From its earliest beginnings to contemporary times, mediumship practices have had many instances of fraud and trickery. Séances take place in darkness so the poor lighting conditions can become an easy opportunity for fraud. Physical mediumship that has been investigated by scientists has been discovered to be the result of deception and trickery. Ectoplasm, a supposed paranormal substance, was revealed to have been made from cheesecloth, butter, muslin, and cloth. Mediums would also stick cut-out faces from magazines and newspapers onto cloth or on other props and use plastic dolls in their séances to pretend to their audiences spirits were contacting them. Lewis Spence in his book An Encyclopaedia of Occultism (1960) wrote:
Firstly, you need to decide what kind of reading you want. Are you hoping to connect with a loved one? Are you interested in forging your spiritual path and need a little guidance? Are you wondering what energies are around you? Would you like a little advice from the angels? There are many psychics who devote their time to one or more of these practices. You will have to do a little research to find the one that can help you.