What is The Witches Dumb Supper?
Held in the ballroom of the infamous Talbot Hotel Stourbridge, the Dumb Supper is comprised of a three course dinner served in reverse, and observed in solemn silence. A popular sacred practice among Witches and pagans, this ceremony is designed to help summon the souls of our loved ones from the other side so that we may give thanks, and perhaps even commune with them once again.
With a hotly debated history, the origins of the Dumb Supper are mysterious and largely unknown. However, It is widely thought to have evolved from a love ritual conducted on Halloween night which supposedly allowed young women to divine the identity of their future husbands.
Modern day Dumb Suppers take place all over the world and are often held during the month of October when the veil between this world and the spirit world is said to be at it’s thinnest.
Guests are asked to open themselves up to and invite their ancestors and loved ones who have passed away to come and dine with them. This type of ceremony is not a seance, and no mediums or psychics are used to relay messages from the dead. Instead it is simply a tradition created as a way for guests to give thanks to and remember the people who came before us.
Many cultures throughout history have had some variation of rituals in which food is offered to the dead. Perhaps more recognisable are the modern symbolic versions of remembering the departed that feature meals. An example of this is the “Missing Man Honors Ceremony” in which empty place settings represent and honour soldiers missing in action.
Although the main purpose of the Dumb Supper is not a focus on the manifestation of any form of paranormal activity, people who hold and attend them have often reported spirits revealing themselves in a variety of ways. Guests have recalled a ghostly touch, the scent of perfume, whispered messages, and even physical manifestations. This is a solemn event where respect for the dead is crucial. By remaining silent you open your heart and mind to those who have crossed over and put them at the forefront of your thoughts.
So What will actually happen during the Ritual?
The evening will start off downstairs, in the bar area of The Talbot Hotel, where you may purchase drinks at the bar. We will give a short talk about the history of Dumb Suppers and allow you to select a candle for you to place on our altar later. We will also explain the ceremony rules and answer any questions you may have.
Attendees will then be led upstairs to meet the master of ceremonies. Outside the ballroom (where the Dumb Supper will be held) you will approach the master of ceremonies one by one and stare into the face of death itself (represented by a human skull). At this point you will be asked if you are prepared to open yourself up and invite your beloved dead to dine with you.
Once you pass through the veil you will be guided towards our Grand Altar of The Dead. Here you will get the opportunity to light your candle and place it in the holder of the ancestral altar. This candle represents the person or people on the other side you are inviting to dine with you, and possibly wishing to contact and commune with.
You will then be guided to your place at the dining table. Once all guests are seated the food will be served. Starting with dessert, the courses will be presented with the dead served first as a sign of respect. Once the master of ceremonies rings the bell everyone may start eating.
Attendees are free to leave the sacred space, in this case the ballroom, at anytime (for example to visit the bathroom). To do so, simply exit the veil, continuing to respect the rule of silence. Guests must not under any circumstances talk while in the sacred space. Any guest caught talking within the sacred space will be ejected and ushered out by one of our team and a refund will not be given.
If, for any reason you require assistance of any kind please raise your hand at any point throughout. One of our team will escort you out of the ballroom and you can then discuss anything you wish with them once away from the sacred space.
Due to the solemnity of this ceremony, and the sacred element of the evening, some attendees may feel a bit overwhelmed. If you feel you need to take time away from the meal for some air, please feel free to leave the ballroom. Our team are more than happy to talk to you outside the sacred space if you wish to talk about any experiences or are apprehensive about something. All members of our team are professional Witches and have a wealth of experience with magick and the occult. We are well equipped to discuss anything related to the ceremony.
After all our guests have finished the third and final course of the meal (the starter) everyone will be escorted back out through the veil to the bar area downstairs. This will mark the completion of the Dumb Supper ritual. You are more than welcome to remain in the bar area and buy more drinks after the meal is over. A member of our team will remain in the bar if you wish to talk to them about your experiences or ask any further questions.
Where can I buy tickets?
Why is it called a Dumb Supper?
“Dumb,” in this case, is a synonym for mute or silent, as the most essential rule of the Dumb Supper is the complete silence in which it should be conducted. This means no talking in the ballroom (the sacred space).
Is this a Seance?
No, The Dumb Supper is not a seance and no mediums or psychics are used to relay messages from the dead. This event is simply a ritual created to give thanks to and remember those people who came before us.
Will I see Ghosts?
The Dumb Supper does not specifically revolve around paranormal activity, however, people who hold and attend them have often reported spirits manifesting in a variety of ways. Guests have recalled a ghostly touch, the scent of perfume, whispered messages, and even physical appearances.
Where is the Dumb Supper Held?
The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1DW
31st October every Halloween night at 7:30 PM
Is The Talbot Hotel Haunted?
The Hotel does have a reputation for hauntings and paranormal activity. It has been featured in a number of books and has been frequented by a number of paranormal investigators.
Is this ritual safe?
Yes, we take great precautions to ensure this is safe both in terms of mudane health & safety but also the ritual is conducted and overseen by several Professional and experienced Witches to ensure the metaphysical requirements are met and to answer questions and support the people who attend the ritual.
Could I hold my own Dumb Supper?
Yes, we highly recommend doing something similar yourself, perhaps even creating your own tradition based on the Dumb Supper. Many feel that there is little focus on ancestors today, so any respect you can show to those that came before us is a bonus.
Can I change my mind and leave half way through?
You may leave the ritual at any time but no refunds will be given.
Can I take Photos?
You cannot take pictures in the sacred space (the ballroom) but you can in other parts of the hotel such as downstairs.
Can I take my phone with me?
Yes, but your phone must be switched off or turned on airplane mode (not vibrate). If your phone goes off in the sacred space you will be asked to leave and we will not give a refund. We can provide a safe place to leave your phone outside the ritual space if you do not wish to take it in with you, or have any need for it to be left on.
Yes. At the back of the hotel there is allocated parking for patrons, or you may find some spare parking spaces around the front if you are lucky.
What if I am late?
If you arrive after the other guests have started the ritual and moved up to the ballroom then regretfully you will not be allowed in and a refund will not be given.
Is this a religious ritual?
The Dumb Supper is not a religious ceremony although is popular among many pagans.
Can I talk at the dinner?
No, absolutely not! Talking during the Dumb Supper and within the ritual space is extremely rude and disrespectful both to the dead and our other guests. Anyone caught talking within the ritual space will be escorted out and will not be refunded. You may leave the ritual space and talk outside at any time.
Can I bring something to put on the ancestral altar?
Yes we encourage it. However, please see a member of the team beforehand if you are wanting to take the thing or things you bring back home with you after. Anything left on the altar after the ceremony will be ceremonially burned and “sent to the spirits” after the ritual.
We recommend writing a letter to the person or persons you wish to contact and leaving it on the altar. This way we can later dispatch it off to the spirit world through the burning process.
Is the Skull used a real Human Skull?
Yes, the Skull you speak to (or I should say through) that sits on the altar is a real human skull. Bones, both human and animal, have been used for thousands of years for ancestral and necromantic magick.
What is on the Menu?
What will we be drinking?
Before and after the ritual you are free to buy drinks from the bar downstairs however during the ritual and whilst in the ritual space we will be offering spring water which has been ritually collected by the organisers from a sacred spring.
Spring water is used as this has often been associated with the dead or underworld given that is rises from the ground (much like rain water is often associated with "the Gods" as is "falls from the heavens").
What happens to the burnt offerings and food left for the dead?
The items people do not wish to take back home them will be ritually burned at midnight on Halloween night and then buried at a local cemetery.
I have more questions who do I speak too?
You can speak to a member of our team on the night or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org