The Book of Seances – Paranormal Podcast 763

We talk about different ways of divination and speaking to the spirits with Claire Goodchild. She joins us to talk about her recent book, The Book of Seances.

You can find it at Amazon here:

Thanks Claire!


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CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Using books for divination is called bibliomancy, or sometimes stichomancy, which means to divine the future from a book. For many centuries, it was done with religious or sacred texts like the Bible or Torah.

JIM HAROLD: That’s Claire Goodchild, and we’ll talk about her book, The Book of Séances, and different forms of divination and contacting the dead – up next on the first episode of the Paranormal Podcast for the new year.

[intro music]

This is the Paranormal Podcast with Jim Harold.

JIM HAROLD: Welcome to the Paranormal Podcast. I am Jim Harold, and so glad to be with you once again. I think that we’re going to have a fascinating discussion today because we’re going to talk about a new book out. It’s called The Book of Séances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits, and with us we have the author.

Claire Goodchild is an award-winning artist, photographer, designer, and writer from Toronto, Canada. She created the wildly popular tarot deck, The Antique Anatomy Tarot, and she was the first person to create an astrology-themed tarot deck called the Arcana of Astrology, which was published in 2020. And we are talking about, again, her new book, The Book of Séances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits. Claire, welcome to the show today.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Hi. Thanks for having me.

JIM HAROLD: What inspired this book?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I’ve always been a fan of the paranormal since I was a little kid, but in 2016, I had a close friend go missing, and I decided to use tarot cards to see what they could give me about where he might be. They ended up providing me with the exact answers of where his body was, which was confirmed a few months later when it was found. So I thought, okay, there’s something here with divination that I need to explore more. And that’s what led to the book.

JIM HAROLD: That’s an amazing account, to be able to get that precise of information. It really seems like you were tuned in because, if I understand correctly – and I may not – but when you’re talking about a divination tool or something like a tarot deck, it’s not the deck itself, but it’s you that is just using the tarot to communicate the information. Is that right?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Right. If you’re doing traditional reading, which is exactly what you said, basically reflections of your own psyche. But I think that spirits can use these things to tell us a story. The Victorians believed this too; in the height of spiritualism, they used all these tools as well. So I wanted to revisit that.

JIM HAROLD: That’s a great entry point into this book and a great reason to write it. Now, when people hear the word “séance,” a picture comes into their mind, and I can see the picture right now. It’s probably like 1910 or 1915 or 1920. There’s a bunch of people dressed in period dress around a wooden table, and there’s some candles lit, perhaps they’re holding hands. I think that’s the universal feeling of what a séance is. That’s kind of the mind’s picture of it, I think for at least a lot of people out there. What does that miss? When you’re talking about a book of séances, you’re not just talking about that. What do you mean by a séance, and how does it go far beyond what I described?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I believe that any sort of deliberate interaction with the dead is a séance because “séance” actually comes from the French word for “session,” and that’s what it is: a session with the dead. So when I read with tarot cards, that’s what I’m doing. But those séances that you described are definitely what led to using divination at home by yourself and that kind of séance. It was the 19th century, exactly what you described, people sitting around a table. During this time, people lost so many loved ones. In the United States, some two a week. So they really wanted to get that closure that they didn’t get. They’d go through mediums who would host it, and that’s the table turning séance.

Eventually manufacturers for toys and things like that thought, “How can we capitalize on this at home?” And that’s when people started experimenting. So it’s those later séances that I like to explore, like doing it yourself and being very hands-on.

JIM HAROLD: So when you’re talking about a séance, you’re not just talking about around the table. You could be talking about tarot, you could be talking about a spirit board, you could be talking about automatic writing, a whole number of different ways to get at similar things.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Exactly. And those are just some of the types I covered. You can be on your couch on a Tuesday night and hold a séance, and you don’t need anything more than just a tool and yourself.

JIM HAROLD: Now, there’s a couple types that you mention, and maybe I’m familiar with them, but I’m not familiar with the terms. I’m probably going to mispronounce these, but you talk about tasseography and rabdomancy? Is that right? [laughs] Those two. I’m not familiar with those two, or at least I don’t know that I’m familiar with those two.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Tasseography can also be pronounced TASS-ee-o-graph-ee, and that is tea leaf reading.

JIM HAROLD: Oh, okay.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Yeah. And rabdomancy is using divining rods or a pendulum.

JIM HAROLD: Okay. So I’m familiar, I’m just not familiar with the terminology. When I saw that, I’m like, “What?” [laughs] But do all of these different ones – I want to talk about some of them in greater depth – but they work on the same principle; they’re just a different way of getting at the same information?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Exactly. Any form of divination is about interpreting the responses. Tarot is always a good one to start with and explain because it’s so descriptive in its imagery. You look at the cards and even if you and spirit don’t understand what they mean traditionally, you can still get an idea of what is being said, whereas with something like tea leaf reading, you kind of have to touch on a core interpretation of symbolism that all humans have. Like we all have associations for the image of a heart and things like that. That’s where developing your séance skills is going to come in more.

JIM HAROLD: Indeed. Is it something where – let’s say that you try to conduct a type of séance. Do you have to be a believer for it to bear fruit? In other words, let’s say you’re in a group of two or three people and you’re going to do a séance, but you’re like, “I don’t really believe in this stuff, but let’s see what happens.” Does that automatically kill the communication? Or can the communication overcome that? Do you have to believe to get any result, and does the depth of your belief increase, I guess, the intensity of the response?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I don’t think you have to believe. I think you just need to be open-minded, and then respectful, of course, of other people who might believe. Just how skeptics want their beliefs to be taken seriously, I think believers do, too. But yeah, I don’t think you need to fully believe, and I don’t think it will put a damper on it. But I think if you really do believe, that will increase the energetic level, or at least excitement between everyone, which makes for a better session even if nothing comes through.

JIM HAROLD: The famous one is with Ouija boards; people think somebody’s pushing the planchette, for example. How do you discern what is real and maybe what is wishful thinking when you’re doing a séance of any type? How do you hone in on that?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I think it really just comes down to, at the end of the day, whether you believe or not. I know for me, writing the book actually made me slightly more skeptical, and I very much believe in my own experiences. In terms of overcoming it, I don’t know if you have to, necessarily. It’s such a tough one, especially with Ouija boards. I think it just comes down to if you believe and whether or not you accept it or not. I don’t think that’s something you can really do until you’re in the situation.

JIM HAROLD: Fair enough on that. One that I just have to ask you about is one that’s fascinated me for a long time, going back to Edgar Cayce – the idea of automatic writing. I think that’s one that a lot of people say, “I could go buy a deck of tarot cards, I’m very comfortable with that,” or “I could go buy a Ouija board and I’m comfortable with that,” but I don’t think very often people get a pen and a pad of paper and say, “Okay, I’m going to sit down and automatic write now,” even though that’s probably the most accessible thing to us. Why do you think that is? And can you talk to us a little bit about automatic writing?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: It’s actually funny that people don’t turn to that one more often because it was the first one that people really did on their own. They’d see mediums do it during the table turning sessions, and then they were like, “I can do this too.” So it’s strange how we’ve left that one behind.

If people want to do automatic writing, I think it’s something that definitely takes practice. I guess for some people, it comes very naturally; like any form of divination, you’re going to be better at one over the other. I believe that I automatic-wrote the book, which is kind of weird to say. So automatic writing is something I’ve adopted.

But as for why people don’t seem to do it, I think it comes down to skepticism or not having trust in yourself, and that’s a very important thing in a séance, just trusting yourself and your feelings and taking time to actually try something thoroughly as well. Especially with automatic writing. I think that’s something you need to do for at least three months before you come to a conclusion about whether you think it works or not. And I don’t think people give it enough time.

JIM HAROLD: It also occurs to me, two things – one thing is that the prop of a tarot deck or a Ouija board almost gives people permission, and it’s almost like – their thought, I think, is that it’s imbued with some magical properties, ostensibly; therefore, you need to have that piece. Where a pen and paper, “that’s just me writing something down.” I think that might be part of it as well.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Yeah, that is a brilliant observation. I think that’s really great. If we took it a step further, we’d realize how much magic is made with pen and paper, like our favorite stories, and we write down memories and experiences and our names. Pens and paper are such an important part of our lives. I guess now it’s more like technology is more important, but that’s a really interesting thing to think about.

JIM HAROLD: And then the other thing I think, for me – and I don’t practice automatic writing, although it’s something I should try, and I want to ask you about that in a minute because I am fascinated by this topic – but I don’t know if you’ve had this experience. I think you have, probably, based on the fact you felt that you automatically wrote the book. But many times, I remember even when I was in school, or even when I do something now for work, I write something – it’s like you sit down and you have a very little tiny germ of an idea of what to write. You kind of procrastinate and say, “I’m not going to do this because I have nothing to write,” and then you sit down and it just flows. It just comes out, like, “Whoa, where did that come from?”

And I’ve heard songwriters and different artists say things like that, like “I don’t know where it came from.” I’ve talked about this on the shows before – people who have written songs that will far outlive them, and it’s the biggest song they’re known for or whatever it might be, if it’s a pop hit or whatever it is – it came to them like in 10 minutes, and they don’t know where it came from. To me, I think that many people, many of us, practice some form, a version of automatic writing, and we don’t even realize it.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Exactly. My experience was I was trying to type up the book, and I had done my notes by hand, and I was really struggling to put things together. I thought, “Okay, I’m going to just try hand-writing the automatic writing chapter,” and it was my fastest chapter. I think it was my strongest chapter pre-edits. I ended up finishing the whole book like that because, yeah, it just flows out of you.

Although I do have a skeptic’s theory in that – you and I grew up writing by hand in school. So it might be more natural versus people who grew up with the laptop in the classroom. I wonder if they feel more comfortable on a computer. But I like to think that there’s just something that really taps into the ancient quality of writing, because we’ve been doing it for about 10,000 years, I believe. It’s part of us, whereas typing is not part of us.

JIM HAROLD: That’s a good point. So if I wanted to do an automatic writing session, how would I do that? You pick up the pen and paper, you make sure you’re in a quiet place, those kind of things – what would you recommend, like a quick primer on how to do an automatic writing session?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: For automatic writing, if it’s your first time, I recommend only doing about two minutes. You want a really big sheet of paper. Think like – you know that big brown butcher’s paper? That’s really great because you can get it anywhere. You just want to, for your first time, sit down and just move your arm. Move it with the pencil. You don’t have to think, “Okay, channel through me, spirit.” You just need to move your arm back and forth and just see what it feels like. Each session past that, move your arm a little more. Move it in a different direction. Turn on music – preferably something without lyrics. [laughs] But just see what starts to come out of you.

But yeah, for the first one, just move your arm. That’s it. That’s all you have to do. You’re probably not going to get anything, which is why I think you need three months to really give it a shot. And always have backup pencils and pens. [laughs] If you do get something and then your pencil breaks, that’s not the best.

JIM HAROLD: That would not be a good thing. But a good thing is the discussion we’re having today about The Book of Séances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits with Claire Goodchild. We’ll be back right after this.

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If you love the Paranormal Podcast, be sure to check out Jim Harold’s Campfire, where ordinary people share their extraordinary stories of ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, and terrifying encounters. Find it for free wherever you listen to this podcast. Tune in to Jim Harold’s Campfire today. Now, we return to the Paranormal Podcast.

JIM HAROLD: We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast. Our guest is Claire Goodchild. The book is The Book of Séances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits. And we’re so glad to have Claire with us today; we’re having a great chat about séances of different types.

When we talk about séances, Claire, we’re talking about tapping into the other side. I know that you talk about the other side. To me, that’s the most fascinating thing we talk about on these shows of all our different topics because we’re all going to reach the other side, assuming there is another side. I believe that there is. What do you think is on the other side?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: To me, the other side is just our world, so our physical world; it just is a different plane of existence. And I don’t think my belief is unique. I think everyone has that otherness that we can’t see. What do I think is on the other side? I think, honestly, it’s just the same. I think it’s like this, but we just move differently or we exist differently in our spirit form, whatever that’s going to look like. I don’t think any of us can really have an actual idea of it until it happens.

My belief is really in line with what the spiritualists believed, who were the séance holders: it’s just the same place, but we can’t quite access it all the time – although I do think that there is a separate meeting area where ghosts and people can meet, and people can do it in sleep. I think that’s why we have those very intense dreams about our loved ones and things like that.

To me, I don’t think there’s anything evil. I know a lot of people do think that, even in my witchcraft community, that there’s both malevolent spirits and good ones and stuff. But I don’t think that there’s anything “bad” on the other side. I think it’s just different.

JIM HAROLD: One that I saw here that I was surprised about was books. How do books come into play?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Using books for divination is called bibliomancy, or sometimes stichomancy, which means to divine the future from a book. For many centuries, it was done with religious or sacred texts like the Bible or Torah. But it was the spiritualists, again, in the 19th century who were like, “I’m kind of tired of using the Bible for this, so I’m going to explore divination with literature I like” – Gothic classics and things like that.

But the ancient history is more that it was something the Greeks and Romans did. The Greeks actually didn’t really like books, but they felt it was important to write things down just out of duty or something like that, and then the Romans loved books, and they would have these big libraries. They were very big into divination as well, especially on the cusp of Christianity and when they switched to that. So that’s where the practice actually comes from.

To do bibliomancy, you basically pick up a book and flip to a page that you feel called to and run your hand down it and see what the line you land on is. It’s very simple. It’s accessible, just like automatic writing. It’s almost two sides of the same idea.

JIM HAROLD: It’s interesting because now that you mention it, I have heard of that, but it just is not something that comes top of mind like tarot card reading or Ouija boards or pendulums or whatever it might be. It’s something that you don’t think about. But it used to be much more popular than it is now, obviously.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Exactly. After the printing press was invented, people for the first time had their own books and they had their own Bibles, and before that it was not a thing. The Church had them, and you could look at this giant Bible at church, but you didn’t have anything for yourself. It’s a very almost capitalistic form of divination, but it’s also really special.

JIM HAROLD: It’s interesting, and that’s what I appreciate about your book; you cover the ones that everybody knows about, and then maybe ones that people don’t know as much about. In the book, you talk about a scientific séance. Talk to us about a scientific séance.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I wanted to include some paranormal investigating classic things in the book because, again, this time period that I’m covering and with the history, that’s when these things were born, like EVPs and spirit photography. So I couldn’t do a book and not include them. And I picked EVPs in particular because they’re something I think everyone can do and enjoy, whether or not you think they’re always credible. And spirit photography is pretty controversial, but it is still important, especially to paranormal investigators, because that is the proof people will believe. It’s such a touchstone for paranormal investigators. So I felt like it had to be in there too.

JIM HAROLD: If you think about it, Edison was supposedly working on a telephone to the dead.


JIM HAROLD: So it doesn’t necessarily have to be just the people now running around with EMF meters and collecting EVP.  The idea of scientifically getting at this goes back a long time, right?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Exactly, yeah. I talked about Edison a little bit as well. I believe that idea was inspired by the death of his brother, and it actually is what created the telephone – his desire to build that spirit phone. So he not only changed the paranormal world, but he changed everyone with the phone. It’s really interesting.

JIM HAROLD: Another one that I’ve always been fascinated about – and I wish I had kept it because we had an author on very early in the show – this goes back to maybe 2005-2006 – who did a book on scrying. It came with the little black mirror, and I can’t find it. I don’t know what I did with it, and I’m really upset about that. I guess I could just pick another one up. But it was one of those things, the idea that you look into this black mirror, you look into water, and you see these reflections that can tell you all these things and the psychomanteum and all of that. Can you talk about scrying? Because honestly, it’s a little bit creepy, but it’s also a whole lot fascinating.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Yeah, scrying. It’s interesting because it’s so broad. Like you just said, you can do mirror scrying, you can do water scrying. Even tea leaf reading in its own way is scrying. I wanted to include mirror scrying in particular in the book just because of all the folklore and mythology that surrounds mirrors. Humans and mirrors are extremely connected, since we’re quite vain and we love looking at ourselves. [laughs]

Scrying, though, is definitely I think a creepier form of divination. But I think it’s just because of all the associations we have, like vampire lore from Dracula and Jonathan Harker, vampires have no reflection, and breaking a mirror is seven years of bad luck. We can thank the Romans for that one. So doing scrying with a mirror in a way unlocks this world, especially if you – certain cultures like Ireland in particular, and in Jewish tradition, you cover mirrors after death because it’s believed that a spirit can get stuck, which is also interesting. So to scry with a mirror, you’re really connecting across all these different cultures.

Again, it’s something I don’t recommend people do for very long because you’ll hurt your eyes. [laughs] But yeah, it’s complicated because this is one of the ones that I am more skeptical about because I think it is easy to disassociate or hallucinate something in a mirror. Especially if you’re nervous, and people do get nervous around mirrors and spirits.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s one of the more terrifying things. Let’s say you were not doing a séance session, but you look into a mirror and you see a spirit. That’s pretty terrifying.


JIM HAROLD: To me, it seems like one of the potentially more frightening ones because – I mean, it’s one thing to get a message through a Ouija board, another one to get a message through a pendulum, which we’re going to talk about shortly, but to get a message and actually see something manifest – that could really freak some people out, for sure.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Totally. There’s also, oddly enough, a gender attachment to mirror scrying. It was very popular for girls in particular to mirror scry. That’s how we got the Bloody Mary folktale. Girls used to look in the mirror at midnight or whatever it was, and they would see the face of their future husband, but if they saw a skull, it meant they would die before they got married. That eventually evolved into Bloody Mary – at least, that’s what most people think. So yeah, it’s interesting that there is that gender component too, I think. But all people find it creepy, and I kind of find it creepy too.

JIM HAROLD: [laughs] Well, definitely we don’t find our discussion creepy, though. It’s a great discussion. We are talking about The Book of Séances with Claire Goodchild, and we’ll be back right after this.

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Follow Jim on Twitter and Instagram @TheJimHarold and join our Virtual Campfire Facebook group at Now, back to the Paranormal Podcast.

JIM HAROLD: We’re back on the Paranormal Podcast. Our guest is Claire Goodchild. We’re talking about The Book of Séances, and now I want to talk about the granddaddy of them all, the one that everybody wonders, is it real or is it just a toy? Or is it evil? A lot of people think it’s evil. I’m talking about the spirit board, more likely known these days as the Ouija board. Give us some of your thoughts on the spirit board.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I hope your regular listeners don’t hate me for this, but I don’t think spirit boards are at all evil. I know there’s tons of myths and urban legends and friend-of-a-friend stories that surround them, but I think as a blanket statement, I will be in the camp of they are not bad and they’re fine to use. That being said, how do you really talk about a Ouija board these days, especially with the internet? You have to be really careful that you don’t spread misinformation.

I think this was the most interesting chapter for me to write because I used to be a little bit nervous about spirit boards as well. I think most people are. And when I finally got to research the history of a Ouija board in particular, I realized, oh, it’s just another tool, just like the ones I use. It was definitely a special one to write, especially with the amount of advertising that went into the Ouija board and how much the owner of the company, William Fuld, played into making sure that there were superstitions surrounding it. And they have never left us. He was like this genius at marketing. I mean, there’s millions of them. Like you said, they really are the granddaddy of spiritualism and séances.

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, it’s interesting. The history is very interesting with Fuld and so forth. It’s something that’s been with us for so long. You think about something like, if you consider it a game, you think of Monopoly as being very old, going back I think to the ’30s, but Ouija outdates it, definitely.

In fact, we have one. We don’t use it. We did a livestream for Halloween and we used it as a prop when we were setting up and doing something. It was on the set. But we don’t do it. We’re a little leery of doing it. But we still have one from when my wife was a teenager, and we’ve hung on to it. Some people are like, “Get rid of it, get rid of it!” It’s like, well, probably not, but I don’t know that I’m going to be doing any séances with it because I am a little afraid of it, to be honest. But maybe that’s just superstition, again, as an indirect result of that kind of marketing and so forth.

Fuld had a sad demise of sorts, didn’t he?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: He did. It is sad considering the love he had for the Ouija board. Apparently – I don’t know if this is true – his Ouija board told him to prepare for big business, which to him was a sign that he needed to build a bigger warehouse, and he ended up falling off the roof of the building when planting the flag. He did die from it, but not before he was in the hospital, suffering for a little. I think that definitely adds to the fear surrounding Ouija boards because it’s like, here’s this man who loved it so much and it still turned on him too. So I can see how these things play up in people’s minds.

I think the biggest superstition is that it’s not a game and you have to treat it with respect or it’s not a divination tool, it’s just a game. It was originally patented as a game. My theory is that at the time, patents, you had to convince the patent judge or whatever they’re called that it worked, so if you don’t market it as a game, he has to prove that ghosts are real. [laughs]

JIM HAROLD: Right, and that you could communicate with them with the Ouija board. That’s fascinating. That’s interesting. I never thought about it that way. So the fact it’s a game may not have – because people say, “Oh, it’s just a game.” Well, maybe that was just a legalistic thing to get it through. That’s really interesting. I never thought about it that way.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Yeah, it’s a really interesting tool to just ponder about because there are so many different things that people believe about it. I know in my community, which is the more witchcraft-focused community, people talk about how it’s this ancient device used by the Egyptians. I’m like, no, it’s not. It was born out of automatic writing in the 1800s, and Fuld in particular played up the whole Egypt thing because the Victorians and Edwardians had a really big Egyptomania craze. So he leaned into that. He was a brilliant marketer.

But at the same time, I think these tools, since they work with our energy, it makes me wonder, if all these people believe negative things about it, does that start to make it negative? That’s something to think about as well. Like, are we consciously creating this energy for it?

JIM HAROLD: A lot of people more on the skeptic side talk about the ideomotor effect, this idea that we make these little micromovements we may not even be aware of, and that’s what moves the planchette. What are your thoughts about the ideomotor effect? Does it account for any time we see the planchette move in any strange direction?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: I believe that it does cause the planchette to move. But at the same time, I think, is it a spirit subconsciously telling me to push it? A loophole I’ve created for myself. [laughs] The skeptic in me and the believer in me coming together. But it’s like automatic writing; you’re moving your hand, but what is influencing that movement?

JIM HAROLD: Yeah, that’s an excellent point. Even if you say, yeah, there’s the ideomotor effect, but what’s causing the ideomotor effect? That is still divination. And at that point, the skeptic throws up their hands and says, “Ah, this is a bunch of bunk and so much for that!” [laughs]

I’m one to believe in a healthy dose of skepticism, but I’m probably – I always say if I’m a gas gauge, I’m three-quarters full on the believer side. Still enough skepticism there to say, well, not everything’s a ghost. Sometimes it’s a leaky faucet. Sometimes it’s bad electrical. That’s why your EMF meter is going off. But on the other hand, I believe these things are real. So I don’t know what that makes me. Maybe some people would say a true believer; I would say a believer with a decent dose of skepticism. My motto is “keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: [laughs] Exactly. I’d say I’m somewhere where you are. It’s always interesting to me that believers will make room for skepticism, but skeptics will not make room for any believing.

JIM HAROLD: That’s an excellent point.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: It’s usually when they finally have an experience that they become full believers. I do wish that they were a little more open-minded, but I think trying to force people to do something never works. But yeah, it’s always been an interesting observation that we make room for skepticism but they won’t make room for any belief.

JIM HAROLD: Another one, going way back – casting lots. Can you talk to us about casting lots?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Casting has been a thing pretty much since humans have been a thing. It’s where you take certain items and you throw them and interpret the patterns, or if they have symbols on them, which symbols are in which spot. It’s a very human way of doing divination. It crosses cultures, too, which is really great. Obviously, I couldn’t include everything in the book, so I did charms, like building your own charm set and casting that way. But that can be something fun for people to add to their practice.

And I think that especially paranormal investigators can have fun with that one. Let’s say they hear a word on a ghost box and then they happen to cast a charm that has that depiction of that word. I think that can be really fun. Yeah, casting. It’s not one people try very often, so I think it was important to put into the book.

JIM HAROLD: Well, it’s been a great conversation. I’m fascinated and really appreciate it. When we think about a séance, we should think about more than just that one picture that we started off with. Our guest, Claire Goodchild, has expanded our horizons and our definition of that word because she’s written The Book of Séances. So Claire, the question is, where can people find the book and find everything else you do?

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: The book can be found pretty much at any of your major retailers, along with some smaller indie shops. But I wouldn’t be able to list them all for you because there’s a lot. As for me, I can be found at, which is my art business name.

JIM HAROLD: Excellent. Well, it’s been a great discussion with Claire Goodchild. The book is The Book of Séances: A Guide to Divination and Speaking to Spirits. Claire, thank you for joining us today.

CLAIRE GOODCHILD: Thank you for having me. It was tons of fun.

JIM HAROLD: Well, it’s certainly good to be back in the saddle here at the Spooky Studio, and Claire was a great first guest for 2023.

And we certainly appreciate you being a part of the show and listening. If you enjoy what we do, please follow on the podcast app of your choice. Also, we would appreciate you spreading the word. Perhaps text the link to an episode to a friend and share it and say, “Hey, are you into spooky stuff? Then check out Jim’s shows, the Paranormal Podcast, Campfire,” everything we do. Also, a rating and review helps. There are many, many podcasts out there, and if somebody reads a good review, they say, “Hey, I’ll give this show a chance.” I know a lot of the gurus say reviews don’t matter. I disagree; I think they’re very important. So we appreciate those as well.

We thank you so much. We’ll talk to you next time. Have a great week. Stay safe and stay spooky! Bye-bye.

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