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Hosting a Dumb Supper on Samhain

A Dumb Supper, or a Seance, is usually done on Samhain. Dumb is the word for no one being allowed to speak all throughout the supper. It is tradition that is done to communicate with those who have crossed over to the other side. And it is done by many on Samhain because it is the time when the veil between our world and the spirit world are at its thinnest. It is that one night of the year when the spirits of those that have passed on will hear whatever it is that we want to tell them, and they might even talk back.

Setting the Table

Black table cloths, black plates and cups are the tradition for dumb suppers. A combination of black and white is also possible. You should also just light black candles to serve as your light source.

Each guest should have one seat and the seat at the head of the table should be left empty for the spirits. Drape a white or black cloth over the seat at the head of the table.  If there’s more than one spirit with whom you wish to communicate, use tea lights to symbolize each of them.

There should be a cauldron or bowl on the table and near the seat for the spirits to catch the embers for the ritual later on.

Food Preparation

Samhain is the season for fall crops. You may serve apples, pumpkin-based soup, and soul cakes.

Before partaking, all of you should join hands and say a silent prayer to bless the meal.

Host/Hostess Duties

A dumb supper is a dinner hosted where you don’t allow anyone to speak. Everyone invited to the supper should be made aware of this rule beforehand. It’s best to have all of the things your guests could possibly need in a single, easy to locate place.

Also make sure all cell phones are put on silent. There should be nothing emitting a noise that can distract you and your guests from your goal.

The host or hostess should be seated opposite the chair at the head of the table. She or he should serve food to the guests according to their age: from oldest to youngest. Also serve food for the spirits.


Your dining area is a sacred space during this time. So before you start, cast a circle around your dining area or do some smudging.

Once the guests enter, they can make their way to the seat at the head of the table and offer their silent prayers for the deceased.

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Restricted Guests

This is not a good event to let kids participate in. They can get spooked, get bored, or even laugh during supper. They are just too young to process the entire thing.

Communicating With The Spirits

Once everyone's done eating, each person should take the note that he or she has for the deceased and go to the tealight that represents the deceased and burn the note in its flame.

Once everyone is done, you can all join your hands in prayer for all the deceased.

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