Summoning Spirits: The dead come back in the Robinson Theater

Colin McCann

On Monday, a man who dabbles in the realm of the paranormal performed a show called Summoning Spirits that brought shock and excitement to a crowd in the Robinson Theatre. His name is Peter Boie.

“There’s strange and unexplained experiences happening right here,” said Boie to the audience in a chilling, ominous tone. “Late at night you can hear footsteps walking across the stage. There are distinct cold spots throughout the room. And lights will flicker even though nobody is at the lighting board. No one really knows who, or what, this is, but we’re going to see if we can connect with it tonight.”

With that being said, Boie chose six students from the audience and gave them each a candle and a piece of paper. Five of them were asked to write down the name of someone living and the remaining student was asked to write down a name of someone who has died.

After they wrote down names, Boie lit the candles, shuffled the pieces of paper and randomly redistributed them back to the students.

Boie then said, “Spirit of the theater, who is holding the name of the dead?”

As they awaited an answer, “Spirits of the Dead,” a poem by Edgar Allan Poe was played over the speakers, and before the poem was finished, the light from one of the candles went out. The student holding that candle read the name on the paper, and it was the name of the person who had passed.

In the next act, a student was asked to write down a question about the future and to not show it to anyone. Boie then explained that he would stop his heartbeat and enter the spiritual realm to get an answer from a ghost. As he did this, the student listened to his pulse, tapping on the mic for every heartbeat she heard, until she stopped tapping.

After a few seconds, Boie opened his eyes and explained that it was a success. He said he spoke to the ghost, which had taken the paper with the question, lit it on fire, breathed the smoke in and out, before saying he doesn’t get involved in politics.

The student was shocked and told the audience the question she wrote down was “Will Kanye be president in 2020?”

In another act, two students were brought up on stage and sat in chairs facing the audience. As one student kept his eyes closed, Boie lightly brushed the nose of the other student twice. When the student who had not been touched opened his eyes, he said he felt like someone lightly brushed his nose two times. The same thing happened again; when one student was tapped on the left shoulder twice, the other student felt it as well.

Boie then played a short clip of himself attempting to talk to a ghost named Emily. He said Emily had hung herself on a bridge many years ago, and when people cross the bridge at midnight, something will appear and scratch them.

So, Boie went to the bridge at midnight and sat there with a Ouji board. He asked many times if someone was there, and when it seemed like she would not answer, he pulled out a noose. Within seconds, the planchette (the heart shaped piece of a Ouji board that moves across letters) was flung off the bridge, and Boie quickly rushed to his car.

For his last act, Boie tried to get in touch with Emily to ask her questions and used a phone recorder to hear her answers. He explained that electronic devices can pick up sounds that humans can’t.

After the questions were asked, each followed by a short moment of silence to give Emily a chance to answer, Boie played back the recording.

“Is there anybody there?” Boie asked.

Something like static or a whisper responded.

“If there is anybody there, what is your name?” he asked.

There was then a whisper that sounded like “Emily.”

Boie said, “A lot of spirits will be confused, like if they have some unfinished business. That’s why they’re stuck in certain areas.”

He then asked the last question. “Is there anything we can do to help you?”

“Stop breathing,” it answered with a hiss.

Immediately after the answer was given, a bell hanging from a mic stand dinged, static showed up on the screen, and a planchette from a ouiji board on stage was flung to the floor.

The show ended with a round of applause, and in a closing statement, Boie said, “I wish you all pleasant nightmares.”

For some people, ghosts do not exist, but for others, they are very real. People around the world claim to see and feel the presence of ghosts in homes, abandoned parks and malls, forests and almost anywhere else.

Who knows. Maybe we have our own campus ghost living in the Robinson Theater, waiting to haunt those who enter.

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