Friday, May 18, 2012

Should Ouija Boards Be Used In Paranormal Investigations?

Was thinking last night about the tools that people use to do paranormal investigations and it brought me back to my childhood. We used to play with the Ouija board for hours. We thought of it as a game only and yet we hoped even back then to be able to talk to spirits. Sometimes we even thought we did.
So I did some investigating of the Ouija board and this is what I found. Now that I am an adult I look at things differently and see the consequences in what I am doing.
But still I thought what a great means of communication it could be. But is it? Let's start at the beginning. Wikipedia defines the Ouija board as, "The Ouija board is also known as a spirit/fire key board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" and "goodbye" and various symbols and graphics.
The Ouija Board in older forms seems to have been around since the Roman Empire around the fourth century and was even thought to be used by the Greeks before the time of Christ. At that time it was used as a form of divination: To get advice from the spirits.
It was a professor of music, Adolphus Theodore Wagner that filed for the first patent on the talking board in January 23, 1854. In the description part of the application he wrote; Psychograph, or apparatus for indicating persons thoughts by the agent of the nervous electricity. Now I am not going to delve into exactly what that means but it is enough to know that it was the first patent.
It was Mr. Fuld that made up the name Ouija, which means yes and yes, oui (is French for "yes") and ja (German for "yes'.) I read somewhere that Mr. Kennard thought the word Ouija meant good luck in Egyptian, but it was the board that told him that, so thus it became. Good thing he followed that advise as there has been over 20-25 million boards sold over time.
It was Fuld's name that was printed on every genuine Ouija board made for over 100 years until Parker Brothers took it off in the late 90s. William Fuld and his partner Isaac changed the Kennard Novelty Company name to the Ouija Novelty Company and continued selling boards at much higher numbers. Somewhere along the way, the partner Isaac was fired and the name was then changed to the William Fuld Company.
A little side note. In 1927, William Fuld was on the roof of his factory in Baltimore to supervise the replacement of a flagpole when he fell to his death. Some say suicide and some say the Quija Board finally got him.
The first public advertising came from the Kennard Novelty Company when the advertised the first Ouija board as follows:
Interesting and mysterious; surpasses in its results second sight, mind reading, clairvoyance; will give intelligent answer to any question. Proven at patent office before patent was allowed.
Price $1.50.
I sure to wish I could find a bit of written history on just how they proved that!
I think there are four questions you need to ask yourself about whether to use the Ouija board or not in a paranormal investigation:
  1. Is it safe?
  2. Is it real?
  3. Is it truthful?
  4. Is it just a tool of communication?
The answers are my conclusions and I know some people will not agree, however it hopefully will give some people new ideas that should help them draw their own conclusions.
Let's answer each one:
Is it Safe?
My thoughts and yes they are mine, is that it is dangerous and you should not play around with it like it is the toy it is marketed to be.
If it is real then you may well be opening a door into the unknown that you have no control in as to who comes through to communicate with you. Good or bad at that point you are stuck with it.
The Ouija Board when used for divination is not a game. It is a device used by people who believe and want to contact spirits or the dead to gain information that will help them.
Is it Real?
Just look online or talk to friends and they all seem to have had at one time or another experiences with the Ouija board. Some of them can be quite terrifying. Or look at all the movies that show the bad side of it. I think it is real, especially if you believe it is.
When paranormal investigations are done, they have people fill a questionnaire out and it usually asks if they have ever used a Ouija board. This is because a lot if not most of the "bad hauntings" have started with this little toy.
There are cases where it appears real, as in the case of Pearl Curran, a housewife from St. Louis, began using a friend's Ouija board in 1913. The spirit that she spoke with (or created from her subconscious) was named Patience Worth. Together they wrote many plays, poems and novels with great historical detail.
Experiments have shown if the people using the Ouija board are blindfolded, the resulting letters make no words.
Experiments have shown if the letters are placed upside down on a glass table, the resulting messages are not understandable.
Scientists believe it is not real because the spirits cannot move the planchette by themselves.
Is it Truthful?
If you use the supposition that you are indeed communicating with a spirit then you have to first agree, that maybe all spirits good and bad ones, are not telling the truth and to act on it without further investigation is courting danger.
Ideometer effect is defined by Wikipedia as, "A psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motion unconsciously. This could also possibly be an explanation for pendulums reacting to written words and dowsing rods
If you are already a skeptic of the Ouija board then this maybe what you are thinking. As the Skeptic's Dictionary says, "Suggestions can be made to the mind by others or by observations. Those suggestions can influence the mind and affect motor behavior. What is purely physiological, however, appears to some to be paranormal."
Is it Just a Means of Communication?
Some people believe that it should be used as another tool like the recorder, KII meter and any other tool they use to talk to spirits.
For Christians out there, let me say this after some research into the Bible. It appears that if you use a Ouija board you are angering God.
"When they say to you, 'Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,' should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?" (Isa. 8:19 - NASB).
In Galatians 5:19, certain "works of the flesh" are condemned. One of these is "sorcery." Among the things embraced by this term is the "pretended communication with invisible malignant powers"
People believe the one on one communication is vital to take paranormal investigation to the next level.
It bugs me that big retail stores like Toys R Us sell to children Ouija boards that glow in the dark, are pretty or pink for girls. They do not have, or maybe they do a clue to what they are opening up children to. The cute little picture of children sitting around a board and laughing really is not the way it happens. If they do not suffer the consequences of it now, they will in the future.
I think that the ultimate lesson her on whether the Ouija board should be used in paranormal investigations is that, nothing and I mean nothing should be taken lightly. Investigating is a serious business and you must look at the consequences of your actions.
So in the end to me, it seems that there are two sides; one is that the real danger in playing around with a Ouija board is in believing it is real and you are talking with spirits. The other is that it is real and you are talking to spirits and you are in danger.
We love everything about the paranormal and is a good thing as Kentucky is rich with haunting lore and more. Read more articles on ghosts and paranormal at our Kentucky Farmhouse website and also for all around good tips, thoughts and information on Kentucky
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