1919 Voices from the Void; Six Years’ Experience in Automatic Communications by Hester Travers Smith

“Voices from the Void” was published in 1919. In her book, Hester describes the conditions under which her spirt board experiments were conducted. This book should be the gold standard against which all spirit board experiments are measured. It is my primary inspiration as a spirit board user and I believe it is the best book every written on best practices with the board.


At least three people were in attendance at every session. Two sat at the table, their fingers on the planchette. The two operators were both blindfolded. At least one other person was on hand. That person did not interfere with the board but was allowed to ask questions of the entities manifesting through the board. The operators were often not given clues to the contents of communications until after the session had concluded.

Sometimes, after blindfolding the operators, the third person would scramble the letters. Hester used letters under glass, not a standard board. She frequently had the letters mixed and she relied on blindfolds in an attempt to factor out operator intrusion.

Her team met twice weekly for at least a year in or around1914. They asked specific questions of the personalities that came through, specific so that the facts could be verified. They wanted clear evidence of the continuity of life. Sadly she was lied to so many times by the entities that came through spirit board communication that she concluded that, “I would not make any effort to speak to the beloved dead through…the Ouija board.” Based on her studies, she said, “The chances against genuine communication are ten to one.”

Hester and her team did not set out to contact “the beloved dead.” Instead they set out to contact whosoever will with the hope that they could gather enough facts about the person’s life to prove their existence. In a few cases Hester believed she was successful but in the vast majority of her attempts, she met with lies and deception.

“Voices from the Void” is a must-read for anyone contemplating serious experiments with the board.

Much love,

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