others that they are dangerous things and not worth the risk. A Ouija board is like a chat room, the spirit may be telling you what you want to hear, be it that they are the ghost of someone you loved and lost, or that you will get married and have ten kids, but you never quite know who is on the other side. Again, it is just not worth the risk.