One of our devoted readers has reported that the Washington Nationals baseball team gave away Magic Eight Balls to the first 20,000 people to walk through the door yesterday as a gimmick to attract fans to opening day festivities.
Although most people believe the Magic 8 Ball is just a toy, it was actually the creation of a man named Albert Carter in the 1940’s who fashioned the Syco-Seer, a fortune-telling “crystal ball” that was inspired by a device his mother Mary used as a professional psychic.
Apparently, Mary was a well-known Cincinnati medium and clairvoyant who is said to have successfully revealed the future for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, as well as other celebrities. Mary used what she called a Psycho-Slate, which was a blackboard with a lid on it. When a client would ask a question, she would close the lid of the board, and everyone was said to hear the sound of chalk scratching across the board. When the scratching noises stopped, she would open the lid and reveal the answer that was written by the spirits “from the other side” that she was consorting with (read demons).
Her son decided to come up with his own version of the gadget but died before he could bring it to market. After his death, his brother-in-law, Abe Bookman, took the Syco-Seer and transformed it into a black-and-white 8 ball with a floating 20-sided die inside. When the ball is shaken, the die floats to the surface and reveals an answer to a question about the future.
Time.com lists this as #18 on their list of the top 100 toys of all time.
Just because the secular world calls it a “toy,” doesn’t mean it is. Remember, that’s what they said about the Ouija board (who didn’t make Time’s list by the way) – you know, the same toy that is responsible for some of the toughest cases of possession according to exorcists.
Ironically, the Nationals only worry about the balls is that they might be thrown during the game so they decided to give out vouchers which can be used to pick up the “toys” after the game. If only throwing it at someone was the most harm that could be done by this “toy!”
The moral of this story is – don’t be fooled. Divination is always wrong, regardless of its packaging.