The Ouija board, or spirit board, is basically a flat board that contains a specific pattern of letters and numbers, that in theory, can be used to communicate with the dead. The spirit board is commonly tied to the occult but is also considered a toy by some as it is mass produced and sold by Hasbro. Many people wonder if the Ouija board is supernatural or if the phenomenon can be explained by science. Even today, the Ouija board remains a bit of a mystery.
History of the Ouija Board
The exact origins of spirit boards are not known however objects similar to the Ouija board can be dated back to Ancient China where they were commonly used to talk to the dead. It has even been claimed that Pythagoras used spirit boards to enhance his studies. Spirit boards are also connected to Ancient Rome where it is thought they were used by two people to predict the king’s successor.
Ouija boards were not commercially introduced until 1890, when they began to be regarded as parlor games that had no relation to the occult. It wasn’t until the time of World War I that a spiritualist by the name of Pearl Curran popularized the Ouija board as a tool of divination. Spiritualists believed that the deceased had ways of contacting the living, and supposedly used boards very similar to the modern Ouija to enable communication.
Spirit Boards – Games or Serious Instruments?
In 1920, the Internal Revenue Service decided that the Ouija board was a game as opposed to a serious instrument, meaning that it was taxable. The IRS determined that the board was sold largely with the purpose of being used as a means of play or amusement. Around this time, the company that produced Ouija boards stated that the device was neutral and that power expressed through it comes from the players and not the board itself. Spiritualists on the other hand, completely disagreed with this statement.
Spiritualists are of the belief that messages sent through the Ouija board originate from a force other than the board itself or the participants. They believe that spirits of deceased souls use spirit boards to interact and communicate with the living. They do not however attempt to figure out why or how messages are sent, they just believe that the spirits do communicate.
Spirit Boards and Religion
Ouija boards are a bit controversial when it comes to religion. Some Christians believe that the use of Ouija boards are acceptable if the use is trivialized as opposed to internalized. They believe that the boards can be used for entertainment but when turned to for comfort or advice, the use becomes a sin. Essentially, Ouija boards are not seen as evil forces unless the person using them gives the board more faith than they give to God. Fundamentalist Christians however, consider the Ouija board to be an instrument of the Devil, and their use is never acceptable.
Ouija Boards in Popular Culture
Spirit boards have been featured prominently in various movies and television shows as devices that allow evil spirits to terrorize users. Ouija boards have been featured in countless horror films in order to add credence to the presence of the paranormal in whatever story is being told.
Depending on a person’s beliefs, Ouija boards can be considered a fun game, or a serious divination tool. The debate over whether Ouija is simply a game or a powerful tool continues to rage on. Learn more about spirit boards by visiting the following pages.
- 13 Things – The Ouija Board
- Ouija Board History
- History of the Ouija Board Reveals Spiritual Past
- Use of the Ouija Board Seen as Result of War Anxiety
- Metaphysics 101 – The Ouija Board
- Ouija Board – Demystifying the “Mystifying Oracle”
- Ancient Ouija Boards – Fact or Fiction?
- The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board
- A History of Ouija Boards
- Ouija Boards and the Occult
- Can a Christian Use a Ouija Board?
- Paranormal Pop Culture – The Ouija Board
- Belief and Custom Surrounding the Ouija Board
Article approved by Sophia Loren.