The following is a well written, informative article by Dana Emanuel who was heavily involved in chasing spirits:
What is a Séance?
According to Wikipedia:
A séance or seance (/ˈseɪ.ɑːns/) is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word “séance” comes from the French word for “session”, from the Old French seoir, “to sit”. In French, the word’s meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of “une séance de cinéma” (“a movie session”). In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from ghosts or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits. In modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.
Necromancy/ the conjuration of the spirits of the dead…
a combining form meaning “divination,” of the kind specified by the initial element: necromancy.
Evocation/ is the act of calling upon or summoning a spirit, demon, deity or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions and may employ the use of mind-altering substances with and without uttered word formulas.
*It’s interesting to know that in commercialized grimoires book of magic spells and invocations it says that evocation includes elements of ‘diabolism‘ and one (The Grand Grimoire) even offers a method for making a pact with the devil, in general the art of evocation of spirits is said to be done entirely under the power of the divine. The magician is thought to gain authority among the spirits only by purity, worship and personal devotion and study.
The Rise of Spiritualism and Spirit Communication (according to common folklore, history, and beliefs)
The Fox sisters
According to common folklore and belief, Leah, Margaretta, and Catherine Fox, from New York, played an important role in the “creation” of spiritualism, as we know it today. The two younger sisters convinced the older sister and others that they were communicating via seance’, with spirits, via “rappings”. They were considered popular and successful “mediums” for many years.
In 1888, one of the sisters, Margaretta, confessed that their “rappings” had been a hoax and she publicly demonstrated their method. She later attempted to recant her confession, but by that time, their reputation was ruined. In less than 5 years, all three sisters were dead.
Despite their confession, the spiritualism movement continued to grow in popularity.
(According to Wikipedia, Fox sisters)
When I think of the word “séance”, It makes me think of times when I was a paranormal investigator, and our investigation team would sit around a table, in a dark room, with candles lit, and everyone holding hands, singing songs to attract/appease the spirits, and once contact was made with the spirits, we would ask the spirits questions, while we all eagerly awaited responses, which would come by way of a simple knock, or a tap on the table, or in some cases, the table would actually levitate and rock back and forth on its own.
*It “appeared” to be on its own, but later I found that in reality, it was a demonic force that was responding and moving the table.
Different types of Séance:
In the religion of Spiritualism, and the religion of Divine Metaphysics (a federally recognized religious branch out of Spiritualism in the United States), it is generally a part of services to communicate with living personalities in the spirit world. Usually, this is only called “séance” by outsiders; the preferred term for Spiritualists is “receiving messages”. In these sessions, which generally take place in well-lit Spiritualist churches or outdoors at Spiritualist camps (such as Lily Dale in upstate New Yorkor Camp Cassadaga in Florida), an ordained minister or gifted contact medium will relate messages from spirit personalities to those here in the physical form. Generally Spiritualist “message services” or “demonstrations of the continuity of life” are open to the public. Sometimes the medium stands to receive messages and only the sitter is seated; in some churches, the message service is preceded by a “healing service” involving some form of faith healing.
My daughter and I at Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp 2009. (Before leaving spiritualism)
Stage SéanceFor large crowds:
These types of Séances are very common today as there have been many examples of it shown on TV. Shows. Shows such as “Long Island Medium”, Tyler the Hollywood Medium”, and many others have made spirit communication very appealing to the public. These are usually done with the Psychic/medium giving and receiving messages from spirits posing as dead loved ones, to the audience members. Just as with any other “supernatural” types of performances, there are always some cases where fraud and trickery are involved. But nonetheless, there are cases where these “psychics” truly relayed very detailed massages that only the person and the “alleged” spirit would have known. The true question would be, “what kind of spirit is actually giving these messages?” A trapped human spirit, an angel, or a demonic spirit?
Long Island Medium, (Theresa Caputo) giving live readings to audience.
Seance’ in modern society today
Among this new generation of spiritualists and those that are simply fascinated with the concept of earthbound/trapped spirits, there are many types of Séances happening around the world today. With an explosion of interest in the occult and paranormal, there has risen a tradition of conducting séances outside of any religious context and without a leader. Many seance sessions are with only 2-3 participants.
Paranormal reality TV shows are also at an all time high. One quick search on our local TV guide came up with several shows related to the paranormal and ghost hunting. Here are some…
Haunted case files
Paranormal caught on camera
Fear the woods
Josh gates destination truth
Mysteries at the museum
Beyond and unknown
The dead files
My haunted house
Monsters and mysteries in America
My ghost story
My ghost story, caught on camera
Evil lives here
The secret KGB Paranormal files
Most haunted towns
Scariest night of my life
Fear the woods
The secret KGB UFO ABDUCTION FILES
A haunting: back from the dead
UFOs the lost evidence
Monica the medium
Ghosts of shepardston
Long Island medium
Nasas unexplained files
Terror in the woods
Demon house lost files
Hollywood medium with Tyler
UFOs deathbed confessions
UFOs over Egypt
Zak Bagans and the Ghost Adventures crew.
*To know the heart of society, look at its entertainment.
Many people are wondering what makes viewers believe, or disbelieve what they see on the TV screen. The popular paranormal shows are not only featuring “ghost stories”, but they are using fancy para-tools to collect evidence of “ghosts”, and calling it “science”. Even many skeptics are tuning in.
All it takes is a group of paranormal enthusiasts waving around cool looking tools that beep and suddenly people believe in ghosts and haunted houses.
Today it is more common to see groups of only a few people participating in Séances, attempting to copycat what they have seen on the latest “Ghost Adventures” episodes, using the latest evp recording devices, or “ghost boxes”, to record the voices of alleged earthbound spirits, only to compare gathered evidence with other paranormalists and hoping to get the “holy grail” of all evidence, to prove life after death, and that “ghosts” do exist.
Then there are those that are sensationalists, or paranormal daredevils that may be participating in Séances as a way to test their understanding of the boundaries between reality and the paranormal. These séance participants are often known to use ouija boards, dowsing rods, etc., often along with attempts of provoking spirits into performing, usually via religious provocations, verbal threats, etc., just to get thatsought after evidence of spirit manifestation and materialization.
*Please note that ALL spirit communication is dangerous. It is a common misconception that Séances where the participants are using an ouija board is more dangerous than those that simply use a digital recording device. The truth is, ALL spirit communication is an open invitation to the demonic.
My late friend Joe, conducting a séance session using dowsing rods, with a few other team members.
But one must take into consideration what the Bible says about life after death, and the possibility of “trapped spirits”. Because if they are not truly the trapped earthbound spirits of our departed loved ones, what are they?
Earliest known instances of Séance recorded in history:
While many believe that “Spiritualism” and Séances began around the 1700-1800s with the Fox sisters, or even the wife of President Abraham Lincoln, it is important to know that Séances goes back to the days when the Old Testament of the Holy Bible was written.
We see the first known recorded seance in scripture, with the story of Samuel and Saul. There were mediums, necromancy, divination, and Séances in those days. The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. The enemy uses the same tactics today that he used in the days before Christ came and walked the earth as a man. In those days, there were people that believed in “ghosts”. (Earthbound Spirits)
The medium calls up the “familiar spirit” that masquerades as the departed spirit of Samuel.
1 Samuel 28:7-15 KJV
 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.  And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.  And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those tthat have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?  And Saul sware to her by the Lord , saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.  Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.  And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.  And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.  And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
Familiar Spirit, or the Departed Spirit of Samuel?
Amoung many other controversial topics in the Bible, the incident that took place in 1 Samuel is one of the most controversial, especially within the “paranormal community”. Many scholars have debated on this issue, as to whether Samuel himself was actually called up by the medium, or if it was a “familiar spirit”, masquarading as the departed spirit of Samuel. In order for us to know the truth, we must look at scripture and divide the word rightly. After dividing the word rightly, and carefully looking at this incident, as it is written, and comparing it with the whole counsel of the Bible, I, and many others, have come to the conclusion that this was actually a familiar spirit, masquaradeing as the departed spirit of Samuel.
This is what led me to this conclusion:
1. Verse 14 says: And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground..
*When we look at the word “perceive”, it means:
Perceive: “to identify by means of our senses.”
The word “perceive” does not necessarily mean the perception was correct. It only means that the perception was based on the information gathered. Things can be perceived correctly, but they can also be falsely perceived.
2. Verse 13-14 ..what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.  And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle.
*The medium seen “gods” ascending out of the earth..
I find it interesting that she seen “what appeared to be Samuel”, amoung “false gods”, ascending out of the earth. This tells me it was a familiar spirit (demonic spirit) as it also ascended out of the earth with the other demonic spirits (false gods).
3. Verse 7 “Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit”..
*This point is very important, as it is actually the very answer to our question, right under our nose. If it had been a snake it would have jumped up and bit me!
4, By Dividing the word rightly, with the rest of the Bible:
1 Chronicles 10:13-14 KJV
 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the Lord , even against the word of the Lord , which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it ;  And enquired not of the Lord : therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.
*Saul was actually enquiring of the familiar spirit, not Samuel himself.
5. In Luke 16:19-31, The story of the rich man, and Lazerus, the beggar makes a few things clear, which show the impossibility that Samuel himself could have possibly came back from heaven to talk to Saul. It shows that when saved people die, they are immediately carried to heaven by an angel, and the wicked lift thier eyes up, being in torment, in hell. It also says that there is a great gulf “fixed”, which makes it impossible for someone to leave heaven or hell to talk to the living. Abraham also told the rich man that if the unsaved will not believe Moses and the prophets, they will not believe, though one come back from the dead. So, if God will not allow a departed spirit to “come back” from heaven or hell, for the gospels sake, He will not allow them to come back for any other reason. As the gospel is the most important message anyone could give someone else!
The Bible also tells us….
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 KJV
 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,  Or a charmer, or a CONSULTER WITH FAMILIAR SPIRITS, or a wizard, or a NECROMANCER.  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord : and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
There are reasons that the Bible forbids communication with spirits
The Bible tells us that Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
Isaiah 8:19 KJV
 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
*God wants us to inquire of HIM, not familiar spirits.
These spirits do not speak according to Gods Word
1.Because they pretend to be earthbound spirits, when the Bible teaches that people either go straight to heaven or to hell when they die.
2.These spirits are also known to say that they “cannot go to the light”, but that they need the “paranormal investigator” to assist them into the light. This would suggest “post modem salvation”, which is contrary to what the Bible teachs.
(Please see my article on “Post-mordem Salvation” for further proof that this is contrary to what the Bible teaches.)
3.These spirits are known to say there is no real, literal hell.
Dangers involved with Spirit Communications
Demonic spirits masquerade as trapped earthbound spirits of our departed loved ones. Even most paranormal investigators will admit that demons are capable of “mimicking” the dead, and that often times they do.
(AKA; The “little girl ghost lie”)
While some believe that “mimicking” is “sometimes” the case…
The truth is… when paranormal activity is present, it is ALWAYS demonic spirits involved.
*Even holy angels do not “haunt” us.
Satan is the father of lies, and his minions are liars as well. During these Séances, they will give good, and accurate information, in which usually persuades people that, not only is the information true, but that they are indeed whom they say they are. THIS IS A GREAT DECEPTION.
What would be their motive? As long as we allow them into our lives, they will have access to us.
These spirits are here to STEAL, KILL, AND DESTROY.
Once we allow them into our lives, they will eventually cause much havoc in our homes. Sometimes this takes days, months, or even years, before their true identities become known.
There are known cases where mediums that have used their “ability” to receive messages from these “spirits”, have later become unable to control such messages from coming through, in instances where the spirits literally took over the medium at unsuspecting times, and even tried to harm or kill them.
Laura Maxwell’s mum, Rita Peffer
One case in particular, a psychic medium, named Rita Peffer, (Mother of Laura Maxwell, Ex-Spiritist), would have episodes where the spirits that she often communicated with, suddenly turned on her, showing their true negative identity. The same Spirits that she once knew to be the kind spirits of dead loved ones that she spoke to often. They changed. Suddenly, she would go into trances, against her will, at unsuspecting times, and she would hear the voices of these spirits yelling at her and saying very negative and hostile obscenities toward her. She would be walking down the street and a spirit would take over her abruptly, and give passerbys messages, and then the spirit/s would try to throw her in oncoming traffic to get hit by moving vehicles! Also, once she was in her kitchen and then suddenly she went into a trance (against her will) with later waking up to finding the kitchen on fire. The spirits were trying to kill her. Tragically, Laura’s sweet mum later took her own life after having gone through such demonic torment. Please see the full testimony of Laura Maxwell. Laura leads a very successful ministry, called “Our Spiritual Quest”, warning people of the dangers and deceptions surrounding spiritualism, the new age, and the occult and she shares the truth of Jesus Christ.
(Please see more on Laura Maxwell below, under article)
Just as with any other sin, the enemy will try to “tempt us”. They will try to lure us into occult practices. (necromancy, divination, consulting with familiar spirits, idolatry, etc.)
Usually, soon after someone dies, a familiar spirit will attempt to make “contact” with us. They will try to make thier presence known. These attempts can range from the sound of footsteps, or things being moved on it’s own, disembodied voices, physical manifestations that can be seen, such as the form of dark shadow figures, orbs, or full bodied apparitions. It could also be strong smells of things that you would associate with a particular person, such as cigarette/cigar smoke, or perfume.
The problem comes in when people do not “test the spirits”. Could this spirit truly be an “earthbound spirit”? Is this concept in line with scripture?
What to do if you or someone you know suffers from a haunting
When these spirits attempt to contact you, or make thier presence known, you need to rebuke it in Jesus name! When this is done, these spirits always flee! This is proof that they are not whom they say they are.
After the spirit flees, as described above, if it returns, you must evaluate the situation. Usually, when there is any type of “haunting”, the familiar spirit has some kind of “legal right” to be there. Something must be contributing to an open door to the demonic. Is it possible that you or a family member may need deliverance? If you’ve had deliverance, are you, or someone in your household involved with any habitual sin or occult practices?
If you or someone you know suffer from demonic attack, please contact me. If for some reason, I am unable to help, I can help you connect with another deliverance minister who may live in your area, or can help you via Skype.
Seeking first the kingdom of God,
~ Dana Emanuel
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.
If you are sincere you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):
“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.”