As with other activities presented here, there are several ideas where fortune-telling, or misfortune-telling can be incorporated into your Superstition Bash in an effort to educate event participants on the subject, promote skepticism and, of course, have a whole lot of fun.
- The Classic Misfortune Teller
In your event area you can set aside a small section where you can have a "misfortune teller" seated at a table, or in the style of secrets and mysteries, use an additional room partitioned off by curtains, beads, etc. The Misfortune Teller can provide "readings" to guests. The readings can be given individually or a small group can be invited to sit at the table and participate together. The "type" of fortune-telling can be one of several listed below or a mixture of many. You may want to simply have a volunteer improvise his or her readings in a comical fashion or you may want to create a special skeptical reading for the purpose. The latter can serve to educate event participants about the methods used by fortunetellers and also show the problems that exist with the techniques themselves. (We will be including several of these skeptical presentations and experiments in the near future that can be used in this type of activity.) Additional handouts can be provided for guests and you may also want to use this activity for fundraising, either by charging a fee for the reading or including a donations jar on the Misfortune Teller's table.
- The Misfortune-Telling Festival
Depending upon the other activities you have lined-up for your Superstition Bash, you may want to make the fortune-telling activity the major event taking place, as there is definitely enough material in this one subject, alone, to have several different activities, displays/exhibits, workshops and presentations. In the fashion of a psychic fair, then, you could put on a misfortune-telling festival that highlights a variety of prophecy and divining techniques. Check out the list below for more ideas that can be used in workshops, interactive displays, and more.
- Misfortune-Telling Seminar / Lecture / Workshop
If your main goal is to educate and show the fallacies with fortune-telling, you may want to consider offering a seminar and/or workshop that features several methods used by the paranormal community, in predicting the future. A bit like having the Misfortune Teller, you could put on a presentation in front of a large audience, use volunteers from the audience to test various techniques while also introducing the skeptical investigation of the subject. Workshops could also be scattered about and supervised by a group of volunteers. They can allow attendants to interact with the material and learn through hands-on investigation. You may also have access to a local speaker who has experience with the field of fortune-telling. Perhaps an ex-psychic could be found to give a talk, or, even a practicing fortuneteller for that matter. If you do choose to go with the latter be sure that you have a moderator and that the "throwing the psychic to the skeptics" doesn't get out of hand.
- Misfortune-Telling Entertainment
You may want to put on an entertainment show for the topic of fortune-telling by inviting a comedian to your event and/or having a volunteer show the comical side of such fortune-telling methods as reading a lamb's intestine, crystal-ball gazing, etc. Several movies and television programs have taken this approach with the subject so another option here would be to rent a movie for a night of entertainment.
- Fortune-Telling Display / Exhibit
You may simply decide to put up a small or large display on the subject of fortune-telling in your events area by working with volunteers beforehand to create an attractive floor exhibit. Below you will find material that can be used for this.
We will be including a list of the types of fortune-telling below, along with descriptions and how-tos that are used by the fortunetellers themselves. We also hope to include, over time, skeptical investigations and experiments that have been conducted and that can be included in many activities for the Superstition Bash.