Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

light as a feather stiff as a board chantA fun and somewhat freaky levitation game for you and at least five of your friends to play at night. It does not summon spirits, nor is it intended to be horror-like.

Late at night, light a candle in a dark room and place it on the floor, and unplug any and all electronic devices. I find it works best if outside lights (including the moon and stars) are blocked by curtains or something similar. Have someone (the subject, or victim, if you will, lay down with their arms crossed over their chest with the candle between their feet. Arrange five kneeling people around the subject. Done correctly, two people will be at the subject’s knees, one on each side, two more at the subject’s shoulders, and one at his or her head. Have the five people place their index and middle fingers of both hands under the subject, with their palms facing up.

Now everyone, including the subject, closes their eyes. The person kneeling at the subject’s head then says, “Light as a feather, stiff as a board.” Going clockwise (to the left), each person repeats the phrase and it goes around the circle until everyone (not including the subject) has said it three times. It is very important to enunciate clearly, otherwise it won’t work. If anyone is skipped at any time or hesitates to say it, it won’t work either. Once the chant has passed around the circle three times, the person kneeling at the head of the subject says, “One, two, three.” On “three,” each of the five kneeling people flick their fingers upward, being careful not to move.

If this works, the subject will slowly float up off the ground. They will continue to rise until someone opens their eyes, moves, or speaks, or until the person gets above the flame of the candle at their feet. When that happens, they will immediately fall back to the floor, so either be prepared to catch them or don’t let them get too high. They go up at a rate of about two or three inches per second, so keep this in mind when performing this trick.

I’ve been told this also works in a pitch black room, but I have not tried it myself. Another version I’ve heard requires this to be done outside in the light of the moon (most likely a full one), but this is difficult unless you live in an area where there aren’t any other sources of light. The rules are the same except for the one about the subject rising above the candle. More than just the six people required for the stunt can be in the room, but they must be kneeling and closing their eyes, and they can’t move or speak or the trick won’t work.

Enjoy freaking your friends out!

light as a feather stiff as a board chant
Rachel Rise from Lake Oswego, Oregon