This post has been migrated over from my old blog, which I am in the process of winding down.
I am sure all of you have heard of Ouija boards. If you haven’t you can educate yourself by stopping by your local toy store and checking out the “toy” ones they likely have on display. Once when I was at Toys R Us I saw a glow-in-the-dark pink Ouija board that was obviously target at preteen girls. Trust me, though, if one of my kids showed up with a new Ouija board as a fun, recreational tool I would take them right back to the store to return it.
Now don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that Ouija boards (or spirit boards, as they were originally called) are inherently evil. I do, however, think they can become a very dangerous tool. Many people have used Ouija boards and have had little to nothing happen. The poet James Merrill claimed to have written the poem “The Changing Light at Sandover” using an Ouija board for direction. Other people, though, have had some downright frightening or dangerous experiences using a board.
In case you are not quite clear on how Ouija boards work, here is a quick overview. The boards typically have the whole alphabet written on them, as well as some basic words such as “Yes” or “No” or “Goodbye.” Two people are supposed to place their hands on the planchette, or the pointing device you place on top of the board. These people are supposed to rest their hands gently on the planchette, allowing spirits to move it more easily. These spirits then spell out communications, which a third person transcribes as they are spelled out. Some people place a lit candle next to the board, which is supposed to indicate when a spirit is present as the flame flickers.
Here is the thing about Ouija boards: no matter how careful you might be at following so many of the rules different people advise for the use of Ouija board use, you still don’t know with whom you are speaking. If you are using the board in your own home, you are inviting spirits that might not otherwise have entered your house. I have heard some people liken Ouija board use to picking up strangers on the side of the road, since you never know what they are really about and you are putting yourself in a very vulnerable position.
There have been cases of people who have claimed to have been possessed by spirits they met through an Ouija board. There are also countless accounts of severe hauntings that started with recreational Ouija board use. Some people have been told through Ouija boards to do violence or other horrible things to other people.
Some paranormal experts claim that really about the only spirits who will even attempt to communicate through an Ouija board are the ones that you really should not be speaking to. In fact, there are some who are of the opinion that most if not all communication through Ouija boards is with demons (although I’m not sure I entirely buy that one, but it is something to think about). Many have caught spirits lying through an Ouija board, saying they are a dead relative or someone else they really weren’t. Many people have been personally threatened through an Ouija board.
It doesn’t matter if you use the Parker Brothers board, one that you buy at a mystical shop or if you even just draw one out on a piece of paper: communication with spirits through an Ouija board can be very risky. Nothing may happen, but with my past experiences there is no way I would send out a beacon for strange spirits to come into my home and talk to me. Obviously you can choose for yourself, but personally I wouldn’t even keep a board in my house for five minutes.