Friday, May 16, 2014


Should I quit being a blogger? If I had a Ouija Board, that's a question I'd ask.

I wouldn't take the answer seriously, but formulating a question is a way of rethinking things, and what you get from using a Ouija Board.

The ad which appeared  back in the mid 1800's, called it a magic device that answers questions about the past, present and future. It cost $1.50, at a toy and novelty shop. Though it wasn't "proved" to work, it began to sell very well.

It was, and still is a flat board with the letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semicircles above the numbers 0 through 9; the words "yes" and "no" in the uppermost corners; "good bye" at the bottom.

It comes with a planchette. a device you maneuver about the board, and watch, as it moves from letter to letter, spelling out the answer to your question, seemingly of its own accord.

Aided by stories about spiritualists, who called it the Elijah Board, it was an acceptable, even wholesome activity to contact spirits at seances.

The board's popularity boomed in the late thirties, after Brian Donlevy and Claire Trevor used it in the film, "Human Cargo."

An Ohio attorney, who was considering manufacturing them, asked his backers, while they were playing with the toy, what to call it. The letters O-U-I-J-A appeared, over the head of a woman player who was wearing a locket bearing the picture of somebody. When the players asked what it meant, the board said, "Good luck."

The first patent offers no explanation as to how the device works, but asserts that it does.  Today, even some psychologists believe that it may offer a link between the known and the unknown.

So, is it a toy, or a game?

Various physicians and psychologists have said the players make the planchette move. The movements take place without the conscious will or volition of the individuals.

So, if I had a Ouija board, I would ask, "Should I keep on blogging or start a new novel? Will the world get destroyed by a bomb?"  

Hey,  if you could ask a question right now, and rethink various important things, what would you ask Ouija?


Carola said...

In the 1950s I had a Ouija board, packaged like a kid's board game. I loved it and my friends and I played with it a lot. We didn't take it seriously, we just enjoyed the randomness of it.

Anonymous said...

I played with the board a lot during my teenage years, but never took it seriously; although, it did mystify me as to how it worked, even with both of our eyes closed while participating with a third person looking on and reading what was being spelled. My question would be, should I splurge and take money from my retirement fund and take another extended trip to Europe to write another book? My previous tome is far from a best-seller. And the answer to your question remains without speaking: please do keep on blogging, and go ahead with writing that new book, if you can find the time to fit it into your busy schedule.

Linda Phillips said...

All I know is that I had one years ago that I was addicted to. I never was sure if I was the one moving the thingy around or just what.

Eventually I put it away on a shelf in the closet, where it remained unused, for several more years.

One day, I opened the closet door and boom, it fell off the shelf and hit me in the head. I took that as a sign and immediately threw it away!

You don't need one, dear Em!

Cara Lopez Lee said...

The last time I played with one was about five years ago with me then 12-year-old sister. I tend not to like Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and such because I get way to interested in the answers even though my rational mind sees them simply as vehicles to express intuition. Mostly I want my future to remain a mystery. However, I'm always curious about whether my next book will be a big hit. ;)

Unknown said...

I wouldn't ask it a thing. I'd just write the novel or keep blogging because you have awesome blogs or not worry about the future. Today has enough craziness. That's a Bible paraphrase. lol Good blog. Nice educational value too!

Ameer S. Washington said...

Ha! If I were brave or foolish enough (don't know which it is), I'd ask the question I ask every day. What is the purpose of life? I've steered clear of Ouija boards for several reasons.

First and foremost is that I was raised in a Christian church and witchcraft which Ouija boards have long been associated with were against the rules.

As I've aged and my beliefs and ideas on religion, God, the the likes of things supernatural have changed in many ways, I looked at it as a piece of fake equipment that was a waste of time.

Ultimately I find that the answer to the question I seek would be a false one given by the Ouija board if it actually works at all. And if the answer; or better yet, if the board was able to be an extension of my subconscious and have me moving it with my own thoughts both physically and metaphysically; then I daresay the answer would be mine and not one that I would happily accept.

As I ruminate the ultimate question of man as I see it, using a Ouija doesn't seem so bad. There's no way to prove that God exists or doesn't, and since scientists can't seem to figure out if the Ouija is real or a figment of our subconscious mind working to aid us in giving us answers to our own questions. Then what purpose can it truly serve other than to aid us in what we already know or think.

An interesting idea that it is to say the least.

Anonymous said...

I love the magic of experience, a well written story that inspires me and a great blogger like you Em, who have magically abilities to create magic for everyoe. Love and hugs, Heather Mash xxxxxoooo