There has been a lot of controversy about the ouija board over the years. Some swear that its an excellent tool for divination and for contacting passed over loved ones. Others believe that it can lead to demonic possession. This article is not meant to side with one opinion or the other. This author’s objective is to review the facts and the testimonials, and let the readers come to their own conclusions.
The origins of the ouija board (also called talking board or spirit board) goes back to the mid 1800’s with the Fox sisters of New York. They were mediums and they often did their readings, contacting the dead, publicly. They would ask questions of the spirits and receive audible knocks on the wall. They would then translate the knocks into letters of the alphabet. A few years later, after the Civil War, people were enchanted with the idea of contacting lost loved ones, and came up with different ways to contact the spirit world. There were articles in newspapers about the “new” talking boards coming from the Spiritualist movement.
The ouija board was first introduced commercially on July 1, 1890 by a businessman named Elijah Bond. The founders of the company asked the board what it wanted to be named, and the board spelled out O-U-I-J-A (oui means yes in French, and ja means yes in German). When the founders asked the board what ouija means, the board told them good-luck.
Initially the ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game, and it wasn’t until World War I, when an American Spiritualist, Pearl Curran, began using it as a tool for divination (foreseeing the future). Later Christian denominations began stating that it was a tool of the devil and warned people not to use it. Also the movie, The Exorcist, produced in 1973, helped to darken the ouija board’s reputation when the girl in the story was possessed by a demon after playing with an ouija board by herself.
There are many, many testimonials from people who tell of being haunted and/or possessed after using an ouija board. Some have been told that they would die soon, others have had inanimate objects move. Many have communicated with passed over relatives, and some have actually seen demons materialize and curse at them. Some paranormal investigators have cautioned that one should have a psychic medium present when using the board to stop the readings should they sense that danger is close.
There have been scientific studies done using the ouija board. The University of British Columbia ran a study in 2012 testing the ideomotor effect* of it. The test had the subject, controlling the board with another person, ask the board yes or no questions. The subject was blindfolded and was unaware when the partner removed their hand. So, the blindfolded subject was the only one with their hand on the planchette. Amazingly, the subjects answered more questions correctly using the ouija board blindfolded, than they did when asked the questions verbally. Scientists call this implicit – unconscious – cognition, and it helped to show how our minds make decisions at a subconscious level.
Is the ouija board a tool, a toy, or an abomination? You tell us! We are looking forward to reading your comments.
About Janet (Sparrow) Moon
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