Ouija boards

September 6, 2006 | Background | 30 comments

What do you guys think of Ouija boards? Silly toy or potentially dangerous doorways to some sort of spiritual realm?

I’m inclined to go with the former, that it’s just a meaningless curiosity, that any movement of the planchette is the result of the subconscious thoughts of the users. But I did have a weird Ouija board experience when I was a teenager…

Right before the 1993 New Year my best friend and I got out her old Ouija board. She really believed it would get us in touch with spirits so she told me with great emphasis a series rules I was supposed to follow, e.g. saying “break” before I took my hands off the planchette. I took this as an opportunity to show her how non-superstitious I was and intentionally broke all the rules and made a big joke out of the whole thing. She warned me that this could result in a curse and I looked at her like she was an idiot before continuing with my jokes.

Our hands did move over various letters without any attempt on my part to make it happen, but I thought (and still think) that it was probably either her moving it or the result of our subconscious desires for something interesting to happen.

It was kind of creepy, though. A little after midnight, in the middle of whispering questions of some spirit that we’d supposedly gotten in touch with, the phone in the room next to us rang, scaring the crap out of us. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. We ran to answer the phone, worried that something must have happened for someone to call so late at night. Nobody was there. We went to turn off the ringer to avoid another scare but…it was already off. We didn’t play with the Ouija board any more that night.

At some point we brought the board over to my house to play with but never got around to it. She either took it back to her house or it got put away somewhere. Then one night I awoke from a deep sleep to hear a digging sound to the right of my bed. I figured it was the cat “fighting” with one of my stuffed animals and jumped up to stop him. It sounded like he was really tearing something up.

As soon as I sat up I saw the cat sound asleep at the foot of my bed. I leaned over to the source of the sound and saw only a pile of stuffed animals and throw pillows. I moved them aside to see the Ouija board. My adrenaline level went through the roof as I looked around for some other source of the sound but saw only the Ouija board. I swear it had not been there before. I have no idea how it got there.

The next few months were the worst of my life. Almost every single traumatic thing that has ever happened to me happened in 1993. There are very few exceptions. It truly felt like there was a black cloud hanging over me that year. It eventually lifted but, man, I really did feel “cursed” there for a while. Not just because bad things kept happeneing (though they did), but I felt horribly cold and depressed on the inside as well.

I don’t really think that any of that had anything to do with the Ouija board, but there’s an irrational part of me that’s definitely kind of freaked out about playing with those things now. I wouldn’t do it again.

What made me think of this is reading M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie. In it he talks about how he came to believe that there really are demons and a Devil, and that demonic/Satanic possession does happen (albeit rarely). He seems like a pretty reasonable person and his descriptions of the exorcisms he witnessed are calm, thoughtful and not sensationalistic.

He mentions that the two people he saw who were possessed probably came under the influence of these demons after dabbling in the occult. Which made me wonder…is there some chance that I’m wrong, that maybe there is something to the idea of getting in touch with spirits through the Ouija board or other means?

What do you think? Anyone else had any crazy Ouija board experiences?

30 Comments

  1. Jennifer

    I think the general idea is that dabbling in Ouija boards or any form of spirutalism will leave one potentially “open” to demonic contact.

    No Ouija stories but I have plenty about tarot cards. I’ll tell you about it sometime.

  2. Tim

    Oooh, that is spookey, Jen.
    Yeah, Ouija boards are spiritually dangerous. I’ve heard nothing but bad about them.

    St. Michael, pray for us…

  3. Jennifer

    sorry that is spiritualism.

    my fingers are always ahead of my brain.

  4. Jeff Miller

    I agree with what Jennifer said. The real story that the Exorcist was based on was of a boy whose aunt got him started with a Ouija board.

    Opening yourself in this fashion is just not a good idea. Sure many will use one jokingly,but I have heard Fr. Pacwa relate some stories on problems that started with first the ouija board.

  5. GLouise

    I’ve never had contact with a ouija board.

    I believe that this can open one up to demonic attacks, especially when one is not a believer.

    Spooky!!

  6. Adoro Te Devote

    Well, look at it this way: the Church teaches that contact with the spirits (spiritism, necromancy) is wrong and the Bible specifically condemns it. Why? Because it breaks the first Commandment: ‘”Thou shalt have no other Gods before me”.

    But tapping into the spirit world, a door is opened…Ouija is not dangerous because it makes people THINK they are dealing with spirits…it is dangerous because of where it leads. If Ouija is OK, then how ’bout Tarot? If Tarot is OK, then how ’bout a few Voodoo curses, “just for fun” How ’bout some palm readings…adn on and on.

    Speaking as someone who has been involved in most of hte above…well, praise God my soul is intact, thank you!

    Ouija opens a door to a very real power, and that power is not of God. That’ sthe problem. It cannot be brushed off or poo-poo’d by saying it’s “just a harmless game” or that demons have nothing to do with it. The Occult is forbidden not just because by using it we are seeking to be like God, to have the knowledge of God to which we have no right, but also because there is real power there.

    The evil one will use it as His own toy to get to you, and it works!

    I have a friend who is Wiccan, and while we clearly have our differences, we are in agreement: Ouija and Tarot are pure evil.

    I have probably expressed this very badly but I hope I was able to help you understand just the same.

    God bless you! And say the St. Michael prayer!

  7. Bekah

    Yes, I had some experience with Ouija as a teen. Enough to make me leary of them. The weird thing was, sometimes we’d ask who was sending the messages, and the thing would spell out “toy”, but other times we’d get names. I don’t remember a lot of the details anymore, but after several uses, we put the thing away and refused to use it anymore. It just freaked us out. I do remember specifically one instance. We’d (my sister and step-cousin and I) finished playing with it and hopped into bed, sharing a big full bed. The foot of the bed started shaking in the middle of the night, where we’d shoved the board after playing with it.

    I would not approve of my children using it. I also believe it can be a “gate” to other forms of occult dabbling. We did try automatic writing, for instance. All this occured during a time when we had been away from regular church gatherings for years. Despite these interests, I was soon drawn back to worship, and my sister later as well. So, I guess the power of our Baptism and guardian angels protected us, but I’d not give spirits/demons such invitation again.

  8. gabriel

    When Wiccans and Catholics agree, you’re best off taking heed.

    I haven’t anything else to add to what’s already said.

  9. Amy Caroline

    As a teen, or pre-teen, I played with the Ouija board. I remember once playing with some friends of mine and we asked it who loves us. The board spelled out a boy from school for my friend, for me it spelled out “me.” I really don’t believe my friend did it and we asked it again and again it said “me.” Then it starting going really fast in a figure eight (the eternity sign). Needless to say we let go and I was thoroughly freaked out.

    It was under my bed for awhile after that until one night I was laying there and I just knew it was there. I could feel it, like something evil living and breathing beneath my bed. I started to cry and grabbed it out of under my bed ran outside and shoved it in the garbage.

    I have never touched one since.

  10. KathyJo

    There is no doubt in my mind that they are evil, and NOT just a game. The subconscious might be able to supply the movement, but it certainly can’t account for some of the freaky things that happened when we were “playing” with one as teenagers. Not Exorcist scary, but way more than I care to even think about.

    How freaked out am I still after 18 years? I couldn’t even finish your blog entry or any of the comments that spoke of experiences. :} And I’ve been saying the Jesus prayer as I type this. I don’t care what anyone says, I take those things VERY seriously.

  11. SteveG.

    I really don’t have much new to add and I think Jennifer and Jeff have already said what I would mostly want to say.

    I do just want to expand a bit on what I think they said about being ‘open’ to clarify.

    I don’t think it can be said that a Ouija board has some kind of inherent evil in and of itself that creates the ‘opening’. It’s only material (cardboard, a bit of plastic, etc.) after all and it’s not as though it can have some spirit ‘attached’ to it. Walking past such an object in a store won’t make you open to the demonic.

    The problem is the intent with which it is purchased, or used. It seems that the moment you set it up to use (or the moment it’s purchased), the person has made some kind of choice (consciously or unconsciously).

    That choice, that action, whether light-hearted or serious, seems to me to be the opening that is being spoken about here.

  12. knit_tgz

    I could not agree more with Jennifer (“I think the general idea is that dabbling in Ouija boards or any form of spiritualism will leave one potentially “open” to demonic contact”) and with SteveG. (“The problem is the intent with which it is purchased, or used. It seems that the moment you set it up to use (or the moment it’s purchased), the person has made some kind of choice (consciously or unconsciously).
    That choice, that action, whether light-hearted or serious, seems to me to be the opening that is being spoken about here.”
    )

    I don’t have any personal stories with ouija boards, but a guy I knew had a very spooky story. In fact, that story (fortunately) led to his conversion (he was a baptized agnostic, and is nowadays a sincere, practising, Episcopalian) and (unfortunately) led to two friends of him dabbling even more into the occult. Story is: they were teenagers. They went to play with a board. He was skeptical, but cooperated. It started working, in ways he could not explain. He suddenly said “Lord God” (instinctively, as he was an agnostic) and the board stopped working. The girl who was coordinating the whole thing said: “You must not mention the name of God or it stops. It always happens like that”. He felt oppressed and left. He started wondering whether God was real because of that episode. Unfortunately, his friends didn’t.

    I never dabbled with Ouija boards. I can tell you I have read a book on demonic contact and influence (fortunately, full possession is very uncommon, but influence, oppression and infestation are somewhat more common, infestation the less common of the three). In my teens/early 20s, I dabbled with the occult and can tell you it had consequences. I was never at peace inside. I hated inner peace and proclaimed that to other people. Hours before I converted back to Christianity and renounced to Satan and to the occult, I heard voices in my head, in a harsh dispute, insulting me and saying I should not go to the University that day. I felt awful. And then I converted and felt peace. And peace was good.

    I thank God for actively intervening when I was getting too involved in the occult. I wanted to become Wiccan, but there was not much info around here. And then, out of the blue, my parents received a book on invoking spirits to translate. And they were too busy and it had to be me to translate it. I was thrilled. A thick book, 500+ pages, with instructions. And then, just after I started, a sudden phone call from the editor: “You must not translate the book. You must stop immediately and bring it here right away”. I was angry. But, of course, I complied. Around three months from then, I converted back to Christ and renounced Satan.

    It’s particularly fitting that while in the past I sang musics which worshipped explicitly the devil, which made a joke out of the liturgy of Easter Vigil, God lead me to enter the church choir on Holy Thursday 3 years ago (I wasn’t going to enter the choir, I entered by accident!).

  13. Tony

    I heard a spooky story about an Ouija board on Relevant Radio on the Drew Mariani show.

    He was told a story by a young man about when he was in college and visited some friends. He came upon them “playing with” an ouija board, and getting all kinds of responses.

    He excused himself, went out to his car, and put on his brown scapular under his shirt. He walked back in to the apartment, and as soon as he crossed the threshold, the board stopped “speaking”.

    Over and over, the “players” entreated the board to speak, but it remained silent.

    It finally spelled out three words.

    I S-M-E-L-L G-O-D

    And fell silent.

  14. SteveG.

    umm, yes…thank you everyone (especially tony), I will now be sleeping with the lights ON for the next few weeks!;-)

  15. Julie D.

    I have a friend who, after goofing around with a Ouija board one evening with her roommate, had a close encounter of the demonic kind. They are dangerous, no doubt.

    In fact, we had one at our house when I was growing up. After reading The Exorcist, I was so spooked I sneaked it out of the house and into the trash when no one was looking.

  16. Tracy

    no personal story, but I agree with the whole ‘opening up to evil’ problem. It totally creeped me out to hear those stories, but I do not doubt them for a second.

    One thing I remember from listening to a Fr. Hardon tape on Angels and Demons though is that we should be wary of demons etc, but also not forget that our God is more powerful than the strongest of demons. Too much fear, and it is like the demons start to gain ground on lowering our faith. So as wary as I am of involvement with that stuff (I wouldn’t go near it w/ a ten ft. poll) I can’t let my confidence and faith be affected either.

    The Holy Name is infinately powerful.

    So what do y’all think about that evil Harry Potter? 😉

  17. Suzi

    A friend of mine’s parents, Christians who were in their late 50s at the time, got a Ouija board and were playing with it. They thought it was fun and nothing serious. Until the table the board was on got up and chased them around the room, finally pinning them in a corner.

    I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a table moving in my house unless we are picking it up.

    Another friend’s wife played the Ouija board when she was in high school and she asked who she was going to marry. It spelled out her husband’s last name. I guess it could have been the name that got her dating him, but it is also possible that sometimes evil spirits tell the truth, to get you to believe the lies later.

  18. Father Stephanos, O.S.B.

    The premise of using a Ouija board is that you are inviting “the spirits”.

    Even if it might be your own subsconscious that is directing the movement of the planchette (pointer), the premise remains: you’ve invited “the spirits”.

    You have no control over who might decide to accept your invitation.

  19. Dorian Speed

    Why on earth did I read this thread?

    I somehow brought up the topic of Ouija boards with my students last year and immediately regretted it, as they spent the remainder of the year asking if they could bring one in for extra credit (or, alternately, if they could get expelled by bringing one in). It’s hard to get them to at once take spiritualism seriously and at the same time not be obsessed with it.

    Also, your blog inspired me to check out _People of the Lie_ this afternoon from the library. But perhaps now I’ll be too spooked to read it.

  20. Lynne

    Dorian raises a great point. How do you warn kids (teenagers) to not use these things without making them sound very exciting?

    I’m thinking you wouldn’t want to start relating all these experiences to them, they’d probably all run out and buy the stupid things…

  21. SmartBlkWoman

    I just want to agree with what steveg and jennifer said.

    I haven’t had any experiences with the Ouija board and I don’t intend on trying it either.

    My step-father, who is a retired Navy veteran and an all around very reasonable, said that while he was on active duty he had a friend who was a devil worshipper or something along those lines. The two of them had been doing something involving the occult and later my step-father went to his car and was taking a nap. He said that when he woke up it felt as if something was sitting on his chest and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t get up even though he couldn’t see anything holding him down. He finally started to say the Lords prayer and the weight lifted and allowed him to move. That was the last time he dabbled in anything occult and he wouldn’t even allow me to bring any books on atheism into the house.

    I think it is best to just leave these sort of things alone. If there is an ultimate good ( God) then there is an ultimate evil( the devil and his manifestations).

    I don’t mean to be intrusive but what did you finally decide with the birth control issue? I know that before I had mentioned to you about my IUD. I’m actually planning on getting the thing removed because I realize how it is not a life-affirming method of birth control and I’ve purchased a book on natural methods of birth control.

    I was just wondering where you are in your journey.

  22. Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin

    I would use the same knowledge to warn children about magic, as to defend my interest in fantasy (books, games, and art) against wild-eyed evangelicals. I’d start by asking this question:

    “Do you know how magic works in the real world?”

    The answer is, magic is a ritual request made of a supernatural being to intervene in the world on your behalf. When the being in question is God, we use prayer to make the request, and accept whatever answer He gives you, because it is for your own good. But if you are not praying to God for a miracle, then you are asking the Devil to use his power in your life, and he hates you, and will use his power to your destruction.

  23. leeana

    I have had a similar experience and know now never to mess with a ouija board EVER again.

    When I was 15 my mates and I thought it would be cool to make a ouija. At the time it was a joke to me, I never really knew what it was until my friend had explained a little to me and I just laughed it off.

    So when it was completed everyone sat in a circle in the middle of the room with only a candle burning and started asking random questions. Sure the glass would move but it wasn’t enough to make me a believer. The next night my friend and I took the ouija board into the fire escape, eight stories up which took us to the back of the elevator, only open to maintenance I gather because it was secured with a cage door that had been chained and padlocked.

    So we sat on the step 2 feet away from the door placed our candle down with the ouija and started to ask questions. It started moving very fast across the board when my friend asked if anyone was here and thats when my heart started to race. Trying to hide my nerves she proceeded to ask if there really is someone here with us, let it be known. Right after that, there was two LOUD bangs on the back door of the elevator as if someone had kicked it so hard it should have left dents in it. I was petrified, we bolted down the stairs leaving everything behind us and never looked back.

    That night I vowed never to mess with touch or even go near one again. But it was too late for words of regret, that was only the beginning to something really disturbing and one of my most terrifying experiences in my life.

  24. leeana

    I know I made a stupid mistake by playing with something I knew nothing about. Ouija boards are bad and never to be taken for a joke. I really do Know that now.
    Continuing from the experience I had in the fire escape. I was really shaken up that night. A week went by and I forgot about the ordeal.
    I was at my nan’s house, it was a Friday night it being late she told me to sleep the night I agreed she went to bed as I headed for the shower.

    As I was showering I could feel a presence in the room I felt as if I was being watched. So to ease the feeling I started to sing. But my voice didn’t sound like my own it sounded like a high pitched little girls choir voice. I paused and started again, this was freaking me out because I couldn’t recognize my own voice.
    The feeling of someone watching me on the other side of the shower door was even stronger. There was a big mirror hanging alongside the wall on my right facing the wall to the left of me with an artificial vine laying across the top so that the ends hang down the sides of it.
    One of the leaves started to shake then a few leaves from that it was as though someone was pulling it away from the mirror itself, until the the whole thing started to shake furiously. I screamed grabbed a towel and I was out of there.
    I sat rapped in a towel at the dining room table, when I felt a gush of wind fly passed my legs three times. My heart felt like it was gonna jump out of my chest, I swear. I got dressed made my way to my nan’s room. She had a long chair made of bamboo, where I was planning on sleeping. she awoke to say goodnight and I lay on the chair facing the wall. I needed to say a prayer. So I started to pray.” Dear Heavenly Father” Then I heard a bang at the front screen door I opened my eyes and said” Nan there’s someone at the door should I answer it? She didn’t answer, again BANG BANG I asked her again no answer that was odd cause I just spoke with her a second ago her breathing still light. Then CRASH it sounded like someone bashed the door down. All of a sudden I feel this dark presence behind me it felt so evil. My eyes wide open I take a deep breath and before I let anything out I’m grabbed flipped over to face whatever was behind me so hard and with so much force I felt like a rag dole. I was flipped so fast that as I was turning my arms were fully extended in the air and when my body stopped my arms kept on going and it felt like I pulled my muscle. I could see it now, a black figure of a man standing there he stood there for a moment just staring at me. for that time I could feel all it’s hate, anger, rage, frustration it was breathing so heavily I knew what its intentions were. I screamed for my nan, as I did so he reach for my throat and compressed his thumb into it so tight, then with the other hand waving it up and down my chest. I couldn’t believe what was happening, I tried to fight it by throwing my fists around screaming for my nan to help. I could still hear her breathing softly. It’s like she was blocked from hearing anything at that time. I felt helpless it was so strong and I was so afraid. His arm still flickering up and down my chest. I went to look at his face but he had no head! Nothing! And in amongst all the commotion me screaming out”Nan”” NaN”,and at the same time telling it to stop. Subconsciously I was still saying my prayers so when it came to” Amen” it was over. I was still screaming at this point and my nan finally heard my scream, didn’t she get a fright! My throat was really sore that it hurt me to swallow. That was my most terrifying experience ever. Since then I have had many encounters but have found, Prayer really helps.

  25. Anonymous

    i have heard ENDLESS horror stories on the use of the ouija board. and its only been a few days since i discovered it. listen, as TEMPTING AS IT SEEMS DO NOT GO MESSING WITH ONE.

    do not.

  26. Anonymous

    Many years ago I went to my friends house, while she was preparing to move. She found a ouija in her closet and wanted me to play with her. I had heard it was evil, but she said it was "just a game." So I played with her, the board was answering things that I had no knowledge of (nor did she) that I later found out to be true information. I asked the board who was speaking to me and it said Lucifier. We got scarred and threw the board over a fence. Months later after a string of bad luck I got drunk and denounced God, a fly woke me up that morning by buzzing in my ear and irritating me. When I went into the kitchen there was around 500 flys forming a 2 inch circle all around my ceiling from corner to corner. I screamed and ran out to get my neighbor, we killed the flys and they didn't fly or move. They just fell dead in droves. I am now studing to be a Minister, and I know the power of God and of evil. I cried out to God that day and he saved me.!

  27. jessidora

    Unexplained things happen.

    When you sit down to play in a setting where the only contact you expect to have is of a “creepy” or scary nature, then those are the results you are likely to get.

    For example, people sitting down at something like an Angel Board tend to have different stories.

  28. Ouija Board

    I really do believe that spirits can be contacted through the ouija board, as long as all people within the group keep and open mind and trust each other.

  29. Ariell

    Hey guys.. I’ve recently been messing around with a ouija board. I really do find it interesting to talk to spirits. I play by the rules, and I have the ghosts show me signs of them being there, so they Flicker a candle or turn the lights off or whatever. I’ve been feeling like there calling out to me lately.. And I have a sore throat now.. I’m just scared I could get possessed. Any help?

    • Peter M.

      Ariell,

      First, burn the board, and don’t ever go near one again. Second, if you are Catholic, go to confession. Even if you’re not, seek the help of a priest; ask him to bless you, and maybe to come and bless the place where you live.

      The truth is, there are no “rules” to play by. If you are really making contact using an ouija board, it’s with spirits/forces that you cannot control; but that want to control you. You’re playing with fire. They’ll play along with you, maybe give you little fun signs and bits of information, but then they’ll start demanding things from you, and you’ll find it very, very hard to say no. For your sake, and that of your family and friends, stop now.

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