Rituals - E10 • Spiritualism’s Favorite Board Game


We’ve talked a lot about seances and mediums and the general concept of reaching out to the other side.

But the mainstream OG of connecting two Spirits has to be the Ouija board, classic classic stuff.

And you may or may not know, we just back story but it had a pretty fast rise to fame and there’s also some science behind how it works.


So grab your planchette and get ready.

It’s funny.

You say that I feel like I’m Rounded by weijia paraphernalia, so I’ll grab like eight plan Chuck and then we can start just come back with your arms full and sit down and get comfy.


Hi everyone, and welcome to rituals a Spotify original from podcast.

I’m M Schultz and I’m Christine Schieffer.

Every week.

We’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism, and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.

We today we are talking about, can you guess what?


It is Ouija board.


I’m very Excited.

This is something you’ve covered on that sweet drink at some point relatively recently, but episode 266 actually.

Wow, I’m glad you’re there because I’m not, but I will say, I learned a lot then, but I forgot most of it.


So, I can’t wait to relearn it.

Hey, me too.

And I did the, like, three hours of research.

But anytime you.

And I ever get a chance to talk about Ouija boards.

We have a very good time happily.

I think we’ve been talking about that more than anything in our whole friendship.

I think from the very beginning we’ve been, Talking about Ouija boards.


I think it’s very symbolic of our whole interest, our friendship.

Our interests, our jobs, Etc.

Very powerful in many ways.

So let’s crack into it.


I hate discussing this with you, but I feel like we must Christina.

You just did a 180 or like we love to talk about, we do for his anyway, I really hate that.

We have to talk about this.

We do.

Here’s the thing.

We love talking about Ouija boards, but I don’t love talking about this particular part of it, which is where we do get out about whether or not Ouija boards are something we should be playing with Christine is very in the camp of we should.


We should we should and we do.

And that’s because I I have a tendency to manipulate em into playing Ouija board with me.

And I’m pretty good at it.

I’m very easy to sway.

So like my boundaries are not very strong, but I personally would never think to even touch a Ouija board.


If Christine were not in the room asking for hours before it happens.

There were a few times.

M has tried to stop me.

And I have found my way around it by making my own Ouija board and using a wine glass, I had to Drink the wine out of it first, but I did that.


I sacrifice that and I turned over the wine glass because M had hidden away, my Ouija board.

And so, I made my own.

I feel like you’re one of those people were, if you fight back at all, Christine will fight back twice as hard.

So, yeah, I have actively removed Ouija boards from the room and then I would just come back two minutes later.


And she made one with her.

Hands are like eight more, absolutely more and their worst.

What do you call it?

My bootleg Ouija board?

Not good.

Would you like to share?

A time that you have made contact with someone from the other side Christine.

Yeah, you know, em, most of the, my memories are with you again, much to your Chagrin, but I do recall that we had something someone at my old house in LA, and we decided to use a Ouija board to figure out who it was, and we learned that his name was Walt, and he was a very friendly spirit.


And we asked this one of my favorite Ouija board sessions ever.

We asked what his job was, and he said, vagabond.

We added.

What’s your favorite food?

And he said, Jin.

And I said, this is my kind of guy like this guy knows what we’re about.

I think he had been watching us in your house for several years and he was like, I feel safe with these people.


I’m gonna be honest.

Yeah, they don’t intimidate me.

He also has a dog named Gabe.

That apparently Christine’s dog has been friends with this whole time that we did not know about my dog.

Would Chase around this, something that we couldn’t see run around corners.

And we found out that Walt had a dog named Gabe and You don’t believe in Ouija boards.


You are thinking, we are totally batty right now, but I’m telling you it was spooky and we did one at my current house because I just can’t stop.

And we deleted words efficient.

But this time I lit a candle.

I tried to make it, you know, surround ourselves in light, you know, I tried to make em feel slightly more comfortable and we can, you’re so welcome.


We connected with a spirit named Lazarus who was four years old.

So I have yet to figure out if that’s a real, you know, connection or again.

We just invented that with our fingers.

I’m not sure.

All I know is Christine’s, the current house is so incredibly haunted, it’s out of control.


And so the fact that we only found a four year old named Lazarus makes me totally fine, makes me feel super.

Okay, he spell his own name wrong.

It was the cutest thing ever.

Yeah, and if anyone who’s a skeptic is saying that we just felt it wrong with our own hands, that could also very well be true entirely possible.


Have you ever felt that you’ve received a true message from a Ouija board?

Honestly, I don’t I think so.

I don’t think there was ever a time when I received something that I felt like I could 100% corroborate have, you know, but I also don’t think I’ve ever asked for one me.



I think the farthest, I usually go was like, what’s your name?

And then I’m too freaked out for any other intelligent question to come.

So, I don’t know if I would want to know because I feel like it’s kind of whether or not it’s true or not.

It’s universally understood the, you probably shouldn’t ask the board.


Like, are you evil or, and by God?

I like something terrible.

Like that, so I think all advice.

I just try to avoid.

Yeah, we try to keep it light and Breezy, you know, like what’s your favorite food?

And it’s I hope it’s alcohol.

Because so is mine.

You know, right?



When was the first time, you remember even knowing what do we do?

Board was, or using one?

So small.

So little, so seems so tiny.

And so, sneaky and evil, I got a Ouija board from my mother.

I begged for one, and she got me one.

I don’t think she totally really understood what it was.


And so, of course, I started playing it with Neighbor.

And when my mom met my stepdad, he was like, oh, I don’t think so and got rid of it.

But then I went on a trip with my stepmom and I was like, this is my chance.

So I walked into an FAO Schwarz and I said, I need that.


We did board bada, FAO Schwarz, hid it under my bed for years.

So he never found out.

Hey, you know what you did, what you had to do.

We have a long and storied past.

I’ve always appreciated having like a double set of parents because it’s easier to get around things.


I think there are loopholes.


Holes, there are certain constrictions your stepmom and your stepdad not talking to each other.

Definitely not speaking.


No, if you’re me your bio mom and your bio dad, absolutely not talking to each other.

So, like certainly, the step ones aren’t talking to each other either so you can really get away with murder.


I like how normal people are.

Like, I could get away with murder or a party, and I’m like, I will buy a new Ouija board at FAO, Schwarz, nailed it.

I think the, my first one, I don’t know where my first one came from because I think I mentioned this before, but I It was the first year Harry Potter came out.


Oh, you’re spooky party.

Every kid’s birthday party was Harry Potter that year and my mom Associated Witchcraft and Spirits.

They were the same in the same bubble for her.

They were both magical and some way I think to her.

So to try to get a Ouija board for my Harry Potter party, and I remember my mom like struggling to find one because it was banned everywhere and every kid was terrified except for like one child and the basement and I wasn’t it.


Was em, and it was Deirdre who is still my best friend to those die.

So, it makes a lot of sense.

But, yeah, so that’s the earliest I recall, but I don’t think I ever actually really used one too often as an adult.

So, well, I am working on changing that.

So if you want to sign my change.org petition, oh, okay.


I’ll look into it.

I’ll put it in the show notes, a bookmark, it for later.

So, let’s start with the SuperDuper Basics.

What is a Ouija board?

Which is also sometimes called the spirit board, or a talking board.

It’s a That board like a board game.

And from the bottom up.

You have the word.


Goodbye, dead center at the bottom.

Okay, above goodbye and a straight row, our number 0 through 9, and above the numbers and to semi circle lenses the alphabet, right?

So a very basic keyboard, let’s consider it that good point flat at keyboard.


It’s not a QWERTY, not QWERTY ABC, ABC, and, and the upper left and right Corners are the words.

Yes, and no.

And then the board, Comes with a planchette, which for a lot of my childhood, I thought was the pancetta and I could not keep the word separate in my head.


I always thought was a pancetta.

You’re like, Mom.

Can you bring down the pancetta to the base for my, for the party to Turi?

I mean, Ouija board.

Hang on a charcuterie Ouija board, put that in a folder somewhere in your brain because I want to do that that I will bookmark and actually open later.


Yeah, I’d like to revisit that topic.


So the board comes with a planchette top, which is a teardrop shaped object, that is used to move around the board and it usually has a clear window and it’s you can see through it.

So you can see where the planchette is actually landed.


So you can see what letter it’s on.

So two or more people sit around the board.

So you and me, buddy.


So and we put our fingertips on the planchette and then you ask the board a question and the planchette moves around the board answering the question of by spelling out the words going letter by letter or it can just say yes or no.


Sometimes it has straight up said goodbye because I think it took one look at us and when whatever you’re up to I don’t want a piece of they looked at the dirty wine glass.

I was using in the planchette.

They were like are you kidding me?

I don’t want to be a part of this.

So you use the little window to see the word or the letter.


It’s officially landed on a lot of people.

Accusing the planchette as like an arrow and whatever its pointing at is the letter, right?

And that seems to get people in trouble, me included and the Ouija board was technically created and named in Baltimore, Maryland and 1890.


So that far back so old I always forget that the Ouija board is that old and my mind it’s from like the 60s.

I think of it as like some part of hippie culture for some reason or like feels like something out of the fifties and sixties.

I wonder if that’s because it’s sort of like a board game and yeah marketed as that in a way.


Way, I don’t know.

I feel like it’s only from like, satanic Panic.

Are I like even that early?

So he be yeah.

Anyway, it is not it’s from 1890, which actually does make sense in the context of spiritualism, totally.

So years before that, in 1886, that was the real beginning.


Here were new started, getting out about this talking board that had become very popular in Ohio spiritualist camps.

Love that news started getting out like right on the landline Party Line.

Like, where was the news?

The Newsies were gathering and they just had to put together 3 x 3.


Why did you say extry?

Extry don’t know.

Don’t people say that something curl.

It’s extra.

I know, but I thought, like sometimes in the sure sometimes, when people don’t know how to say extra.



So, anyway, extra extra, read all about it.

However, the doozies set it when they snapped I Is there is a businessman named Charles Kennard and he heard about the talking board, phenomena, The Craze all around Ohio and he wanted in.


So he got a coffin maker who was in the office near his and had him build some talking boards for him to start pitching around for financing.

So, first of all capitalism.

Second of all, I feel like the worst thing to do going into business with Spirits, is to start on the like, wrong.


Karmic foot by stealing someone else’s Idea, I thought you were going to say coffin because I’m like, did they take a coffin to missing?

I think they did too because that Ellie’s feels very on brand to have the coffin maker, build your prototype Alighieri might have been out of a literal slab of coffin.


Just take this lab.

A coffin right?

Goodbye on it.

Don’t worry.

I’m gonna make millions.

Don’t even worry about it.

I do Wonder like was it made out of coffin?

Then that makes total sense.

Why it would just be from like scrap cawthon.

I wonder then like, is that the most powerful Ouija board?

I doubt there is okay.


Here’s the thing that I feel like people are thinking in their heads.

I’m not positive, but I feel like the logical people are thinking.

Well, a coffin maker probably has access to a lot of wood to make coffins.

I don’t think he made the coffin, and then took it apart to make the Ouija board.

No, but like, if you have wood that was going to get nailed into a coffin shape.


Anyway, therefore it was to be a coffin.

It was a pre coffins.

Yeah, I do actually get it.

Yeah, thank you.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

That’s why we have the show, you know, you know, we’re on top of it.

You and me, I get it.

Okay, I think So there is a Baltimore lawyer who claimed his sister-in-law was a medium and helped them start the Kennard Novelty Company which incredibly enough.


Here’s the fun part was incorporated the day before Halloween and 1890, be so spooky feels very spooky.

So we’ve got the Baltimore lawyer and his sister-in-law Charles Kennard and the coffin maker and they’re all kind of wandering around ready to sell this thing.


I guess.

So the company began, Mass.

During Ouija boards, which are the versions we know today.

Okay, and the sister-in-law who claimed to be a medium, also helped get the US patent office to approve that certification.



So she’s also credited with the name because a lot of people want to know what is we G even mean right?

So the sister-in-law who was a medium said it was spoken to her that we do was the name of it because we just means good luck.

In a language, so I think it was I remember the last time I covered this was long enough ago.


My memory doesn’t serve any more.

I feel like there was some controversial discussion of it, maybe being like told to her as if it were like Egyptian or something because it’s those are being sold as Like An Egyptian talking board.

Oh my well, yeah, you might be planning to mention this but I do remember that my understanding was always that it was to a combination of French and German the words for.


Yes, and then you corrected me.

Me on that.

That that’s not actually what I meant.

So, one of the main running theories now is that we French for?

Yes, and yaw is German for yes.

That it just means.


Yes, right.

So that’s one of the running theories but historically this sister-in-law had a moment in her mediumship where someone told her.


I meant, good luck.

Which sounds very ominous that it’s like, good luck with this one.

It’s either about to be really good or really not good.

Yeah, but here’s the other twist to it.

Is that even though she claimed that a mint?


She had a locket on that day and many days before and after of an activist at the time, named Marie rum a and she was known by her nickname, which was we’d uh with a Deeds that have a j.


Oh my God.

And so I feel like it was a weird amount of Interest girl, a fangirl if you will, because she had this random activists in her locket and it was a picture of her with her name, above it, that said we’d.

Uh, and so There’s a running story that maybe she was trying to name this thing.


After this female activists, my God, as I can omage to her and just kind of got away with it by saying, like, oh, the spirits are telling me, it means, good luck.

But really, it’s the name of someone she really admired.

And, by the way, while I’m here, I’ll let everyone know that a lot of people wonder if it’s pronounced weijia or Ouija.


Well, there’s an ad from the 1920s, when, by the way, in the 1920s, Ouija boards were selling as popular as Bubblegum.

To give you an idea of how many people eventually are buying these things.

And so there were a bunch of ads for it.

At the time.

It was like in the Saturday evening post, all this stuff.


And one of the ads from weijia was a quote that says, if you call it a, we adjust or Ouija, it’s still spells, good fun.

So and good luck, apparently, and good luck and also an activist person.

But so I think even they were saying it doesn’t matter how you say it.


Wow, so they were playing into the kind of like back and forth.

With on how to say it interesting and it’s ends up being both a game and an actual piece of spiritualists an instrument for spiritualism.

So they had a fun time marketing to both eventually.


So at this point in the story, we do was billed as both a mystical Oracle for communicating with the spirits, as well as wholesome Amusement, which I love that they’re selling it as ghosts and general merriment like a little bit of everything.


And it soon became the only patented board game to ever outsell Monopoly in a given year.

No way.

Coming up wait, until I tell you how many Ouija boards were being sold per week in the beginning, and how the success caused some deep family drama by the early 1890s, the Kennard Novelty Company had created named and patented their Ouija boards and immediately over 2,000 boards were being sold per week.



So how Monopoly boards were being sold per week because if it is, I can’t get past that that’s pretty wild.

That’s a lot.

What about Candyland?


Anyway, we can keep going forever.

I was about to say, Chutes and Ladders.

And you know, then we could just play this game all day of throwing around the board game.


The game is naming games.

I think.

Yeah, it’s really a boring game for everyone else.

But no, I honestly could not tell you what the number was for Monopoly, but I’m shocked that it was ever even around this.

Number four.

We do boards to two thousand a week.

I mean you’re thinking this is I would imagine well not for me but a One time purchase for most people.



I remember at the time.

It was the equivalent to $45 today.

Oh my gosh and 1890 incentive because I think at the time it was being purchased as two different things.

It was, it was a family game, but it was also during this huge first wave of spiritualism.


It was a really useful tool.

So I feel like they could be used as a game, but they were selling it as an instrument.

So, okay.


I feel like that was the argument.

I’m totally guessing there, but You like it actually wasn’t that bad of a price for the time.

Yeah, so you might be saying like, what is going on with these people in the 19th century?


Why is everybody buying this?

It’s a hit such a hit.

I guess this is it between the two waves of spiritualism.

But there was also just so much more death every day at the time.

People didn’t live as long people had so many kids back then, and a lot of times, not all of them made it right and homes.


In America, there were parlor rooms that I were considered multi-purpose rooms.

They were used for entertaining and funerals.

Also the fact that everyone had a funeral room basically in their house or like a room just like ready to go for a feeling.

I guess anyone who had a parlor had a funeral room.


I feel like probably not everyone to parlor but I feel like everyone’s still kind of has a parlor.

If you’re in one of those like middle-class homes, and everyone’s got the room, you don’t eat in and the room you don’t sit in but like it’s designed to look like you do.

I feel like those are technically today.

Parlors, you could just clear it out and be like this is where the funeral would be.


If we were to sit down.

What do they put in the 90s?

Like they put plastic wrap over the couches like just push that aside because I know exactly at my mom’s house where the funeral room would be and it’s a nice room.

Well, yeah, your mom probably has like an actual funeral room like a parlor and a funeral room.


The second parlor, mom’s not the best example, I guess she’s got one of everything but having found huge success quickly Charles Kennard cash.

Shout and William Fuld, who was an employee in an investor, in the company ends up taking over and William, Fuld ended up making millions on Ouija boards.


To, but this is only because he ended up cutting his brother out of the company.

What and the brother was so angry that the two sides of the family didn’t speak for 96 years.

Oh, no, which like, I feel like at that point.

I’m glad you got back in touch, but couldn’t you have waited for more to like make it around?


Hundred do the big Century anniversary, you know.

It’s been 100 years since we spoke and then a maybe talk for the first time over which aboard?

I don’t know.

That’s what I was thinking.

I’m like, I wonder if that’s how they communicated the first time with William Fuld himself a hundred years later, I’m saying.


So in 1919, William Fuld, claimed that the Ouija board had told him to build a new Factory for the company and years later while was being built, William was on the roof, overseeing a flag being installed and the roof if he fell off the roof, basically, what?


So, So that’s just like a weird spooky thing.

Kind of like the guy with the Segways.

We’re like the CEO of Segway fell off, the cliff on the first thought, like he created the thing that killed him and William Fuld has that same kind of story of like a Ouija board told him to build this building and then he fell off and died.


I thought it was going to be like and then they opened his locket and there was a building in and it was like, just kidding.

This is way worse.

I love it.

He would have not everyone has that weird of an attachment to inanimate objects as you to Christine.


The only person I could think of that would have a locket of a building as you do.

Okay, fair point.

So, by the way, this is the reason why I don’t like talking to Ouija boards, because what if they’re legit and what if they’re giving me advice and that advice is going to kill me.

That’s a good point.


I don’t think you and I’ve ever asked for advice from a Ouija board because we are not Resting enough to take it.

I don’t think well because even then like that was a pretty like bare-bones.

Advice that didn’t feel probably threatening to William Fuld of like, oh here’s advice for your career.


Build a new Factory.

Like probably made a lot of sense.


So like I feel like the Ouija board.

Get something like, go treat yourself.

Get yourself a sandwich, buy yourself, something pretty and then I died on the way.


I don’t want to do that.

Then you fall off the cookie factory and inside is a lock it up.


All the cookies.

I made their yeah.

For that actually does ring true in my sounds more like me.


Yeah, it does.

So on his deathbed, William made his kids promised that they would keep the Ouija business in the family, and it did stay in the family until about 40 years later.

And they sold it to the Parker Brothers, which were like it’s been long enough, like, honestly, any advice you get from from these things is too creepy now, so honestly and also, you know, speaking of which 40 years, the original Brothers, they got 96 out of it.


You only wait for R t, and you’re like it’s enough.

And also here’s the thing.

I would love to talk to the family members who kept it after William, Fuld died for 40 years.

Can they confirm that they ever spoke to Grandpa?


Fuld because I feel like they were the people.

If anyone was going to get an accurate reading on a Ouija board.


It was going to be the descendants of the owner.


We jizz is such a good point.

Maybe he told them to sell it through the Ouija board.

Oh, maybe maybe they got the permission or something like that.


But yeah, so the Parker Brothers ended up buying it, which I feel?


It was probably a good deal.

I feel like the Parker Brothers.


In hindsight.

Yeah, I think they probably made out fine with that.

I think they’re okay.

They ended up moving weijia to their location in Salem, Massachusetts and 1967, which is so on brand.


It tickles me.

It fits really well and I think on the box it says Salem on it and I just always thought that was kind of a little fun.

We touch.

Yeah, I didn’t know it was actually where they were located.

Well, it It makes sense.

I think they still are because in Salem, there’s like a Ouija board Museum there and so that explains it.


It’s a very nice museum.

And its first year of being based out of Salem.

It sold 2 million boards.

And we just can give off some board game solely for entertainment Vibes, but as an alleged spiritual tool, it’s made it into real life, headlines for some very dark reasons.


And this isn’t something that I covered on and that’s why we drink.

I didn’t cover it in detail.

I feel like I only You a couple Snippets of this, but now I’m going to talk about specifically Ouija board, True Crime.

Okay, I’m listening finally.

So in 1920, the national wire Services reported that amateur crime, solvers were using Ouija boards to try to solve the murder of a New York City.


Gambler named Joseph Burton L will.

Wait, what?

Which, by the way?

I love knowing that if you Christian Schaffer were to time travel a century back, you would be in good company.

Any and he’s lined friends.

So quickly.

I walk into the first parlor and I’m like, finally, I’m in the right decade, you’d walk into any home and be like, where’s the funeral room?


And then, you’d find a little gaggle of girls all hanging out, and you’d solve crime together when you’re trying to solve a murder.

I mean, it really does.

I feel like, maybe I’m in the wrong decade right now.

What’s it like to know, if you were to Marty McFly Back In Time, you could feel safe that you’d make friends very easily.

I wear a lot of leggings and I feel like that alone wouldn’t fly.


So I imagine there are other parts of my life that I’m not.

Starring, but for now, I feel like it would be a match made in heaven.

Yeah, throw like a big Pendleton.

Blanket wrap around you and then go to the 1920s and like, you’ll be modest.

You’ll be the hottest.

It’s all there and then you don’t know that modest is hottest.


So the following year in 1921, the New York Times reported on a Chicago woman who said that she wasn’t suffering from Mania, but the we just Spirits were telling her to leave her mother’s dead body in the living.

Room for 15 days before burying her in the backyard.


I mean, this has some troubling parallels to the funeral room, again, The Parlor.

And keep in mind, this is again, during like a wave of spiritualism where people are really taking this stuff, super seriously.

So what year was that?

This was the people trying to solve a crime was 1920.


And then a year later, 1921 was a woman, killing her mom and leaving her out for 15 days because a Ouija board told her to so wow, okay.

So, in 1930, there are two women in Buffalo, New York, who committed a murder because they said, the Ouija board told them to do know.


So, and this is 1930.

I feel like this is when, like, kind of, like Ouija boards are.

Well, I don’t know in the 60s.

They were still selling like crazy.

But I feel like in 1930 spiritualism was on its way out in some ways.

So, interesting that it’s still this powerful to some people.


Yeah, and this one’s much more recent in 1995.

There were four teenage boys and London who were wonder if they’re having a sleepover.


But they were together in their bedroom.

That was also by the way, a satanic Shrine.

Oh sure.


Sure, sure.

And one of them ended up murdered because the group used a Ouija board to try to summon Satan.


Oh God.

And the planchette spelled out the word kill, see?


I mean, no wonder these things.

Get a bad rap.


I mean, that’s a hit headline as far as I’m concerned.

Absolutely that alone.

I can understand parents being like now, we’re going to skip this one.

See I feel like if I ever got a Ouija board and I said kill, I’d be so freaked out that I would just never touch it again, but they really that you also don’t have a satanic shot as far as I know a satanic Shrine in your bedroom.


That’s true.

They feel.

I wonder also like, this is a really sick thing to think, but I wonder like, who volunteered that or who got tricked into being the one, you know?


I wonder if it was like, spell it out.

There’s a lot of ways that could have gone a few years later in 2001.


There was a woman in Oklahoma who claimed that after her daughter and two granddaughters, played with the Ouija board.

She got a message from God to kill her.

Son-in-law what?

Which is weird that she’s combining the Ouija board with messages from God because I feel like those for some reason in my head, don’t go together.


Well, my thought is like maybe she felt like the son-in-law bought the Ouija board and entered into their family.

Know he needed, you know, I mean, I don’t know.

The studio is.

Yeah, totally, right?


I’m surprised though.

We haven’t heard more about people using the Ouija board.


Like in theory if you’re talking to Spirits, you could if you’re super religious speak to God.

Self through it.

I mean, I feel like it’s so weird that I don’t put those two as similar things.

I think the modern a Christian stance is to avoid the word at all cost because it’s satanic.


It’s like a devil’s tool.

Yeah, and I think the idea is like, you’re not talking to anything good if you use it, no matter what.

So, I don’t think they even believe you could speak to a positive spirit, right fair, but as will get into it, I feel like that is a more recent belief, right?


Okay, and then finally, I’ll do one more then.

December 2007.

There were two teenagers from Washington who decided that they wanted to be serial killers for a living.

That was their dream job.

Oh, okay.

And so they use the Ouija board to get career advice.

Oh my God, which again, now, I’m totally getting my Christians would be like don’t touch that thing.


Seriously, but allegedly the planchette spelled out mom.

And so they murdered their moms.


Oh God, would you like?

I feel like that could have meant anything could have been, like, no, go talk to your mom or no?

Show this to your mom or kill anyone but your I’m like, it could have met anything.



Oh that’s just what I think people are looking for.

Yes, the answer that they want, you know, and big, especially if Skeptics are true here or correct here and thinking that it’s like your own brain total selling things out on the board.


The fact that two people wanted to be serial killers and their brain.

Spelled out mom you have and nothing else and then they went for it and did it.

Yeah, there’s something there.


Up next scientifically speaking.

How do we do boards, work?

I’ll debunk one of the most famous debates that happen when people use the board, and I think you’re not going to, like what I have to say.



I don’t want to know.


The popularity of Ouija boards has lasted for decades and that’s come with some help from pop culture references.

So first of all, there’s Norman Rockwell, who painted a cover for the Saturday evening.

Post in 1920 that featured people playing with a Ouija board on a cute little date.

And then here’s what I wanted to tell you earlier.


Because Up into the 60s.

People were buying all of these Ouija boards and it didn’t really feel like people considered it a satanic tool yet.

But do you want to take a stab at what you think?

Caused the beginnings of that narrative?


I actually have a guess.

Was it the Exorcist?



So in 1973, the Ouija board was officially a scary scary thing because the actresses came out and okay.

The Exorcist is a movie featuring.

During a kid who plays with the board and gets possessed by a demon and people, then saw the Ouija board is evil and religious groups denounced it.


So that would make sense.

Why even in 1967 they were just flying off the shelves, because it does.

It totally does because it wasn’t seen as scary yet.

I know that makes so much sense.

The Exorcist was one of like, five horror movies I’ve ever watched.

I watched it very unwillingly and so it’s stuck in my mind forever, but I don’t know to me.


I watched it and I went to FAO Schwarz and bought myself anyway.

Bored, but I guess my stepdad.

He watched it and went get rid of it.

I feel like it was one of those movies where if you were able to see it in theaters when it came out and compared to other scary movies of the time.

I think it was probably a very scary thing and unheard of for the moment.


Oh, yeah, but I feel like if you watch the really horrid stuff, that’s out now as a scary movie.

And then you go back and watch The Exorcist from 73, your kind of like it, kind of makes the whole satanic Panic.

Look kind of silly comical.

Yeah, like silly and it was not at the time and a lot of lives were damaged and Etc.


But yeah, looking back.

It’s almost like oh, yeah.

Now we have saw and all these other group.

I mean, that’s yeah old now, but yeah.

All the gruesome stuff.

I think it’s because it makes parts of satanic Panic.

Look just like why were people so worried or what was the deal or so worked up about things?



I feel like it shows how desensitized we are today because if that messed with people to a point where there was a hole Movement and there isn’t one now when things are so much worse that you can see on television.

Yeah, I mean, people were blaming rock music for no satanic Behavior.


So yeah, I didn’t age.

Well, let’s put it that way.


So anyway, that’s now the 1970s people are freaked out by Ouija boards.

That was where it all started and then plus after the 70s, when people were scared of The Exorcist and a lot of movies started featuring Ouija boards, then you go into satanic panic and it just kind of grew grew grew until about the Yes, and that whole period of time, people were just had reason to be scared and then your mom was buying them for your birthday party.


And then my Harry Potter, birthday came up and my mom was mad.

She couldn’t find one.

So so we just has continued to be used in TV shows and movies including Paranormal Activity, one and two also the mall store.

Hot Topic.

Sells Ouija board designs on just about everything including bra and underwear packets.


So yeah.

Here let me show you.

Oh, I was just gonna be like, did you dress the part for today?

I would have If anything I ever bought from Hot Topic still fit me, which I’m sure it does not.

I will say one of the best places to get Ouija board.

Designs is Spirit Halloween in October.


There’s a whole we judge section and it’s just filled to the brim.

I have another hot tip.

If you host, a true-crime paranormal podcast, you will receive all sorts of weeds are related.

And honestly, I have collections.

I know.

I only have shown you my little resin one, but I have a keychain.


I have all sorts of fun little.

We just stuff people have made us sent us.



Woody towards everything.


Also our logo literally looks like the Ouija board.




Yeah, that’s part of it.

And then you know, the board had to get its own movie.

So the movie simply titled weijia came out in 2014 and in 2016, a prequel came out called weijia origin of evil.


Who have you seen either of those movies?

Certainly do.

I look like?

I’ve seen neither have you?

No, I haven’t seen that.

I really don’t go to movie theaters if it’s not a Marvel movie, so I’m sure it’s on Hulu or something.

I’m sure it’s there.

Halloween is a big month for us where we try to watch a scary movie every night.


So it might be on the roster this year, put it on the roster.


So this is how we do boards work scientifically.

So for all my Skeptics tuning in, here you go.


Are you listening Lazarus were about to Gaslight you out of existence.

Oh, so here comes some shocking news.


Scientists have confirmed that Ouija boards are not.

In fact, powered by Spirits or demons.

I thought it was going to be actually shocking news when I was so, Excited.

I was like, oh boy.

Here’s the twist.

I would have gone wound up real quick.

So the biggest argument that happens between the two people using the board is who is actually moving the planchette.


So the truth is one of these.

Two people is always moving it, but Ouija board works on a principle called the ID ometer effect.

And that means that there are unconscious muscular movements happening.

So someone’s moving the planchette.

They don’t mean to It’s Just Happening and plans.


You’re perfect for the ideomotor effect because they’re built to move smoothly across the board and the past, they were made of lightweight wood and fitted with small casters and today, they even have like that felt on the bottom.

Okay, on top of a plastic board.

So it’s very easy to accidentally move.


So tiny, unnoticeable muscle movements, make them move around without you even thinking of them.

And so I hate to break it to you but the science says they don’t work.

Well then here’s my question.

I’m why are you so opposed to using it?

I’m so opposed because As I still believe in the mind over matter of it.


I still think if you’re giving something energy, then you’re opening it up slightly to be used as a tool whether or not it’s meant for that purpose.

You know what, that’s exactly how I feel.

And I’m glad you said that because it’s the same, in my mind, the same theory behind dowsing, rods the same three behind pendulums that the ID, ometer fact.


Yes, it does come into play, but you can also channel that energy and intention and With either your higher self or a spirit or a spirit guide and I totally believe that that’s possible.

So so that’s why, because I know that between the two of us, we could manifest something real spooky, but then you get building falling down or something.


So like all right, let’s and you didn’t even have a Ouija board at the time or me being open-minded to it.

So I think it could really cause some infrastructure problems to be very easy to forget that.

I did have Ouija board under my bed.

Just don’t tell to my stuff.


What happened?

Well, from what, you know, how do you feel about Ouija boards?

This point has your opinion changed?

I feel like the answer is, no, the answer is absolutely not.

I mean, this has been a fun roller coaster and I think it reminds me of the Taro episode where you taught me that the origins and they surprised me.


Because with Taro, we were surprised to learn.

This was a parlor game with weijia.

I was surprised to learn.

This was not a parlor game.

This was actually spiritualism tool in the funeral parlor.


And became almost a game.

And so, I don’t know, it’s kind of a fun little twist.


I hadn’t compared the two before, but that’s so right.

That Taro started as one and became the other and we do was vice versa.

Yeah, weird, and I don’t know.

I think there’s definitely a lot of controversy not controversy, but just a lot of skepticism surrounding we just and I am with um, I just feel like you put the intention behind it and like you can cause problems cause infrastructural damage.


So yeah, I’m with you.

I feel like I don’t totally Change my mind.

I don’t haven’t become a skeptic.

What would you say to anyone wanting?

To use a Ouija board?

So as someone who likes to use a Ouija board?

Yes, I do.

But I am also a very again aware of my energy and attention and I think my advice would be again, not an expert here, but my advice would be to go into it with positive intentions, like em said, maybe don’t ask for Life advice or when I was researching my kind of dowsing Rod history.


I read an interesting point that said don’t ask any questions.

Chickens that have answers, you might not be ready to hear or willing to hero and I feel like that’s a great way to go into it.

Like don’t go in over your head and ask questions.

You might not be prepared to hear ya therefore because even if it is just your subconscious like that’s a scary place to at least - arguably the scariest woman sometimes scarier.


Yeah, I would say please use responsibly.

I know.

There are some main rules that everyone should probably know before we get into it.

I know that there are certain ways to dispose of them.

I don’t think breaking them in half and bearing them is the right way, or maybe that is the right way, but I know setting them on fire is a big fat.


No, don’t do that.

Don’t do that.

I know leaving the planchette on the board when you’re done with, it is still keeping the portal open.

So keep those separate from each other.

What’s another one of the sign off with goodbye to causations?

I would say that’s the biggest rule because when you’re done, make sure you very clearly enthusiastically or saying goodbye.


When you close out.

I like to light a candle and Say, you know, I only wish good intention and energy in this space.

I know this sounds very woo, but that’s just my safety mechanism.

Fair enough.

I like to say goodbye a thousand times.

You do, you do I let you go.







I am out of here.

I say I am closing out and just as many ways as possible.

Probably a good 20 minute routine.

At the end of me saying, I’m out as clearly and as many versions of waiting to the air.

It’s a whole thing.

Also, I will say if the board of starts continually spelling out something like Zozo, maybe you’re in a lot of trouble and if you would like to learn more about that, go check out episode 24 of, and that’s why we drink.


So, there’s also I’ve heard if it’s going in a finiti pattern or an eight.


Maybe just close out for the day.



Yeah, maybe slight some candles and do whatever you need to cleanse your space, once your space.


Thanks so much for listening.

We’ll be back next week with another great episode information on today’s episode came from Smithsonian Magazine.

Baltimore magazine Vox independent NPR News on Six Tulsa and the Daily News.

Remember to follow rituals on Spotify to get a brand new episode every week and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify.


And if you liked this show, follow at Park.

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And at Park as Network on Twitter, you can find me.

Me at the M Schultz and you can find me at XT Schieffer.

Thanks again for listening and see you next week.

Rituals is executive produced by Max Cutler and is a Spotify original from par cast.


It was created by Max Cutler sound design by Kristin Acevedo with associate sound, design by Kevin McAlpine fact-checking.

By Karim acrolein research by Chelsea would is produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.


We are your host, Christine Schieffer, and M Schultz.

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