A Ouija Board is a board with letters, numbers, and words on it that people use to communicate with spirits of the dead in order to predict the future, find lost objects or missing persons, identify unknown objects, or provide other useful information. It is said that people use the board to summon up spirits, but it is up to the spirits if they accept or not. The board is usually used in a group of people who hold their hands above the board, which will move without touching anything. It was invented in the 19th century and became more popular after World War I when American soldiers brought it home with them.
The name Ouija comes from French and German words for yes. Its history dates back to ancient China where planchettes were used for divination. In 1853, Elijah Bond created a prototype called “Ouija” or “Weejee” based on his own experience of communicating with spirits using a similar device. It was invented by Charles Kennard who ran the family-owned furniture store in Baltimore, Maryland. When William Fuld took over (as president and as a spiritualist) he changed the name to “The Ouija” in 1891.
The Ouija board has been around for over 100 years, but many people believe that it is not a toy (it is), and that it can be dangerous because of the possibility of opening a portal to another dimension. It is not recommended for use by children under 13 years old, or by adults with psychological problems that could render them vulnerable. Some people believe that the speaking tube is an instrument of the devil, not to be used at all. It was considered to be a dangerous device during its time and was often feared by those who did not know how to use it properly. It was also believed to be a tool of the devil, and that when people were possessed by evil spirits, they could use it to carry out their will. Even suicides allegedly have happened as a result of possession by demons who told the victim how to kill themselves using a Ouija board.
The Ouija board has been called dangerous, but it is not more dangerous than any other game. The sense of danger associated with the Ouija board is more to do with the fear of the unknown and what people think they may be opening themselves up to by using it. The most common reported side effect of using a Ouija board is a feeling of depression; however, some people do think that their attitude changed as a result of using it. Some people think that they are more prone to lying or cheating after having used one.
First, make sure you have a quiet area to use the board. It is also important that everyone using the board be relaxed. As you get organized, lock all the doors in the house to minimize interruptions. If you are reading this before playing, do not read ahead—the surprises in a ouija board session can be shocking!
Some people like to play with a group around the board while others prefer a more private setting. You can light candles, burn incense, or play music to set the mood. Make sure all the lights in the room are off before playing. Unlike with a tarot card reading, you will want to leave any fears at home—it is important to be open to spirit contact and you must stay focused on the board. Set a time limit for your ouija session so that it does not go on too long.
- The Ouija Board has been featured in many movies and television shows such as The Exorcist (1973), The Shining (1980), The Dead Zone (1983), and Amityville Horror (2005).
- Nancy Reagan supposedly had one in the White House when her husband was President of the United States. Ronald Reagan was also known to consult an astrologer regularly.
- In 1966 Parker Brothers bought all rights to the Ouija board from Fuld’s estate. In 2001 Parker Brothers was purchased by Hasbro.
- Ouija boards are used with messages from spirits of loved ones who have passed away, but other spirits may be interested in communicating as well. To contact these spirits, all you need to know is their name and how they died (if you know that).