Hello, Lovelies! Welcome to the blog post covering a subject Tiffany would like to ignore forever. Here, you’ll find pictures, links, Rebecca’s notes, and who was featured during this episode’s drink refill.

Ouija, the beginning:

In 1886, the Associated Press originally reported on a talking board that was taking over spiritualists’ camps in Ohio. This board had letters, numbers, and a planchette to point to them.

Because of this article, in 1890, Charles Kennard of Baltimore, Maryland, pulled together four investors (including Elija Bond and Col. Washington Bowie) and filed a patent on the board in may of 1890.

Contrary to popular belief, “Ouija” Is not a combination of the word “yes” from the french language “oui” and the German word “ja”

  • The more likely source is the word “Ouija” is an ancient Egyptian word meaning “Good Luck”
  • Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters, who was considered a strong medium, aided in naming the board. The men sat around the table and asked the board what it should be called. The board spelled out “Ouija” and, when asked what it meant, the board replied with “good luck”.
  • But… Peters acknowledged she was wearing a locket that bore a picture of a woman with the name “Ouija” above her head.

In order to get a patent, the men had to prove that the board worked. Taking Peters with them, they went to the patent office in Washington when they went to file the patent. The chief patent officer requested a demonstration: if the board could spell the Chief’s name he’d allow the patent to proceed. The board spelled the officer’s name… but since Bond was a patent attorney, there’s a chance he already knew the man’s name.

They got their patent.

The first Ouija boards started to be manufactured in 1890 by the Kennard Novelty Company, which was eventually owned an ran by William Fuld (who started as a employee and stockholder). Fuld is often mistaken as being the inventor of the Ouija board. However, the Kennard Novelty Company is responsible for the aesthetic of a  varnished wooden board with stenciled letters that we expect Ouija boards to look like.

In 1927, Fuld died after falling from the roof of a new factory they were building in a freak accident. Reportedly, the board told Fuld to build this factory.

The Kennard Novelty Company produced the traditional wooden Ouija boards that we most often associate with the game, and they have become collectible throughout the years. In 1966, the rights to the board was sold to Parker Brothers.

The Ouija and its ties to automatic writing:

STRAIGHT FROM WIKIPEDIA: Automatic writing or psychography is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words purportedly arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source. Scientists and skeptics consider automatic writing to be the result of the ideomotor effect and even proponents of automatic writing admit it has been the source of innumerable cases of self-delusion.

How it might work:

Ideomotor Effect: Ideomotor actions are unconscious, involuntary motor movements that are performed by a person because of prior expectations, suggestions or preconceptions.


  1. The ideomotor effect causes small, unconscious motor movements because of the person’s expectations, preconceived notions or suggestibility.
  2. The person is not aware that they are causing the movements; therefore they ascribe the movement to an external force or power. The movement feels unnatural.
  3. The “external forces” perceived are usually thought of as being paranormal in nature.
  4. The effect is real and therefore can be repeated. This can lead to self-reinforcement of the paranormal explanation of the effect, which can create a belief in some special paranormal ability.
  5. Once a belief is formed and reinforced, the believer does not usually ever give it up. Dowsers, healers, etc., who continually fail to pass objective, scientific tests do not give up their belief: they tend to make (often fantastical) excuses for their failures rather than accept a rational explanation for their “ability”.

Pendulums and dowsing rods work the same way

How to Ouija:

The rules below are the instructions printed on the original Ouija board:

  1. Place the board upon the knees of two persons, lady and gentleman preferred, with the small table upon the board. Place the fingers lightly but firmly, without pressure, upon the table so as to allow it to move easily and freely. In from one to five minutes the tablet will commence to move, at first slowly, then faster, and will be then able to talk or answer questions, which it will do rapidly by touching the printed words or the letters necessary to form words and sentences with the foreleg or pointer.
  2. Care should be taken that one person only should ask questions at a time, so as to avoid confusion, and the questions should be put plainly and accurately.
  3. To obtain the best results it is important that the persons present should concentrate their minds upon the matter in question and avoid other topics. Have no one at the table who will not sit seriously and respectfully. If you use it in a frivolous spirit, asking ridiculous questions, laughing over it, you naturally get undeveloped influences around you.
  4. The Ouija is a great mystery, and we do not claim to give exact directions for its management, neither do we claim that at all times and under all circumstances it will work equally well. But we do claim and guarantee that with reasonable patience and judgment it will more than satisfy your greatest expectation.
  5. In putting the table together wet the tops of the legs, and drive them firmly into the table. Care should be taken that they are firm and tight.
  6. The board should be kept smooth and free from dust and moisture, as all depends upon the ease with which the feet of the table can glide over the surface of the board. Rubbing with a dry silk handkerchief just before use is advised.

Extra  Play Notes:

  • NEVER play by yourself (for reasons I consider obvious) and always be respectful
  • Designate a medium (person to ask the questions) and prepare simple questions ahead of time
  • If you’re looking to contact someone specific, such as a deceased family member, have an item of theirs nearby
  • An opening ritual, such as a prayer or lighting candles, is encouraged
  • Be in the correct mindset (i.e. if you’re in the wrong headspace, such as contemplating death or bad joo-joo, that will affect your results)
  • You might have to get the planchette moving, a subtle push, but once the planchette starts moving, it’ll either be very clear where the planchette will stop or you will have to rely on you gut feeling
  • ALWAYS close the game by moving the planchette to “GOODBYE”




  • Benevolent spirits might be malevolent spirits trying to earn your trust
  • If the board/spirit starts being aggressive, to do not respond aggressively and close the game as quickly as possible by moving the planchette to “GOODBYE”
  • If you start feeling sad, depressed, or have mood changes while using the board it is best to say “GOODBYE”
  • NEVER leave the planchette on the board unattended
  • Do not ask for physical signs, that can be considered an invitation
  • If the planchette starts repeatedly making figure eights, or some reports say “a rainbow or an arch” say “GOODBYE” (this is possibly something trying to open a door and pass through)
  • There have been reports of people losing time, like hours of time, while playing (explanation: possibly possession)
  • Since you’re using the board to communicate, some spirits might keep knocking
  • If the planchette flies off the board, a portal may have opened and an entity may have escaped
  • Don’t fucking play in a cemetery what is wrong with you don’t do that
  • The Ouija Demon

The Ouija Demon:

Popularity started in 2009, after a viral post on a paranormal message board. However, a post from a Nigerian board showed up as early as 2005

It might be a variation of another demon P-A-Z-U-Z-U, who is 3000 years old, with a body of a man and a tail of a scorpion

In fact, the book The Dictionnaire Infernal, published in 1818, includes a list of demons and a story of a girl that was terrorized by demons two years earlier, one of which identified as Z-O-Z-O

The entity might pretend to be a good or not dangerous spirit to gain trust

If the board spells the name (or a variation of the name) immediately say “GOODBYE”

How to know if you’re possibly speaking with the entity:

  1. The mood or temperature of the room may suddenly shift.
  2. Even if Z doesn’t directly reveal itself, the entity may continue to point to the letter ‘Z’ or even call itself different variations of its name.
  3. Once Z reveals themselves, the entity will often spells its name over and over, up to hundreds of times in a row.
  4. The ‘Z’ and the ‘O’ are located on opposite ends of the Ouija board’s lower line. In order to spell it’s name, Z will often move the planchette in the shape of an infinity signal between the ‘Z’ and ‘O’. (this is why if the planchette starts moving in an arch or in a figure eight, the board must be closed and “GOODBYE” said immediately)
  5. Glass (especially mirrors) may break.
  6. Scratches may appear on the body of anyone in the residence (even if they are not participating in playing with the ouija board.

Do NOT say it’s name

If you think you have made contact with this entity during a session, immediately end the session with saying “GOODBYE” and some say to no longer use that board since it is now tied to that entity

Story 1:

Justin played with an Ouija board one day with several of his friends. They asked questions, but instead of the planchette moving to certain letters, it began to move in a strange pattern. “It went to all four corners of the board and made an X,” he tells Reader’s Digest, “then it just went in circles.” The next time he used the board, it was with a different friend at his house. Again, the planchette moved in the same strange pattern. “I felt like it was some kind of hex,” he continues. Later that night when he was sleeping, he felt a forceful hand grab his arm and wake him up. Everyone else in the house was sound asleep.

Story 2:

The night we played, something came through and was calling me horrible names – I thought it was my friend doing it so I made my younger brother try it with me and it was most def not her, my brother was 7 and didn’t know about those words or how to spell them. I asked it to do something to prove it was real and nothing happened… fast forward to next morning, we were all sitting in the family room, watching TV when our fireplace (which we were not using), literally exploded into flames. We were all freaked out and swore we’d never use the Ouija again but, it didn’t matter, the door was opened.
After that, I had many episodes of sleep paralysis, things in my room would move on their own, something would come in my room and sit on my bed while I slept, I could feel it and see the depression in the bed

Story 3:

In seventh grade, my friends and I went over to “Mary’s” house intent on playing with her mom’s Ouija board that night. None of us had played with one before. Mary’s mom was an extremely spiritual person who believed in energies, witchcraft, stuff like that. Before we used the board, Mary warned us that her mom would be really pissed if she found out that we were playing with it because Ouija boards can attract bad spirits into the home. With full knowledge of this, we decided to proceed anyway. This Ouija board was not like the average Ouija board you had ever seen. Along with the usual characteristics (the alphabet, “yes”, “no”, “goodbye”), there was an entire array of symbols and signs that were all arranged in a circle. This was some seriously intricate stuff.

We started just goofing around and “communicating” with random spirits here and there until we finally met one that had us in tears the entire sleepless night. First, we asked the spirit if it was a man or a woman, to which he replied “M-A-N”. Then we asked how he was killed: “M-U-R-D-E-R”. That freaked us out only a little bit but we were mostly excited. All of a sudden, before we even asked another question, the glass goes to the eyeball symbol, then spells out “I-N”, and goes to the water symbol. We didn’t have a clue what that meant. It wasn’t too scary until the spirit spelled out “S-H-O-W-E-R” and my best friend realized that the spirit was trying to get us to look into the shower.

We froze.

I’ve never been so scared in my entire life, especially sitting directly in front of the bathroom with the shower curtain all the way closed, faced in my direction. We all screamed and promised on our friendships that we had not moved it ourselves (very important promise). I felt like I was being watched and my friends thought so too. It was only 4 of us and I believe with all my heart that none of them had moved it because we were all too nervous to do anything.

I’ll never use a Ouija board again because of how crazy and intense that night was. I understand that people say Ouija boards are controlled by your subconscious but f**k that. I know I felt something in that room with us. I know it was dangerous.

Story 4:

I got a call from my cousin who said that he, his brother, his dad, and his best friend were using a Ouija in their basement. Prior to starting they took a large porcelain doll out of the room because it was creepy and placed it in an adjacent room face down on a pile of towels. My cousin took a short break because the board was just spouting nonsense and he went to take a shit. His dad and brother and friend started asking the board questions without him, one of the questions was who is in the other room? It just started spouting random numbers and when my cousin came back into the room his brother said that it wasn’t working that they were going to put it away and he showed him the answer to the last question he asked and he said “dude that’s my social security number!

This week’s drink break is brought to you by the SNAFU’D Podcast! For additional information and to find places to stream, click here!


Photo credit: scriptingnews on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA