If you’ve never used a Ouija board, you’ve probably seen them. The occult board, covered in numbers and letters penned in a mysterious font, has been a popular symbol in movies, television, and books.
When someone uses a ouija board, they place their hand on a movable piece. The spirits of the board then guide this piece to a letter or a number. After enough movements, a phrase or message can often be made out.
The ouija board’s been around for a lot longer than movies and television have been – not as long, however, as many people seem to think. The ouija board as we know evolved during the mid-19th century when the new-age Spiritualist movement began.
There is a great deal of skepticism surrounding the use of the ouija board, and that skepticism is actually well-founded: the origins of the board are hazed in deception.
Ouija Board History
The ouija board emerged in the middle of the 1800s, when advertised spiritual mediums were looking for ways to convince people that they were communicating with the spirit world.
This isn’t to say that all mediums were illegitimate, because this isn’t the case. However, legitimate spiritual mediums generally aren’t seeking fame and fortune and certainly aren’t trying to market their skills to the masses. These mediums were.
Some of the other tactics used by these mediums included table turning and cold reading. These acts are just performance acts, though, and can be performed people who don’t claim to have any connection to the spirit realm. Derren Brown, the popular English illusionist, discusses these techniques as he performs them in his live shows.
The ouija board, then, was developed as one of these techniques. But does that mean that it doesn’t work at all?
Does the Ouija Board Really Work?
It’s hard to give a definite answer to this question. Some people would answer with a hard no. Others would say that the ouija board certainly works. The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle and depends on your beliefs.
There are several ways that a ouija board could operate.
- An individual, like a fake medium, manipulates the board with their own will
- Someone who is highly suggestible allows their subconscious to direct the ouija board. It then spells out messages or advice that they’re consciously unaware of
- A deeply connected person receives guidance from a non-physical being that directs the ouija board
So, ultimately, there’s not really a definitive answer to whether or not the ouija board works. Certainly, there’s even less of an answer about ‘how’ it works.
Some people are highly reactive to the ouija board and receive direct messages whenever they use one. Other people simply have no reaction to the board and thus claim that it doesn’t work at all.
What is certain is that the ouija board can be utilized as a tool of divination, self-reflection, and personal growth. Whether or not you believe in the spiritual world, if you approach the ouija board with an open mind then you’ll be able to learn something.
Written by Nigel Ford