Are Seances Real?
When we lose someone special, it's reassuring to believe that they have gone to 'a better place'. But often we miss them so much that attempting to communicate with them once they have 'passed over' can become an attractive proposition. First gaining popularity during the Victorian age, seances are still being held around the world today, and spirit mediums keep 'pulling back the veil' to bring messages to grieving loved ones from their family and friends from beyond the grave. Even pet seances are popular, where Fido or Tiddles let their owners know that they're watching over them, are still with them and are happy frolicking in ethereal pastures.
But are these apparitions and disembodied voices real? The issue of seances usually splits people into two camps - believers and non-believers. The trouble is that all of the accounts are anecdotal, and that to date, there is no real scientific evidence that seances are genuine. So if there's no evidence that the medium is actually communicating with your loved one and is in fact either 'cold reading' or in some other way 'cheating' you into believing that they really are talking to Auntie Maude, why are seances still so popular?
The big question
Nearly everyone wants some kind of reassurance that there's more to existence than just our traditional four score and ten years on this earth. We want to believe that there is life after death, and talking to dead relatives or friends is confirmation that there is something beyond the grave. This takes the fear out of dying and reassures us that we don't simply wink out of existence when our time is up.
Seances can also help those who are grieving to say their goodbyes in their own time and to get some sort of closure on a traumatic period in their life. And while the evidence is purely anecdotal and not scientific, there seems to be an awful lot of it out there. People genuinely believe that they have had experiences that cannot be simply explained away as trickery or cold reading, and we have to look at this evidence objectively. While the jury may still be out on the question of the authenticity of seances, for millions of people around the world, they are very real and genuine events in their lives.