The Ouija board also known as a spirit/fire key board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" and "goodbye", and other symbols and words are sometimes also added to help personalize the board. It is a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc., which markets and distributes the Ouija Board as part of its line of board games. It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit's message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. Participants place their fingers on the planchette and it is moved about the board to spell out words. It has become a trademark that is often used generically to refer to any talking board.
Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond on July 1, 1890, the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.
Mainstream religions and some occultists have associated use of the Ouija board with the threat of demonic possession and some have cautioned their followers not to use Ouija boards.
While Ouija believers feel the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija's action, it may be parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychophysiological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect. Despite being debunked by the efforts of the scientific community, Ouija remains popular among many people.
More Food For Thought:
A group of children are sitting around a Ouija Board in a room. Suddenly, they become aware of an evil presence. One of them gasps, pointing at a crack in the cupboard of a door. As the others turn to see what this one child had seen, they look on in unbelief and terror as they see a perfect pair of evil bright green eyes staring at them! They run out of the room, scrambling for the door, down the stairs, and into the street. Everything seems to be out of the ordinary and not as it should be. There is an air of fear and confusion and their perception seems to be distorted. As the children run away from the house, they pause to turn and look back at it. To their horror they see that the entire house is distorted with slanted widows and doors! This terrifying story is the true account of an experience that a neighbor of mine had with the Ouija Board as a child. I have personally known this individual for many years and have never known him to be one to lie or exaggerate. It appears that terrifying experiences like this seem to be common place when people dabble with the Ouija Board.
The Ouija Board is an occultic device designed primarily to contact spirit entities. Different people use the board for different reasons. Some use it specifically to gain knowledge from the beings they seek to contact, hoping gain various information on such matters as career, relationships, or the afterlife etc. Often people are amazed at some of the things the board will reveal to them, things that those who are present would have no way of knowing. Others think that the board is just "a bit of harmless fun", "a game", not realizing the dangerous spiritual implications involved.
So what is it? The name Ouija is a combination of the French and the German words for "yes". As the above photograph shows, the device is usually a wooden board with the letters of the alphabet printed on it, along with the numbers 1 -9, the words "yes" and "no", and the words "good-bye" (Edmund C. Gruss, The Ouija Board, p. 3). People who gather around the board then seek to receive a message, via a glass being lightly held by the group, which spells out the messages.
Through my own research into the Ouija Board I have discovered that almost everyone has a story to tell in connection with it. I have even spoke to those who take a completely humanistic worldview, seeing science as the answer to all things, and who deny the supernatural. But when I asked one particular person, who held this position, what they thought of the Ouija Board they admitted to me that they did think that there was an unexplained evil behind it.
The following quotes from a Christian publication highlight the experiences that others, like the individual in the introduction to this article, have had with the evil of the Ouija Board:
"The headmaster of an Essex school was confronted by a dozen terrified 15-year olds who were seeking help after playing with home-made ouija boards, a simple device for communicating with outside forces. Teachers at the school were shocked at the behavior of those involved which included:
- A 15- year old boy who stood bolt upright in a geography lesson, shouting at a spirit to get off his shoulder - before he ran out of the classroom and the school.
- A girl claiming to have woken in the night to see a person in her room.
- One child who told of how, after a ouija session in a block of recreation park toilets, he was barred by a spirit from leaving the building.
It was only through the help of local clergymen that the problems were resolved. After prayer, the children said they felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from them. One girl slept peacefully through the night for the first time in two weeks." (Doorways to Danger, p. 6)
Should anyone suspect that these accounts are merely a product from the minds of overzealous 'fundamentalist evangelical Christians', it should be noted that even non-Christians and those who are actively involved in the occult, recognize the dangers of the ouija board. Vicar, Kevin Logan tells of the following experience he had in 1987 when he was part of a Tyne Tees television program: "A variety of witches faced us across the TV studio and encouraged us by supporting our warning to the public to avoid playing around with the ouija board. One witch said, 'It is a powerful tool in the occult and we would warn anybody who does not know what they are doing to steer well clear of the ouija." (Kevin Logan, Paganism and the Occult, pp. 130-131.).
The Ouija Board: "Harmless fun", "a game"? You decide!