Ah yes, the infamous Ouija Board. Many of us have heard of these communicative devices used to speak to the dead thanks to the hugely named board game companies that have popularized it as a favorite past-time for those who want to interact with the beyond.
This preternatural board is flat with the alphabet of A – Z displayed in two semi-circles above the numbers 0 – 9, two words “yes” and “no” in the top two corners and the words “good-bye” printed at the bottom center. Accompanied by a communicating tool called a planchette, which is usually a tear-drop shaped device used to maneuver about the board. It can be used by a single individual or several at any given time. There are typically no rules. All anyone has to do is simply place the fingertips upon the planchette and begin asking questions. It’s that easy… or is it??
The Spirit Board, more commonly known as the Ouija Board, actually is based from the American 19th century obsession with spiritualism which is the belief that the deceased can communicate with the living and vice versa. On a scary note, many people believe that by using a Ouija Board, one can open doors leading into the gates of Hell, allowing demonic beings into our own world. After people use the board, several report hearing strange noises, seeing dark shadows, witnessing objects move mysteriously without reason and some extreme cases even claim experiencing possession from what they believe they brought through the “portal” or “opening” of the Ouija Board.
From a skeptical point a view, scientists speculate that the cause of the movement with the planchette on the spirit board is veritably the result of the ideometer effect. The ideometer effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes movement or motions unconsciously. For example, when the body produces tears in response to powerful emotions without the person consciously deciding to cry.
People of all walks of life have played with the Ouija Board at different ages. Some are the younger generations who make their interactions with innocence and others may in fact, use the Ouija for sinister purposes. While some people may be well aware of the movement created by their own hands in attempt to spawn the “wow” factor to scare their friends. Whether or not this communicative board really does work or if it’s the result of scientific reasoning is solely based on individualistic experience.
Who are we to judge the authenticity of one’s belief?
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~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker.