How to Play 'Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board' - Party Levitation
DARE YOU PLAY?
Be it witchcraft or parlor trick the game commonly referred to as 'Light as a feather, stiff as a board' has earned its place amongst the legendary games and slumber party favorites of urban legend. Like the 'Ouija Board' and 'Bloody Mary' Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board is one of those games that blurs the lines between mere childish entertainment and something far more difficult to comprehend. Also known as 'Party Levitation' this game or trick is one that enables those involved to lift the weight of another with seemingly disproportionate ease.
Dating back to at least the 17th century Light as a feather, stiff as a board is recorded as having been played during the period of the Plague outbreak in London. A Mr Samuel Pepys is noted as having witnessed such activities, and commented on his surprise as he watched a group of small children lift another without effort, whilst whispering a strange unknown chant to each other. Bemused by this strange vision and suspecting that the child the others lifted might be extremely light Samuel Pepys called for the houses cook (a large stocky man), the children upon instruction and following the same whispered ritual as before lifted this large man with the same ease with which they had lifted the child.
How to Play 'Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board'
There are numerous versions told of the best way to play, or rather the correct incantation or chant to use, but all of them in their basic form involve a small group of people (usually five) in which four surround another person lying in a relaxed posture with eyes closed upon the floor. The surrounding members each position themselves one at the head, one at the feet, and one on either side of the person lying on the floor and place a specified number of fingers beneath them (usually two on each hand).
In it's current basic form the surrounding members of the game with eyes closed now begin to chant "Light as a feather, stiff as a board, light as a feather, stiff as a board..." over and over, until they are able to lift the central individual with such ease that it appears unfathomable.
In other versions of the Light as a feather, stiff as a board game the chant is more complex, one version begins with the person sat at the head of the central individual starting with "Once the roads were icy cold", which the others then repeat, "...a woman lost control of her steering wheel" which is again repeated back by the others, "When they found her she was light as a feather and stiff as a board" which is again chanted repeatedly, as in the more basic version, until the surrounding members are able to lift the seemingly weightless central person.
"Once the roads were icy cold, a woman lost control of her steering wheel, and when they found her she was light as a feather, stiff as a board..."