Table Tilt: Trick or Paranormal Treat?

Well, if those skeptics of the phenomena are to be believed, these are the attributes that people require in order to produce the desired results when they try this favorite Victorian pastime.

Table tilt or table tilt could be described as one of the most perplexing phenomena of our time! With the rise of modern spiritualism in the mid-1850s that came to England and Europe from America, more and more people with an interest in the paranormal turned to spiritualist mediums and psychics in search of establish contact with the “other side”. This fashionable diversion was practiced across the country and for those who believed, it satisfied that basic human nature: the need for answers.

The basic principle of table tilting is that people in attendance stand around a small (often 3-legged) table and place their hands flat on the surface with a very light touch. The session would be directed by a medium who would begin calling the spirits, asking for recognition of their presence through knocks and movements on the table. Questions were asked and the table tilted in response to the letters of the alphabet being called out and this method of spirit communication became a competition between mediums to put on the most dramatic show. In 1924, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) visited the famous medium Albert Macey and witnessed a table tilt so incredible that it completely affirmed his belief in the spirit world. However, Macey was later revealed to be a fraud and was one of the few “mediums” to be imprisoned for falsehood.

UK illusionist Derren Brown portrayed table tilting as a simple conjuring trick in his stage show “Evening of Wonders” and attributed the phenomena to the ideomotor effect: an involuntary muscle action where the mind the participant’s subconscious mind can influence their body without the conscious mind being aware of it. ; Parapsychologists and skeptics also attribute it to glass movement, automatic writing, and the Ouija board. It seems that the desire to believe can completely override the conscious mind. Is belief really stronger than willpower?

What I personally have a hard time accepting with this theory is that on a public ghost hunt, we often encounter guests who are complete skeptics, for whom only a total apparition or personal demonic possession with projectile vomiting and a head turn of 360° will be sufficient as proof of the paranormal. In his show, Derren used pendulums to test the hypnotic suggestibility of his participants, sure that they would then easily succumb to the “trick”. I do not doubt that the combined energy created by a group of people with a single purpose can produce an amazing result, but expect the same result from a group of strangers (some of whom do not believe in the paranormal and are absolutely convinced). which will not move) would surely produce a less desirable result. I’ve personally seen single leg lifts, spins and spin tables with more than one skeptical mind involved, where stoners have found themselves chasing around a room, trying to keep up with the object. If the claim that “belief is stronger than willpower” is a valuable argument in support of the ideomotor effect, surely this is a contradiction, since any skeptical mind surely “believes” that the object does not does it move

Whatever your thoughts on the subject, there’s no denying that it’s a visually spectacular part of any ghost hunter’s research and will likely confound skeptics and believers alike for many centuries to come.