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To Ouija or Not to Ouija

Updated on January 23, 2011
The Ouija Board aka Talking Boards
The Ouija Board aka Talking Boards

Dancing with the Devil?

Something we're all curious about is the future, is it not? What little girl didn't sit with their friends and play all the little paper folding games or perhaps a twist of the stem of an apple while reciting the alphabet to find out the first letter of her future true loves name? Pretty harmless, right? Well, perhaps not.

Obviously the games are forgotten by the time children begin to mature and the clues given are lost on the years between then and adulthood. But still, even as we mature, we all wonder about our futures. Some of this wonder is born of anxiety or emotional pain or maybe excitement or just that nagging curiosity for the answers to the unknown and our destinies.

Starting out as a parlor game in the 1800's when spiritualism and dabbling in the occult was all the rage. It was fashionable to invite ones friends over for an evening of delving into the supernatural to find those elusive answers to questions one dared not ask in earlier years for fear being burned at the stake or hanged as a witch or heretic.

The Salem Witch trials in 1692 was a perfect example of the consequences of "trafficking with the Devil." Tituba from the Caribbean Isles entertained the young girls of Salem Village with spells for true love and practices of divination until the girls were found out and began a hysteria that ran rampant through not only Salem but spread to other villages as well. Nineteen people were executed as witches before all was said and done and a 5 year old girl named Dorcas Good, rendered insane from her experience of being locked up and kept in a prison herself. She never fully recovered from it. The old, infirm, the young and healthy, were all vulnerable to suspicion and not many were acquitted of the charges leveled against them. The hysteria continued until the Governor's own wife was eventually pegged as a witch.But those were the old days and enlightenment and a relaxing of the hardcore Puritanical beliefs began to wash away.

A new age dawns:

Seances were being conducted and a slew of Mediums came out of the proverbial wood work and many became wealthy as their reputations grew. Many of course were charlatans but that did nothing to curtail the craze.

Many a lonely widow sat patiently waiting to communicate with their deceased husbands or lost children in dark rooms with velvet covered tables set with crystal balls and spirit horns were made ready to receive the messages from the other side. If you wanted to speak to Grandma Minerva, no problem. Pay up and sit back and enjoy the ride.

The medium would call out to the spirits and would rock and sway, eyes closed and urging all to concentrate and hold hands and not to break the circle or the spirit would be lost. Moaning, groaning, voice changing and bizarre expressions would commence while the Medium channels the spirit. Sometimes disembodied voices were heard or knocking would be the mode of communication for the evening while the Medium asked the questions that his or her clients were there to ask.

Many Mediums supposedly produced ectoplasm which was like a type of jelly almost which would flow from the mouth or other areas of the body or even on inanimate objects. Of course it was all trick, at least in most cases it was.

Perhaps the seances were simply warm ups or baby steps leading to the Ouija board. Of course there were many other forms of spirit communications such as automatic writing and even spirit photography where one would sit for a photo session and lo and behold, upon the developed plate would appear a spirit in the background or by the persons side just hanging around and captured for posterity. Milky white transparent images were sometimes quite clear and of course I'm sure many a chill ran up many a Victorian era spine upon inspection.

When the Ouija board started to become popular in the late 1890's, little was known about it other than it was considered a game to most but some took it very seriously indeed.

In some cases the Ouija board controlled their lives, like in the case of the Widow Winchester in California who through guidance from the board and a Medium, she built a sprawling, ridiculously engineered mansion with doors that led nowhere and staircase leading to dead end walls. Mrs. Winchester was thoroughly convinced that the spirits were angry with her because of her husband's development of the Winchester firearms which had shed blood and she believed that not to follow the boards instructions was to mean certain death.

Not much was known about the consequences of using the Ouija back then other than a few sparse stories but nowadays we know much more. We are much wiser to the spirit realm and stories of Ouija experiences are abundant and shared now through the world wide web, books and even movies.

One of the most celebrated tales of the Ouija is a movie that was released in 1973 called The Exorcist. It starred a very young Linda Blair, just 12 years old at the time, Ellen Burstyn and Max Von Sydow. The movie was a massive hit but it was also then and still is one of most terrifying movies of all time.

Regan McNeil, (Linda Blair) is a sweet, charming, normal child of a famous actress and single mother, Chris McNeil (Ellen Burstyn) living at the time in Washington while her mother is busy shooting her latest film. The child has a lot of time on her hands and has learned to entertain herself while her mother keeps a demanding schedule. Regan spends much of her time on arts and crafts and playing in the basement where she finds a Ouija board and begins to play with it, befriending a fun, new friendly spirit she calls Captain Howdy.

Regan has broken the first rule of the Ouija and probably the most important one of all-never use the Ouija board alone!

Obviously the child had no idea of the dangers of using the Ouija alone so she happily spends her time speaking with Captain Howdy whom she reports to her mother is very "nice." When Mom tries to play with Regan and the board, she is shunned by the spirit who simply doesn't want to talk to her. The spirit does not like Mom and refuses to answer the little girl.

Soon afterward, strange and frightening things begin to happen. Scratches come from the attic and Regan's bed begins to shake a little. At a cocktail party at Chris McNeil's home. A priest was playing piano, all were singing, eating, drinking and having a wonderful time, (except the German butler who is getting harassed about being a Nazi during WWII by a short, English drunkard movie Director) when Regan comes down to join the party for a moment, standing in her nightie with dark circles under her eyes when the priest notices her and stops playing to announce that they have company. Being as this is a party of the elite A-list celebs and a few privileged friends, one is not surprised to see an Astronaut who is to head off into space in the near future. Regan's focus falls upon him. She looks at him and softly says "You're gonna die up there." The puzzled party goers then watch in horror as Regan stands in place and begins to urinate on the rug. Chris McNeil quickly apologizes to her guest telling them "I'm sorry. She's been sick. She didn't know what she was saying" as she quickly ushers her daughter out of the room and upstairs to the bath.

Well, that puts quite a damper on the party and the evening ends. Regan sits in the tub as her mother sponges her off and asks "Mommy, what's wrong with me?" Of course at this point, she has no idea that Regan is cooking up one hell of a demon stew on the inside and she answers her with the standard "You'll be alright. Just take your medication and you'll be fine." She is so far from right as are all the Doctors and Psychiatrist that will be taking Regan on as their patient.

As the possession worsens, Chris McNeil is witness to many supernatural events that occur around Regan and when her Director friend sits with Regan while Chris' assistant goes to refill Regan's he winds up dead, crashing out of Regan's bedroom window and tumbling down to his death at the bottom of several flights of cement stairs. Chris has already experienced Regan's bed violently shaking. When Chris arrives home that evening, she is told by a friend being told of the Directors death, Chris knows that it was Regan who is responsible for his death. Suddenly, Regan suddenly comes down the stairs walking upside down on all fours like a spider scurrying across it's web and blood dripping from her mouth. Whoa! Time to find a priest now!

You can say "it's only a movie" of course, but the movie was based on actual true story of the possession of young boy who played the Ouija with his Aunt many times. The Aunt dies and the boy is heartbroken and begins to play alone in an effort to contact his beloved Aunt. Unfortunately, he opened a door that would not be easily shut. It took an Exorcism just like Regan's to free him from his hellish tormentors.

They never really address the Ouija as the cause of Regan's possession in the movie but it was the only thing that Regan had fooled with and you don't get possessed by doing normal preteen activities and fun.

Opening the portal:

One thing you must understand is that the Ouija is a communication tool. You are sitting quietly and asking to make contact along with the other Ouija players and the planchette moves to "yes" or "no" or it glides across the board to different letters to spell out a message or it might choose to answer in numbers. Or, it might not answer at all. But usually it works.

Some believe that the Ouija's planchette's movement is caused by messages from your subconscious mind. Sort of like reading your mind. But, if you read the many stories of Ouija board encounters on the web today, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the supernatural events described are far more than a subconscious guiding light moving a piece of plastic around the board. Some of the stories are terrifying. Of course you can say that the storytellers are lying or embellishing but what if it's all true? Do you really want to take that chance? If so, grab your board and get it but I suggest you read up on the Ouija tales before you do it.

As mentioned before, I said that the Ouija is a portal. When you reach out to communicate the spirits, whether it be a beloved relative or friend or just any ol' random spirit, you're inviting them into your world. By doing so it releases them to begin their entrapment and the ultimate possession of yourself or someone else. That's why it's vital that if you do use the Ouija that you always say goodbye at the end of your session. But, be aware that some spirits are very, very strong and you might not be able to dismiss them with a simple adios!

More often than not, the spirit you befriend will be nice and helpful at first. They may seem like they care about you and they will tell you things you really want to know and you'll be thrilled. But soon you find yourself depending on it more and more like it's becoming an addiction. It's luring you in deeper and deeper and when you're hooked, the spirit turns nasty and starts taunting you or telling you outright lies. Supernatural occurrences like in The Exorcist movie. You might start feeling like you're not yourself as you start having fits of anger and a short temper. You might curse when you didn't used to. People might notice a change in you and it's not for the better. Disturbances will not allow you to sleep or rest. Activity like Poltergeist activity may occur including the bed shaking thing or drawers opening and closing and number of other strange things. You have released an evil from it's hell pit, period, over and out.

Just whom is it you're talking to?:

Well, that's the mystery of the Ouija and the spirit world, isn't it? There is no way to know for sure if the spirit or entity you're conversing with is who they say they are or whether or not they are a good spirit or a bad one.

Many hold to the belief that all spirits contacted through the Ouija are evil. I personally believe that many are and maybe you'll get the occasional good spirit, there are no guarantees when it comes to the spirit world.

They are clever and can easily deceive you once they've gained your trust. It's not hard for them to do when they start out giving you helpful information and the benefit of their knowledge of future events.

If you've ever seen the movie "Witchboard" starring Tawny Kitane, it is the perfect example of misuse of the Ouija and it's dangers. It's actually a pretty good movie if you like horror films but there is truth in it.

In the movie, Tawny's character becomes obsessed with the board and things begin to happen rapidly when she starts using it alone. A malevolent spirit comes through and befriends her and then starts to taunt and terrorize her until he ultimately possesses her and several people end up dead.

An invitation to evil:

When you open that portal, the more you play with it, the more it begins to ensnare and entrap you. You are inviting any spirit out there into your life and sometimes into your body and it will not easily be driven away.

It seeks to possess your very soul and to wreak as much havoc as it can. If the spirit was once human and was evil in life, it will be evil in death as well. It has no mercy, no feelings and no conscious. It cannot move into the light nor does it want to. It wants to be amongst the living and wants to thrive again as they did in life. You've got yourself a problem.

Oops, my bad!:

You've realized after several odd and frightening occurrences that you've let the cat out of the bag and unleashed God knows what kind of spirit, most probably and evil one.

You begin to feel like maybe you're losing your mind and you don't want to believe it but it's there nonetheless and gaining strength every day.

What should you do now?

Get this damned thing outta my house!:

If you're lucky, you can simply dispose of the board and the spirit will go away but many times, that just doesn't happen. Once the spirit has a hold on you, it will be Hell to pay, sometimes literally.

You try to think of a way to destroy the board. Should I burn it? Bury it with after dousing it with holy water?

Burning it will only serve to release more evil into the living world so you really should dispose of the board another way. Throw it away and if it makes you feel better, you can poor some holy water on it but that can backfire too.

When it comes to the Ouija, you shouldn't mention God during your sessions. The spirits that are lurking around a certain board are generally evil people or demons and it pretty much ticks them off and the activity can get worse. So, really the best thing you can do is drop it off somewhere away from home in a garbage bin or dumpster and pray that the entity doesn't follow you home.

Riding yourself of the spirits you've released:

What I recommend is that if you have disturbances even after you've thrown the board away, then you might consider having your house blessed by an ordained minister or priest. If that doesn't work and especially if someone is possessed you may have to request an exorcism.

The Catholics and Jesuits are generally the exorcism experts to turn to but they are quite reluctant to indulge people that claim possession of themselves or others. They pretty much believe at the onset of your communication with them that it is probably something psychological. Therefore, it is not easy to convince them that it's a real possession or occupation of ones home is actually a bad spirit or demon.

Should you turn to the clergy, a determination has to be made whether your predicament is truly supernatural and that you're not missing a few dots off your dice. If you're lucky, they will believe you and take the appropriate action and the church will sanction an exorcism.

It must be understood that spirits and demons are extremely clever and strong. They may or may not manifest during the initial investigation and hide. Eventually, however, the Devil can't help but to show off and hopefully it will manifest in front of the experts. It takes time sometimes and Satan is a hugely deceptive being and can convincingly lie and lay dormant to cause the Exorcist or other clergy to think it's nothing or the product of a mental disorder.

The showdown:

Should the church or clergyman deem it a real haunting or possession, then most likely an exorcism is to follow. It will notbe pretty or pleasant. It's possible the victim and the Exorcist too might perish in the battle.

It is a long and hard ritual to perform and some can take up to weeks or months to free the victim. A good Exorcist will be patient and diligent in their efforts to free their charge of the entity or entities. A lot of prayers and rituals will be performed and much can happen during those proceedings. Hopefully, the Exorcist will be of strong faith and determination.

So now you know:

I've explained the dangers of dabbling with the occult and it's consequences so now I will just impart some advice.

Do not, under any circumstances play with a Ouija board ever! You are playing with things and spirits that you don't understand. Many of you have no idea how strong these spirits can be or whom you're really dealing with. However, if you're going to do it, then please at least google some information on the correct practices of using such an object and it's possible consequences. If you unleash something you cannot deal with, you may never get rid of it.


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    • Rebelchick1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Tina Di Troia 

      6 years ago

      A very valid point you've made Civil War Bob. Hopefully, the warning will be headed. People will be curious anyway and the last thing I want to do is promote using this portal to the underworld. Thank you for your feedback. It was very useful.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 

      6 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Rebelchick1...good hub, voted up, useful, interesting. The irony is that your quite valid warning will whet the appetites of folks. I've dealt with the board and deeper occult things...nasty business. Enjoy your day.


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