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A Tale of Ouija

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 6:06 am by David "Snackbar" Edmundson


The idea behind the Ouija board is not new. The automatic writing method that is used by the Ouija board is first mentioned in historical documents of the Song Dynasty in China in 1100 A.D. This method of necromancy was known as planchette writing. The Ouija board itself was not created and named until 1890. The use of talking boards in the United States was well-established with the spiritualist movement in the long before then. A man named Elijah Bond saw a market and decided to patent a planchette board. William Fund later took over the board production. It was merely regarded as a parlor game until World War I when Pearl Curran popularized it as a divining tool.

The scientific community credits the Ouija board phenomenon to something called the ideomotor response. It relates to an occurrence of unconscious muscular movements in relation to a thought. Studies in the lab have shown that subjects using the Ouija board move the planchette involuntarily. Many people fear the power of this divination tool believing it can open the door to other worlds where evil spirits reside. Others think it is a con. Christian groups have their various criticisms of the game. They have warned against planchette writing as a symbol of witchcraft and talking boards as a tool of Satan.


Elijah Bond claims the Ouija board named itself. He and his sister sat with the board and asked what they should call it. Ouija was its response. The story goes that the board itself claimed Ouija meant good luck. And so starts the spooky history of the Ouija board. It is rumored that the board has helped jurors find a defendant guilty, has been an accomplice to a murder, inspired the 12 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous program and helped write songs.

The Ouija board could be found in almost every household in the United States during World War I. It outsold the popular game Monopoly in 1922. People were mesmerized. The fad ended abruptly when the board was featured in the movie The Exorcist. The star of the film, Reagan MacNeil, a 12-year-old girl becomes possessed by demons through the Ouija board. Many people quickly destroyed their boards and sales plummeted.

How to Play

The traditional Ouija board has the letters of the alphabet across its face in two arching rows. Under the alphabet is a straight line of the numbers one through nine ending with a zero. At the top left corner of the board the word yes appears with the word no at the top right. Below the numbers is the word goodbye.

It is important to be patient. Don’t give up if you don’t receive an answer right away. You should start off by choosing one person to be the medium. This person will ask all of the questions. Before starting, think of some things you would like to ask. The planchette starts on the letter G. All players should place their index and middle finger on the planchette. Stay relaxed. Devise an opening ritual and then start asking questions. Try to concentrate and always start with simple questions. If you get a response the planchette will move across the board, spelling out answers or giving a yes or no response. Always end a session by moving the planchette to goodbye.


If you are intrigued by the Ouija board game, you can play the spirit board online. The app version of this age-old board game allows you to talk to spirits online. This game by Redwerk is sometimes scarily accurate some play at your own risk. Some users who claim to be psychic and are proficient at other divining tools enjoy this online version of the Ouija. These individuals find the Ouija Game to be just as accurate as Tarot cards and dousing pendulums. You can test the game by asking questions you already know the answers to.

Ouija is a fun and interesting game that has a deep, dark history. Whether you believe in its power or not, it can be a fun way to entertain friends. Now that it is available online, you can divine answers to all your questions anywhere and anytime. The Ouija Game is never boring and some claim it really works.

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