“How do we start?” I asked …
“Ask it to come in! , invite it in,” he told me
I kinda gave him a look, but settled in, and looking towards the shadowy dress form, Began it…
“Ello, are you there I asked?” Politely…
“No!” Jesse whispered, correcting me,
“Ask it to come in, it needs inviting. Look towards the staircase when you ask!”
“Like I know how to invite a ghost in sorry I am not up on ghostly manners luv!”
But, with a sigh, I did so, turning my head in that direction, watching the shadows dance up the banister.
“Please come down, we …. !”
I stopped, for I distinctly heard one of the stairs creak. I shot Jesse a look, and I knew he had heard it also, with eyes wide in excitement, he nodded me on…
“Don’t be fearing !” I said towards the stairs, “We mean you no harm…”
Everything was dead silent, except for when the wind could be heard softly picking up outside.
After a long minute of staring at the stairway, I felt an urge to say something, just to break the unbearably dead silence.
“Are we alone?” I whispered.
I swear I felt something move through my hair, not quite like a draft, something more solid!”
I think Jesse saw me flinch, for he also whispered…
Are we alone?
We were both now watching the makeshift planchette with its copper washer hovering over the Celtic cross in centre of the board, as each of us held an end up high.
We were also still holding on to each arm of the doll.
Suddenly, the doll moved, a slight tug!
“Jesse!” I hissed, then saw the look in his wide-open eyes!
Jesse had felt it also, and he had not been the one moving it!
“Ar…, Are you here then?” Jesse asked stammering…
“Yes or no”
As he spoke, he let go of the doll’s hand and touched the YES and NO paper as he spoke each word, then taking the dolls hand up again, we waited in silence, as the candle’s flame played over the board
The copper washer was now swaying gently over the centre of the table, something may have moved it along!
“ ’Ello !” I said, “Have you come into the room?”
Suddenly our makeshift Planchette swings slightly to the paper that YES was written on.
We looked into each other’s eyes, it was then that I realized with Jesse suggesting doing this, it had been a bit of daylight male bravado, and he was now quite unnerved that his idea was working!
I shot him a glance that said, we are in it neck deep now boyo……
“Wha…What is your name Jesse stammered!”
I shoot him a look, whispering “Yes or no, silly!”
Taking over, I cleared my throat…
“Is your name Frances?”
The Planchette Swings over the No paper, and I felt prickling shivers. this was happening, we are in contact, like in a movie, but this was real, no commercial breaks, no script, no way of knowing how it will all turn out!
I continued curiously on…
“Mary?” I inquired
Swings again NO
Than Jesse asked…
I asked gently…
“Frank, is this you?”
Swings to No
I again asked, Father Jacob?
This time it moved decisively to NO
I whispered into the darkness…
Adelaide, are you here dear?”
This time the Planchette swung gently over NO
“Son Jacob, is this you?”
With some hesitation, the makeshift Planchette swayed to no!
I mentioned the other brother who had died in the war…
“Stephen, have you come to be with us?”
the Planchette again moved over the word no.
I look at Jesse…
“Running out outta names here lad!”
Jesse nodded and leaned in…
“Joseph, have you joined your family tonight?”
I look over to Jesse, mouthing…
“It can’t be him…”
As if to confirm this, the Planchette hovered without moving.
“Told you, Jess, Joseph is still alive!”
But as I said this, the Planchette moved, over to no!
We were both puzzled, so Jess asked…
The Planchette remained motionless…
, I started to say, “But he wasn’t dead last…,”
But it was cut off as our Planchette started to swing like something was playing with it.
“Joseph is that you?” I asked quietly…
The copper washer swung to the YES paper, then moved back and stopped dead centre as if something still had hold of it.
We just stared at one another for a second, speechless…..
Thought you said Joseph was alive I challenged, Jesse shook his head yes he is! , a puzzled look on his face…
Joseph, he asked, did you pass over?
Our Planchette did not move.
I could see the childlike scrawled name on the letter that sat on the table: The name Joseph and the age of 9…
“Joseph? I asked, are you 9 years old?”
The planchette swung over the yes paper, and I caught my breath, how could this be, a living man in his 80’s be the ghost of a nine-year-old?
I shot Jesse a look, and he shrugged his shoulders, then bending slightly over the table asked…
“Joseph? Did you move the dress form here?”
Our Planchette made a small twist but did not move in either direction
I Then asked…
“Joseph? Do you like my dress?”
The copper washer of our planchette twitched over the YES paper.
“Did you take me dress? “
The Planchette stayed perfectly still.
Jesse asked the next question…
“Joseph, are you alone here?”
The Planchette stayed still,
Joseph, I asked using the type of sweet voice I use for children…
“Are you alone here, sweetie?”
Nothing moved, except the flickering shadows of the candlelight.
I had started to ask a second question, when it the copper washer moved, quite briskly once again, over the yes paper
Then like a pendulum, it swung over the NO paper than back over the YES Paper.
Jesse and I looked at each other.
“I think it is playing with us now!”
Jesse nodded in agreement.
Jesse looked around the room then asked,
“Joseph, are we welcomed here?”
The planchette moved ever so slightly, again in no particular direction.
“Am I welcomed here?”
The planchette as it moved, swinging to the YES
“What about me, am I welcomed?” Jesse asked looking at me, smirking,
Nothing… then suddenly the chain was pulled so hard that we both lost it, and it went sailing off across the room on its own, falling with a clatter onto the hardwood floor ….a few seconds later we heard a door upstairs slam shut.