The dangers of spiritual glamor (complete with a creepy Ouija board story)

September 26, 2012 | 128 comments

Right before the New Year during my sophomore year of high school, my best friend and I got out her old Ouija board. As she smoothed away the dust with the palm of her hand and placed the board on the floor in front of us, she recounted to me with great emphasis a series rules I was supposed to follow, like saying “break” before you take your hands off the planchette. There would be something real going on here, she insisted, and so it was important to approach this activity with respect.

I prided myself on being a pure atheist materialist — I never knocked on wood, avoided opening umbrellas in houses, threw salt over my shoulder, or engaged in any other superstitious activities “just in case” — and so this was an opportunity for me to demonstrate my strict adherence to my belief system. No warnings about malevolent spirits could scare me! Confident that this would secure my place as the most rational 16-year-old in the universe, I demonstrated my amazing non-superstitiousness making a big joke out of the whole thing. To my friend’s great concern, I taunted the supposed spirits, denounced the entire activity as dumb, and went out of my way not to observe the little formalities like saying “break” before we stopped.

When we first placed our hands on the planchette, I was startled when it moved without any effort on my part. I quickly shrugged it off,  assuming its slide across the board was due either to the actions of my friend, or our collective subconscious desires to have something interesting happen.

Late into the night, probably about half an hour after midnight, more strange things were occurring which my friend attributed to contact with spirits. I started to make a sneering comment toward this supposed otherworldly being, but I was interrupted when the silence of the house was shattered by the loud ringing of the phone in the next room. We both jumped, and my heart beat so rapidly I immediately felt dizzy. Who on earth would be calling at this hour?

We dashed into the other room, a seldom-used home office, and my friend picked up the phone. She stopped one syllable into the word “hello, ” paused, and hung up. It was just a dial tone. I picked up the phone and turned it around to switch off the ringer. I almost dropped it back down on the desk when I saw that the ringer was already turned off.

A few weeks later, we decided to try the thing out again, so my friend brought it over to my house. We never got around to playing with it, and I assumed that she took it back to her place. Then, one night around three o’clock in the morning, I awoke from a deep sleep to hear a violent thrashing sound to the right of my bed. I figured it was the cat “fighting” with one of my stuffed animals, and was annoyed since it sounded like he was completely destroying it. I clicked on a lamp and threw myself across the bed to shoo him away…but saw only a motionless pile of stuffed animals and decorative pillows on the floor. My skin prickled with cold sweat when I caught sight of something out of the corner of my eye: my cat, sound asleep on the foot of my bed. With my hand shaking, I slowly tossed each item in the pile by my bed out of the way.

On the floor underneath it lay the Ouija board.

The rest of that year was awful. I was involved in multiple car accidents and some other bad stuff, but the worst of it was that I was mired in a strange type of depression. I’d experienced bouts of depression before and since then, but this one was different. It was an inability to be fully happy, yes, but there was something darker. It was a constant sense of doom, a fear that infected me at a molecular level — though fear of what, I didn’t know. It also came with a virulent hateful streak, one that left me hissing out the nastiest responses (in my mind, if not always spoken) in response to the oddest, most insignificant provocations. It wasn’t as if I was an unhappy version of myself; it was as if my self had been tied up and locked in a basement somewhere, and my body was an abandoned haunted house.

For years I doggedly maintained that there was nothing to the whole Ouija board thing. Even when I first came to believe in God, I still rolled my eyes at the idea that there could be anything dangerous about playing with a cardboard toy that my friend’s mom bought at Target. But then I actually started reading the Bible, and I saw how frequently even the New Testament talks about evil spirits and their powers. I looked at world history and began to see the work of an intelligent evil force, its presence so strong that I wondered how I could have ever overlooked it. I learned more about the reality of good and bad supernatural forces, and the importance of knowing how to distinguish one from the other. And when I thought back on my experience with the Ouija board, I saw that though the “tools” we’d used may have come in the form of a $20 board game, I had participated in an event whose aim was to summon spirits indiscriminately — it didn’t matter whether they were good or evil (or, in my mind at the time, whether they existed at all); the goal was our own amusement. And when I looked back on my experiences in the months following those Ouija board games, I realized that they had all the signs of severe spiritual attack.

In his book Jesus-Shock, Dr. Peter Kreeft talks about how we are “self-centered experience addicts.” When discussing the issue of spiritual dry spells or lack of emotional experiences during prayer, he writes:

We are so addicted to our own positive experiences of joy and happiness that if we experienced Christ more joyfully than we do, we would almost inevitably come to love our experience of Christ more than Christ Himself. We would come to worship our experience, that is, ourselves.

Here he is talking about the dangers of worshiping positive sensations that come from contact with God instead of God himself, but I think the flipside is true also: we can end up accidentally cooperating with evil when we approach the spiritual realm with our own experiences as our first priorities.

I think that the reason that dabbling in the occult has had an increased appeal in recent decades is simply because people are bored, and yearn for interesting distractions. The Holy Spirit speaks in a still, small voice, and God doesn’t make cool stuff happen on command like a parlor magician. You can probably gather more thrill-a-minute stories while dabbling in the occult than you could while carrying your cross behind Christ. As we say in our baptismal promises, evil has a certain hollow “glamor” to it that a life faithful to God does not.

Lately I’ve been in yet another of my many spiritual dry spells, and I sometimes find it frustrating that I haven’t had any amazing experiences during prayer like I have in the past. But remembering my experience from high school serves as a warning not to fixate so much on whether I am personally entertained in my prayer life. Not that I’d go all the way to breaking out a Ouija board and channeling spirits if my reading of the Gospels continues to be dry, but I am reminded that the quest for spiritual glamor always leads down a dangerous path.


  1. Amy

    Thanks for the post. Unfortunately, I was involved with the ouija board in high school. Thank God for the sacraments of reconcilliation and the Holy Eucharist! An excellent series to order from EWTN is Fr. Gallagher’s Discernment of Spirits based on St. Ignatius. I have learned to be more aware of how God works and how the evil me works so as to move through the dry and desolate times with faith and a deep peace. God bless you!

    • Emanuel frank

      I pooped on your head!

      • Mike

        Emanuel, I hope it runny poop

  2. Megan

    Yikes, how scary! Until I read “The Miracle Detective” I never realized how real and prevalent spiritual attacks are in this day and age. I just always chalked it up to stuff that happened in Bible times. Thankfully my own middle school sleepover Ouija board experience didn’t amount to anything big…
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Rebecca Lutz

      I am new to! I am 9 and I want to know if ghosts are real

    • Rebecca Lutz

      I am 9 and I want to know if ghosts are real

      • Jon Maakestad

        Rebecca, there is an entire world of spiritual beings which we can’t see. All of these beings are divided into good and evil with very clear boundaries. Jesus keeps you safe from the bad ones because he loves you. They can never do anything bad to you as long as you have Jesus protecting you. Don’t be tempted to look at ghosts because then you are turning your back on God for a moment and this is what the bad spirits want.

  3. Ania

    Hi, I’m new to your blog, but loved this post! I was raised Catholic, but never knew until high school that ouija boards could channel evil. I had a sleepover in middle school where my friend broke the board out and I remember trembling and crying and wanting to leave. Thank you for posting this warning and I like what you referenced about our being self centered in spiritual experiences. I’ll have to check that book out.

  4. Michelle

    I am coming to see what I am in now as a spiritual dry spell. It’s difficult for me to imagine dabbling in the occult myself…but this is a good reminder that it doesn’t have to be the occult … there are plenty of distractions out there.

  5. the Holy Terra

    I had a student who’d suffered from an endless string of injuries and “bad luck.” He believed it started after he got obsessed with Ouiji boards in high school. He wasn’t a Catholic but, since he was a student at a Catholic college, I encouraged him to consult a priest. He never followed through with it- so sad that rejected the healing graces available through the sacraments. Wonder if anyone has ever done a sociological study of Oiuji board use

  6. Rebecca Fletcher

    I seem to recall you posting about this before…and the comments made me sick. I never played with anything like that and I am so grateful that I didn’t. Some of the stories people have to tell just put a chill down my spine.

  7. William Jessup

    I used an Ouija board numerous times without direct success several decades ago and was foolish enough at the time to mount it above my headboard for years. Between the Ouija board and heavy immersion into learning about Demonology, I can vividly recall the overwhelming sense of depression that seemed to loom over me at times. From my previous interests, I would say Ouija boards can be a very powerfully dangerous tool in most case even when it seems harmless. I was reminded of this from a statement from Frank Sheed, “The human soul is the lowest of spirits. The least of the angels is unimaginably superior in power.” Angels of course are pure spirits, but the kind of spirits you can encounter using tools such as Ouija boards are rarely good spirits even though they can seem to be, and the good and bad spirits are equally superior in power and intelligence compared to humans. It is interesting paths people take in search of Truth. As for myself, I started life as a cradle Catholic and took a long winding road through Astrology, Demonology, Atheism, Memetics, Gnosticism, and back to the Catholic Church. I don’t pretend to be an expert in any area, but I just felt like sharing my opinion of why Ouija boards can be dangerous and encourage exploration of the human spirit. I found the full chapter for Sheed’s discussion on Spirit at for anyone who may be interested.

  8. Silica

    I have never played with a Ouija board, largely thanks to my mom (who is Christian, but pretty apathetic about it) telling me about her experiences with them at sleepovers in middle school. I don’t think I’ve even seen one in person and I prefer to keep it that way.

    My mother in law, who is a lapsed Catholic and now non-denominational, does all kinds of stuff that is occult but doesn’t realize that it is. I wonder sometimes if that’s part of the reason she left the Church. We go for this stuff because it’s “trendy” and it sounds better than what we hear every week at Mass simply because we get used to it – and if we’re poorly catechized (as she was) then we really have no idea what we’re leaving and subsequently embracing. I am not sure how to tell her that I think that not only is the stuff she’s doing not giving her the benefits she claims they do, but is actually spiritually dangerous, or if it’s my place to do so.

  9. Michigan_Pat

    During my latest “dry spell”, I discovered that I was still doing a fair amount of “praying”, but too much “talking” and not enough “listening”. And my prayer was always “ask, ask, ask” rather than “pray, praise, ask, thank”. When I started praising and listening more, my prayer time had a decided difference. And God (that small quite voice) became loud and clear, at least more often than not.
    Is there a “magic formula” to prayer? Certainly not. We will have times of need and pain and suffering, and we may need to cry out to God more often than we are praising him. But as are needs don’t always have “quick fixes”, the same goes for answers to prayers. Maybe stop your “prayers” a few minutes early and remember to take time to be quite and listen, at least for a little bit.
    The Bible says that “God loves righteousness more than sacrifice”. I think he also loves speaking to us, if we would only set aside a little time to listen.

  10. R in Indiana

    I had a similar experience with Tarot cards—creepy. One of my college professor’s actually a Christian Scientist said one of the Devil’s greatest achievements was making the world think he didn’t exist. I am blessed to have finally converted to the Catholic church where I can rely on the sacraments to help me stay away from evil.

    Always enjoy your posts. Thanks for sharing.

  11. James

    I had an experience with the rosary being the exact opposite of the Ouija board.

    I started praying it because I was having trouble sleeping and it was repetitive, boring, and monotonous. Just what was needed for insomnia.

    And this act of non-faith has ended up being a positive, life-changing, faith-affirming experience.

    • nancyo

      I love this story!

  12. Jen G

    I lost a beloved pet not long ago, and the temptation to seek comfort through information from the occult (mediums, etc.) is powerful. I see how people can end up seeking such things. I can tell you that I also had a creepy experience with ouija board long ago and will not go near one again.

    • Rebecca Lutz

      Are ghosts really real? I’m 9 by the way

  13. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I love this post. I often think about these mediums that people find fun, and I am very wary. The moms group at my church is hosting a yoga day soon; I had to opt out even though I attend every other meeting. Yoga is the same way. Honestly, I am a little disappointed that my would sanction this. I don’t know if I should say something or if I should just refuse to participate. I don’t want to come off as holier than thou either. Thoughts?

    • Tara Sz.

      Hi Jenna – I encounter the yoga question a lot and it bothers me, too. The Church doesn’t seem to have an ‘official’ teaching yet, but Johnette Benkovic and Sue Brinkman over at Women of Grace have some great advice and insights on the topic. Basically, yoga positions are asanas, which are physical prayers, much like the Sign of the Cross is for Catholics. It is prideful and dangerous to assume they can’t affect us. It wouldn’t hurt just to mention it to the women; I respect you tremendously for opting out. I think the website is; a quick internet search will find it for you. Good luck and God bless!

      • Sr Eleanor

        Just today Sr Catherine Wybourne at iBenedictines has a post entitled “The Problem of Yoga”. It’s a description of the difficulties, rather than providing an answer, but it’s very clear.
        I’m not sure if the comment box will let me post the url, but you can copy and paste:

    • Anabelle@Written By the Finger of God

      Jenna, Fr. Christopher Crotty (Fathers of Mercy) says that yoga’s roots lie in a pagan Hindu goddess and that to engage in the positions is like genuflecting before Our Lord. I just wrote a post about Catholics and yoga the other day if you want the long version of it.

    • Maria

      I needed to exercise to release tension and gain strength to care for my family. I wondered about yoga after several attempts to practice left me at odds with the movements, so I decided to try Pilates instead. With Pilates, I found that I could pray loving aspirations to Our Lord while exercising and finished feeling refreshed and energized. I also pray the Rosary and recite the Jesus Prayer when walking. My health improved dramatically. My prayer life got a boost as well!
      I have always thought that using the “whole body” approach to prayer engaged the entire person, not only the mind and soul. Eastern Christians pray with bows, kneeling and prostrations to achieve this. It stands to reason that practicing yoga, which is a whole series of Hindu prayers, would be problematic. Even in our daily activities we can include short prayers and aspirations, then everything we do is directed, both in work and leisure, to God. That is not “holier than thou”, just fully healthy.

  14. sarah

    Love this post. So many people think that it is harmless “fun” and it just isn’t either!

    Also, I am very much a “thrill seeker” in my spiritual life and my daily life. I love to experience something “awesome”. What a great reminder that all the glamor is not necessary or even good. Thanks!

  15. Amy R

    Thanks for sharing. As my 15yo daughter happened to be near, I asked her if she knew what a ouija board was…indeed she did. How? From a Calvin & Hobbes book, of all things. She said she thought it was kind of creepy, even though the cartoon was funny enough (Calvin guiding the pointer to indicate yes, “Calvin is the smartest”). And I told her, if she was ever somewhere and someone got that so-called game out, to call me and I’d come and get her.

    I had a friend in high school who thought it was a fun little game. Thankfully, I thought it was weird & boring, as nothing happened that I could tell, so it didn’t get played when I was around.

  16. Chris

    THEN WHO WAS PHONE… sorry, I had to.

  17. Kira

    Who was on the phone? It says in the story: “She stopped one syllable into the word “hello,” paused, and hung up.”
    One syllable. “Hell.”

  18. Liz@Sturm und Mom

    My parents were massively into the occult when I was a teen (they were Druids/Pagans) and it still scares the breath out of me. Just reading your story my heart is racing. They’re lives never improved with all the money they spent on Tarot cards, Rune books and creepy candles — the ended up broke and divorced (though back together now.) My Mom had a statue of the Virgin Mary she bought when we were all baptized together (I was four years old.) For some reason, she always kept it, some years on display, but mostly in the box in the basement. This was strange, because when she thought something had let her down, she would immediately trash it, and she definitely thought organized religion hadn’t lived up to her expectations. (12 years ago she mailed the statue — which may be a Sacramental, I’m not sure — abruptly to me.) I will always wonder if that small piece/sign/type? of God’s Grace had something to do with keeping me safe in that dangerous time. Whatever it was, praise God, I’m free of it, and pray that the Lord and St. Michael keeps us free!

    Thank you for an excellent post and sharing your story, Jennifer.

  19. Lisa V.

    I pray your dry spell passes quick. I know I get discouraged when that happens and I almost fear it since I’ve had a really long period of late of just loving the Word and getting so much of His word speaking to me. In those times of discouragement, I know that it will pass, so keep trusting and hold onto patience.

  20. Lisa Schmidt

    Aware of 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley? It’s a modified version of de Montfort’s total consecration. Might be something to explore re: spiritual dryness. Just a thought.

  21. Dan Alan Knight

    Creepy indeed.

    One of the troubles with our experiences: We are caught up in our own world. In the world inside ourselves, we interpret what happens to us according to our world view. This bias works in a number of ways, and can lead us to misinterpret or overlook some of the most significant experiences of our lives.

    Unfortunately, the same can be said in reverse. Unless there are some factors to lead us another conclusion, can you believe your own experience?

    Worse will others believe you? Will they recognize the indicia of a real event or dismiss it as a bit of gravy.

    Too bad, many of us are under spiritual attack, and we don’t even know it. And it can get worse when you are following through, too.

    When you are harder to attack directly, you will be attacked through your loved ones (and those who do not love you).

    Over the years, I have reconsidered many of my experiences. The results are not always earth shattering. For the very few special ones, and the creepy ones, most have turned out to be just me and my feet of clay.

    Avoid inviting villainy into your inner world, pray and keep your powder dry.

  22. Jeanne

    You have nailed another one Jennifer! The entire time I was reading your post I was thinking about a birthday party I attended in October of my 8th grade year. It was a sleepover, and some of the girls broke out a Ouiji board. I had heard there were “dangers” to them, but honestly had no understanding of why. While I don’t recall my exact participation, I can recall now that the rest of the year turned into some of the hardest moments of my life. I got teased the remainder of the year from people who I thought were my close friends, teased by people I barely knew, spent many days after school crying in the bathroom because kids were so mean…..
    The girl who had the birthday party- her parents split up within the year, her mom coming out as a lesbian. I had loved spending time with her family the previous year, and I felt awful for her. Coincidence? Maybe. The irony is that you mention Spiritual attack, and as someone who was in the Legion of Mary, I bet that is exactly what was going on. I had dabbled in the occult and no good came from it.
    That was more than 15 years ago. Thanks for connecting some dots for me.

  23. Briqn

    Jennifer, the dryness you’re experiencing in your prayer life isn’t uncommon. God most grants us sensible consolations in the early stages of the spiritual life to encourage us.

    A period of desolation can be a sign that you are undergoing passive purification of the senses on the way to a more intellect-centered prayer life. God desires this for the reason Dr. Kreeft pointed out: to love Him; not just His gifts.

    God bless.

    • Charity

      That’s a good point. It’s easy to forget how dry spells can be signs we are moving forward in our spiritual life.
      I’d also like to throw out another possibility. Perhaps with the greater exposure Jennifer has had lately, with multiple television interviews and now this latest reality show in the works, she has also drawn greater attention from our enemies in the spiritual realm. Maybe her dry spell is partially affected by spiritual attacks prompted by her greater influence in the world.

  24. Claire

    I never ever touched, or played, this “game.” We didn’t have group sleep overs, and I can say thank goodness! I never played with anything occult, and once I found out that horoscopes were tied to evil, I stopped reading them. That said, I exposed myself to evil by walking into an occult bookshop with a boyfriend when I was 15. That did it. I was plagued for years by fear as well as strange happenings. My life changed drastically, for the worst, after that brief encounter. My advice is to stay away, far away from anything evil and occultish.

  25. Francisco

    Excellent post! Sadly, I join the ranks of those who dabbled in the Ouija board. Thankfully, sacramental powers and penance will always trump evil and that has lead to a much more purposeful and peaceful life.
    I especially loved how you touched on spiritual dryness and referenced Dr. Kreeft. I too have struggled with the positive feelings and questioned whether or not my prayer life was “working.”
    Thanks for sharing.

  26. Nathan

    Curiosity into occult practices can open doors that let the evil one into your life that are impossible to close except through the power of Jesus Christ. Baptized Christians seldom need solemn exorcism, but simple exorcism (also known as deliverance prayer) is a powerful tool for combating the work of evil spirits in your life. This is especially important if you opened the door to them through an act of your own will. Give the devil an inch, and he will take a mile. Deliverance prayer in its simplest form is part of every Our Father (deliver us from evil), but when combating the occult, it is best to work with someone who has some experience and sound knowledge. If you have a group in your area that is part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, they will probably have either the experience to help or knowledge of who to talk to.

  27. Larissa

    I’m not trying to be contrary but the Ouija board I had as a kid was marketed by Hasbro and was, if I recall correctly, used once as an idle pursuit into what boys in the class were thinking about us. I’m not saying the Devil’s not real (I believe he is) or that spiritual attacks don’t happen (I certainly think they can), I’m just saying that some things are done just for fun and that if we give things power that really don’t have them, that’s worse than ignoring God altogether. In a nutshell: when I sit down to pray, I know God is listening (even when it feels like nobody is) but when I was a kid playing around with my friends? I was a kid playing around with my friends. I usually like your posts but this felt a bit like fearmongering to me, in the vein of people who won’t read Harry Potter.

    • Francisco

      Larissa, I really don’t see the logic in your argument. It’s like saying, “I’d like just a little bit of cyanide mixed in with my water, please.” Just a little poison won’t initially kill you, but the long term repercussions are deadly. Evil is an equal opportunity employer. It does not discriminate against age, sex, socio-economic status, religion, sexual preference etc. Our best SHIELD of protection is education and surrender to the Holy Spirit. Everything else, is just futile.

      • Larissa

        I think you may have misunderstood my point here. My point was that I don’t think every child who’s ever played the Ouija board has had connection wih spirits and I dislike fearmongering. My latest reply below (to Michigan_Pat) really clarifies my meaning and actually echoes what you’re saying about surrender to the Holy Spirit! I think the cyanide with water analogy is pretty overdramatic; obviously there’s evil all around us but the Devil is clever, even if everyone avoided something like the occult, he’d likely find another vehicle. In any event, read my response to Michigan_Pat, it should clarify all.

        • Michael Reilly

          The best description I ever heard of what can happen with a Ouija board is this: it’s like opening your front door and yelling out “Come on in!” to anyone walking by. Most times, no one will come. Sometimes, someone nice might stop by. Other times…not so nice. Many people play with Ouija boards: they are a spooky, fun game for kids. The problem is that Ouija boards represent a real danger if the wrong sort of spirit happens to be around, and once those types ARE around, invited into your life–even innocently–you have problems.

          I was very interested in the occult when I was a teenager. Looking back now, I can’t help but wonder if some of the poor choices I made, as well as the general dark miasma that seemed to surround me all of the time, wasn’t the result of dark spirits. Whether you think there are actual entities or intelligences out there trying to trip us up, or whether you think all of this is some kind of metaphysical metaphor for teenage angst…I won’t let my daughters play with a Ouija board, even for fun. Why take the risk?

          • Larissa

            I really like that explanation of it, Michael. It’s probably a better way of expressing my point (that most times, no one will come) than the way I put it. I do agree on the ‘Why take the risk?’ as well. It’s not worth it.

            That said, I think you’re onto something with the metaphysical metaphor for teenage angst. I think everyone feels just a bit of a dark cloud during that time. I called it “atheism” (I was an atheist ages 13 through 19), some people called it “hormones”, others dabble in things they maybe shouldn’t. It’s a rough time and a vulnerable one.

          • Carla

            Dabbling in the occult does open doors. I have a friend who was involved in the New Age movement (yoga, crystals, meditations, etc.) Even after she became a Christian it affected her until they cleaned out all of the items from their home. They weren’t still using them, but just their presence in their home, even boxed up, were causing problems.

            This is a video where they talk about it.

            What is really disturbing to me is all of the movies coming out that are flat out demonic. It’s too the point where you almost can’t even have the TV on without a commercial for something just vile coming on.

            Maybe this is in another post, but I’m curious, when did the depression and oppression lift from what was brought on with the Ouija board?

    • Mary Ann Kreitzer

      I think the ouija board is to the occult what marijauna is to drug addiction. Not everybody who tries marijuana ends up addicted to drugs, but most (all?) drug addicts smoked marijauna. Not everybody who plays with ouija boards ends up involved in the occult, but almost all who end up seriously dabbling in the occult used ouija boards. I had a rather innocuous experience in high school at a slumber party. It didn’t occur to me that there was anything seriously immoral about it. I was never tempted to “play” with it again. And nothing bad happened. Having said that, I do believe they are dangerous and, knowing what I do now, would never be involved with them. If you read about the case in Mt. Ranier, MD that was the true story underlying The Exorcist movie, the ouija board played a significant part in that child’s possession.

    • RIck

      When you said “if we give things power that don’t really have them…” It reminds me of lucky numbers, and various other superstitions that are harmless on their own but if we perceive them to have power, no doubt Satan will take advantage of that folly.

  28. Suzanne

    Jen, I’ve often thought of writing my own experiences with the occult, but you have done it for me. What I find most resonating is your description of hissing angry statements at others with the smallest provocation. I know I damaged a lot of relationships that way. Also, my experience with the occult was out of a desire to know. The tree of Knowledge was the source of original sin. The dangers of the occult make sense to me in that correlation.

    • Suzanne

      Wait, writing quickly this morning, I stated that poorly. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge was the one fruit Adam and Eve were not to eat. It was that fruit the serpent wanted them to eat. In Paradise Lost, it’s lunch time and eve is hungry. Such simple temptations, in something close to innocence, when eve could not imagine anything but paradise, having known nothing else. Isn’t this the state of most people when they begin to play with the occult?

  29. Michigan_Pat

    The difference between Harry Potter stories and a Ouija board?
    Potter – meant for reading and enjoyment.
    Ouija Board – meant for conjuring.

    I don’t believe that J.K. Rowlings has ever indicated that Potter was anything more than an exciting tale.

    What are Ouija Boards “marketed” for? See into the future. Answers to questions. “Remember, it’s just a game, or is it…”
    They call it a “board game”, but what’s the objective of the “game”? What strategy or skill is employed. How do you “win”?

    Similar to other related objects or practices, we’re best cautioned to avoid contact with things that are thought to be “questionable”.

  30. Dennis D

    When I was in college my younger brother and I were playing with the Ouija Board my mother had bought. When we were done he left the room and I got ready to pack up the game. When I reached for the planchette it moved away from me. As I moved my hand over it it moved around the board. I wasn’t within more than a couple of inches of the thing. Eventually, I grabbed hold and put it away.And I filed that experience away in my head, figuring some day it would make sense. Now it does.

  31. Elaine

    I’ve been dwelling a lot on drug abuse and addiction as I have a son who is actively using. It does seem to be directly related to spiritual oppression and also to thrill-seeking of the emotional sort. (I might convince him in the next week or so to go into a Christian recovery program and I would appreciate any prayers that his heart and mind be opened.)

    I would point out that for the person who said that this “game” can be played for “fun” the same can be said for drug use. Yes you can take drugs for fun, but you open yourself to a host, pun intended, of problems both spiritual, emotional, and physical.

    My own Ouija experiences were quite substantial. When I was 8 a very intense dream/vision related to some ouija board use that scared me off of it for a while, but when I was in middle school I drew up my own (with a petri dish as a planchette) and used it with fellow students in my GATE class. Nothing exciting happened in class, but I began to have experiences at night where I would be trying to wake up but I couldn’t open my eyes. I was paralyzed and felt like I was being sucked downward through the bed. After great effort I would open my eyes and the spell would be broken. This happened every other night for a couple of weeks.

    Finally I had a dream where I was paralyzed and floating above my bed and an unseen force was spinning me throughout the house. I realized, even as a non-Christian not anything religious that a) demons and dark spirits were real and b) I had opened myself to one through the ouija board. I destroyed it the next day and was thankfully delivered of those experiences.

    Drug addiction is real. Demons are real. Drugs and Ouija boards are doors. As they say, play with fire…and you might get burned.

    • Lisa

      I for one will indeed be praying for you and your son. I hope he accepts your help.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Elaine, I have seen something very similar with someone in my life who also struggles with addiction. Your son will be in my prayers.

    • Judy Dudich

      Praying for you and your son today. I lost a brother to drugs.
      I categorically believe that all addictions, depressions, mental/emotional conditions have, as their root/core a “spiritual battle”.
      May the Lord, Jesus, Divine Healer, touch the heart and soul of your son and rid him of the pain and suffering that leads one to take a drug.
      May Our Lady comfort and protect him under the cover of her mantle, as we all pray for him to be released from this addiction. And, God bless you, his mother, for loving him through it. You are blessed.

    • slan21

      I would rather be ashes than dust!
      I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
      I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
      The function of man is to live, not to exist.
      I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.
      I shall use my time.

    • veronica

      Going to Eucharistic Adoration & Benediction today, Adding you & your son to my prayer list.

    • Taylor

      What you experienced is called “sleep paralysis.” This usually happens when you are under extreme stress and/or your subconscious is trying to warn you of something going on in your external life. I had this happen in my 20’s in relationship to a man I was interested in. Same as yours, I would be half awake/half asleep and something would sit on my chest and hold me down to the point I couldn’t breathe. When I stopped having contact with him, the sleep paralysis stopped.

      The floating above your bed is also real. It’s not the result of demons, it’s you leaving your body in an attempt to correct the sleep paralysis. The unseen force spinning you about is your inexperience with being able to control your out-of-body experience and directing your path of flight. No different than trying to fly a plane when you’ve never been behind the controls.

      There are such thing as demons and you can be influenced by them, even possessed. Many do not have the strength of will to fight them off. That is why it is imperative to work on your own strength of character and keeping a protective circle about you at all times. This is why so the Ouija board can have the effect that it does- unprotected, non-believing, foolish people. You are correct about sticking your finger in the fire.

      I’m sorry to hear about your son. I hope that he’ll recover soon and be stronger for his suffering (and yours).

  32. Danielle

    I was in a room once when others were using a ouija board, and I knew some of those friends were heavily into the occult. I was in a state of absolute rebellion at the time, but I wouldn’t touch the thing. Anyways, they all swore by how “accurate” it was. But they couldn’t get it to work. No one knew besides one other girl there, but the whole time, I was reciting Hail Marys, Glory Be’s, and Our Fathers. Took another 8 years for that to sink in….

    • Sharon

      Danielle, that is a great story! Thank God you said those prayers! I have to remember more to use those prayers any time my family needs protection, and in any situation that seems dangerous.

    • Emily


      The same thing happened to me. I wouldn’t touch the thing, left the room, and prayed, and the board wouldn’t work for my friend. Glad to see that I am not the only one to have experienced this.

  33. Mark T.

    Chesterton is my go-to-guy for getting past those spiritual dry spells.

    In ‘The Poet and the Lunatics’ Chesterton exposes the spiritual danger in those high-minded academic types who laugh-off the superstitions of the common man. In the chapter, ‘The House of the Peacock’ the main character (Gale) addresses the unhappy, rational, atheistic professor who has traveled the world studying and mocking various cultural superstitions. He asks the professor why, after all his study, he never recognized an obvious fact about those ‘backward’, superstitious people:

    “Were they not happier men than you?”

    Gale paused a moment as he put the question, and then went on: “Did they not in fact sing more songs, and dance more dances, and drink wine with more real merriment? That was because they believed in evil. In evil spells, perhaps, in evil luck, in evil under all sorts of stupid and ignorant symbols; but still in something to be fought. They at least read things in black and white, and saw life as the battlefield it is. But you are unhappy because you disbelieve in evil, and think it philosophical to see everything in the same light of grey. And I speak to you thus to-night; because you have had an awakening. You saw something worthy of hate and you were happy… .”

  34. el-e-e

    Thank you for posting this today. 🙂

  35. Larissa

    Elaine – I can appreciate that there are gateways into behaviours regardless of their initial intentions but the difference between children playing a supposed board game (not saying it really is one, but that’s how it’s presented) and someone trying drugs. There is an intrinsic taboo and rebellion in initial drug use; the allure of doing something you’re not supposed to do. There may be naïveté there but there isn’t any innocence. A child who doesn’t know any better, doesn’t take it seriously and forgets about the “game” as soon as it’s done isn’t complicit in any innate act of defiance, maybe they’ve unwillingly opened themselves up to darkness but most children (and I mean children; I was eleven when I last came into contact with a Ouija board) are not aware of any deeper meaning beyond that one might find in the M-A-S-H game.

    Bottom line: on further reflection, I can see how the occult can take seemingly innocent forms of origin but I don’t see why no one else can acknowledge that sometimes nothing happens and sometimes nothing’s there and focusing on this darkness and negativity seems puzzling to me when there’s such goodness, love and light in the world.

    • Judy Dudich

      Just a mention that satan loves nothing more than to get good, honest, God-loving people to NOT FOCUS on him. He wants us to spend so much time thinking of the good, the light, and the love, that we cease to think he exists!

      • Larissa

        If you would read my original comment, Judy, you would see I very clearly state that I believe the Devil exists!

  36. Michigan_Pat

    Larissa – If you were being stalked by a dangerous stalker, but had no idea that he was there, are you still in danger? In your mind, “nothing is happening”. Does that change the fact of the presence of the stalker? Maybe he’ll attack you. Maybe he’ll find another victim and forget about you. Maybe he’ll get in a car accident and never bother anyone again.
    (talk about “dwelling on darkness” – sorry for that)

    As far as dwelling on darkness and negativity, is it “dwelling on it” if people engage in one topic on one post? Jennifer’s blog is typically lively, upbeat and hilarious at times. One tree is not a forest.

    • Larissa

      Michigan_Pat, how strange of you to mention a dangerous stalker! My mother was actually the object of a stalker who broke into her home and attacked her as she slept several years ago. She survived (thank God); something she herself attributes to having written out a prayer to St. Michael the evening before and having placed it under her pillow. I guess my point there is that of course the presence of evil exists even when we are unaware BUT, as it was said,, ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils for thou art with me’.

      As far as dwelling goes, I just like to see people acknowledge both sides of the coin. I’m always concerned when there seems to be an overwhelming and prevailing thought, that maybe something is getting lost. Still, I’m intrigued by peoples’ experiences (otherwise I wouldn’t be posting! 🙂

      Elaine, I see what you’re saying. I suppose there is a lot to fear and one must choose their battles. I think it’s only sensible that given your own experiences you would view it as imperative to warn people. It’s certainly given me food for thought!

  37. Elaine

    Larissa, I appreciate what you are saying. However, I almost see a cloak of protection over you as you describe your experience. I was 8 when I first encountered an Ouija board. I had already been exposed to pornography, both of the “Playboy” and the “Hustler” type, and I had been reading books on the occult from the library. When my friend and I first used the Ouija board, our intention was to demand “proof” of the existence of the spirits that I had read about “on the other side”.

    I was a child, but I wasn’t exactly innocent. In the end, I reaped what I sowed. My point is that an Ouija board is the perfect Devil’s tool. It appears innocent and fun but it is a trap and it lies in wait. I’m not at all Puritanical about books, etc., but just like you warn your kids about drugs you should warn your kids about objects of the Occult.

    It is a great Spiritual battle that has been engaged, and sometimes it’s good to remember that.

  38. Pedro

    Great post. Almost a mirror experience of what I went through in Grade 12 in High School. Like you I was a self-proclaimed Atheist and in that year i had messed with a Ouija board (with results) but I never discounted the events as bogus, I made contact with a spirit who claimed to be a bunch of things and live from many centuries ago. During that time a copy of the satanic bible came my way and it stayed on my drawer in my room for 3 years (before I came to Christ and began the long process of reconciliation). My first year in University was by far the most terrible experience of my life, I’ve recently been diagnosed bipolar depressive and my friend (who messed with the board with me) contracted a tumor in his leg in what was supposed to be his first year in university (he had to take the year off because of the tumor). He was a year younger than me so i found it strange that although horrible events were already happening in my life, he seemed to be fine, but for a year.

    Matters of evil spirits and interacting with the supernatural are no joke, I recommend The book of spirits (Allan Kardec) to anyone who thinks otherwise.

  39. Br. Ignacio

    St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, oh prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Our Lady of Refuge, pray for us.

    • ~ Nona

      Thank you for posting this prayer. Decades ago it was prayed at the end of every mass, a practice that I hope will resume once again.

      • Judy Dudich

        Nona, you might be glad to know that we, indeed, pray the St. Michael Prayer, at the end of every Mass, in our parish:)

  40. The Reluctant Widow

    I was recently speaking with a priest, who is now going to be my spiritual director for a bit as I am navigating some new waters in my spiritual life. I poured out my frustration to him that since the death of my husband in July, I feel as though I am dead inside. I can’t pray, attending Mass is painful emotionally (too many memories), I can’t read the Bible or any other spiritual works. “I am empty” I told him. He instructed me, among other things, to “just do it.” As in spend 5 minutes a day in prayer, no more, even if I feel I’m in a moment of spiritual ecstasy. I am also to spend at least 5 minutes reading a day – the Bible, or some other spiritual reading even if it’s something I have read before. It’s really not about the emotional experience of the exercise, it’s about the discipline of doing it even if I don’t “feel” like it. It’s worked. I look forward to my 10 minutes of prayer and reading.

    • anna lisa

      Reluctant Widow, What good advice. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. You are in my prayers today. God bless you.

      • The Reluctant Widow

        Anna Lisa,
        Thank you for praying for me. It does offer hope and comfort to be surrounded constantly by the prayers of the Body of Christ.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      That is really excellent advice. Thank you for sharing. (And I think I already mentioned this at your place, but know that you and your family are in my prayers.)

      • The Reluctant Widow

        Yes, you did mention it, and thank you once again. Hugs!!!

    • Becky

      Praying for your healing…God will be faithful to complete His healing work in you.

      • The Reluctant Widow

        Thank you. Yes, God has been faithful, I see that every day and it’s humbling because I have been unfaithful. I think that is probably the most awesome aspect of God. He’s faithful to us even when we spurn him and his love.

  41. Jeaaaa

    The catechism mentions divination in CCC 2116. Ouija boards are bad.

  42. Dania

    Sorry, my comment is about something else. It’s more of a public service favor, if you don’t mind.
    I do read your posts and enjoy them very much. Probem is, I can’t read some other blogs listed in your site because living in China – we are expats – we don’t have access to Blogspot. It is really a pity! So I would like to remind you of that and ask you that, if you can, remind your blogger friends whenever you have the chance. I’m sure that there are many others like me who would love to read great stuff but can’t because of this ‘ technical’ problem.
    Hope your dry spell ends soon!

  43. Lina

    Wow! I stumbled across your blog today – well, I am sure it was Divine Providence as usual. I also “stole” a paragraph from your blog to paste into my journal when I get home. Heck, I might have to post it on my mirror….actually I guess it comes from the book Jesus Shock which I will also probably buy. Thank you for pointing out “self centered experience addicts” even where it applies to God. I am sure I am suffering from this myself! But now that it can be named then I can be more mindful of it and be sure to ask protection of my God time. Thank you!!

    I have my own little Ouija board story too. When I was pregnant with my first child (at age 20) my Dad had started one of those football type pools for the date & time I would give birth. Well one of my “friends” at the time thought it would be cool to check the Ouija board for the answer to when my baby would show up. When I was in labor I got wind of that fact and was determined to make sure no crazy demon board was going to announce my child. So with a final push and the doctor scrambling to get her gloves on to catch my baby girl, she was born at 12:55am on June 30th though the Ouija board had said 1:00am. I actually considered that a great accomplishment for a long time and it has become a family story. Naturally I didn’t do all that on my own without God but had I not known about the prediction she might very well had been born 5 minutes later and that would be the story….not one I would have wanted around for years to come.

    Again, thanks for the insight.

    God bless you and keep you!

  44. Lindy

    Hi, Jen. Just want to chime in with my own very small experience so that others reading this might recognize signs of spiritual oppression. (it helps to know the differences b/n oppression–which is very common–and possession.)

    I used a ouija board one time with a group of friends as a jr in high school. I think it was the small gateway needed for one or more of these malevolent spirits to plague me throughout the rest of my teens and my 20s, in the form of some of the things you had mentioned, as well as horrific, recurring dreams. In these dreams I would be arguing with a person, who would eventually come to assume a very grotesque face and countenance. This person would often take the form of–horror of horrors–a child, only with the same grotesque facial features. Very sneering, insulting, threatening; in almost all these dreams I would end up in a physical struggle with the being, where it would be coming at my face and throat to bite me and I would be fighting in my dream so hard that I’m sure I was probably thrashing around in bed.

    I became a Catholic convert at 25, and in recent years connected all the dots between these dreams and experiences. (Looking back, it’s so very obvious, but these things are very unsettling, and it’s very easy to forget about dreams during the light of day.) I know that the Sacraments and finally recognizing by my own behavior clues–be it irrational feelings of sadness or anger, or in yelling at my kids for relatively nothing, etc–have all but eliminated these occurrences. The St. Michael prayer is wonderful, btw.

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Lindy – It’s interesting that you say that. Our friend Dan Lord has written about how he also had similar issues after getting involved with occult stuff, and one of the outcomes was horrific dreams. His posts are here if you have any interest:

  45. Lindy

    Sensitive keyboard–posted before I was finished!

    Anyway,just wanted to emphasize that I have been a Christian my entire life (I was brought up an Evangelical before my conversion to Catholicism). I only had that one experience with anything occult-ish. So one doesn’t have to be dabbling in this stuff all the time to be affected by it.

    Thanks for blogging, Jen. I recommend your work to friends all the time and look forward to your book!

  46. Lindy

    One last thing: In Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the way he portrayed the demon children is EXACTLY what I would be fighting against in my dreams. Seeing them in that movie was the first time I started connecting the dots. Just an interesting aside.

  47. Brooke

    Thanks for posting! As I began reading, I was wondering if I would be able to sleep tonight, because spiritual warfare can really scare me. However, it is real and it doesn’t need to be forgotten. I really enjoyed this post, thanks again!

  48. anna lisa

    I think it is really important to remember that the Devil is chained. Yes, sin makes us vulnerable. The names of Jesus and Mary make demons tremble and flee.
    BTW, The book “An Exorcist’s Story” by (I think his name is) Gabrielle Amorthe is interesting. It’s not very scientific, nor methodical. It is mainly just anecdotal stories from this rather charming, often funny priest, but he is *dead serious* about the danger of those creepy boards. A lot of bondage can be traced to them. I still can’t figure out why one is not supposed to burn them though.

  49. John Henry

    Fellow convert here. Needed to be reminded of this right now. Thank you!

  50. Gregory

    For use by the Laity

    In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.



    O Glorious Prince of the Celestial Hosts, Saint Michael the Archangel, protect me and defend me in the conflict which I have to sustain against Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Ephesians 6:12). Come to my rescue, for God has created me to His image and likeness, and He has redeemed me at a great price from the tyranny of the Devil. It is thou, O Holy Saint Michael the Archangel, whom Holy Church venerates as her guardian and her protector, thou whom the Lord has charged to conduct redeemed souls into Heaven. Pray, therefore, the God of Peace to subdue Satan beneath my feet, that he may no longer retain me captive nor do injury to the Church. Present my prayers to the Most High God, that without delay He may draw His Mercy down upon me. Seize the Dragon, the Old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan ; bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit …that he (may) no more seduce the nations (Apocalypse 20:2-3).


    I humbly and confidently invoke the power of the Holy Name of Jesus and the power of the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, of St. Michael the Archangel, of Saints Peter and Paul, of the rest of the Holy Apostles and all of the Holy Angels and Saints of Heaven to repulse the attacks and deceits of the Devil.
    Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered; and let them that hate Him flee from before His Face.
    As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the Presence of God (Psalm 67:2-3).
    V. Behold the Cross of the Lord. (Hold up a Crucifix or a Cross.) Flee, bands of enemies.
    R. The Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Offspring of David, hath conquered.
    V. May Thy mercy descend upon me.
    R. As great as my hope in Thee.
    By the Holy Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, of St. Michael the Archangel, of Saints Peter and Paul and all of the Holy Apostles and all of the Holy Angels and Saints of Heaven, you are all driven from me, whoever you may be, including all unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies and sects. In the Name and by the Virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may you be snatched away and driven from the True Church of God and from me whose soul was redeemed by the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb.
    They command you, cunning serpents and all of the human agents of Satan, to stop confusing me and to stop deluding the human race; to stop persecuting the Church, to stop tormenting God’s elect and sifting them as wheat. This is the command made to you by the Most High God, with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal; the God Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
    God the Father commands you. God the Son commands you. God the Holy Ghost commands you.
    Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh, commands you; He Who, to save our race lost through your malice, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8), commands you; He Who has built His One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church on the firm Rock of Himself (1 Corinthians 10:4) and declared that the Gates of Hell shall never prevail against her, because He dwells with her all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matthew 28:20), commands you. The hidden power of the Holy Cross overcomes you as does also the power of the mysteries of the Holy Catholic Faith.
    The glorious Wife of the Holy Ghost commands you; the Holy Theotokos, Mother of God, commands you; the Immaculate Conception, who, by her profound humility, crushed your proud head, commands you.
    Each of the Holy Apostles, as ordained Exorcists, command you. The blood of the Holy Martyrs and the pious intercession of all of the Holy Angels and Saints command you.
    Thus, cursed Dragon, and you, wicked Legions, your are adjured by the Living God, by the True God, by the Holy God, by the God Who so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting (John 3:16) to cease deceiving me and all other human creatures and to stop pouring out upon us the toxic fumes of lies and confusion and the poison of eternal perdition; to stop harming the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church and hindering her liberty; to retreat, Satan, the Father of Lies, the Inventor and Master of all error, confusion, half-truths and deceit, the Enemy of our salvation; to give place to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in Whom you have found none of your works; to give place to the only one True Church, the Mystical Body of Christ which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ at the price of His Most Precious Blood; to stoop beneath the All-Powerful Hand of God; to tremble and flee at the evocation of the Holy and terrible Name of Jesus: this Name which causes Hell to tremble, this Name to which the Nine Choirs of Angels in Heaven are humbly submissive, this Name which the Holy Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of hosts .
    V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
    R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
    V. May the Lord be with thee.
    R. And with thy spirit.
    God of Heaven, God of earth, God of Archangels and Angels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God of the Married, God Who hast power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose Reign there shall be no end, I humbly prostrate myself before Thy Glorious Majesty and I supplicate Thee to deliver us from all of the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect me and my family and friends by Thy Omnipotent Power and to preserve us safe and sound, I beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord. Amen.
    From the snares of the Devil, deliver us, O Lord. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty, I beseech Thee to hear me. That Thou wouldst crush down all enemies of Thy Church, I beseech Thee to hear me.
    (Holy Water is now sprinkled while saying:)


    Come, O Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. Rebuke him, O God, we humbly beseech Thee; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the Power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

      • Gregory

        Only a priest with the Bishop’s permission (for the ministry of casting out evil spirits) can command or directly communicate with Satan to leave a person. In charismatic prayers for inner healing and deliverance, the laity cannot command the devil to leave a person who is being prayed over. The laity may directly or indirectly (as in the prayer to St. Michael) pray to God to make Satan and his evil spirits leave an obsessed person or place (but not speak directly to the devil). However, in personal prayers (for oneself), we may order Satan to leave us.

  51. Judy Dudich

    I’m sure you’ve already done so; most likely…but, if not, reading Dan Lord’s account of evil obsession/possession is well-worth your time.
    Also, Mother Angelica wrote, at length, on spiritual dryness and explained that when we have “emotion” lingering in our soul; be it discontent, jubilation, or “other”, it is still “us” because it is “our” emotion. Only in spiritual dryness/emptiness are we finally able to rid ourselves of “SELF” because we are feeling NOTHING…which, if we can stick it out, will prove very fruitful in the long run; for God can then begin to fill us with “HIMSELF” since we have finally emptied ourselves of “US” and “gotten out of His way”.

  52. Nancy

    When I was 10-13 yrs old in the late 70’s and early 80’s, my mom told me to NEVER use a ouija board, which was very popular then. I did try it once, at a sleepover, but never got into it and thought it was silly. In actuality, I was nervous and scared. So glad I didn’t try it again, because now, as someone who is fully devoted to God and my Catholic Faith, I can see the evil that comes with these games.
    The Devil loves to use these “little” things to draw us and our children in. If anyone has participated willingly in these games, I would advise them to visit a priest for a blessing, and if Catholic, DEFINITELY receive the sacraments of Reconciliation THEN Holy Eucharist.
    Thanks for sharing your story, Jennifer.

  53. Maria

    uhm, i have to admit that when i first saw the bumper sticker i thought: what does that mean? she’s the pope? wants to be the pope?

    but now i totally get it! OF COURSE it means you drive the pope around.

    too funny.

  54. deMOAOC

    Jennifer, thanks for sharing your story about the dangers of the Ouija board. Very interesting. This is a great article to print out and leave around somewhere in view (e.g., coffee table, bathroom) for others to read. I’ve found this method highly effective with anyone who would not otherwise be open to hearing about a particular topic, as there is no pressure on them. It has led to the other person eventually opening up conversations on the topic and asking questions, which has allowed me to share information and resources (and recommend blogs like yours;) . This method, along with prayer and the grace of God, has also led my children back to the faith after a brief time away in their youth. They in turn have then had some information and resources to engage in conversations with their friends and help lead them back. (And it all starts with someone sharing their story:) )

    As you probably know, the actual boy who William Peter Blatty’s book and subsequent film “The Exorcist” is based on was using a Ouija board before he was possessed.

    This page has some information on what God tells us about the occult via the Bible and His Catholic Church: .

  55. Becky

    Thanks Jen, for completely freaking me out! Your story left me in chills (not the good kind, obviously!) However, like you said, people need to know about what seems to be a harmless game, can channel evil. I never experimented with a Ouija board, thankfully, I found out in time about it’s evil before a friend asked if I would like to play one with her. I have already started to talk to my children about these sort of evils, even though they’re still pretty young, because children are having more and more access to so much “innocent” evils these days…

  56. Gail Finke

    A couple of years ago I heard an lecture about exorcism by a young priest who had worked with an exorcist in Rome. I never really gave exorcism much thought or believed in it until that lecture. The priest was quite matter-of-fact and talked about all sorts of things that he had witnessed — not in a frightening way, but just sort of, “yeah, this happened!” which I found much more convincing than scary threats. Anyway, one of the things he said was that sometimes people can do these things for years with no ill effects, and sometimes people can do them just once, or even be around without knowingly participating, and be negatively affected. This kind of thing calls for evil spirits, and sometimes they come. So it’s better to just stay away from them — either nothing at all happens (most likely) or something will happen but you have no idea what.

    I had a Ouija board when I was a kid and we used it every now and then. Nothing bad ever happened — that I’m aware of, anyway. OTOH, I read tarot cards in college and they did work. I quit, not because anything bad happened, but because I thought I was getting too dependent on trying to find out secrets (mostly other people’s motivatins) and figure out what I should do based on what the cards said rather than by myself. I was not religious at the time and had no religious qualms, it just seemed unhealthy to me. After this lecture I confessed that long-ago, and previously forgotten, habit. Because as the priest said, once you do something like htat, you never know what you might leave yourself open to.

  57. TeaPot562

    My BW has been bothered occasionally by sensing someone (adult? burglar? demon?) standing near her side of the bed. She would cry out, I’d wake and turn on a light – but no one there.
    We adopted a practice of praying a Gloria (Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen) before going to sleep each night. This seems to work.
    My rationale is that if demons are around, they won’t stay where God is being praised.
    This has nothing to do with Oujia boards, but it may interest other readers.

  58. Becky

    I hope it’s okay, I copied this post to my blog–I gave full credit to you, of course. Please let me know if you would like this removed.

  59. Rosemary

    Not sure if this is relevant… but I’ve recently read about ‘Unoccupied Prayer’ by Ruth Burrows. And it is very reassuring that these ‘experiences’ don’t need to be there… what is required is our trust in Him and our trust that He loves us.
    Some plants grow in dry arid conditions and others grow in lush, moist conditions – She says ‘God knows what is best for us’, and the lack of experience may itself be the exact condition He is allowing for our growth. She says what is important is – do we trust Him enough to still pray even when we don’t ‘get anything out of it'(that we can see/ feel)?

  60. bev

    My daughters were in college and their first experience with the oijia board. Both were never exposed to this evil occult item. The board began to ask my daughter to pick it up by using CHILD of GOD….that is what MICHELLE means….it wanted her to pick up. Then the light switch
    went off in the room by itself. They brought the board to my house and I
    knew it was an occult thing and evil. I told them both NEVER touch a ouija board and it is occult and you can call up a evil spirit. So I
    buried the board after pouring a generous amount of holy water on it.
    The other way to get rid of it is to burn the board. You cannot just throw it away….God Bless

    • Lou

      never burn a ouija board, as it can leave doors that were opened during the use of it open…with an inability to close them, dangerous….

  61. Lou

    I guess I should reiterate, the only way to dispose of a ouija board is to bury it in a spot it will never be found….that also is the correct way to dispose of tarot cards, satanic bibles, books on witchcraft ect…all of these open doors to the other side, burning leaves the portals open. A very experienced priest advised me concerning these matters

  62. ann

    As St. Paul said, “For it is not against flesh and blood that we struggle, but against principalities.”

  63. Walt

    Very interesting anecdote. As I’ve spent a number of years investigating, and attempting to assist participants, negative spiritual occurences I can certainly for the authenticity of the phenomena reported. For those considering playing with an Ouija board, tarot cards or any other form of divination or necromancy: DON’T. Although nothing of a negative nature may occur immediately it could take years, and when you least expect it, to manifest. Many lives have been ruined as a result of delving into these “harmless” and “amusing” practices. Thanks for an excellent and important article.

  64. Lisa

    I teach Faith Formation to 2nd Year Confirmation students. LAST NIGHT at class-one of my students (a 15 y/o girl) asked questions along these lines.
    She’s struggling w/the existence of God, had questions about depression and “bad things happening to her”-she’s into skate boarding and skulls and told me of a skull bracelet she had that gave her bad feelings so she threw it away and found it two weeks later. Told her to get it to me and i would burn it.
    Told her to bless her room and herself w/Holy Water and to PRAY!!!
    What else can i offer/suggest to her?

    • Bonnie

      One time when I was teaching a Confirmation CCD class one of the boys asked me essentially, if the occult is not true, and things like crystals and tarot cards and ouija boards aren’t true, than what’s the harm of using them. I told the kids these things are a door to involvement with evil spirits, and they may seem like harmless games or fun and like you are in control, but they give permission to the evil spirits to have a space with us, and that will typically lead us into greater evil.
      This seems like a great teaching moment for all the class who are probably facing many similar things and need some information. You might give the kids a blessed Miraculous Medal and ask them to wear it or keep it on their person, you might teach them to say the thing we say in Church when we renew our baptismal promises, “I renounce Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises.” whenever they feel the presence of evil, and then to say St. Michael’s prayer, and to make sure to confess any involvement with things that seem of the occult or new age. You also might spend a class time addressing how Catholics avoid the near occasion of sin, and remove themselves whenever things that would lead away from Christ are around, and that it takes courage to do so because of peer pressure, and to listen to their gut instinct if they feel danger or fear. It also might be good if you can get the parish priest to come and bless your class, so the particular girl does not feel singled out, but receives a blessing against any occult practices she may have inadvertently participated in.

  65. Dorothy

    Jennifer you are probably aware of the Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction, if not you will appreciate the site – you will get introduced to the Church’s Spiritual Doctors: Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross – my two favorites on the development of interior… which helps one to understand spiritual dryness – not that understanding it really helps – but it does let you know that we are staying the course with the Lord. Another good read is the Three Ages of Interior Life by the late Rev.Reginald Garrigou Lagrange, OP. Check out the following link: Another is the volumes by Maria Valtorta THE POEM OF MAN GOD which you can obtain through Wayne Weible’s website: These spiritual books greatly help during time of dryness.

  66. SeaGell

    Be careful of Maria Valtorta’s Poem of the Man God. Do a little research on it first. I remember reading it after hearing Wayne too. But I’ve heard since then that it contains questionable things. Anne Catherine Emmerichs books don’t seem to have the same controversy if you are looking for private revelation of the Lives of Christ and His Blessed Mother. But all private revelation is not to replace the Word of God and Sacred Tradition. Just as a bit of caution. We are to test every spirit.

    I too had a frightening oiuja board experience in college. Too long to recount but when I stepped in the room I was praying against the spirit and it unleashed some in the room against me and created a horrible situation for several month. The desire to gain gnostic knowledge has been the true lie from the beginning but it is still a temptation to our world today. I renounced any attraction to the occult in Confession. What a powerful sacrament.

    I’ve enjoyed many posts here! I am preparing a talk on Trust in Jesus (Divine Mercy) to a mother daughter retreat and some comments here have inspired a few things I was praying about to include. Thanks for the confirmation.

    May the Holy Spirit be upon all of you and those you love…

  67. Bonnie

    Thank you for this post. It seems that most people commenting here focused on your experience with the oiuja board, as did I. That’s important. Your recounting of the creepy experience you had evoked a kind of creepy feeling in me. I began trying to remember any contact I had in my life with the oiuja board, and I have a vague memory that the neighbor kids had one and I was there once when they played with it I think. I don’t know if I participated or touched it or just watched. Just to be sure I was not harboring some long forgotten sin, I renounced in prayer any involvement I had with the oiuja board specifically, and said an act of contrition. Amazingly, I felt something in my spirit release, a kind of latent anxiety I often feel, a fear of I don’t know what (things that go bump in the night?) went away and I felt a peace. Although I have made many good confessions since those childhood days, I don’t know that I ever specifically confessed this. I think your post helped me to get rid of some small bad thing that may have attached itself when I was with these kids. Very amazing, and I have resolved to bring it up in confession next time I go. Thank you so much because this anxiety has been something I never could put my finger on. It seemed when I named it, it had to go. I would never have thought of it except for this post. God bless you and thanks again.

  68. Margo

    This is so interesting Jennifer! Thanks for sharing your experience with us. As I read your story, I couldn’t help but be reminded of some of my stories. As you may know, I have been dealing with a sort of demonic oppression or infestation situation in my home for nearly four years now and have dedicated a whole category to it on my blog. In fact, recently I wrote this:

    “I will say that before I posted my entry on demonic oppression, I had a really difficult time while searching the Internet for sites that are specifically dedicated to spiritual warfare and/or the various degrees of demonic harassment, the worst of course being possession. I found that there are way too many sites that seem to sensationalize the experience of it in an almost unholy way, rather than to discuss the different reasons why it may happen to a person and what to do to be rid of it, acting in accordance with the Catholic Church.”

  69. Fr. Jonathan


    This is profound and very wise spiritual advice. Thanks for sharing!

  70. Elaine

    Thanks for keeping my son in your prayers, everyone. I feel sometimes like I’m watching my own private “Screwtape Letters” playing out…it seems to obvious to me what is going on yet he’s oblivious to it.

    Back to the topic though, I appreciate the point that an attraction to spiritual glamour of both the negative and the positive kind is possible and possibly misleading. I think of Mother Theresa’s 50 years in the spiritual desert when I start thinking my faith life is “too dry”; both as a reminder that being faithful might not “feel” very rewarding and that the very lack of an emotional response may be just exactly what God thinks you need to accomplish the task at hand.

  71. Diana

    I think “spiritual glamor” is an excellent descriptor for how attractive darkness can make itself seem. The old liar. When I am having a dry spell of blahs I have found that it helps to thank and praise in my prayers. I have even started to say “God bless you” in my intercessory prayers or Rosaries. In a way it seems redundant or even presumptuous (who am I to say that to a saint?), but it still feels right somehow. I also always pray out loud. Don’t know if this works for others, but it does for me. God bless you.

  72. John

    I am sorry but I do not believe that you were ever a true atheist. As a child its hard for anyone to know what their beliefs are, but if a phone call and some bad luck make you see evil a board game that is manufactured in the same facility as Candy-land then I doubt that you were an atheists by choice.

    Just like many children who are raised in religious households your household taught you your faith. When you went into the world you were exposed to the rest of the world’s beliefs. But you were questioning what you were taught for a long time (from what this blog reads), about as long as you were exposed to others belief systems. I don’t think that questioning ones beliefs are a bad thing, but I don’t think you ever used logic to conclude that there wasn’t a God (probably my definition of an Atheist). If you had then you would have been an Atheist, instead I believe that you were infused into an Atheist culture at home and did not make a personal conclusion until you picked God.

    Please do not get me wrong, I respect your belief. I just think that you were never an Atheist to be converted. I think you were a confused human who found the light. Which is different to me then being converted.

    • Larissa Heart

      I am sorry but I don’t believe you’ve read enough Jennifer’s writing or listened to any of her speaking engagements. You should tune in to her television show Minor Revisions. I don’t think you’ll have any doubt that she was once an atheist.

    • Jon

      John: I think you are confusing the term atheist with skeptic. Atheism is the lack of belief in Gods (or the belief that there are no Gods). An atheist can believe in ghosts, bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, evil board games, etc. The only way for an atheist to do it wrong is for them to believe in a God. From what I’ve read of her blog, I see no reason to believe that she was not an atheist.

      Skepticism is the more important issue in this case. It’s clear that she was not (probably is not) a skeptic. Is it possible that Hasbro mass produces a board game that’s actually a gateway into a Christian underworld of demons, and then sells it at Toy ‘R’ Us? I guess so. But that premise leave us with a host of other questions that would need to be answered… How does a piece of cardboard and plastic manage to contact this other world? Where is this other world? How/why would this game make a phone ring when the ringer was off? How would a board game thrash around at the side of the bed? How would this game cause a car accident, depression, and so on…

      We have no way of knowing what actually happened in this case but a skeptic looking at these events would try to see if there might be some more mundane explanations for what happened. Such as…

      – Ouija boards ‘work’ by a well known phenomenon called the ideomotor effect. Subtle, subconscious muscle movements give the appearance that the planchet is being moved by someone else.

      – The telephone could have had a faulty switch or maybe a phone ringing in a different room was mistaken for the office phone.

      – People often have dreams or waking hallucinations that involve strange sounds. (the fact that the cat was sleeping soundly through all of this noise makes me think this may have been the case)

      – Teenagers are notoriously bad drivers and car accidents are a common occurrence. Teenagers are also notoriously moody and depressed as they are sorting out their hormones. Doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary here.

      This comment is getting too long, but my point is skepticism is more important than atheism when it comes to analyzing events like these. It’s important to try to recognize our own biases when coming up with an explanation.

  73. Roz

    All sounds good. Whenever I use my board it never works. Why??? Please somebody tell me.

  74. Kim

    My friend and I just made a board out of paper and used a penny. When we touched it, our fingers started to tingle. We first asked if anyone was there and it moved to ‘yes’. Next, we asked how old the spirit was, so the spirit moved it to 4 then 5 (so the spirit is 45). My friend followed up with the question “what year did you die”, so instead of moving to the numbers like we thought it would, it went straight to ‘goodbye’ after that, my teacher took it away( we were doing this in art class) and was about to throw it away…luckily, i made her rip it up…if you don’t either burn it, rip it up, cover it in satin, or put it back in the box, its like letting a can of worms go…because if u don’t do one of the four things listed, spirits will be in your room…and they might not like it…i would suggest also not to get too close to spirits…don’t dig wholes at their command because they will push you in. Also try not to make them angry…ask short questions that can be answered with short answers. Hope this was helpful.

  75. Sane

    People still believe this nonsense? Wow.

    Well, I can share my own ghost story. I’m sure nearly every college has some kind of haunted place or urban legend of a ghost. Mine was no exception. I’m fuzzy on the details, but the short version was a student fell to his death and his spirit was said to still be present in the dorm I was in. So one day me and a group of about 4 other friends were sitting around in a room talking when this story came up. I said something like “Yeah, if there is a ghost around here then prove it by closing that door!” and I pointed to the door in the room that lead to the hallway. Everyone turned their head to look at the door, and right on cue, it slowly closed shut. Everyone freaked out. Was a pretty cool moment, but I didn’t suddenly start believing in ghosts though.

  76. Brian Dsouza

    Jennifer, all I have read is comments from like minded people whose reasoning and explanation invariably ends up being based on deeply held beliefs about angels, demons, dark forces etc. Ideas so strongly stated, they seem to be like scientific facts- measurable and repeatable.
    I marvel at the these people as they seem god-like to me. Their knowledge of the universe and creation is amazing. I find myself humbled and so ignorant as I do not have a good explanation for many of the things that go on around me. I see myself as no better than an ant (or maybe even less) in comparison to the glory of creation and the universe.
    I personally tend to resort to a terribly immature means of understanding and discovery of creation called the scientific method. It is so weak and gets things wrong 99% of the time, but I do not expect better. It is so immature compared to the amazingly strong knowledge of these contributors, who are so absolutely certain and clear about angels and demons etc.
    Imagine an ant trying to make sense of the world beyond its live, explaining the weird situations, some good , some bad, the bad obviously attributed to evil and the occult. Imagine an ant hearing sound from an inanimate object (lets call it a cell phone) … scary.. definitely the work of evil maybe? It could try and explain and research but that will make is so depressed as it does not have the means to answer these questions or the tools to scientifically understand the phenomenon. Imagine the amazing peace that comes over it when it can attribute this to the work of evil. No longer is there doubt but a good sense of clarity and joy that it was able to rationalize the phenomenon and it can teach its children about the dangers of this ‘evil’ thing and that they should stay away from it and ‘believe’ that it is bad , and they will experience joy!

    But what I cannot and will not do anymore is try and rationalize and explain the wonders of creation with my little mind and try to dabble in areas that my being cannot handle.

    If I was to innocently play with a liquid that smoked and damaged my body, without being able to explain it scientifically, I could call it the devil’s brew, because of the intense damage it did. Maybe, when that weak method of discovery (called scientific method) caught up with the phenomenon I would discover that it was a chemical that they named as sulphuric acid whose physical properties were measurable and testable and whose behavior could be explained by experiments. At that point it was no longer the devil’s brew but something that I could reproduce and was measurable and even controllable given the appropriate tools and state of the technology/science

    I lived in that world of absolute certainty for most of my life, with bouts of reasoning but I have grown older and not wiser but humbler to recognize that my tiny mind cannot comprehend the wonders of the universe and I will never again try and explain it away by my own constructs such as devils and evil etc. I will remain in awe and continue to learn each day a little bit more about creation from human beings who are willing to accept their place in creation, recognize how lowly we are in the grand scheme of things but continue each day, through the scientific method, to chip away, one theory at a time,at the unknown and not even for the slightest moment imagine that we have the capacity to comprehend or explain it all.
    This is a depressing state to be in. During my Catholic life everything was beautiful, as even in the darkest moments I had someone to rely on or someone to blame or someone to hope for. Now that crutch no longer exists as I recognize that stuff happens and I can make the best of it, try to live life to the fullest and accept the things I cannot do or explain, to the best of my human ability – No God. Alternatively I could be bitter,mean, angry, hateful, which I am many times, but again see that as my human nature and something I can learn from, again – No God anymore to thank or Demon to blame

  77. margie

    all I have to say is DT mess with evil trust in god n pray keep your faith cause with god all things are possible he don’t never close a door without opening up a window in Jesus name amen

  78. Tim

    Shits real, ive been through some negative spiritual experiences in the last few years and have been following the wrong path but have recently started turning to god more often. And I have been watching paranormal shows the last few days and the curiosity got the better of me so I made a ouija board earlier today. I lit some candles awhile after it got dark and I started getting a bad feeling and got cold chills and ended up saying a prayerinsread of diving right in like I usually would. That prayer I guess kinda prevented me from doing it right away so I’ve been researching it alot tonight and I ended up here… Still debating the use of the board but this is making me debate it

  79. Amy

    If I read or research the subject of Ouiju boards and the reasons not to use it, will I be opening myself up to unwanted spirits and negativity. I have never used it and never will, but is it dangerous to read about the dangers of it?

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