My name is Cassidy Newbold and I’m a clairvoyant. I just want to say how much I hate Halloween. Yes, you heard it right. I hate Halloween.
On All Hallows Eve, many people invite spirits over from the other side. The veil between the two worlds is thinner on this night. Many clairvoyants revel in it, but not me. I turn people away and want nothing to do with it.
Séances held during this time can only invite trouble. Just like people, there are evil spirits who only want to cause fear. They take advantage of the date to do their worst.
Although my experience wasn’t too bad, it was enough for me to learn a valuable lesson. We were all young once, and I was still learning as a clairvoyant.
The Dandelion café on the High Street is my go-to place. People know where to find me and will come to use my services. I don’t conduct anything there; it is simply a meeting place where I’ve an arrangement with the management.
That day, a few days before the 31st, a lady called Pamela came in. As soon as she walked through the entrance, her eyes fell on me. My long red hair makes me instantly recognisable. She wanted to hold a party for a few friends that would include a séance.
It was to begin at 9.30 pm, after they had eaten. I arrived at 9.15 and was taken into the dining room. A circular table stood in the centre, with ten chairs around it. A pretty lace tablecloth lay in the middle and a white candle burned in a smoky glassed vase. The wall lights dimmed, and the room was decorated with the odd ghoulish spectre and Halloween masks. Her guests were delighted, as she had not allowed them to see the room beforehand.
“Is there anything you need? Anything I can get you?” Pamela asked as the guests took their seats with excitement.
“No, thank you.” I replied, taking my seat. All faces turned expectantly in my direction.
I clasped my hands on the table. The chatting ceased, and they all looked around nervously.
“The first thing I want to say is, please relax. You all look so tense.” The ladies broke out into sheepish grins and looked at one another. “Is there anyone you particularly want to reach?”
They stated the usual grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends. All except one, who said she didn’t want to take part, but was happy to watch.
“Okay, good. Please join hands with the person next to you,” I said, making eye contact with each woman in the group. I unclasped my hands and held them palm upwards at each side of me on the table. Apprehension and excitement filled the room.
“I need silence while I prepare myself,” I told them. “Oh, and in case you are wondering, I’m not going to take on another form or speak in a strange voice. The spirits will speak directly to me, and I’ll relay any messages.”
Nods of acknowledgement followed.
I closed my eyes to begin my preparation. Some mediums liked to have a spirit enter their bodies to allow them to have form and use their voice. Not me. I wouldn’t be a vessel for anyone. My preparation was to wrap a protective veil around myself, metaphorically speaking. It takes concentration as I visualise each section of my body until I am covered. When done, I tense my muscles, thus not allowing any spirits to enter.
When I opened my eyes a minute later, I could hardly believe what I saw. Spirits had gathered around the table and must have been several deep. That had never happened before. But then, I’d never done a séance on Halloween. Ghosts, apparitions, shadows, and shimmers presented themselves. Clearly, I did not need to ask if there was anyone there.
The women around the table appeared unaware of their presence. A couple had their eyes closed, some blinked rapidly, and others watched and waited for me to speak.
I let out a breath and wondered what I had let myself in for. “Does anyone from the spirit world wish to speak?” A wave of sound rose and reverberated around the room. It rattled against the furniture. It made some items flutter and wobble as if a wind had whipped up.
The women’s eyes grew wide as they registered it. I saw handgrips tighten. “There are spirits here around us,” I told them. “Please do nothing and try not to react. Just stay in your seat and keep holding the hand of the person next to you.”
The latter wasn’t strictly necessary, but it helped comfort those taking part.
The voices of the dead were loud whispers, shouts, and some had words I didn’t understand.”
“I cannot hear you all at once, and I cannot speak to all of you. Some of you must depart. Leave this room.”
“Oh my God,” one woman screeched. “Something is touching my shoulder!”
She was right. Everyone turned to her, but no one reacted. It was rare that other people saw the same as I did, but it happened. Not on this occasion, it seemed.
An elderly man stood behind her, his hand on her shoulder as if claiming her as his. The noise had subsided slightly with just a general eerie hum. The man’s image shimmered, and it threw off rays of sparkling light that floated around him.
“Do you wish to speak to this person?” I asked. The woman had become rigid, and I could see how tightly she clasped the hands of those beside her.
I listened. “He says his name is Bert.”
The woman gasped. “M… my G… granddad.”
After listening for another moment, I repeated his words. “He says that no one was to blame for his death. He is at peace now and it is a blessing.”
The woman flushed and lowered her eyes. Bert faded away as the cacophony rose once more.
The spirits crowded in again, each wanting to be heard and were annoyed that they weren’t.
Two women jerked forward as if pushed. They gasped, let go of the hands they held and spun around to see what it was.
“What…. what is it? What’s happening?” Beth, Pamela’s sister in law cried fearfully,
The room became unmanageable. “Ladies, stay in your seats, please.” I knew I needed to get a handle on this before it got out of control completely. But I was already too late. The candle in the centre of the table blew out. Light from the moon illuminated one side of the room. The curtains blew inwards as if the window was open.
To the spirits, I spoke sharply, “Some of you will have to leave. There isn’t enough room to accommodate you all. There are too many from the other side here.”
I addressed the ladies in a gentler voice, “I suspect that it’s because it’s Halloween, and they think it’s a free for all.” In a slightly louder tone, as my eyes swept the room, I added. It’s not.”
A few of the spirits didn’t like being dismissed. They showed their anger with flashes of light and gusts of wind. The furniture rattled, drawers opened and slammed, and the noise made it quite clear to everyone how they felt.
Some women had tears streaming down their faces, and one dashed out of the room. The door banged loudly behind her. Ghosts and apparitions were everywhere from the ground upwards. Some even sailed along the ceiling. The cries of the guests became louder, and the séance quickly turned to pandemonium.
Cackling laughter erupted behind me. The remaining women jumped to their feet; chairs toppled over in their rush for the door. Screams filled the room, and in the ensuing chaos, one lady fell to the floor. She was saved from hurting herself by the soft shag pile carpet.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. The scene in front of me was like a chaotic circus that no one wanted to be part of.
Like everyone else, I was on my feet and followed them to the door. “Please ladies, calm down, stop panicking, and get a grip on yourselves. The spirits are feeding off your fear. You’re making it worse!”
“You don’t know what you are talking about,” Beth snapped, as the wind in the room blew through her hair.
I put my hand on her arm and said calmly, “I do. I really do. If everyone will just take a minute and stop. The situation will resolve.”
Even though I was anything but calm on the inside, they took my advice, and for a moment they all stood still, silently and rigidly. Some had their eyes tightly shut, others stared round fearfully. The surrounding chaos gradually ceased. I stretched out my hand to the door handle and it opened. The women rushed out.
In the lounge, they all talked at once. Some wept and shook with shock.
“Ladies,” I shouted to get their attention. “I’m sorry this happened; it wasn’t supposed to be like that.”
“You should have known what you were doing,” Beth accused.
“I do, and that has never happened before.” I felt like an idiot. She was right, I should have known, but hadn’t.
“I’ve put the kettle on,” Pamela announced, the only person who seemed pleased at the way it had gone. “Please, take a seat and let’s all calm down together.”
“I think I’d prefer something a lot stronger than that,” said Beth.
“Of course,” nodded Pamela. “I’ll bring in more wine, as well.”
Luckily, everybody settled once they had drinks in their hands, and Pamela’s enthusiasm spread as she said, “I promised you a spooky Halloween and that’s what we got. So, thank you, Cassie. It has been a night to remember.”
It certainly was for me too, but not for the same reasons.
For the rest of the evening, I chatted about being a clairvoyant, and they each received something personal from the other side, but this time in a calm and relaxed manner. They left with a feeling of a successful evening.
That was five years ago. I’m much wiser these days. Halloween is very intense, and that’s not the right atmosphere for serious conversations with the dead. I learnt my lesson that night. Not only about All Hallows Eve, but how important it is to stay in control. Give a ghost an inch, and it will take a mile.
If you enjoyed this short story, you may like to read one of Cassie’s full adventure. Click on the image to download, or buy the paperback.
A woman is dead, and another is missing. The only person who can save her is Cassie.
With no clues and time running out, her brother, Detective Newbold, desperately needs her help. He is counting on Cassie’s clairvoyant and empathic abilities to locate Chantelle.
When Chantelle’s brother, Pedro, seeks out a psychic for help, he meets and falls for Cassie. Though he wants answers, neither Cassie nor Detective Newbold can give any, which complicates their relationship. To make matters worse, his overbearing mother adds further damage with her meddling.
Meanwhile, the killer has been caught, but he refuses to talk. Now, it’s up to Cassie to read the signs and rescue her lover’s sister.
Will she find the answers in time?
4 thoughts on “The Séance, A Halloween Story ”
This is a great short story. Well done.