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A seance is an organized attempt to communicate with the dead. Hence, the seance posits life after physical death in the form of a non-physical and coherent intellect and mind called a "soul" or "spirit."

Since many magicians are fully capable of producing pseudo-ghostly phenomena, they hold that it is impossible for the dead to communicate with the living; these magicians (such as Harry Houdini) say that seances fall into two general categories:

  1. Fraudulent charades given by fake mediums to fleece money from people. The "spectators" in these situations believe the manifestations to be real.
  2. Theatrical performances given by magicians (generally those interested in Bizarre Magick). The spectators in these situations understand that they're watching a show.

A Theatrical Séance gives its audiences the feeling of contacting the spirits of the dead.

There are several excellent texts for those interested in the latter category, among them are Spirit Theater by Eugene Burger (1985) and Séance by Scott Moore-Davis (1996, Originally published in magazine form 1988-1991). Both were published by Kaufman and Company.

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