This is the vlog that’s going to be a little controversial. Why? Because it’s about Ouija boards. And how Ouija boards aren’t necessarily the devil’s tools you think they are.
You might not have known, but Ouija boards have been around since the mid-nineteenth century. The boards were originally called “talking boards”, and Ouija was only a brand name. They were used in much the same way you see them used today–
Not for possession but for party games. Now in the 19th century, when things were a lot more “proper” and couples cuddling up to watch the Bachelorette was frowned upon–
(Actually let’s be honest, I still frown upon that.)
Anyway, cuddling was way too intimate. And so the Ouija board was a great excuse to sit close as you balanced the board on your knees. And the planchette? An excuse to almost touch fingertips.
Take a look at this Satanic Séance, as painted by the late Norman Rockwell.
Blistering with Sexual Tension, isn’t it?
Now say what you will about the inherent darkness of the board, but it wasn’t popularized as occultish until the movie The Exorcist came out. The movie made no explicit reference linking the board and the possession, but there was one scene in which Linda Blair was talking to Captain Howdy with the Ouija board. Shortly after, the possession began.
So first point, the board was seen as culturally harmless for a hundred years before Hollywood got a hold of it.
Much of this information is talked about in Jeff Belanger’s book Communicating With the Dead. But it’s also lectured about by the Ouija board expert if there ever was one, my friend Robert Murch. He has thousands of boards in his home. If there was ever a portal to Hell, that would be it. But he’s had no problems and is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. You can find more at www.RobertMurch.com.
Another part of the reason Ouija boards have built such a reputation is because possession, it is believed, happens for a reason. Exorcists believe that possession is rarely random, but comes from what usually amounts to an “unhealthy” curiosity with the occult in one way or another. And so in most possession cases, the source is traced back to understand where the possession started. And because Ouija boards are so common? It’s usually game, set, match, when one is found in a closet.
But are there real dangers from the Ouija board?
Many of the stories I’ve heard from people go along the lines of something like this:
“I don’t do Ouija boards. Nope. No. No.”
“I had a bad experience with one when I was a teenager, and just… nope!”
“Well, we pulled out the board and turned the lights down, you know? And I was touching the planchette and my friends hadn’t touched it yet, and it moved.”
Beat. “Isn’t that what you want to have happen?”
“Well, then we asked it when I was going to die, right? And it started telling us a date!”
Beat. “How’s that demonic?”
“Well, okay, then something near my dresser, it totally flew off the shelf.”
Beat. “Sounds like good activity.”
“Well, okay, then for the next couple nights, I felt like a dark presence around me when I was sleeping and it was bad.”
Beat. “Ghosts are often frightening. And often appear that way.”
“No, this was different. This was bad, see.”
And usually they wrap like that. I find that the cultural paranoia tarnishes the activity as “bad” or “negative” when playful interactions with spirits yield, well, actual interactions with spirits.
That said, I find there are two different instances that I would call attention to their potential danger.
The first is the question of how the board works. If a spirit sits down across from you and pushes the board with you and your friends, sweet. Time to get down to business and see if you’re gonna marry that hot guy in your English class.
But if the demands of the board require a kind of channeling of a spirit, you should be careful. Channeling is practiced by many experienced mediums and psychics, and has been said to leave you open to spirit possession if you’re not careful about it.
I like to stave this off by setting intention the moment I sit at the board. If channeling is what it requires, it’s not going to work, I say. But you’re welcome to push the planchette along with me.
Intention goes a long way in the paranormal.
But further still, there’s a danger of investigating in your home. Homes are usually safe energetic places. It’s where you feel comfortable. It’s where you go for safety and love. Most investigators will clear themselves after an investigation to keep their home static and clear.
Once you’ve invited a spirit into your home, and you give them that attention, that can spread. And, once your home is an open invitation to spirits, it’s hard to tell then who or what is coming and going. And if something darker is passing through the neighborhood on his way down to Georgia… it can be bad news.
(That said, the odds of coming into contact with something that dark are still very far off).
This then takes the emphasis away from Ouija boards, and if it is the cause of hauntings going bad, the same negative spin can be put on your K2 meter even, which can just as easily be used to speak with spirits inside your home.
Hope this has been helpful. Controversial topic I know, but I’ve said my piece. Do you have a story of a Ouija board gone bad? Still don’t want to mess with them? Sound off in the comments down below!
Karl Pfeiffer is a writer, ghost hunter, and blogger/vlogger. He won the first season of the pilot reality series Ghost Hunters Academy, and went on to work with the Ghost Hunters International team on the same network. Since then he’s lead the weekend ghost hunts at the Stanley Hotel, studied religion and writing at Colorado State University, and published his first novel, Hallowtide, in October of 2012. More can be found at www.KarlPfeiffer.com