Saturday, December 4, 2010

Don't Blame the Ouija


I write posts that often do not make me popular. The reason is, I say it like it is. Some people, for whatever reason, have a vested interest in their beliefs in the paranormal. The scary thing about belief in paranormal is that it's like religion--it must be done on faith. Anything you decide to believe in in the spirit world becomes your truth. Look at J&G and their pat answers for what ghosts are and how they operate. That said, this post will not make me super popular with people who want to believe in urban legends surrounding Ouija boards, but it won't for one instance stop me from saying it.

There was an episode of “Donohue Show” one time where a person slumped over and fainted and then another and another. They stopped the show and took the audience out and sat and finished the show with the guests without the audience. It was pretty hilarious because actually it was a couple of actors faking fainting and then others saw it and fell into hysteria; sort of social experiment.

As a kid, we all heard of Bloody Mary and the mirror trick. We stood in the dark room and whispered it and waited. Some of the kids got hysterical and swore they saw demons and had a run of bad luck following it. One kid lost her dog and her parents divorced and she blamed it on Bloody Mary. I got a good laugh out of the experience and a great deal of disappointed because I seriously was hoping to see something miraculous and exciting, but all I saw was my blasted face in a dimly lit bathroom.

What do these events have to do with Ouija boards?

The power of suggestion and belief. Some people have a more logic-based hold on their thoughts and question the most absurd thoughts that dance through their heads, others believe anything that pops into their heads is legitimate because they thought it.

I'll be real honest on my view of Ouijas and it's probably the only sane answer you're going to get out there because people seem to think Parker Brothers has some magical powers, but the board is just another way to supposedly talk to spirits. Ghost hunters often do EVP. They walk around, engaging the other side in conversation. It is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than using a Ouija.

“Use this board” versus “use this electronic recorder.”

Now, if you have a religious upbringing, most especially Catholic, stay away from them. No matter how you reason it, you're going to get the heebie jeebies because it's built into the brain wiring from doctrines about the afterlife fed to you in your tender years. Belief in evil as an entity and possession and other scary scenarios will lurk in your mind long after using the board.

Do Ouijas work? I think the only evidence I've found of it being effective was in bringing out the psychic talents of the person using it. The mind is an amazing thing and I've seen people freak out over Ouija and urban legends and movies haven’t helped either, giving them all sorts of magical powers. It’s like seeing the pentacle and thinking of devil worship (thanks Hollywood for once again causing ignorant beliefs).

I’ve used Ouija zillions of times and they are fun and I do believe some good answers I got were done purely through psychic pathways and not through spirit communication. Sometimes, perhaps by conscious or unconscious desires of others at the board to move the planchette.

Honestly, I don't know how people think it's some kind of invitation for evil. If evil existed and it wanted you, it wouldn't need a mass-produced board to get to you. It'd bite you in the ass and, in fact, all of us would be screwed right now because the world would be a scene out of the climax of "Ghostbusters."

Don’t blame the Ouija; blame the minds of the people who give it powers it simple has not got.

22 comments:

  1. Another good post. I have played with the board and have a crazy experience that freaked me out so I'm a believer but I will say that I don't claim to know what I experienced or what is is. Needless to say, today I wont touch one.

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  2. I dunno, well ya I do know. I would classify what your referring to as mass hysteria and there are some unexplained phenomenon in this world but they are what we dont understand, no necessarily "evil". I know men are evil though.

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  3. Long time follower; long overdue commenter, but will rectify that soon.

    1) I grew up in a house with a Ouija; but never really wanted nor need to use it; although all my friends did, especially as I lived near a Catholic cemetery. Hehee!! Still I wouldn't touch it. That's my own personal choice. Like Isreal; I've known people who for a variety of reasons have had bad experiences.

    2) I've been wondering where Bloody Mary is; I've been waiting for her to show up for the last 35 years. Hello? Mary?? I'm not getting any younger!!

    3) There must be something in the air these days; as I've been creating a little controversy myself these days... must be the hair. HA!

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  4. Another redhead weighing in on this one. Bravo on this post. People, as a general rule, are scared to death of a Ouija. What they fail to understand is that it is a tool just the same as pendulums, dowsing rods, and recorders. It is a method of communicating. I have no doubt that people who do not know what they are doing have "opened" doors allowing negative energies and/or entities access (notice I did not say "demons"). But, this can be done with other objects besides the Ouija. Someone can attract negative energies/entities just by eminating and feeding into their own negativity. I agree, the tool just enables the person(s) to channel their own psychic abilities. Once one has gotten in touch with and in control of their abilities, no tools are necessary. The body and the mind become the tools. Okay, I have to figure out how to get down off of this damn soapbox. I am getting dizzy and do not want to fall and break a hip..........

    Oh, BTW, for those who do not already know, the name "Ouija" comes from the French word "Oui" and the German word "Ja" which both mean "Yes."

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  5. Rowan,

    "Yes! Yes!" Sorry, couldn't resist myself. Now, I'M the one all giddy, about to fall and break something; which could turn out badly; considering I'm now fairly close to gaining what is nearly passable as "full mobility."

    Quite certain it has been the runtiness. Or the booze. HaHaHa!!

    Snarkiness aside; I agree with your assessment. Here, let the sleepless giddy one; help you down off your stepstool. :-)

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  6. Were you using your Ouija board?
    It felt like someone was trying to get in contact with me again.

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  7. It's a novelty, manufactured by Parker Bros. for the amusement of 13 year olds at slumber parties. What power it has, you've given it. I don't trust anything used in investigations that relies upon human interference or subjective interpretation. For me, this includes: ouija boards, dowsing rods, hand-held meters. In the protocols I've outlined for paranormal investigation, all passive and active sensors and recorders are freestanding. This is done to eliminate human influence. However, I must confess to believing there is some merit to EVP, but only those recordings that are unequivocally crystal clear ("Class A"). Now, for a ghost hunter, whose goals may be less scientific, I say use whatever you want. I personally don't believe in portals that open to some negative universe filled with the full pantheon of ancient middle eastern superstitions as they've been filtered through a millenia of Christian interpretation. I've been to more "haunted" places than I can say and not once did I experience anything "negative", "bad", "evil", or "demonic". The power of suggestion, confabulation, and imagination--especially to fantasy prone individuals--can be extraordinarily powerful. A rather smartly blog post from two Decembers ago, aptly illustrates some of this. http://podblack.com/2008/12/are-ufo-dreaming-of-a-paranormal-christmas/

    Now, you want to talk about controversial opinions.... :-D Those I have in spades.

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  8. Nice post! Quite agree with you there -- played with one once and felt thoroughly ripped off when nothing happened whatsoever. I know a girl who won't touch tarot cards because her grandmother died the same week she used them. I think these things are interesting tools and you make of them what you will, but believing that an object has more power over you than you do over it is like being owned by your pet dog, or your hamster . . .

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  9. You give some good advice in this post (as usual, which is why I keep checking back), especially that some people should just avoid ouija boards.

    Honestly, I don't know how people think it's some kind of invitation for evil. If evil existed and it wanted you, it wouldn't need a mass-produced board to get to you.

    It’s about avoidance temptation. If I am prone to theft, but want to try my best to avoid stealing from someone, I should avoid situations in which I have unsupervised responsibility over someone else’s property. If I am prone to sins of a sexual nature, but want to live a moral life, I should avoid pornography. Etc.

    The Christian faith requires us to turn to God for spiritual strength in all things. Divination is an attempt to contact almost any spirit for information, insight and understanding about life after death, and that is the situation in which the seeker is open to influence by evil forces. So, if I am trying to live a moral life by allowing myself to be influenced by God and the saints, then whenever I happen to encounter evil, I am well positioned to resist corrupting influences. On the other hand, if I actively seek to be influenced by people (or spirits) who I do not know whether they are good or evil, then maybe I am not well positioned to recognize evil before I am influenced by it.


    Ghost hunters often do EVP. They walk around, engaging the other side in conversation. It is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than using a Ouija.

    I have suspected this to be true for a long time, but not 100% certain because I am not anti-science/anti-technology. For example, I am not against the use of a radio telescope to "hear" what is going on in the cosmos. I definitely respect your opinion on the matter, though.

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  10. Wow! Looks like y'all jumped right into the conversation. We get sidetracked in the world of research by confusing it with belief. An entire chapter of my book I'm writing about paranormal phenomena is devoted to belief systems and how they affect the process of explaining events to yourself. You cannot have a feeling without a thought first. I've been on a hunt in a large group of people we all heard something go "thump!" I listened, waiting to see if it would occur again. If it was a pattern, it might mean something, if it was one incident, it likely was something in the already crowded attic falling over as people stepped on the bowing floorboards. Several people screamed. Two of them ran down the stairs. I went in the direction of the sound to find a wooden table leg fallen over atop of a low table. I checked and where it had been standing erect with the other three legs beside it. It obviously had been stacked against the table top and one of them fell down. The women that screamed and rushed the stairs, refused to go back upstairs, even after being explained what it was. Their minds were filled with this basic message "something is out to get me!" We have to use our minds to evaluate danger but for some, perhaps because of lack of belief in their own skills in an emergency, get carried away in fear. For those who stay away from Ouija, that is personal choice. Here's a story. One time I was washing my hair and I looked down in the tub and saw that there were tons of clumps of hair. I ran my hands through my hair and more and more came out. I started to get frantic. My first thought was "I have some kind of cancer, maybe leukemia." Don't know why that thought came to mind, but I was certain this was not a good sign. I finished my shower and dried off, went over to the sink feeling dread and worry, considering doctors and medications and thought maybe I felt a little weak too. I reached for my comb and saw on the counter a ball of hair. I gasped and reached for it to find an old fashioned rubber band with hair wrapped around it. I realized then what I had forgotten. Before the shower, I had been using a rubber band in my hair while painting and went to shower, ripping it from my long hair. Had I been a stubborn person who takes my every thought as gospel, I would have still not used that obvious explanation for why my hair came out, but I am logic-based and it was obvious, as I recalled how painful it was to remove, that I had broken off a bunch of hair with that rubber band. So, this is how we get caught in the trap of taking our thoughts as the final word. Those who practice rational emotive techniques know to put our ludicrous thoughts on trial and show they're not true.

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  11. Max;
    You got my call? I thought you were just dodging my messages. Hee hee

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  12. Sure I won't it's all my fault.

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  13. i've had a couple of bad experiences with the ouija. i can't say for sure that it was the ouija that caused it, but i don't want to be near one now.
    and as you know, i do believe in evil in the supernatural world. i know of several occasions when people have seen evil looking entities. they all described the same thing, but saw it at different times. and they did not know that the other persons had seen the same entity, until much later.

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  14. I saw the Supernatural bloody mary episode. Scared the crap out of me. I thought Dale was the controversial one?

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  15. I don't know, CB. Does Dale put on a belly dancing scarf and wiggle his ass or do tank top shots on Fridays? Hmm...

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  16. I'm a new follower to your blog and so far am enjoying it very much. I just had to put in my 2 sense about your post.
    I had pretty unusual experiences with our board as a child and I now know that is because I am a medium. I like using divining tools too help me interpret what spirit is giving me sometimes, although an Ouija board is no longer one of my choices.
    I hope, as Rowan says, with practice I won't need any.

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  17. Big Jenn;
    Welcome onboard. I am a psychic and have found the board to be a good conduit to pick up residuals. I'm writing a book right now showing people who are fledgling psychics how to become full-fledged. If you haven't read them, you might want to go to my search bar on the right hand side and type in "soul seers" "tomorrow tumblers" "creature comforters" and "tactile tuners" and see which type of psychic skills you have. From what you describe, it sounds like you are a soul seer. You'll find that all psychics have a bit of each, but one talent that is dominant. Enjoy.

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  18. Hmmm...we had an email conversation about this so I'll just say this, I also don't know why people think the board is a conductor of evil. I have an original "Ouija" board, and also two hand made "spirit boards". I've never used any board but would love too. However, I have one friend who refuses because she had a bad experience. I do think there is evil in this world; human and spiritual. Does the board bring it out? I think it depends on the person and their intent. As you know through our friendship and emails back and forth, there are really evil people out there currently influencing lives. However, with practice that can be controlled so it doesn't overwhelm you as a person. I think the same can apply to the boards. It may not be a spirit we are conversing with, but it's our own immature psychic abilities trying to tell us something. That said, I'm going to find someone to "play" Ouija with dammit! LOL I know I have some abilities, and maybe even more than just with animals and if that is the case, I want to "exercise" them and learn from them and eventually control and utilize them to my and other peoples benefit!

    Because my Big Sis told me so! ;)

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  19. T-Dear;
    It always takes one to know one. People often times fashion boards out of drinking glasses and other found objects, they use pendulums and divining rods, they do table tipping, and loads of other turn-of-the-century spiritual maneuvers, but just like prayer, it's only answer is in the person actually doing something. It's a tool for focus, but the concept that a Ouija board ruined a person's life is so ridiculous, I would hate to even have to address that. It's the person. Remember the saying "don't yell `fire' in a packed movie house?" Yeah, people hurt themselves more in their rush to get away and the terrors they build in their minds. We are our own worst enemies when using Ouija and so I think people who are superstitious or religious or highly suggestible, should just step away from the board.

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  20. We used scrabble tiles and a drinking glass planchette as kids.

    You've made some good points. The Ouija certainly is a hotbed for urban legend type stories. The thing is the perfect tool for wackiness.

    Couple other points:

    1. My "pet" dog owns me.
    5. This is proof positive that the Ouija people are after me and are using you as a conduit - http://imgur.com/ye0Ti.jpg

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  21. Pangs;
    You cigar smoking doggy. You crack me up! Yup, there is always a conspiracy afoot.

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