Most people are familiar with the story behind the movie, The Exorcist, about a little boy who became possessed by a devil after trying to reach his deceased aunt through a ouija board. But what they don’t know is that this is only one of many horror stories associated with dabblers in the once-called “talking board.”
Consider the account of a New York City policeman named Ralph Sarchie, who is also an expert in demonology. While working in the 46th precinct in South Bronx, he investigated witches, Satanists and assisted at more than a dozen exorcisms. He claims that “innocent” board games like the Ouija board are one of the biggest dangers of the occult.
“There ought to be a law against these evil, occult `toys,’” he writes in his book, Beware the Night. “I can hear some of you out there saying, ‘Hey, I used a Ouija board and nothing happened.’ Consider yourself lucky, then. It’s like playing Russian roulette. When you put the gun to your head, if you don’t hear a loud noise, you made it. Same thing with the board: The more times you pull the trigger, the more likely that on the next shot, your entire world will go black.”
In a multi-part series detailing the dangers of using the Ouija board, Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon list even more experts who warn people away from this dangerous game.
They cite the testimony of medium Carl Wickland, M.D. who referred to his own encounters with the board when he wrote of “the cases of several persons whose seemingly harmless experiences with automatic writing and the ouija board resulted in such wild insanity that commitment to asylums was necessitated.”
The series also refers to the findings of psychic researchers Ed and Lorraine Warren who came upon a house where a Ouija board was being used that became “infested” with evil spirits.
A noted occultist, Manly P. Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society and considered one of the leading authorities on the occult in the 20th century recalled in the October-December 1944 edition of Horizon magazine: “During the last 25 years I have had considerable personal experience with persons who have complicated their lives through dabbling with the Ouija board. Out of every hundred such cases, at least 95 are worse off for the experience. . . .I know of broken homes, estranged families, and even suicides that can be traced directly to this source.”
And yet in spite of this evidence, ouija boards are still a top selling game for children. Available in most toy stores in the game section, Milton Bradley advertises its “glow in the dark” version with the surprisingly accurate exhortation: “Evil spirits! Wake the dead! Consult the board of omens! The classic Ouija board has the answers to all questions, except the mysterious powers that determine its answers!”
Could anything this dangerous possibly be marketed as a child’s toy?
Of course! It was only after a former occultist from Canada organized a boycott that Hasbro decided to discontinue selling a pink ouija board for girls. Lest anyone think we’re hitting the panic button, consider this comment left on the Toys R Us website while the board was still available. A young fan called it a “real portal to the other world” and admitted to using it to “personally summon three ghosts who were really cute and died the best.”
Has our Potter-saturated society become so desensitized to the dangers of the occult that we allow our children to think this kind of thing is a game?
In spite of what people may or may not choose to believe about the ouija board, it remains a very dangerous toy, writes Catholic apologist Joel S. Peters for Catholic Answers.
“The Ouija board is far from harmless, as it is a form of divination (seeking information from supernatural sources). The fact of the matter is, the Ouija board really does work, and the only ‘spirits’ that will be contacted through it are evil ones. Just because someone regards the board as harmless doesn’t mean it is,” Peters writes.
“A disbelief in something does not necessarily mean that something isn’t real. The Ouija board has an objective reality that exists apart from a person’s perception of it. In other words, it’s real even if you don’t believe in it.”
On the experiential side, he says, the experience of the Church’s exorcists has proven that the boards are far from harmless. “Some investigating supernatural phenomena from a Catholic perspective have gone so far as to say that 90 percent of their very worst cases involving demonic activity have been linked to the use of the Ouija board.”
Thankfully, people are taking a stand. Two Toronto residents became concerned about the new prevalence of ouija boards in their city, as well as a new movie, The Unleashed, which will debut in July of this year, that openly promotes the board. To fight this disturbing new trend, they started a Facebook page called the Anti-Ouija Alliance which is dedicated to alerting people about the dangers of the ouija board. Check it out and say a prayer that their efforts to warn others will be successful.