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Is an Ouija Board Really a Gateway to the Spirit World or Just a Game?

Ouija
etsy.com

My brother called me the other day to let me know that while going through a very old box he had found in our parents’ garage. He discovered some of our toys from  our childhood, including my Ouija Board that I had not seen since junior high school. I remember having a lot of fun with the board and being creeped out at the same time. First, a little history… The Ouija Board was originally called a ‘talking board’ when it was first invented by Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard in 1890. The first board was invented as a parlor game called the Egyptian “Luck Game” and had nothing to do with the spirit world whatsoever, using a planchette, (the moveable heart-shaped indicator), placed on a board with the alphabet printed on it…simple enough.

An employee of Kennard, William Fuld, took over production of the board around 1901 and was the first to use the name “Ouija”, which was thought to be an ancient Egyptian word meaning “good luck”, hence the original name. The Ouija Board was eventually purchased by Parker Brothers in the mid 1960s, which was sold to Hasbro in 1991…yes, the TOY and GAME company.

Somehow, the board became known as a window to the spirit world when participants would place their fingers lightly on the planchette, ask a question of the board, and the planchette would move seemingly on its own around the board to spell out various messages from the spirit world.

Some believe so much in the power of the Ouija Board, they won’t go near one and others say it is just a game and perfectly harmless. My brother and I loved it as kids, but were kind of spooked by the whole thing because we would insist up and down that we were doing nothing to move the indicator…my brother actually cried once when it moved.

What actually moves the indicator is more likely a phenomenon that was discovered in 1852 called the “Ideomotor Effect”, which is basically unconscious and involuntary movement of the hands. That is what I believe it is…certainly NOT the spirit world, but everyone is free to believe what they want.

Surprisingly, my brother wants it out of the house because it ‘creeps’ him out and he doesn’t want to throw it away because he was told that is bad luck. So, I guess I will just have him send it to me and I will most likely use it as a giant coaster to set my beer, chips and dip on.

I am astonished that there are those who believe a Ouija Board is a powerful instrument that needs to be taken seriously and feared, but that is just my opinion, maybe your experience is different. What is powerful and should never be underestimated, is the power of the mind. Believing in something so strongly could possibly make it so, which would explain why so many fear the Ouija Board…do you?

 

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