You're sitting alone in the library and you feel like someone is trying to call you — except there is no one around you. You grab a Ouija board and discover there is a ghostly spirit contacting you to send a message to its sister, explaining the reasoning of its death.
Sounds like a scene of a horror movie, doesn't it?
To Matt Fultz, it was his first encounter with the "other side."
With a campus full of students with all sorts of skills — from math whizzes to jugglers — some students' talents reach beyond our reality and into the paranormal spectrum.
Ouija Board Readers
The Ouija board reader's tool of the trade, a Ouija board is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers zero to nine, and the words "yes," "no," "hello" and "goodbye." It's also known as the spirit board, and is one of the oldest forms of spiritualism, dating back to the 1800s.
However dated the board may seem, some UCF students are finding themselves gravitating to the age-old practice.
Fultz, a senior communications major, started practicing with the Ouija board in summer 2013 after his friend got him interested in it.
Fultz felt as if spirits were trying to contact him. After research and practice with the board, he knew he had an innate power for communicating with spirits.
"I've only practiced with the board a handful of times — when I feel like someone is trying to contact me," Fultz said. "The energy moves through your body and that's how you know the board is working. The board is the door and the planchette is the key; when the two are together, the spirit portal is open."
It takes two people to practice: One holds the planchette, which is the triangular-looking glass, and talks to the spirits, while the other also holds the planchette and writes down each letter it moves on.
Video: Calling Spirits. Editor in Chief, Ryan Gillespie calls spirits with spiritual medium, Matt Fultz. Video by Arnold Godoy, Central Florida Future Arnold Godoy
The one who communicates with the spirits first asks if there is anyone in the room trying to reach out and then proceeds to ask the spirits' name and the reasoning for their presence.
Fultz said if there is only one person performing the ritual, that person becomes vulnerable to evil possession.
"Different spirits attract themselves to me because I am successful at communicating with them," Fultz said. "I feel like I'm called to do it by some higher being and I also feel like I could help people."
Fultz describes all of his Ouija experiences in his blog titled "Matte Velvet," which can be found at www.mattevelvet.com.
Kemi Gottschalk, a freshman theatre major, has been reading palms for a few years after her great grandmother taught her everything about it.
"She's always read my palm at family gatherings — before her passing — and I was just always fascinated by it so I asked her to teach me," Gottschalk said.
Palm reading consists of reading three different lines: the heart, life and love lines.
"The heart lines tells me how your health is looking and if there's a major sickness in your future," Gottschalk said.
While some might not be anxious in hearing if they're going to die in 70 years or get hit by a bus and die tomorrow, the good news about the life line is that it can also tell you minor events.
"The life line tells me small bits and pieces about your life, like a good part in your life, a bad time and if you have something good or bad coming up," she said.
For those waiting for "the one" to come along, the love line on your palm might be able to determine a lot of those unanswered questions.
"The love line tells me about your romantic life, relationship status, anything major happening in it and what is to come. The life line changes a lot so that's why I continue to read the same palm over time," Gottschalk said.
With no props or supplies needed, Gottschalk is able to read anyone's palm, anywhere, without any special form of practicing.
"I just remember what my great grandmother taught me and I just go from there. It's really easy once you know how to do it," she said.
Tarot Card Readers
In most people's minds, tarot card readers are just women in flowing, patterned robes, wearing gypsy-like hats, leaning over a small table in a candlelit room, prophesying your inexorable doom.
For UCF student and digital media major Reid Osterloth, it's going to New Orleans, meeting a voodoo woman by the name of Momma Alice and having her teach you the way of the cards.
"I've always been interested in the concept of voodoo and one of the times my family and I took a trip to New Orleans, we went into this small voodoo shop and that's where I met the woman who taught me what the cards mean and how to use them," Osterloth said.
"She called herself Momma Alice and she used to do more ritual-based voodoo, but she had started to step away from that and go to the more simple side of voodoo," he said.
While Osterloth thought taking trips to The Big Easy many years ago was just for family vacations, he began to go back almost every year to visit Alice. And over his numerous trips to the city, Alice taught him how the decks work.
"On the day Alice said my training was complete, we did a minor blessing for the spirits over my deck so that it would have my energy to it," Osterloth said.
With no props or materials needed, all Osterloth needs is the cards and skills that Alice taught him.
But it's not as simple as some think.
"I shuffle my cards to fill them with my own energy, then I lay them out in either a 13-card or four-card pattern and I just read the meaning behind them. I can ask someone a specific question or just let my mind go blank and see where it goes," Osterloth said.
The most rewarding aspect of Osterloth's experience with tarot cards is that each reading tells a story and each story tells about someone's life.
"What made me so interested was probably the possibilities, the cards really tell a story about someone's life and what they've experienced. I had people that cried after I told them what I read, I've had people deny everything and then come back later apologizing because they didn't want to face it," he said. "The cards tell me a lot about myself and other people; they give me a glimpse into the future or at least a possible future."
UCF English literature major Gray Bigler, also referred to as "Mr. Pink," would describe his distinctive talent as one that people are born with.
Bigler began his inherent psychic journey when he was in middle school after his parents filed for divorce. After losing her job, his mother started to explore her interest in psychic readings because she felt she had the abilities in her.
"My mother works with spirit guides, crystal healings, and she is a professional now," Bigler said. "She does kind of palm readings but through spiritual foot massages."
After his mother had the internal thought that Bigler had the psychic abilities too, he started practicing. While psychics can't read their own future, Bigler and his mother team up to read each other.
"Psychics can't read their own future because we have an idea of what we want it to be and that influences what we desire," he said.
Psychics, Bigler said, try and stick with good news and beneficial warnings.
"Our job as psychics is not so much to deliver bad news but get you ready for it," Bigler said.