From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The ouija (/ˈwiːdʒə/ WEE-jə or /ˈwiːdʒi/ WEE-jee), also known as a spirit board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" (occasionally), and "goodbye", along with various symbols and graphics. It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic called a planchette. Participants place their fingers on the planchette, and it is moved about the board to spell out words. "Ouija" is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc., but is often used generically to refer to any talking board. According to Hasbro, players take turns asking questions and then "wait to see what the planchette spells out" for them.
Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond on July 1, 1890, the ouija board was regarded as a parlor game unrelated to the occult until American spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I. Spiritualists believed that the dead were able to contact the living and reportedly used a talking board very similar to a modern ouija board at their camps in Ohio in 1886 to ostensibly enable faster communication with spirits.
Some Christian denominations have "warned against using ouija boards", holding that they can lead to demonic possession. Occultists, on the other hand, are divided on the issue, with some saying that it can be a positive transformation; others reiterate the warnings of many Christians and caution "inexperienced users" against it.
Paranormal and supernatural beliefs associated with Ouija have been harshly criticized by the scientific community, since they are characterized as pseudoscience. The action of the board can be parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychophysiological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect.
Does it work?
Almost everyone can say that have either tried it themselves, or watched as someone else has. The question remains, does this supposed toy manufactured by Hasbro and sold in the largest toy store in the world right next to board games such as Scrabble really invoke spirits?
Good question. Have I tried it? Of course...how could I call myself a paranormal researcher without a few goes at the Ouija? I have always been quite skeptical of the validity of this so called toy (that is clearly marked ages 8+ on the box). I find it interesting that you have to be 21 to drink alcohol, but only 8 to summon demons. Anyway, I will admit that I have had a couple unsettling encounters with the Ouija. One, in particular, although not alarming at the time. I was conducting a private ghost tour and the participants had asked for permission to bring their Ouija board along. I normally like to err on the side of caution, but on this particular evening I set that aside and allowed them to conduct a session. It started with 3 of the participants gathered around the table with their index fingers placed lightly on the planchette. They asked for a code word (They stated this was how they knew the entity interacting with them was their guide and not some random spirit....hmmmn). To make a long story short, I was leaning against the wall on the other side of the room and after the "code word" was spelled out, the board began repeating WAK, WAK, WAK. Aside from the fact that internally I was picturing Lizzie Borden, I realized it was also my grandfather's initials. I did not say anything at the time assuming it was coincidence. The participants then asked if there was a message for someone in the room. The planchette moved to yes. They asked whom and the board spelled out my name. Rolling my eyes in the dark so as not to alert everyone to my skepticism, I asked who it was. The board spelled out grandfather. Still scoffing inside I asked "OK, if you are my grandfather what did you do for a living?". The board answered "Fight fires, Lodge"....Hmmmn, my grandfather was a fireman and a Mason, so I asked "What is your middle name?" to which the board answered "August". Now I'm wondering what is going on as August was the correct answer. The board then starting spelling out "Make love T Lucky" over and over and then just stopped. I giggled a bit and said "Yeah, that would be lucky, wouldn't it". That ended the Ouija session for the night. Not alarming in itself, however, in the morning when I got up I went to my computer and opened my email. I was surprised to see an email from an old friend from high school. He was a deaf man named Tony. He said he hoped it was OK. but he has contacted my mother and gotten my email. He then asked me if I had Yahoo Messenger....his screen name was Tony Lucky....