Ouija Board Up In Flames

Kayla Garcia

Image from Alain Johannes Web site.

Spiritualists in the United States believed that the dead were able to contact the living though a Ouija board. A flat board with letters, yes, no, hello, goodbye, read with a planchette. Is this really the way to connect to the other side? Due to personal experience, I would have to say yes.
In 1890, the Ouija board was created for supernatural communication. Ouija was born in 1886 in Chestertown, Maryland and named in 1890 in Baltimore where it was first manufactured (New York, NY). The board is considered a game, so they released it into the toy and game isles of major retail stores such as Spencer’s or Spirit Halloween. But is it just a game?
A couple years ago my husband, best friend and I decided to go to an abandoned house and give this supposed magical oracle a spin. We got down on our knee’s in the what looked like to have been the dining room and began the game with a prayer. Of course we were totally nervous.
This home was all types of creepy. A sunken roof, holes in walls, and many noises of running and scratching of the rodents who now reside there. The sounds were nothing out of the ordinary, so we began.
“If someone is here, please respond,” I said as we moved the planchette in clockwise circles. After the third time of asking everything went completely silent.
We all froze! We realized we were no longer alone. All noise come to an immediate halt. Before we could say anything, you hear three loud thuds, like heavy men’s work boots coming down the top of stairs. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP!
Least to say we booked it out of there. All we could talk about is how you could literally feel all the energy shift around us. How all of our hairs immediately stood up, and our initial instincts were to get the heck out of there.
The dead never relax. Once my friend’s mom decided to play. They lit candles all around the room and began. They were instructed to tell the board to make the flames go higher. They all began to feel extremely anxious, and soon became terrified as they watched the flames grow on each candle.
Making the decision that it was time to close the board. As many forget to do, they did not say goodbye, foolish girls. They just throw it in the dresser for “safe keeping”.
A couple weeks went by and the family decided to take a short weekend trip. On their trip they received a terrifying phone call from their neighbor. Your house is on fire! Their neighbor says. Unfortunately, it was to late by the time the neighbor saw and fire crews arriving to put the fire out. The entire home burned to the ground except for 2 things. The Ouija board and the dresser.
For years the Ouija Board was the focus of lawsuits. Toy and board game company Hasbro has been faced with an onslaught of lawsuits from parents over the sale of Ouija boards.
“It is absolutely irresponsible that they would market such a dangerous item to our children,” said Margaret Sampson, one of the many parents claiming damages from Hasbro after the Ouija board she purchased unleashed a demonic spirit that caused blood to run down the walls of her home.
“Not only were the kids terrified, but we had to have the entire house repainted. It’s not cheap (Robotbutt, 2010).”
Many of the lawsuits are stories of furniture flying through the air, disembodied voices whispering Latin and children being possessed by evil spirits while contorting themselves into impossible shapes.
The box in which the Ouija board comes in does not contain any warnings to these events, though it insists the board is appropriate for ages 8 and up. Unfortunately, Hasbro president and CEO Brian Goldner dismissed the lawsuits. They actually defended the Ouija Board.
“We are in the board game business, and all games need an element of risk,” Goldner said. “The last thing you want is a boring experience.” Said Hasbro. This is very controversial and honestly, I’m not so sure how I feel about Hasbro’s response.
Of course, there was tons of backlash.  Many said the lawsuits are an overreaction, and that some people are just trying to pass the blame from themselves and their children.
Saying it’s just children acting out. Do you think your child acting out consists of contorting your body to unimaginable ways, speaking in foreign languages and making you scared to be in your own home?
I think not. Children do some crazy things. I have two children of my own, and from personal experience that is definitely not ways of your child/ children acting out.
Though truth in advertising is hard to come by, especially in products from the 19th century, the Ouija board was “interesting and mysterious”. It actually had to have been “proven” to work at the Patent Office before its patent was allowed to proceed.
Today, even psychologists believe that it may offer a link between the known and the unknown (McRobbie, 2013). Although we can’t prove the game real for each person, or every time we play.
Nothing is more interesting than the unknown. I do believe people truly have had good and bad experiences with playing the board. Although many may not believe because they don’t believe what they can’t see, which is 100% valid way of thinking.
You must still remember this world and universe is capable of anything and everything. What are your thoughts on the paranormal, the unknown, the other side?



Works Cited
Magazine, Smithsonian, and Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. “The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board | History| Smithsonian Magazine.” Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Oct. 2013, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-strange-and-mysterious-history-of-the-ouija-board-5860627.
“Research Guides: Ouija Board: Topics in Chronicling America: Introduction.” Introduction – Ouija Board: Topics in Chronicling America – Research Guides at Library of Congress, 20 July 2022, www.guides.loc.gov/chronicling-america-ouija-board.
News Corp., Robot Butt. “Hasbro Faces Thousands of Lawsuits Over Ouija Board Possessions.” Robot Butt, 10 Aug. 2015, www.robotbutt.com/2015/08/10/hasbro-faces-thousands-of-lawsuits-over-ouija-board-possessions.