Dr. Raymond Moody, a psychiatrist with a PhD in philosophy, studied near-death experiences (NDEs) and wrote the renowned book, Life After Life. He saw that the NDEs had powerful effects on grieving people, so he set out to find a way for participants to have afterlife communications without going into a near-death experience.
Dr. Moody constructed a room on the top floor of a granary on his Alabama farm. The room was adorned with black velvet curtains and a mirror participants were to gaze into to have an afterlife communication. Before the mirror, he placed a low chair to ensure that participants couldn’t glimpse their own reflection as they looked into the mirror. The room was darkened so what appeared in the mirror was indistinct. Dr. Moody devised a ritual to guide his participants into an altered state of consciousness and help them connect with the departed souls they sought.
Research Shows the Psychomanteum's Success
In 2002, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, studied the psychomanteum’s effects on bereavement of 27 participants. The participants reported physical sensations, external phenomena in the room, imagery that appeared in the mirror, senses of presence, communications and dialogue, and auditory, visual, and olfactory phenomena. The participants who reported contact as part of their experience reported significant changes in their need to communicate and improve their relationship with the person in spirit. The experience had a positive effect on their feelings of grief and loss. Even those participants who did not experience contact reported significant improvements in feelings of grief and sadness and the need to communicate. Participants also reported significant alterations in unresolved feelings, missing the person, and feelings of grief, loss, sadness, guilt, and fear.
Source: Hastings, A., Ferguson, E., Hutton, M., Goldman, A., Braud, W., Greene, E., et al. (2002). Psychomanteum research: Experiences and effects on bereavement. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 45, 211-228.