The Strange History and Mystery of the Ouija Board
Does the Ouija Board really communicate with spirits or is it just a harmless game?
The first advertisements started to appear in papers by 1891: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board”. The board was described as magical because it answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy”. It’s price was $1.50.
The Ouija board (pronounced Wee-ja) is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, numbers 0-9, and the words “yes”, “no”, and “hello”, “goodbye”. The invention of the original design in still unknown.
The Ouija board was, at first, regarded as a harmless parlor game. It’s popularity grew out of the strong American 19th century obsession with spiritualism - the belief that the living are able to communicate with the dead.
The first patent was granted in 1891 to Elijah J. Bond as the inventor. Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters (who was reportedly a “strong medium”), is credited for naming the board. While using the board, they asked what it should be named. The word “Ouija” was spelled out and when asked what that meant, the board replied, “Good Luck.”
To this day, mainstream religions and some occultists have associated the use of the Ouija board with the threat of demonic possession and have cautioned their followers not to use them.
Many believe that evil spirits, disguising themselves as deceased friends or family members, can trick the users of the board and unwittingly invite “them” into their homes. To be rid of such hauntings, Ouija “experts” advise either to burn the board or dispose of it in a lake since spirits supposedly cannot cross water.