A Commercial Parlor Game?
Some see the Ouija Board as just a parlor trick, but others take it much, much more seriously. The Ouija Board came into existence around February 10, 1891 thanks to businessman Elijah Bond. However, one of the first original devices of this type and its means were found in China around 1100 AD. The Ouija Board was designed similar to devices that were used long ago but were called “talking boards” or “spirit boards”. Elijah Bond made his “spirit board” popular by a strategic marketing plan and although he never claimed he invented the device, his successor William Fuld (an employee who later took over production) claimed that he (Fuld) was the one who invented the device. This was later proven to be incorrect.
The name “Ouija” was also rumored to be something that it was not. Charles Kennard manufactured the Ouija Board when William Fuld took over the operation. Fuld worked as a varnisher at Kennard’s novelty business (conveniently named Kennard’s Novelty Company). Kennard claimed that he learned while using the Ouija Board that the name “Ouija” was an ancient Egyptian word that meant “good luck”. Fuld, however, favored the idea that “Ouija” came from the the combination of the French and German word for “yes”. Fuld also tried to rewrite the history of the Ouija Board and its function by claiming that it was he that invented the whole idea of the device. This too was also proven to be incorrect.
Another important fact that it is not widely known is that it was because of a woman named Pearl Curran (February 15, 1883 — December 4, 1937), an American spiritualist, who popularized the Ouija Board. She, along with many others, believed that the Ouija Board was the “real deal“. Curran claims to have been in contact with the famous author Mark Twain and in doing so dictated to Curran who than wrote a book titled Jap Herron: A Novel Written From The Ouija Board.
It was by World War One many (if not all) spiritualists believed that the dead could communicate with the living with “talking boards” or “spirit boards” and the Ouija Board was one of many such devices. Such devices have been rumored to have been used in camps in 1886 in Ohio to be able to speak with spirits faster to try obtain personal information on passed loved ones.
A Gateway to Demonic Possession or just
a Result of the Ideomotor Response?
There’s no question as to why the Christian religion frowns upon the use of such devices as many Christians believe that it could unleash evil demons, possibly even Satan himself. In fact, many religions consider such devices to be evil and should never be used — even if one doesn’t believe in any type of religion.
In fact, the press has never been kind when it came to reporting anything when it was about the Ouija Board and/or any of its ‘operators’. They’ve criticized the product calling and describing it as a ‘primitive belief-system’ or a ‘con to separate fools from their money’.
When it came to the scientific community they claim to have a logical explanation as to why the Ouija Board works the way it does. They call it the ideomotor response. In other words, they claim that it’s the operators who are moving the planchette.
You read correctly.
This means that no spirits are involved.
Scientists claim that the movement of the planchette is done involuntarily and without the person realizing that it is themselves doing it. Experts and professional researchers, in laboratory conditions, claim that a person will go into a dissociative state in which consciousness is mysteriously divided or even possibly severed from some sensory skills. The subconscious then may takeover, making the brain tell the necessary muscles to move the planchette where a conscious mind would likely go.