With finger tips placed lightly on to an upturned glass its movement can be astounding, providing the session is conducted with those you trust. Believers say its the dead creating the movement, while skeptics refer to the Ideomotor effect.

Haunted Devon

Glass Work

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This excerpt is taken from our Torquay Museum report and shows a good example of how to use Glass Work for communication.

The team began their session with glass work having placed cards marked with letters and numbers round the perimeter of the table. Sallyann intuited a young Victorian woman called Emily, aged 17 but was unable to get any further information. Christina who noticed the tapping sounds she had heard had stopped as soon as the glass slid across the table. When Sallyann began calling out the glass moved towards the letters V, W and X as the rem pod that had been placed on a table to the right of the room sounded and flashed its yellow light alerting that something had interrupted its emf field. The glass then moved across to the letter I, which also happened to be where Sallyann stood. Asking if the spirit was happy to talk to the team the glass went to move to yes but stopped as it seemed to have found something sticky on the table that prevented it from moving easily. Having rubbed to remove it Sallyann apologised and asked for the glass to be moved around the mark which the glass duly obliged moving directly to yes. Interesting, as the energy must have been aware where the sticky patch was in order to move the glass around it.

Christina heard a sound from the opposite side of the room. Spirit confirmed that the team were communicating with a female. Sallyann asked for the first letter of spirits name and the glass moves round all the letters on the table and stopped at the letter R and S as again, the rem pod was activated. Woody asked for the glass to return to the centre of the table and again the glass moved round the table past the letters then to the centre of the table. He then asked again if the team were talking to a female: the glass moved to yes. Are you a male: the glass moved to no. “You’re a female?” Woody asked: the glass again moved to yes. Asking if spirit could see the numbers the glass moved to yes. Sallyann shared that she was now feeling very sick as did two other members. Asking if this was someone pretending to be the spirit of a young woman the glass slid to yes. After each question, the glass moved back to the centre waiting for the next.

Woody then asked if spirit had finished playing games with the team to which it responded: no. He asked if spirit had a message and the glass raced in turn to the letter T, I, R, G, T. As soon as Sallyann asked if they were being played with the glass moved to yes. Christina explained that she just wanted to laugh although it wasn’t her and she sensed there was more than one spirit in the room, asking the question, the glass confirmed two. Woody asked how many people had their fingers on the glass and it answered five correctly. Asking how many people were outside of the table, the glass moved correctly to three. Woody continued, asking how many ladies were round the table, followed by how many men and each time the glass answered correctly.

Glass work is commonly used to connect with spirit energies. It can be used much like a Ouija board, the glass replaces the planchette and letters and numbers can be placed around the tables edge or it can be used simply for yes and no replies: this can be either, certain people or items placed on the table can be used for a yes or a no, alternatively, certain movements can be used-clockwise circular motion for yes, side to side for no.

Different energies can be detected by the way the glass moves. Some energies are tentative and move the glass slowly with seeming apprehension, others may twist and turn the glass while others may aggressively move the glass at speed in a circle and yet science tells us that the glass movement is not caused by the chatty deceased but more the unaware living performing the Ideomotor effect. The Ideomotor Effect/Reflex is derived from the terms 'ideo' (idea, or mental representation) and 'motor' (muscular action) and is where expectation and suggestion can influence an individual without them being consciously aware of it, in this instance pushing the glass or as with pendulum divination the moving of pendulum. Another simple example is the body’s reflexive responses to pain, the body sometimes reacts reflexively to ideas alone without the person consciously deciding to take action, in other words muscular movement can be independent of conscious desires or emotions. Yet this would explain why the glass had moved around the sticky patch, those gathered round the table had been fully aware of it and had instinctively, without intention, caused the glass’s decisive movement.

Phenomena attributed to the Ideomotor effect, includes dowsing, Ouija boards, and automatic writing and the movement of the table and other objects in seances.

One experiment to try is to blindfold participants using the glass or Ouija board, after which point to the location for yes and know and have someone not included to ask questions and monitor responses. By doing this, those blindfolded will have no cognitive conception of what is required to provide an answer. Everyone will have their own perception of which direction the glass should be moved the result could be no movement or nonsense replies.

With that said, those who believe in spiritual energies and paranormal phenomena sill disagree with some firm in their belief that these items are moved purely due to communication with spirits, and yet another consideration is that those performing the task are innocently unaware that they could be subject to “motor” manipulation and therefore responsible for the items motion.

It is very common to receive no activity. One factor can also be the people gathered round the table, a group of people who are friends or related may experience movement as they create a more conducive energy than a group of random acquaintances. It is also important when performing glass divination to work with people you trust as this eliminates someone pushing the glass. Another alternative to placing fingertips gently on the glass is place fingers on their side on to the upturned glass this makes it more difficult to push it.