Trumpets and Slates


Trumpets


In the sense of channeling, a trumpet is a physical musical instrument through a spirit can speak.

Spirit trumpets, like the modern three-sectioned tin model shown here, were often at sˇances in the heyday of physical mediumship. Typically, the trumpet would "float" about the darkened room (sometimes luminous bands having been affixed to the trumpet so the effect could be visualized), and "spirit" voices would issue from it.

There were many trumpet tricks though. If the medium's hands were not controlled (a practice intended to prevent trickery) he or she could simply move the trumpet about, a rubber tube being attached through which the medium spoke.

Sometimes, a removable luminous band was employed and moved about at the end of a telescoping rod. In these instances, the whispered voices did not actually emanate from the trumpet; the illusion that they did worked on the ventriloquism principle: it is not easy to locate the source of a sound, especially if misdirection takes place. If controlled, the medium had clever techniques of getting one hand free or could use a secret assistant dressed all in black.

Many people await the sound of a trumpet at an end time, Revelation, opening of 7 seals and 7 trumpets.




Slates


Slate writing was another popular effect of physical mediumship. Typically a pair of school slates (either separate or hinged) was employed. Placed on a table with a piece of chalk or slate pencil, and the spirits suitably invoked, the slates would in time be discovered with messages on them, purportedly from the spirit realm.

To supposedly preclude trickery, the slates were often bound or even locked. But there were many means of circumventing the intended safeguards, ranging from substituting previously prepared slates to using specially gimmicked ones.



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