A seance or seance (/ˈseɪ.ɑːns/; French: [seɑ̃s]) is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word seance comes from the French word for “to sit,” from Old French seoir, “to sit.” In French, the meaning of the word is quite generic: one can say, for example, “a cinema session”. However, in English, the word is used specifically for a gathering of people who gather to receive messages from spirits or to hear a medium talk to spirits or convey messages from spirits. In modern English usage, attendees are not required to be seated when joining a session. Fictitious conversations between the deceased appeared in Dialogues of the Dead by George, First Baron Lyttelton, published in England in 1760. Queen of Sweden. The popularity of séances greatly increased with the establishment of the religion of Spiritism in the mid-19th century. Perhaps the best-known séance segment at the time was that of Mary Todd Lincoln, who, in grief over her son, held séances at the White House in the presence of her husband, President Abraham Lincoln, and other prominent members . of society. The 1887 report of the Seybert Commission damaged the credibility of spiritualism at the height of its popularity by publishing revelations of fraud and showmanship among secular séance leaders. Modern séances are still part of services today in spiritist, spiritist, and spiritualist churches, where more emphasis is placed on spiritual values than spectacle.