A Ouija Board is a board on which letters are marked out with the alphabet. Answers to questions are spelt out by a pointer or glass known as a planchette held by the fingertips of the participants, and are believed to form by spiritual entities communicating through spelling out words or answering yes or no.
Throughout history objects have been used for communication, divination, and contact with spirits. Some of those common methods included scrying , automatic ghost writing, or using pendulums and often included the use of mirrors, divining rods, bowls of water or sacred bodies of water, and even crystals and powders.
As popularity in the belief that these items worked to create a low level astral plane contact with spiritual beings on the "other side" the Ouija Board was born.
In 1886 word began to spread about a a new "talking board," at spiritual camps in Ohio. As word spread Charles Kennard from Maryland gathered investors and began exclusively making boards in 1890.
In 1891 advertisements for the first Ouija Boards began to appear claiming the device was a "wonderful talking board." This flat board with the alphabet, numbers 0-9, and a yes or no at the top was believed to offer people that ability to come together holding the planchette and open a communication door to the other side. So validated it was that they had to prove it "worked" to the patent office. With its deep 19th century connection to Victorian spiritualism people began purchasing the item.
Today the Ouija Board is made by Hasbro and other companies and individuals and is sold widely across the globe. Many believe that its connections to the after life offer insights from ancestors, loved ones, and even more sinister beings.
Throughout the course of their use since the 1890's many doctors, clergy, newspapers, demonologists, Paranormal investigators, and more have warned about the unknown possibilities associated with the use of the Ouija Board.
Many professionals believe that by improper use, negatively identifying what one may be contacting, and improper disposal individuals have opened portals, become possessed or even gone clinically insane. Longhorn Paranormal holds the same stance.
Clergy and Paranormal Research experts have seen cases where demonic entities have been allowed through to our plane and have been able to cause serious issues for the user.
"You never know who, what, or where you are truly making contact. It is like opening a paranormal super highway that you cannot control the traffic. When you attempt to cross through it you simply do not know what you make contact with and what is coming with you and staying."
- Jennifer Stoller Longhorn Paranormal
In 1920 Doctors and clergy worked to end the use of Ouija Boards after 4 local California women began to demonstrate acts of madness. The following article is a excerpt from the local Oakland Tribune detailing the events.
"Ministers and Physicians Join in Denouncing the Baleful Effect As Four of Its Devotees Are Judged Mad -
Thing of Evil is Verdict Given by Church; Causes Frenzy Which Communicable, Psychologists’ Statement
Stirred to indignation at the havoc wrought by an Ouija board in the homes of four El Cerrito families and by revelations which were followed by the commitment of four women to state hospitals for the insane, physicians, psychologists, ministers and others united today denouncing as a serious menace what had been tolerated as a harmless toy.
It was the Ouija board, of the belief held in its powers, that took from the Italian colony in El Cerrito three mothers and a fifteen-year-old girl and left the fathers, who must work all day, to care for the smaller children. It was a belief in the Ouija that gave little Rosa Bottini, as she carries her baby sister through the streets, that faraway look that may mean she will have to join her mother in the asylum.
Judge R. H. Lattimer and an insanity commission have committed Mrs. Josephine Soldavini, Mrs. Maria Moro, Mrs. Santina Bottini and Adeline Bottine to the asylums at Stockton and Napa. Charles Soldarini, Louis and Harry Farrario and G.B. Bottini were released.
EFFORT INAUGURATED TO STAMP OUT CRAZE
With the spectacle of El Cerrito’s disrupted homes in mind and with the knowledge that four women of that city have been sent to state asylums for the insane as the result of their faith in the little varnished boards, a determined effort to expose the Ouija for what it is and to end the craze for its use has been inaugurated.
The Ouija produces hysteria and sometimes insanity, say the physicians and the psychologists.
It is an instrument of evil, say the ministers.
Even the defenders, those who have lectured and demonstrated the board in Oakland, join in the warning against the general use of the board.
Heading a number of those interviewed today as to their opinions as to the danger of the Ouija board, Dr. Fred Councilman, superintendent of the State Asylum for the Insane at Stockton, said:
“The Ouija I consider is dangerous as it produces manifestations of hysteria and a single belief which excludes all others. Those who accept it as being occult have no mind for anything else.”
Voicing the sentiments of the church, Dr. Frank Silsey, of First Presbyterian Church, said:
“Unquestionably the looks upon the Ouija as a device of the devil. Under the terms, ‘lying wonders,’ it is condemned in the Scriptures. Its effect on the user is a spiritual, moral, and mental decline. It is extremely dangerous for one to go to the Ouija even in a spirit of idle curiosity.
HYSTERIA CAUSED BY USE, DOCTOR SAYS
Dr. Jan Don Ball of Oakland, the noted psychologist, neurologist, and psychiatrist, made the following comment on the El Cerrito situation:
“Use of the Ouija board is dangerous, particularly for the belief it often occasions that its manifestations are of an occult nature, when in reality they are but manifestations of the hysterical condition of the individual. There have been many cases of persons becoming hysterical to the point of seeming insanity through the use of these boards.
“A peculiar thing about the Ouija of any such emotional phenomena as it appears to have occasioned is that it is readily communicative. In earlier days whole villages have become afflicted with a religious frenzy. The El Cerrito Ouija manifestations appear to have been similar. When the automatic, sub-conscious control of the Ouija is mistaken for something occult and not of this world, there is always the danger of hysteria.
“Automatic writing and Ouija phenomena are not always a manifestation of hysteria or disease. It may occur in a perfectly normal, or so-called normal, man. It is the subversion of the control of the will by the emotions. When one talks of being in a trance, in connection with these phenomena, or of talking to the spirits, they are in danger."
-Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California - 5 March 1920
In New York in 1930 a woman is found dead Clothlide Marchand was found dead at the base of her stairs. Investigators determined she had been beaten to death. Many initially believed her husband was responsible but quickly another woman was identified. Lila Jimerson who was having an affair with Marchand's husband brought in a acquittance Nancy Bowen to murder her.
Jimerson used a Ouija Board to convince Bowen that Marchand was a "Witch" who had caused Bowens husbands recent death. She then told Bowen she was next. Bowen taking Jimerson's word then proceeded to kill C Marchand.
Mattie Turley a 15 year old girl killed her father Ernest in 1933. She was out attempting to shoot a skunk when Mattie Shot Ernest twice in the back. When investigators inquired she claimed she had tripped and fallen and the gun went off.
She shortly changed her story to say that while using a Ouija Board with her mother Dorothea, the spirit world ordered Mattie to kill her father so her mother could marry a man who would "make her happier." Her mother then told her there was no way she could be arrested for the murder and for complying with the board.
A Arizona Supreme Court ruling would eventually overturn both mom and daughters convictions.
In 1995 McCallum brought Michael Earridge to his apartment to play with a Ouija Board. When the Ouija Board spelled out the word kill Earridge attempted to leave but McCallum would stab Earridge to death stating Satan had ordered him to do it. McCallum would be found guilty and sent to a Mental Hospital.
In 2001 Carol Sue Elvaker a 53 year old grandmother was using a Ouija Board with her daughter Tammy and her two grand children. A message came through the board telling Elvaker that Tammy's husband was evil and must be killed. She retrieved a knife and proceeded to stab Brian the husband in his sleep before fleeing the home with one granddaughter at knife point. Elvaker ran the fleeing vehicle off the road and then attempted to push one granddaughter into traffic because she believed the granddaughter was possessed with Brian's evil. Elvaker would be ruled insane and send to a mental institution.
Longhorn Paranormal does not support the use of Ouija Boards under any circumstances. If you are someone you know has had a issue in association with their use and are looking for assistance please contact us.
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