Table Tipping

I decided to do a table tipping entry due to the fact that I signed up to attend a seance this weekend,which will be including table tipping. I’ve decided that it would be interesting,to say the least,to start going to local paranormal events or classes to experience them first hand.A couple months ago I attended a ghost hunting “class” which was…..well,interesting. I took a look around on and found a local paranormal “investigation” group that is having a table tipping seance to contact spirits that they are sure are present due to numerous “investigations” they had done in the location.

Table tipping is one of the ways spirits are supposed to be able to make contact with the living,and originated when the modern spiritualism movement really started to take off in the early 1850’s.A group of people either sit or stand around a table and place their hands on the table near the edge,which are to be used as a conduit for spirit energy to move the table about,tip it,or even cause the table to levitate. Proponents of the method claim that all members in the session are not moving the table with their hands and that the hands of the participants are barely touching the table making it impossible for them to move the table through regular means such as pushing. Count de Gasparin and Professor Marc Thury of Geneva,concluded after their investigation into the phenomenon,that a force they called the “ectenic force” -a spiritual energy emitted by the spiritualist medium- was responsible.

I choose this video in particular because the person posting it claimed that it was a “controlled test” of table tipping that was being conducted. I found this a little strange as it looks no different from the multitude of other table tipping videos I could have chosen from,so one wonders exactly what controls are supposedly being applied to the participants.

One of the first controlled tests to eliminate the question of weather people were moving the table with their fingers,was conducted by Michael Faraday,who was made famous by his discovery of electro magnetism. Faraday’s simple device was two boards with glass rollers between them,held together with rubber bands. The ability of the spirits to move the table disappeared when this device was used and it was showed that it was the hands of the mediums or participants moving the table. While some might rationalize that the hands must be on the table surface and not on the device for the table to tip,there is also other controls that can be applied. James Randi has conducted many tests of table tippers and applied controls such as just placing wax paper under the finger tips of participants which will simple slide along the table if a directional force is applied. This is also used in conjuncture with placing the hands away from the edges of the table and toward the middle of the table making tipping due to downward pressure impossible.One must also take into account that many table tippers have also used their feet and legs to tip or levitate tables,so having participants sit in a chair with their feet down by the back legs of the chair helps to eliminate the leg and feet factor. To no ones surprise,table tippers also lost their abilities to move or levitate tables when such controls were applied.

In the video I see a small table that one might use to eat in front of the TV,which wouldn’t exactly take a whole lot of effort to move.The legs of the table are of the type that they cross,which is far more susceptible to downward manipulation as opposed to a table where the four legs come directly down from each corner.Also the hands are not in the lightly touching finger tips,propped up position that proponents will usually claim was used. Instead,everyones hands are almost laying down flat on the table,making it much easier to push or pull the table in any particular direction.

So,one can reasonable conclude that table tipping is not a true phenomenon and that it is either purposeful trickery of a dubious medium or participant,or that it is a result of the ideomotor effect;where ones muscles move subconsciously when the movement is an expected one.All the corroborative evidence points to it;exposed as trickery directly from the start and the inability for it to occur when simple controls are applied.Still,in spite of the evidence,one can never take away the need to believe,by some,in such things.


15 Responses to “Table Tipping”

  1. you can put Deren Brown into the search engine and see a debunking of this poor excuse for a mystery. its a testament to the gullabillity of human nature that people will often jump to the most outlandish reasoning because its interesting rather than confront the unpleasant and conflicting feelings which are aroused by facing up to the reality of being duped.

  2. I was introdueced to table tipping in my childhood by my mother and an aunt. They had learned it from their immigrant parents–from Hungary. My father was always a total skeptic. In my teens and twenties, my mother and aunt, as well as many college friends, would occassionally get together and attempt table tipping.

    Indeed — we were not using any force to move the tables (usually a card table), but indeed the table would go up and down at the unoccupied end. It always took some time for it to begin, usually with a weak start. Also, there would often be a twisting motion of the table; you could hear the table creaking. Three of us at the table with one end open (the north end if I recall correctly) we would start with our hands lightly on the edge of the table. More than once, as the table began to rise and fall at the opened end, we would try two people at the sides with only a mere finger lightly touching the table and the person at the end (opposite the opend side) with their hands lightly/barely touching. Still the table would go up and down on the unoccupied end. Taking one side of touch away would stop the table’s response. We even showed my father this configuration once (two fingers and one set of hands). With friends, we would feel cold spots in the room as the table tipping progressed. Once, when my mathematical engineer father laughed and insisted we were twisting the table and applying force, we stopped table tipping then tried to use force to purposely tilt the table using wordly laws of physics. The table did not tip. I am a biomedical researcher, a molecular biologist, well verse in the worldly laws of physics and biology. But I also have weathered inumerable spiritual experiences in life from table tipping, to speaking in tongues, dreaming the future, etc. Ouija board planchettes (or any substituting object) in my hands with another nearly always wants to go in circles, down a table’s legs, across the floor, and if there is a piano near, onto the piano. Go figure. There is indeed something to table tipping. There is indeed more to existence that the limited bits we can take in by mere human perception. What does an ant crawling in the dirt know of cars and airplanes, world wars, the latest hot rock band? What do we know of things far beyond our wordly human perceptions. Some may be genetically wired to have the “gift” of being able to experience what is referred to as the supernatural, the spiritual in a very direct way. Some like me regard it as a simultaneous gift and a curse. I do know that through my middle years, when table tipping, there is truly something beyond the wordly laws of physics at play.

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  4. We just prayed for a lady around late 70’s who introduced table tipping to her and her sisters at 4 yrs old. She was one of them that really did not do it as she got older. We only came to pray for healing in her throat that just won’t go away by just praying over it. Because of the experiences that I’ve had in casting demons out of people I’ve learned that if they cannot be healed by simple prayer then it’s a demon working in their lives causing them physical ailments and pain. I kept hearing the Holy Spirit of God say witchcraft as we prayed for her. When I mentioned witchcraft she then told me about her grandmother and table tipping. As I cast out all the demons that came in to her life because of table tipping she started to feel better.
    I would like to share that demons are the cause of levitations and things moving by themselves. These demons attach themselves to the people participating when they are called and usually come with many! Some get possessed but most are invisibly living with them causing many bad things to happen in their lives and causing physical pain and ailments. It then becomes a generational curse passing on from one generation to another affecting all members of the family until it is cast out. The old lady also had to renounce playing that game and I had to cancel the effects that game had on her and her sisters.
    Just so you know, it is easier to stay away from these things so that you can be demon free. Casting them out takes time and hard on the person as well. Some don’t come out easy. They will try anything to stay in that person’s life.

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  7. One common procedure followed by those engaged in table tipping began with those in attendance forming a circle around the table. They placed hands lightly , with fingertips touching, on the leaf, and with lowered lights or in complete darkness, waited for the manifestations. According to reports, if someone with psychic powers was present the table might show signs of animation. The first such sign was often a quivering motion under the sitters’ hands; it increased until the table pulsated with a mysterious energy. The wooden surface appeared to some to act as a reservoir of externalized nervous force.

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