What is an Ouija Board? The Ouija is a board game which you can use to communicate with spirits and ghosts. The history of the Ouija board dates back to 1890. It has the letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-9, “yes”, “no”, and “goodbye” written on it. You can use it with one or more players who each place a finger or two on the Planchette (pointing device). You then take turns asking the other side questions and wait for them to respond by moving the Planchette. We do not advise children to play the game or recommend adults to play the game alone to be safe.

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Speak To The Dead

Most ghost hunters, enthusiasts, and even sceptics have heard of the iconic Ouija board. It's a flat board marked with letters, numbers, and simple words like 'yes' and 'no'. They're often accompanied by a 'planchette', which is a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic.

This mystical device is full of history and controversy, captivating the public's imagination for over a century. So, let's explore Ouija boards some more to discover why it's one of the go-to ghost communicators for so many.

A Brief History of Ouija Boards

Before we really delve into this, it's important to note that an Ouija board is a type of talking board. But not all talking boards are Ouija boards. Ouija is actually a brand name while talking boards are a broader category of spirit communication devices.

Ouija boards are a key artefact of the spiritualist movement. Its origins can be traced back to the 19th century. It emerged from upstate New York, which was a hotbed of spiritualist activity. It captured the public's imagination as it was touted as a means to communicate with the beyond. The board's journey to mainstream recognition is as mystical as its purpose.

It was William Fuld, not the inventor but a key figure in its commercialisation, who pushed Ouija boards into the minds of the public. Fuld's savvy marketing strategies led to the game being sold in large amounts by Parker Brothers, cementing its place in popular culture.

In 1920, its iconic status grew even further when it graced the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1920. Despite this rise, the game still experienced a fair amount of scepticism. It didn't help that the board's legitimacy was initially endorsed by an official patent office. Where the chief patent officer was convinced that it worked after it successfully spelt out his own name.

It's also worth mentioning that The Kennard Novelty Company was the first organisation to commercially produce the Ouija boards.

Overall, the blend of science and mysticism, represented by figures like Sidney Fels, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, goes to show how complex the board's history is.

What Does Ouija Mean?

The name Ouija is said to come from a rooming house in Baltimore. However, it was said to have first been coined by Helen Peters, a medium who was involved in its early development. According to Peters, the board chose the name for itself during a session. The game also reportedly told her that Ouija means 'good luck'.

How Ouija Boards Work

When participants gently rest their hands on a planchette, movements guide the planchette across the board. These movements are where the debates come in as many attributes this movement to the ideomotor effect, whereas others believe it to be caused by spirits. Either way, the planchette spelling out messages is incredibly intriguing and certainly worth investigating.

Should You Get an Ouija Board?

Deciding on whether to get an Ouija board involves really weighing up personal beliefs and comfort with the unknown. Unlike the more modern ghost communicators, Ouija boards have a unique cultural and mystical heritage, often viewed with a mix of curiosity and caution.

If you're someone who's always been intrigued by the paranormal and open to exploring mysteries, then Ouija boards can be a fascinating addition to your experiences. But, it's important to approach this with respect and an open mind. This could mean understanding aspects like its historical context and the psychological effects it may induce.

Always bear in mind that it's not just a game; it's a journey into the unknown.

How to Use Talking Boards

If you're ready to try your hand at getting in touch with the other side, then this is how you can do it:

  1. Gather participants: Assemble a small group who are interested in using Ouija boards to contact spirits.

  2. Create a calm environment: Find a quiet, comfortable space that is free from distractions.

  3. Place the board: Set the Ouija board on a flat surface, ensuring all participants can easily reach it.

  4. Lightly touch the planchette: Each participant should lightly place their fingertips on the planchette.

  5. Ask questions politely: Begin by asking simple, open-ended questions, speaking clearly and respectfully.

  6. Wait for responses: Be patient as the planchette moves to spell out answers.

  7. Close the session: Once finished, say goodbye to end the session, moving the planchette to “goodbye” on the board.

Some people mistakenly refer to Ouija board sessions as automatic writing, but that's definitely not the case. Automatic writing is the process where people write or draw unconsciously, often in a trance-like state. Many people believe this writing or drawing to be caused by supernatural forces.

Other Useful Ghost Hunting Equipment

Sometimes, talking boards simply don't cut it when it comes to exploring the unknown. Although they can give intriguing insights into life after death, their interpretations are quite heavily debated, particularly by sceptics. To bolster the strength of your paranormal investigations, here are a few other ghost detector tools you might want to consider trying:

If you're unsure of which of these you should prioritise, then you could always get a ghost-hunting kit. These kits typically have all that you need and vary depending on your level of experience.

Does the Ouija Board Work?

The effectiveness of Ouija boards is very much up for debate. A key topic within this debate is the ideomotor effect, where our own unconscious mind is supposedly at play. This phenomenon involves subtle muscle movements that occur without our conscious will.

According to some, as participants focus on the board, these involuntary actions can guide the planchette. This creates the illusion of supernatural forces at work. This concept is similar to automatic writing, which was a common factor in the witch trials of Salem.

Some believe Ouija boards can communicate with spirits. But others feel that the reason behind their function purely comes down to the psychological and physical responses of the users.

Final Thoughts

Ouija boards open doors to a world where the past intertwines with the present. If you're really interested in the supernatural, then just know that you don't have to restrict yourself to just Ouija boards. There are plenty of other types of ghost-hunting equipment out there.

For those who already have one but haven't tried it out yet, why not host a Halloween party. You could feature table-turning or a session with an Ouija board to convince people of the unseen?

And, for the truly adventurous, a visit to Salem. The town is famous for its witch trials, and it hosts the world's largest Ouija board. It would be an unforgettable trip to add to your paranormal escapades.



What are Ouija boards?

The Ouija game is a board game, which is intended for communicating with spirits. The game has all the letters in the alphabet, and numbers 0 to 9 written on it. Along with yes, no and goodbye. Each player playing the game gently places a finger on the planchette, which is a pointer. You then ask questions in hopes the spirits move the planchette to different letters to spell out words.


How to play the Spirit board

It is recommended you do not play on your own. Each player places one or two fingers on the planchette, which is a pointer. You then ask questions and wait for the spirits to move the planchette to letters spelling out words.


How to do a Talking board safely

To ensure your safety during your Talking board session, don’t play alone. Always have two or more players. Be polite and kind to the spirits you are communicating with. And always move the planchette to goodbye once you have finished communicating.


Can you play the Ouija board on your own?

Technically, you can play the Ouija board alone, but it is not advised.


Who invented the Ouija board?

Elijah Bond invented and began selling the game on the 1st of July as a novelty entertainment item. While the board is a form of divination, divination dates to the Chinese Song Dynasty in 1100 AD.