Ouija Boards, Toys Or Tools?
In the year 1100 AD during the Song Dynasty in China historical records show that there was a practice known as Fuji, which at the time meant “planchette writing.” It was believed that someone could communicate with the spirits of the deceased. The spiritualists movement began in the 1840s where many spiritualists used “talking boards” in order to attempt to speak to spirits. This practice became very popular and financially lucrative for spiritual mediums after the Civil War who claimed that they could use the “talking boards” to allow friends and family to speak to the spirits of those who lost their lives in the Civil War. In 1890 “Ouija Boards” were created and patented in 1891 by Elijah Bond in Baltimore, Maryland. In the 1920s Ouija Boards enjoyed their greatest popularity. There were many versions of the Ouija Board produced under different names by different patent holders. Examples of the boards were known as “Psychic Game”, “Game Board”, “Magnetic Board”, and “Psychic Instrument” to name a few. The Ouija Board name is now owned by Hasbro, however there are still other brands that produce similar devices.
The scientific community considers the movement of a planchette on a Ouija Board to be the result of ideomotor response, which means the people with their fingers on the planchette are guiding it unconsciously. Ideomotor response is an accepted psychological phenomenon in the scientific community. The first scientist to suggest the ideomotor response phenomenon was Michael Faraday, a scientist, in 1853 when he was investigating an activity known as table turning where participants performing a séance sit around a table, placing their hands on said table, and wait for the table to rotate. Table turning was believed to be a method of communicating with spirits, and while its usage has waned over the years, there are still those who partake in the activity. During all published scientific studies in laboratory conditions it was found that ideomotor response was the cause of the planchette being moved, meaning the person or persons with their fingers on the planchette were controlling it. In 2012 a study was conducted found that Ouija was more accurate then guessing when the questions poised only required a yes or no response suggesting that the ideomotor response was being driven by the participants‘ unconscious mind, recognized by the scientific community as a dissociative state.
The scientific community, in general, doesn’t recognize the existence of spirits, so the premise that a spirt is influencing the movement of the planchette using a person as a medium is not accepted in the scientific community. However at our current level of scientific know how as a community we couldn’t definitively prove or disprove the existence of paranormal entities or their ability to guide someone to unconsciously move the planchette in order to answer questions on their behalf.
Christian denominations believe that using a Ouija Board could lead to demonic possession, which refers to a demon which is an evil malevolent entity that Christians believe to exist.
I am a very open minded person, however if asked I would suggest a Ouija Board is a form of entertainment, and not a method to communicate with a spirit. How would a spirit know how to influence someone either mentally or physically in order to move the planchette? Even the leading neurologists wouldn’t be able to do that without technological mechanical intervention, never mind any one of us common folk doing it after death. I feel the same way about the Ovilus and Spirit/Frank Boxes. How would a spirit know how to get into the electronics and manipulate them to produce verbal communication using frequency modulation radio? What do you think about Ouija Boards? Yay or nay?