Divination Tool or Parlor Game?

Another complex method of divination that attempts to contact a spiritual entity is the Ouija board. In essence, when you are using the Ouija board, you are actually performing a séance. And we said before, a séance should only be done with a professional medium or an expert. Yet Ouija boards are available to anyone who can go down to the local toy store—it's on the shelves next to the board games.

There has been much controversy over the Ouija board since it first appeared. Some say it's a powerful paranormal tool, while others maintain it's nothing more than a parlor game. Many people still believe that the Ouija is evil. Most professional psychics don't agree with this. There is no such thing as evil spirits—though some may be capricious, confused, or even malicious. However, many psychics do believe that in the wrong hands, the Ouija board can be dangerous. You may invite lost or meddlesome spirits who won't want to leave into your house. Also, people do react in strange ways to fear, doing things they wouldn't normally do.

What does the term “Ouija” mean?

It's a brand name. According to one opinion, it was created by adding the French and German words for saying yes: oui and ja. The first known patent for the Ouija was filed in England in 1854.

Although anyone can use the Ouija board to contact spirit beings, it is always better to have a psychic medium present. Since there is no way to know how or if the Ouija really works, the mystery remains. But if you have doubts or fear, it's best to avoid it.

How the Ouija Works

Skeptics of the Ouija board say that, at best, the sitters (those using the Ouija) consciously or unconsciously steer the pointer toward specific letters. But in several experiments the sitters spelled out information they couldn't possibly know beforehand. The Ouija is, indeed, a mystery. So far, no one has been able to produce conclusive proof as to how or why it works (or doesn't work).

Professional mediums, psychics, and ghost hunters offer two different explanations for how Ouija boards work. One theory is that the spirits are able to pass on information through telepathy to the sitters' unconscious minds, thereby enabling them to involuntarily direct the pointer to the answers. The other theory holds that the spirits themselves move the pointers and the sitters are simply standing by, watching the process. Either way, the Ouija is not a game, a play tool, or a parlor trick, and should not be used as such.

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