“It’s a dangerous occult tool.” “I had a bad experience one time.” “My friends and I tried it, and it scared us bad.” “It’ll open a doorway to another realm.” “It will let them enter your house and even your body.” “It’s not a toy…it’s dangerous.”
Sounds like a consensus, sounds like everyone’s made up their minds, it even sounds like there’s some factual basis behind the fear of the Ouija Board. Oh if only Charles Kennard and William Fuld could see the state of their most successful invention now.
A doorway to the demonic, a gateway to the afterlife, a portal of communication with unknown powers and motives; if one were prone to following the collective fears of the masses, one would think that the Ouija Board was the single most dangerous item of the modern world. I mean, if these things are so dangerous, shouldn’t there be a possessed and tormented child in every other house in America? Better yet, if these things are so dangerous, shouldn’t our law makers be decreeing that Hasbro and their competitors cease and desist with their manufacture of these cardboard and plastic wonders?
“You can use a Ouija safely, but if you don’t close it properly, you can leave a door open for them.”
OK, who is “them”? Demons? Ghosts? Inter-dimensional beings? It strikes me that this is precisely what the vast majority of Paranormal Investigators want…an open highway between our world and theirs.
Enough with the issue skirting…Ouija Boards are not dangerous occult tools, they’re toys. It’s a board game gone wrong; one whose marketing premise worked far too well. In case you hadn’t guessed, I don’t share the opinion that Ouija Boards are a portal to anywhere but a vivid imagination. I find it silly that there’s been so much fuss over a simple collection of cardboard and plastic, but fuss there has been. I’ve recently stumbled over a number of groups and websites who, apparently for a lack of anything better to do, are calling for a boycott of Hasbro. Why? Well for no other reason than Hasbro is manufacturing a pink Ouija Board, marketed directly to girls under the age of nine. I mean, for shame Hasbro, the gall of a Toy Company that would manufacture and market toys, for children no less.
In response to this ridiculousness, I have begun seeking explanations for the above cautionary statements. Though I’ve had no success, yet.
In a past article, I covered the history and most feasible explanation for the effects that some people claim to experience when using Ouija Boards (or the Ouija’s generic variations); idiomotor effect. Contrary to the apparent etymology of that word, it doesn’t suggest that Ouija Board users are idiots, what it suggests is that the expectation of an effect (that expectation gained through the dissemination of stories, which have ultimately become urban legend in the case of Ouija) is enough to cause the users mind and body to fulfill that expectation subconsciously. In other words, when you place your expectant hands on the planchette, no matter how it appears, the movement of the planchette across the board is caused by your own hand, doubly so when there are two people involved.
Is this fact? No. It is the most likely explanation. What makes it the most likely explanation is the mere fact that all other explanations require a belief in any one of a number of paranormal hypotheses in order to be qualified.
Any and all of the reported effects of the Ouija Board are either one of two things; 1) an actual interaction with a ghost/spirit/demon or likewise entity, or 2) the result of imagination manifested through one of several psychological processes or some form of RSPK.
While number 1 is admittedly the wet dream of many a researcher and investigator (myself included), number 2 is far more likely. I should point out that I have used a Ouija Board, as well as a number of the Ouija’s generic counterparts. My younger self has sat in amazement while the planchette moved across the board under my fingers, spelling out all sorts of nonsense (some decipherable, most not), but when I think of these experiences, I can’t help but remember one subtle fact in our history, that fact being there have been only two documented instances of people having been harmed by an unknown or ghostly entity in the last 200 years, which sits in dark contrast the perceived danger of the Ouija as compared to the number of boards that exist around the world.
In light of this, I can’t help but acknowledge that the claim of danger involved with the Ouija Board is beyond a little bit silly. But, I’m not hanging my hat up yet, the purpose of this piece is to incite a response in the believer, I want your responses, in writing. I want to hear your explanations and experiences, but I’ll warn you, I won’t be kind to those who offer more of the same unsubstantiated anecdotal claims without so much as a nod to reason and fact. If you had a harrowing experience with a Ouija Board, tell me about it -preferably in the comment section below, though you may also send it via the website’s contact page for privacy sake- be precise, be honest and be polite.