The House of the Spirits
It was then that she began her first serious attempts to communicate with extraterrestrial beings and that, as she herself noted, she began to have her first doubts regarding the spiritual messages she received from the pendulum and the three-legged table. She often said that perhaps it was not the souls of the dead, wandering in another dimension, but rather beings from other planets who were trying to establish a relationship with earthlings but who, because they were made of an intangible matter, could easily be confused with souls. (7.4)
[Nicolás] tried in vain to imitate her… Clara tried to console him for his failures.
"You can't learn these things or inherit them," she would tell him when she saw him going cross-eyed with concentration in his strenuous efforts to move the saltshaker without touching it. (7.49)
Her mother replied that there was no reason to fear the dead, only the living, because, despite their bad reputation, there was no evidence that mummies had ever attacked anyone; if anything, they were naturally timid. (8.27)