How to Contact & Communicate With the Dead

Maybe you’ve seen signs of ghosts in your home and want to learn more about them. Or perhaps you want to reach out to a deceased family member. Believe it or not, you’re not alone. According to our survey, nearly 33% of Britons have attempted to contact the dead.

How to contact the dead

We’ll explain different ways to contact the dead and signs that ghosts may be trying to contact you.

Choose a Method

From spirit boxes to planned-out séances, here are some popular approaches to communicating with the dead.

Spirit Box

A popular method of contacting the dead is by using a spirit box. These electronic devices are typically small enough to hold in your hand. They rapidly scan through radio stations, playing audio snippets from various sources. This rapid oscillation allows spirits to communicate through audio channels and white noise.

With these devices, you can slow or speed up the scanning, and even hear sounds that the human ear can’t.

Spirit box vs. Ouija board

Ouija Board

Ouija boards have been around since the 1890s. They began as a magical novelty in a Pittsburgh toy shop. Billed as a device that could answer questions about the past, present, and future, this simple item has provided contact with the spirit world ever since.

An Ouija board consists of the board and a planchette. The alphabet appears on the front of the board, as do the numbers 0-9, and the words “Yes,” “No,” and “goodbye.” Users rest their hands on the planchette, which moves over the board. 

After you ask the spirit world a question, the planchette will reveal the message from the spirits, letter by letter, by channelling energy through those performing the ritual. Unlike a spirit box, an Ouija board requires no electricity. Some believe this method is more intimate than using technology. You can use it solo or with others.


Séance is based on the French word for “sitting.” It is a medium-led meeting in which you invite ghosts to communicate. Séances typically include small groups of six to eight participants sitting in a circle. There is usually little light so as not to disrupt the spirits. Results range from disembodied voices to spirits speaking through the actual medium. 

Mediums have been using séances and other means to contact the dead for ages. It wasn’t until the mid 19th century that séances were more widely accepted. At the time, Spiritualism allowed many to combine science, rationality, and religion to answer some previously unanswerable questions.

Get Outside Help To Assist You

Anyone can attempt to contact apparitions or deceased loved ones using the above tools. However, it is a good idea to enlist outside help, especially if you’re new to communicating with the spirits. There are many professional services to enlist, and each professional will bring a different set of strengths and weaknesses, depending on the task at hand. 

Psychic Mediums

Psychic mediums can contact spirits. They have a connection that allows communication, and their mediumship can often sense the various spiritual energies of people and places. A psychic medium would be helpful when trying to contact a specific spirit or when trying to identify a spirit-rich area. 

Paranormal Investigators

Paranormal investigators are those who seek out haunted or otherwise paranormal locations. Using various scientific methods and technological devices, they will document many forms of paranormal data. A paranormal investigator could help read the conditions needed to communicate with spirits. This includes temperature, light level, or even hidden movement.

SpiritShack has helped many customers from around the world to communicate with loved ones and even unwanted spirits in the home. The key is having the right tools to communicate, patience, and being respectful whilst attempting to reach out. Ghosts don’t always communicate on our command, so be patient and prepared to have a break before trying again.

Religious Figures

Finally, one can employ the talents of a Spiritualist religious figure. Some people may prefer to consult leaders of other religions based on their faith, such as Catholic priests. As in other religions, Spiritualists believe that spirits are all around us, so someone may prefer to consult them for contacting the dead specifically. However, religious leaders in other cultures, including pastors and shamans, can reach out and communicate with any willing spirits.

Various cultures, including some Native American, African, and East Asian peoples, see the connection between faith and the dead as a part of life.

How To Set Up Your Space

If you’re attempting to contact spirits yourself, your space will impact your attempts. You will need various tools and equipment based on how you plan to reach spirits or other types of ghosts. You may also desire to conduct the ritual in specific locations, such as the deceased’s old bedroom.

No matter how you plan to contact the spirits, start by gathering the appropriate materials and setting up the space. When it is time to begin, follow all instructions properly. If you’re following a professional, listen to their instructions and be respectful of them and their work. 

Finally, be sure to use patience and politeness when speaking with the spirits.

How to conduct a séance

1. Gather Materials

Each method of contact will require unique materials. For a standard séance or similar process, you will need candles (arranged in a circle), writing utensils for the living and the dead, and any additional tools someone desires to aid them, such as a spirit box.

2. Prepare Sage for Later

When you’re finished communing with the spirits, you will want to cleanse your area to prevent unwanted contact. Burning sage has been used to achieve this cleansing for centuries. Use care when burning sage indoors, as it will be on fire and could produce sparks or embers. While saging the room, open the doors and windows and direct any lingering spirits out of the openings. 

3. Listen to Directions and Speak Respectfully

If you’re working with a medium or other professionals, be ready to listen. Follow their lead and do whatever they tell you once the session begins. Before the meeting, write down a list of questions for the spirits or the medium. Always use a considerate tone when speaking with spirits. Regardless of what one believes, it’s never impolite to be respectful of the dead.

4. Sage Your Space

As mentioned, it’s essential to cleanse your area after communicating with the dead. Open doors and windows to allow the spirits to leave the space. Then, light your smudge and walk around the house, wafting the smoke through your home. Once you’re done, extinguish your smudge stick and close your doors and windows. 

Signs that the Dead Are Trying To Contact You

No one is certain how a spirit may try to contact someone, but the following signs of ghosts have been common for centuries and might indicate the dead want a word with you. 

Signs ghosts are trying to communicate


  • Appearing in dreams: If a departed person appears in your dreams, it could signify that they wish to contact you. It could also indicate the desire to pass along knowledge or insights from the beyond.
  • Messages through songs or objects: Repeatedly hearing the same song or seeing the same messages on signs could indicate the presence of a spirit attempting to contact you, especially if the music or message has specific meanings relating to the individual in question.
  • Specific scents related to the deceased: Smelling inexplicable scents that remind you of a departed person can be a sign that they are still near. 
  • Flickering lights: Spirits can easily manipulate electricity. Inexplicable flickering lights could indicate the presence of a spirit.
  • Messages through pets or toddlers: Dogs and other animals can see what humans can’t. And toddlers are said to better sense spirits as they are more intuitive and during the moment. Watching your pets and young children for odd behaviour or strange messages can reveal the presence of spirits. 
  • The feeling of being watched or not being alone: Sometimes you just know you are not alone, you can feel it. Experiences vary from feeling a charged atmosphere, eyes looking at you, chills down your spine, hairs standing up on end, and the feeling of somebody standing right behind you. Experiences like this are an ideal time, so reach for your equipment and try and communicate.

Should You Try To Contact the Dead?

Contacting spirits is considered safe by many, but you should always proceed with caution and discretion. Contacting spirits might be easy, but it can be difficult to get them to leave once you’ve made contact.

Benefits of Communicating With the Dead

Despite the risks, contacting the dead can have plenty of benefits. Many people claim to have spoken to lost loved ones using séances and other methods of spiritual practice. Others have found peace and closure after confirming that life exists after death. Still, others find the concept intellectually stimulating. This can lead to a desire to become a paranormal investigator. Even sceptics can find educational and enriching value from attempts at spiritual communication if said attempts are successful.  

Dangers of Communicating With the Dead 

With that said, everyone must understand the risks when communicating with the dead. Not every spirit is benevolent. Some may cause mischief and pain. Even if the spirit isn’t malevolent, some people may feel emotional trauma from hearing voices from the beyond. Tread carefully, and stop if you feel discomfort.

Some practitioners warn against improper use of Ouija boards, in particular, when contacting the dead. If using this powerful tool, always be sure to properly close out your session by sliding the planchette to “goodbye” when finished. Coupling this step with using sage to cleanse and purify your space adds an extra layer of protection. Failure to do so may leave a channel open that is undesirable or even dangerous.

While communicating with the other side can be fun and exciting, there are dangers which need to be taken seriously. It’s the intention of trying to communicate which opens the doorway for the spirits to come through. Once you have finished your session, always say goodbye and ask them to leave. The intention of no longer wanting to communicate is what closes this doorway. Leaving these doorways open is what usually causes unwanted hauntings.

Final Thoughts

There are many means that one can use to contact the dead. From technologically based instruments like a spirit box to medium-led séances, reaching out to the spirits can be a rewarding experience. However, if you’re attempting to contact spirits yourself, make sure your area is ready to receive and dismiss your paranormal visitors before embarking on any method to connect with the other side.

If you decide to work with a professional, follow their advice and come prepared with plenty of notes. In the end, contacting spirits is about education. Doing so, with an open mind, can yield spectacular results. Approach every session with positivity and receptiveness, and you may be surprised at who reaches out to say hello. 

For many sceptics and investigators starting out, getting your first set of intelligent responses from a spirit box or Ouija board can be a life-changing experience. Catching evidence is what keeps many ghost hunters hooked. Always be willing to learn, research, try different methods of communication to find out what works best for you. Always say goodbye once a session is over and be respectful to the spirits.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!