“I try contacting the spirit world before live audiences to keep an element of hope simmering on the back burner of my mind.”- playwright and performance artist Jeffrey Stanley
Supernatural Skeptics Don’t Know What They’re Missing
by Jeffrey Stanley
I like Ouija boards. I’ve used them since I was a teenager. More recently I’ve messed around with electric spirit boxes, also known as Frank’s boxes after their inventor Frank Sumption. They’re radio receivers which allow you to listen to and record voices of the dead, also known as EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) or Raudive voices, after one of their early discoverers. Over the past two years I have frequently used Ouija boards and spirit boxes in my performance art, attempting to conjure up the dead as my co-stars before a live audience. At one of the universities where I teach playwriting and screenwriting part-time I am also the faculty adviser for a student-led paranormal investigation club. Friends and fans assume I am a true believer but the truth is that I am not. I am a healthy skeptic. And that’s depressing for me because it means that on some level I feel certain there’s nothing out there. I try contacting the spirit world before live audiences to keep an element of hope simmering on the back burner of my mind.
Given the many millions of religious folks in the world (surveys tell us time and again that the vast majority of us believe in an afterlife) I am not alone in my desire for proof of a promise made long ago. I don’t want to be told it by a clergyman or a book or a website. I want to see it. Because of the world’s overwhelming belief in an afterlife I am always amazed at the number of people who are absolutely petrified of Ouija boards. Shouldn’t we be elated when the pointer, properly called a planchette, moves and spells out things? Shouldn’t we jump for joy when a spirit box calls out to us? Instead we flee in terror at the most innocuous of communications. I’m reminded of my good friend Steve who received a strict Catholic upbringing. Once as a teenager he played around with a Ouija board and it spelled out his dog’s name: HOBO. He ran shrieking from the room,Continue reading “Supernatural Skeptics Don’t Know What They’re Missing”