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Spiritual : The Ouija Debate
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 Message 1 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nicknamebreeze_tioga  (Original Message)Sent: 4/6/2006 1:20 PM

Portal to evil or harmless game?

THERE’S AN ongoing debate about the powers and realities of the Ouija board. Essentially, there are three basic positions:
  • It is inherently dangerous, can open portals to evil entities and should never be used.
  • It is only dangerous if used with evil intent, but can be a useful tool for spirit mediumship if used properly and with good intent.
  • It is inherently harmless and has no real powers of mediumship for good or evil; its effects, if any, are only psychological in nature.

Which is true? Talk to any group of people and you’ll find strong proponents for each argument. A few years ago, I conducted a survey of readers on this subject. It results showed that 65 percent of those who responded felt the Ouija was dangerous, and 35% felt it was harmless.

There is also a lively discussion on the matter in our Paranormal Forum.

Inherently evil

As expected, most religious leaders are strongly anti-Ouija. More interesting, however, is that many of the top paranormal researchers believe the Ouija to be a dangerous instrument, to be avoided at all cost.

Brad Steiger, one of the most prolific authors on matters supernatural, has consistently stated his opposition to the use or even the ownership of a Ouija board. In his article “Mothers, Don't Let Your Children Grow Up to Play with Ouija Boards,?/FONT> Steiger recounts his investigation of a 17-year-old girl who began experimenting with the Ouija ?with dire consequences. “She thought she had the knowledge to contact spirit entities through the board,?Steiger writes, “but unfortunately she had neglected to assume a prayerful attitude to guard against malignant influences.?

Dale Kaczmarek, founder of the Ghost Research Society, says, “I would strongly advise against the use of the Ouija, automatic writing or séances?in his article “Ouija: Not a Game.?/FONT> “Most often the spirits whom are contacted through the Ouija are those whom reside on ‘the lower astral plane??

One of the most respected paranormal investigators or the past fifty years, Hans Holzer, adds his voice in warning against the Ouija. In the book The Ouija Board: A Doorway to the Occult, author Edmond C. Gruss quotes Holzer as saying, “Those who wish to use the Ouija board as a parlor game I advise to think twice. There is always the possibility ?rare, I admit, but conceivable ?that one of those playing the board is a genuine trance medium without realizing it. In such a case, the board can become an easy entrance for a disincarnate person?who might next take over the personality of the medium and manifest under conditions where no controls are possible.?

Some readers in the Forum have also had bad experiences. “I'm wondering if anybody else out there knows how dangerous Ouija boards truly are??says toddybear007. “I had my own experiences a long time ago when I was around 13 years old. To make a long story short, I came face to face with pure evil.?

“I do believe without a doubt that Ouija boards open doors,?adds Deebliss. “The entity that we brought out actually manifested itself to my best friend’s mother??

Ok, if used with caution

The article “Ouija, Using it Without Harm?/FONT> on the PaganPath website states: “The Ouija is only as dangerous as you and/or your friends make it. The Ouija can be a useful tool for mediumship (spirit contact) but can also be a tool to tap into the subconscious minds of the users. If you begin your Ouija session with the intention of just seeing what will happen, but without letting superstitious fears scare you, you're well on your way to a fun, entertaining, and informative experience.?

Even those who say the Ouija can be used without harm often suggest performing a “cleansing?before any experiments.

According to Crystalinks?article on the board, “Some people like to say a prayer over the board ?or do some other ritual. In this case envision a protective white light of energy surround yourself, the board, those you are working with, and even the room.?

Inherently harmless

Author and ghost hunter Loyd Auerbach is one of few seasoned paranormal investigators who doesn’t put much stock in the Ouija’s powers. In his book, Ghost Hunting: How To Investigate the Paranormal, he writes: “There is nothing inherently evil or demonic about Ouija boards.?The answers come from “unconsciously driven minor muscle movements and not spirits of dead people. Ouija boards have never been shown to tap into spiritual sources. Any danger…is in taking the ‘communications?literally.?

Many people, like me, who have attempted to use the board get little or no results. Nostro75 in the Forum is another. “I brought one from the Internet and have tried to use it several times, including on my own and with friends and family. The planchette didn’t move an inch, ever. So nothing to fear.?

The “Skeptic’s Dictionary?agrees with Auerbach’s position and may have the most reasonable advice about the Ouija. “The movement of the planchette is not due to paranormal forces but to unnoticeable movements by those controlling the pointer, known as the ideomotor effect,?the website says in its article on the Ouija.

“Observing the powerful effect of messages on impressionable people can be impressive. Yet, as experiences with facilitated communication have shown, decent people often harbor indecent thoughts of which they are unaware. And the fact that a person takes a ‘communication?seriously enough to have it significantly interfere with the enjoyment of life might be a sufficient reason for avoiding the Ouija board as being more than a ‘harmless bit of entertainment,?but it is hardly a sufficient reason for concluding that the messages issue from anything but our own minds.?

>zSB(3,3);if(!z336){var zIsb=gEI("adsb");if(zIsb){"inline";"0px";"0px";}var zIss=gEI("adss");if(zIss){"inline";"0px";"0px";}}</SCRIPT> >zSB(3,3);if(!z336){var zIsb=gEI("adsb");if(zIsb){"inline";"0px";"0px";}var zIss=gEI("adss");if(zIss){"inline";"0px";"0px";}}</SCRIPT>

First  Previous  25-39 of 39  Next  Last 
 Message 25 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameDede_springs_eternalSent: 10/16/2006 6:00 PM
I was just reading that Danvers was the actual site of where the Salem Witch Trials originated (which was 2 miles from where I was staying) and I looked it up...Salem was 4.5 miles from Peabody.  Dang it.

 Message 26 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 10/16/2006 6:39 PM
It's so highly likely that we all went through that together, dont' you think?
I s'pose so. I tend to believe that we take "remnants" of past lives into present ones, which is a big part of why we're drawn (or not) to various things - types of music, hobbies, fears, etc.
I remember talking to the other side at the age of 2 and have always had a fascination with the paranormal. I was 12 when my mom bought me my first deck of tarot cards (I had asked for them, she wasn't a practicing Wiccan or anything, lol). That was also around the time that she and I went to our first spiritual medium.

 Message 27 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameDede_springs_eternalSent: 10/16/2006 6:44 PM
I'm not sure where my curosity came from but I knew to hide it because it would get me in a lot of trouble with my parents, primarily my dad.

 Message 28 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameAvidlySent: 10/16/2006 8:58 PM
i have no idea. but i've always been fascinated with ghosts. When we had library day in gradeschool I went straight for the non fiction section to look for books about ghosts. then i would scare myself so bad i couldnt sleep!

 Message 29 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 10/27/2006 8:49 PM
LOL, Avi. That reminds me of when we used to try to play "I don't believe in Mary Worth?" - where you stand in front of a big mirror, a candle your only light, and you keep repeating "I don't believe in Mary Worth" and supposedly she appears in the mirror. We scared the poo out of ourselves playing that one, lol. (No, never did see her)
Oh hey, I found it on Snopes!
V cool!
Origins:   The research into Bloody Mary goes Come to me . . . back to 1978, when folklorist Janet Langlois published her essay on the legend. Belief in summoning the mirror-witch was even at that time widespread throughout the U.S.

Mary is summoned whenever squealing girls get together for a sleepover, but boys have been known to call on her too. (The 'Bloody Mary' legend was common when I was a kid in the early 1970s. We typically performed the "ritual" in bathrooms, because the bathrooms of our suburban homes had large mirrors and were easily darkened even during the day since they had no windows. A familiar 'Bloody Mary' story was one about a girl who supposedly ended her incantation with a spiteful "I don't believe in Mary Worth," then tripped over the doorjamb while exiting the bathroom and broke her

Mary is said to be a witch who was executed a hundred years ago for plying the black arts, or a woman of more modern times who died in a local car accident in which her face was hideously mutilated.

 Message 30 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameAvidlySent: 11/14/2006 4:27 PM
I never heard of that before you posted it. Guess it never made its way out here.

 Message 31 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/17/2007 6:46 PM
Ok, this might answer my questions....this seems to point toward it being all such divination, not just the specific "Ouija" board as made by Parker Brothers.

A ouija (often pronounced "wee-gee" or called weegee box) is any flat surface printed with letters, numbers, and other symbols, to which a planchette or movable indicator points, supposedly in answer to questions from people at a séance. The fingers of the participants are placed on the planchette that then moves about the board to spell out messages. Ouija is a trademark for a talking board currently sold by Parker Brothers.[1] While the word is not considered a genericized trademark, it has become a trademark which is often used generically to refer to any talking board. In popular culture these boards are considered to be a spiritual gateway used to contact the dead; however, the only evidence for this is the various accounts of users, which have not been scientifically proven.


The first undisputed use of the talking boards came with the Spiritualism movement in The United States in the mid-19th century. Methods of divination at that time used various ways to spell out messages, including swinging a pendulum over a plate that had letters around the edge or using an entire table to indicate letters drawn on the floor. Often used was a small wooden tablet supported on casters. This tablet, called a planchette, was affixed with a pencil that would write out messages in a fashion similar to automatic writing. These methods may predate modern Spiritualism.


About 10 brands of talking boards are sold today under various names.[6]


Skeptic and magician James Randi, in his book An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural, points out that when blindfolded, Ouija board operators are unable to produce intelligible messages.[7] Magicians Penn & Teller performed a similar demonstration in an episode of their cable television show Bullshit! in which the operators moved the planchette into what they thought was the positions of "yes" and "no" without knowing that the board was turned upside-down, which caused them to move the planchette into blank spaces on the board.




I'll tell you why this is of such interest to me - it's because I don't believe these boards are jack squat, lol. I think if someone has psychic abilities, it might work as a method of communication, but just the board itself doesn't draw in spirits of any particular temperament. But in terms of it bringing in evil entities that you can't get rid of or bringing about bad luck in any way, I just don't buy it. And since Sylvia - whom I generally believe on nearly everything - is against them, I really wanted to find out as much as I can so I could understand the "why". I mean, I've used a board as a kid and nothing ever happened, so....I dunno.


 Message 32 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/17/2007 6:55 PM
Anyway, my whole point was left out of that post (lmao!) - it would appaer that it's the general nature of this form of divination, and isn't just about the Parker Brothers Ouija board.

 Message 33 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameAvidlySent: 12/17/2007 7:11 PM
so that would include seances as well?

Makes sense.

I told Donna I played with ouijas all the time as a kid and never had problems, but she said I'm protected enough and my soul is advanced enough that I wouldn't call those entities out. I'm guessing you're an advanced soul as well Smig, and that's why you had no problems.

 Message 34 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/17/2007 7:36 PM
Hell, the planchette wouldn't even budge unless we were making it budge, lol.
I didn't get the sense that a seance fell under the same category (although logically I guess it should), but that it had to do with using the board with the letters and numbers on it.
I think mostly because I've never heard a medium (including Sylvia) state that holding a seance was "dangerous" and you should never do it.

 Message 35 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/17/2007 7:52 PM
Hahahaha - from the Wiki site:
  • Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, used a Ouija board and gained a fear of the number 621. This number also happens to be his birthday, June 21. He is convinced he is going to die on that day. He said: "It's just stupid, it is not a way to live. Once I had to fly to Glastonbury on my birthday; that was a real mess." [idiot]
  • During sleepovers with her friends, Amy Carter would use an Ouija board to get into contact with Abraham Lincoln, whose spirit is believed to haunt the Lincoln Bedroom. [hahahaha!]
  • '70s powerpop band Cheap Trick got its name from an Ouija board. They asked it what was for dinner, and by collectively moving the planchette, they spelled out "Cheap trick." [an appropriate use for one, lol]
  • In the popular 1973 film The Exorcist, Regan MacNeil uses a Ouija board to speak to the demon that she calls Captain Howdy. [I have a feeling THIS is why all the naysaying goes on today - and it's fiction!]
  • In one episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a squad of police officers use an Ouija board to obtain information about a suspect. They receive the message "UP YOURS". [LMFAO! God bless 'em]
There are others. It sure looks like a TON of musicians use them and then get all freaked out about it, lol
Oh, and here's a tidbit about non-Ouija boards:
Other iterations of the board exist in Asia. These are all home-made, with words written on paper in local languages. The planchette is replaced by other items, most commonly a pen, a dish (Chinese condiment saucer) or a coin. It is often played by inquisitive teenagers.

 Message 36 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameAvidlySent: 12/17/2007 9:01 PM
bah. Lincoln doesn't haunt the White House, he just visits once in awhile.

 Message 37 of 39 in Discussion 
From: noveliseSent: 12/17/2007 10:13 PM
supposedly the movie 'the exorcist' isn't all fiction; it is supposed to be a large percentage of fact from an occurance that happened in the same vicinity. (i live fairly close to this, so i've heard it over the years.)

 Message 38 of 39 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameSmigChickSent: 12/18/2007 5:47 PM
I know there was something that happened in that section of Washington that they based The Exorcist on, but that book (and the movie, lol) were fiction.

 Message 39 of 39 in Discussion 
From: noveliseSent: 12/18/2007 9:26 PM
yes, but i guess what i am wondering is...if something is truly based highly on fact then can it still be dismissed as made-up. i don't know. it is like a book of fiction about a horrid murder that is only slightly changed from actual people and circumstances that we know happened and that are or can be a reality. i guess it really doesn't matter that much, but it is why freddie would be less scary than michael myers because it is more probable that that would not happen. (though not all the way impossible, heh.) or the stories about people that disappear on road trips, etc. i suppose most of those things aren't really based on an actual event (though they may be), but they still could happen.

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