The Most Exclusive Seance Parlor Outside Hollywood
What parlor is more exclusive than the Houdini Seance Chamber in Hollywood's Magic Castle? (As difficult as it is to get into the Magic Castle, of those select few who know the secret word to whisper to the carved owl on the sliding bookcase, only a smaller fraction ever see the Houdini Seance Chamber.) More exclusive than that is the macabre sitting room where the host of "Tales of Midnight," Spooky Brucey, divines the truths behind the most sinister legends on record.
Through our network of masked contacts in arcane circles, we came into possession of previously uncirculated blueprints and photos of the Tales of Midnight parlor. As this room is filled with age-old secrets, we thought to analyze it through the sage-colored glasses of ancient Chinese necromancy, as detailed in Seance Parlor Feng Shui
. And we discovered more than a few surprises.
The old wizards of Feng Shui overlaid an esoteric map onto an area to see how the arrangement harmonized with the elemental flow of existence. When we overlap that map upon Spooky Brucey's parlor, we see a stroke of genius right off — the placement of the fortune telling automaton, Lady Audley, in the room's upper left corner, exactly where the Chinese ancients identified the space of "Fortune." Lady Audley is not merely at home in this corner; it is here and only here that she can truly thrive as a prophesier. Incidentally, this automaton survived a boardwalk fire in 1964, the blaze having been set by a man who felt that Lady Audley enslaved him with a strange power and who sought to break the spell via purifying flames.
A most intriguing revelation is the location of the "Beast's Hole in the Wall." This niche, partially sealed off with weathered boards, contains a carnival sideshow abomination that was rescued after being swallowed by a sinkhole in Florida. This beast sits in the "Wisdom" section of the room, prompting the startling suggestion that Spooky Brucey acquires knowledge from a seven-foot tall monstrosity that was first captured while it scavenged in a ruined Turkish necropolis dedicated to the god of the dead. This insight is perhaps one that Spooky Brucey would prefer to remain private, so we'll take that particular issue no further.
The crystal ball and its table are positioned in the "Career" area of the map, which indicates that Spooky Brucey has a calling to foresee, to foretell, and perhaps to forewarn. Interestingly, the two chairs at the seance table cross over into the "Wisdom" and "Mentors" areas. Whichever chair Spooky Brucey himself may sit in is therefore auspicious — if the "Wisdom" chair, his crystal ball readings will be shrewd, and if the "Mentors" chair, his interpretations will be strengthened by the guides and confidants at whose feet he has studied. Note that the "Mentors" section also features the door to the parlor, meaning that Spooky Brucey is open to learning from new sources that enter into his life.
A table holding occult objects lies in the "Creativity" area, meaning that Spooky Brucey's original ideas are inspired by rarefied dinguses (or dingi). But more intrigue is found in the "Partnership" zone, where we find a wooden crate. Dare we wonder who — or what — constitutes Spooky Brucey's partner? Is the crate newly arrived from some exotic locale, is it being prepped for shipment, or is it a permanent fixture and merely cracked open occasionally? These are questions we may not ask.
We mustn't overlook a rather profound paradox that exists in the Tales of Midnight parlor. The fireplace is in the "Career" zone, whose ruling element is water. This suggests that the fireplace is perhaps ornamental or that the chimney is so corroded that it's unsafe for burning. Yet things are decidedly odder, for opposite the fireplace, in the "Reputation" zone ruled by fire, sits a vaudevillian magician's ventriloquism dummy found nailed in a trunk at the bottom of a lake. And so in this seance parlor, fire and water are inverted. There may be some sly technique behind this inversion, for if Spooky Brucey has concerns that incendiary gossip by tricky dummies may harm his reputation, he has dampened such fires with something decidedly soggy. And if the flow of his Water-ruled career is intended to get steamier, wasn't it the three witches in Macbeth who said, "Fire burn and cauldron bubble"? So even these two seeming violations of Feng Shui betray a seance parlor "on the ball," as it were.
Only two zones remain. "New Beginnings" auspiciously features a window, symbolically a portal to another world. The center of "Well-Being" is the only zone bereft of objects, suggesting that the dead center of the room is where Spooky Brucey finds the most happiness, encircled as he is by the uncanny artifacts he has curated. The center of the room, being ruled by the Earth element, is here surrounded by its own zodiacal constellations, each with a unique story and intrigue.
(To learn how to create your own magical seance parlor, see Seance Parlor Feng Shui.)