The Dumb Supper is an ancient Celtic ritual that is used to summon the dead or to divine the future. “Dumb” in this case means “mute” since everything must be done in complete silence, without saying a word.
Years ago, people would hold a dumb supper in order to contact the dead. It was believed that this method of divination would reveal who you were going to marry.
To hold a dumb supper, you must do the following in complete silcence, without uttering a word. You also have to do everything while walking backwards. This is very important. (If you accidentally say something or accidentally walk forwards, you have to start all over again.)
Step 1: Turn off all the lights. Light a candle and place it in the middle of the table.
Step 2: Set out chairs at the table for each guest and then set an extra one at the head of the table for the dead.
Step 3: Set a place at the table for each guest and then set an extra one at the head of the table for the dead. When you are setting the table, the placement of the knives and forks has to be reversed, so in this case, the knife should be on the left and the fork should be on the right. You should also use your best plates and silverware.
Step 4: Place 9 things to eat on the table. This can be anything edible, as long as there are 9 different things. (For example: Salt, pepper, butter, bread, potatoes, chicken, carrots, brussel sprouts and a bar of chocolate.)
Step 5: Serve the meal to each guest in order of age, from the oldest to the youngest.
Step 6: Sit down, eat the meal in complete silence and wait for the dead to arrive.
Although this might seem like a safe ritual, there are certain dangers associated with it.
According to one story, three sisters were left home alone when their parents went out one night. The girls decided to hold a Dumb Supper to see who they were going to marry.
The girls did everything while walking backwards and they were careful not to say a word to each other. They cooked the food, then placed four chairs at the table and set out four plates. All three girls sat down and ate in silence.
It was a dark night and the wind was rattling the window panes. All of a sudden, a gust of wind threw one of the windows open and the candle blew out. The girls sat in the darkness, scared to death and holding on to each other for dear life.
A minute later, there was a flash of lightning and the girls saw a tall figure standing by the table. They could tell it was a man from his outline, but they couldn’t see his face.
“Oh my God!” the youngest girl exclaimed in fright.
That broke the spell and when the girls got the window shut and switched on the lights, the mysterious stranger was gone. The oldest girl pointed to her place at the table. Her plate was still there, along with the fork and spoon, but the knife was gone.
It was a very distinctive knife because it had their father’s initials engraved on the handle. The next morning, at breakfast, their father noticed that the knife was missing. The girls had to admit that they had held a Dumb Supper the night before.
Their parents were furious. Their father glared at them in anger and disappointment. Their mother scolded the girls, telling them that a Dumb Supper was not Christian. She said that it was a wicked and dangerous ritual and it was no better than saying a prayer to the devil. The three girls proimised that they would never do anything like that again.
Years passed and the girls grew up. The oldest girl married a young man from a nearby town. He was a good husband, worked hard and treated her very kindly. However, after a few months, she grew bored with married life and she began sneaking out to bars and nightclubs and cheating on her husband with a succession of other men.
Eventually, she left her husband and ran off with one of the men she had met. He was a big tall fellow, with a handsome face, but nobody knew much about him. One night, they were staying in a cheap motel somewhere and they got into a fight.
The next morning, the hotel staff found the girl lying dead in the room, with a knife sticking out of her chest. There was blood everywhere. Her murderous boyfriend was long gone and the police were never able to track him down.
The strangest thing about the whole thing was that when the police examined the knife that killed her, they found it had her father’s initials engraved on the handle.