When I was growing up talks of ghost and demons were fun campfire stories and Halloween costumes. The haunted world was not taken very seriously amongst the general public; the information just wasn’t there. There were no reality shows about ghost hunting. You could however most likely catch an article about demon possession if you read (and my mother had a subscription to all of them) those bizarre weird-news tabloids. Back then no one really understood about the possible dangers when you dabble in the spirit world.
I have fond memories of sneaking into my mother’s bedroom and rummaging through her closet to find the mysterious occult board game…Ouija. I heard from other kids in school that you can talk to a real ghost and it can even predict your future! The only thing about my future that I cared about was who in my school I was going to marry, when I grew up. The Ouija board could tell me that? Of course I tried it! I would ask “Ouija will I marry Alex or Mike or gross Brian?” Unfortunately Ouija wasn’t very helpful, it said “yes” to all of them, even cootie ridden Brian! And I’m not positive that my playfully irritating little sister didn’t move the planchette with her tiny fingers.
But how do we know for sure it wasn’t the work of someone from beyond the grave? Could it be possible that a spirit was actually trying to communicate with two little kids?
Ouija was mass produced in the late 1800’s and was considered a parlor game (or one you play on the floor of your own closet with your annoying eager little sister). It then became a popular occult tool and the simply crafted game (cardboard and plastic, selling in used condition for $9 on eBay) became a gateway to the devil himself. Mostly non-believers feel it is a fun game to fool your friends. Others feel it’s a way to open the door between us and the spirit world or even hell. There have also been studies on the ideomotor effect. This refers to the influence of suggestions of involuntary and unconscious motor behavior.
So, right there we have three Ouija theories. It’s not real, it’s very real, or we only think it’s real. With all that in mind, lets now move to what prompted me to write this post.
A young friend of mine asked if I thought it was safe to use a Ouija board. I wasn’t sure what to tell her. My knee-jerk reaction was heck no it’s dangerous. But I had to pause because I realized I had this fear of the Ouija without real proof or personal experiences to back it up. Then I thought back to when I was a kid and played it countless times and nothing bad ever happened. So maybe my friend would be safe if they perhaps (just for precaution of course) said a protective prayer or announce that they are not accepting any spirits with harmful intentions to join this vintage chat line.
While I was having this inner argument with myself, my friend read up about it on the Internet and determined that she was not going to mess around it. I felt so relieved. I didn’t want to be held responsible for possibly letting a demon reek havoc on their lovely home (they are disruptive characters) or a sudden haunting by a ghost. Her mom would be soooo mad at me.
But it did kick up some curiosity. So I asked for feedback regarding the safety of the game on Facebook and Twitter and found my paranormal friends were against it. Only a few commented that if used properly, it is a great tool for the art of divination.
Upon further research, I came across an ad with a young girl looking absolutely excited about her new pink Ouija board. Yes folks Ouija is now available in bubblegum pink!!!!! I’ll admit it is quite pretty. (If I could have all my paranormal equipment pink I would. Yes I really did just said that.) And you can get it with a pretty carrying case. Sleep over anyone? Anyway, I was stunned. I mean I had to dig under piles and piles of shoe boxes to find the game my mother intentionally hid from us in her closet. This is not something she wanted her daughters to play with. But now they seem to be geared towards young girls (ages 8+). The Barbie inspired color and child friendly artwork can be very alluring for young girls. It’s very clear that the makers of this game do not believe nor are worried about it being possibly dangerous.
Now that I have a much better grasp of the complicated and dangerous side of the paranormal, I don’t feel it is a good idea to sell it to children. Since we are not certain of the true possibilities of this now described TOY, why take the risk on naïve defenseless children? There is no possible demon possession when playing Chutes & Ladders, just lots of smiles and giggles. I can only hope there are smart parents out there and that they do not buy this game for their little girls.
I do have better knowledge of this controversial game, but I may be even more confused then ever. I guess this is going to be one of those little projects that I will continue to research and try to understand. I mean, if it is truly a harmless game, it is definitely less stressful, in my opinion, then the nail-biting, breath-holding, towering game of Janga or the hair-pulling, tantrum-throwing UNO game. Draw 4 and skip a turn?! Ahhhhhhh!