To Ouija Or Not To Ouija

Ouija boards have long been a controversial topic in paranormal circles. Are they tools for good, positive communication with the spirit world? Do they open portals to the demonic and lead to possession? Are they a device for simple parlor tricks or a silly kids board game?

Over the years I’ve heard and seen it all. In most cases, the mention of the word Ouija (which translates to ‘yes, yes’ – pretty odd when there’s a ‘no’ on the board itself) strikes a chord of mild terror. Bad Ouija stories abound! Personally, I’ve only used it twice in my life. Once on an actual board – you know, the one you got from the games section at Toys R Us – and one with a homemade ‘talking board’ in a house next to a cemetery. Anyone care to guess which one went south in a hurry?


I have to admit, after all these years, I’m still on the fence. I truly believe that the board itself is completely benign. It’s the intention of the people around it that provides the energy necessary to communicate, though with what I’m not sure. That unused 90% of our brains is there for a reason and not just sitting around enjoying the latest episode of Justified. I’m beginning to feel that a lot of the supernatural is, in fact, very natural. We’re just not at the point where we can quantify the how and why.

And it’s so hard to find folks willing to have a rational discussion about the subject.

That is, until I listened to the recent podcast by the guys at SEPS Paranormal. Finally, level headed folks with experience in the field of the supernatural not jumping to crazy conclusions! If you’re have any questions about Ouija boards, you have to listen to their podcast. Very, very well done.

One test they brought up to verify the veracity of a Ouija experience is to put everyone in a completely dark room. We’re talking zero light. One person mans an infrared camera to track where the planchette goes. If it starts spelling out names and places and answers to questions, even though the participants can’t see the actual board, you may have linked up with the great beyond.

When it comes to Ouija boards, you get back what you give. If you’re an evil little bastard, you may just meet your match. If you’re sweeter than an Equal packet, you could be in for a pleasant hour or so.

As for me, for now, I’m still keeping my distance. I wrote a Ouija board scene with 2 teen girls in my book, Sinister Entity, but that’s as far as I care to tread. Though I am intrigued about the darkened room experiment. Damn. I have a strong feeling there will be a later post dealing with my personal experience of the experiment. I’m like a dumb old moth to a flame.

Now, I know that there are plenty of you reading this who have had your own dalliance with a Ouija board. Tell me what you think about it.

Ouija – out!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 30 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

10 responses to “To Ouija Or Not To Ouija”

  1. Joseph Pinto says :

    I’ve a few nasty experiences with an Ouija board over my years, Hunter…but I’m only sharing them over our case of brewskies

  2. Scott DayOH says :

    A buddy and I purchased a Ouija board in 1999. We spent several weekend nights messing with the thing. For the most part, I was pretty sure he was pushing the planchette, which he later confirmed.

    However, there were a couple of times that he didn’t have his hand on the planchette, but was in the room when things happened. He had two younger sisters. The oldest, 16 at the time, had a lot of trauma in her life, and his younger half-sister was deaf, mute and had a heart ailment, which claimed her life at a young age.

    He, his sister and mother had all felt the younger sister was “in the house” and felt they had seen her as a shadow multiple times. Normally we used the Ouija at my house, but we thought it would be a great idea to do it in his house.

    He opted to sit out from having his hand on the planchette since he had admitted to forcing it, and wanted to be in the room. Each time, we had some success, as we saw it, with communicating.

    The first time we asked a few questions and had some semblance of answers, couldn’t say for sure it was their sister, but it seemed that way. I didn’t know her so well, but the other sister cried after we started getting responses.

    The next time, my last time, we started getting aggressive responses, and while I wasn’t sure it was real, there were a few things that did happen that were very real.

    – The temperature in the room dropped.
    – The candles in the room flickered and went out – with no one around them. They were far outside the perimeter of our circle, no fans on or anything and 75% of them blew out.
    – The planchette on several occasions would start moving out of control.

    I’m not sure I’m a believer or not, but the changes in the environment certainly were very, very strange.

  3. Paul Cagle says :

    Hunter, great post. Thanks for sharing your take and the information on the podcast. Too many people fear the Ouija but will stand in a dark room with a mirror and call for ‘Bloody Mary’ or play with the Ovilus or Ghost Finder app on their phone. Pretty much the same thing. 😉 I did this podcast because of the Devil’s Toy Box. Lol.
    Paul Cagle

    • Hunter Shea says :

      You did an excellent job. You know, I never tried the whole Bloody Mary thing…unless it was at cocktail time.

      • Pam Tournier says :

        I’ve had many a strange experience with the Ouija board. Once in Chicago, a pair of entities came through spelling out a series of messages. They called themselves Paul and Victoria. Claimed to be members of the African American community back around 1890 or so, living in Evanston. Said Paul was a minister, a respected man, and Victoria, his wife, was the real power behind him. A medicine woman and hoodoo priestess, it said. Victoria pretty much dominated the messages coming through. Plant roses in your garden, she said. White roses. As talismen, she said. They’ll like it there. We didn’t see the harm in this, so we did. Maybe we didn’t get the sun right, maybe something with the soil wasn’t right, but the roses died. Became a sour joke with us. Two things. I was working late at an editing house, finishing a commercial. To pass the time I started telling the editor about Paul, Victoria and the white roses. He looked at me strangely. Evanston, you said? Yes, they said they lived in Evanston. Did you know, he asked me, that in the 1890s Evanston had commercial greenhouses. They were known for their roses.
        Second thing. It was October, I was coming home late from work. I passed the withered rose bush, shook my head in disgust at its failure to thrive. Next morning come back downstairs, find a note on my car windshield from my downstairs tenant. Shed been the one working the board with me. “Look in the garden,” it said. There on that withered bush that had been dead the night before, bloomed one white, perfect rose.

      • Hunter Shea says :

        Thank you so much for sharing that! At least you had a positive experience.

  4. David Richards says :

    Once or twice, the Parker Brothers version. Nothing dramatic happened. It moved a little onto a letter or two that didn’t form a word and there were claims no one had moved it, but it was hard to tell The board was very slippery and you could probably move the pointer by accident without knowing.

    Assuming it does work, I wouldn’t mess with it. You could summon someone dead you liked, but it could just as easily be a random stranger. Wouldn’t invite a stranger into my home. Why would I invite a ghost stranger?

  5. Jack Campisi (@backinjack) says :

    Great topic. I am enjoying the comments and am curious as to the stories people have on this subject. I can’t wait to listen to the SEPS podcast. I love the idea of testing the board in the dark.

    I personally have never played with a Ouija board, and never understood why a spirit would need a person’s hands to send a message. Why can’t they do it themselves? Once you put people into the equation, I suspect foul play. That said, I don’t think it’s something to mess with either. Maybe I just watched The Exorcist too many times, but I figure, why risk it?

    If you want to see a GREAT show about Ouija boards, check out this episode of Penn & Teller ‘s Bullsh*t. They make a great case for Ouija boards being, well… BS, but as usual, they also are really funny while they do it.

    Here’s the link:

    The part with Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy is the best.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: