The Daily Mail is reporting on a Reddit forum (warning: some foul language on this site) where users were asked to share their personal experiences with Ouija boards and resulted in more than 200 comments from people who had negative and even deadly results after using the board. Many of the people admitted to being so frightened by their first experience that they never used the board again.
For example, one user wrote: “I got a Ouija board for Christmas when I was in 6th grade (great Christmas present, huh?). That night, I went over to my best friend's house and brought the Ouija board with me. We went up to her room, set it on the floor, and asked, ‘Is there anyone in the room with us?’ The pointer-thingie spelled out ‘Ruth’ which was my grandma's name and her great-aunt's name. Both my grandma and her great-aunt had died that year. We threw the board back in the box and were totally freaked out. I brought it home and put it in my closet, but every time I looked at the box it gave me this horrible, creepy feeling, so I ended up throwing it in the dumpster a couple years later.”
Another user wrote: “I was about 12 or 13 spending the night at a friend's house, goofing around with the Ouija board with him & his sister and we were getting all sorts of gibberish plus words spelled out, just kind of scaring ourselves for fun not taking it very seriously when we got the message ‘I can see you through the window’ and then ‘I can see you through his eyes’ or something like that...We asked it more questions and it said ‘I'm under the car’ so we somehow got up the nerve to go out with a flashlight and peer under the car, where we saw a huge black stray cat which was hissing. We ran inside freaking out and at that exact moment the power failed and all the lights in the house went out. . . . Few minutes later the power came back and we sat up til dawn that night scared and never played with the board again.”
Some experiences were even more terrifying. “My wife and I had some unexplained things going on in the house we were renting. So we got a board so we could try to figure out what we were dealing with. Bad idea. The board was just a standard plain board. We used it one night to speak with (hopefully) our spirit. What we didn't realize is that Oujia boards open the door for anything to come through and speak. The looking piece flew off the board near the end of our session and we had no real answers to anything. We were speaking with something, but it was very evasive with its answers. Things got worse in the house and we eventually broke our lease and moved. . . .”
The same user described that before they used the board, the “unexplained things going in the house” were simply annoying such as radios and TVs going on by themselves and water running. (These are classic signs of demonic infestation.)
Another user wrote: “One of my friends found a ouija board in her attic. When we started messing around with it and asked who we were speaking to, it spelled out ‘Gemma Jane.’ My friend had been adopted, so she didn't really know her biological family, but we found out later that her biological mother's mother died that morning, and her named was Gemma Jane Parham.”
The same user went on to describe a second experience with the board: “My great aunt has never married, and when I asked why, my dad told me the story. Apparently when she was sixteen she had a pretty serious boyfriend. When she used a [Ouija] bored [sic], she asked if they would get married, and it said no. She asked if they would break up... no... asked if one of them would die and it said yes, and when she asked which of them it said 'goodbye'. A week later he was in a wood chipper accident at the mill where he worked” and died as a result.
The following episode was recounted by a user who believes she is still being haunted by whatever spoke to her through the board nine years ago.
“I was 13. My two best friends (M and L for this story) and I played it at M's house. It was going fine until M asked the spirit how it had died and it said "murder." She asked how it had been murdered and it said "not I." it gave its name as something older that I can no longer remember and gave us a date in the 1800's. It started to get heavy. The whole room felt different and the little thing on the board was ripped out of our hands and went across the room. We stopped playing immediately after that...M's mom died of cancer a week later. Very suddenly, nobody knew.
“Probably a coincidence but L's mom was hospitalized for a serious drinking problem not long after that and then mine had an emergency hysterectomy the same week. I have since then, experienced things that I don't think I would have without this experience. Voices, a dark shadow, footsteps...I wonder if I'm haunted sometimes still and it's been 9 years.”
Another user admitted that he always wanted to tell his story, but never had the opportunity before the question appeared on Reddit.
“My father told me his experience with it," the user began. "My father and his friends were playing with a Ouija board and just generally goofing around with it. None of them believed that the board actually had any sort of power. Eventually, through either inquisition or a simple prediction, the board said my father's friend's dad would die in the near future. This disturbed my dad's friend, who stopped playing soon after.
“The next week, his father was struck by a car and killed immediately. Ever since, my father's friend has been deathly afraid of any kind of Ouija board. I know my father wouldn't have made up something like this; it's just not in his nature. Although it's certainly spooky, I think it's more to do with coincidence than a Ouija predicting it. I can never be sure, though.”
Unfortunately, exorcists and those involved in deliverance ministry have no doubt about the power – and subsequent damage – that the board can do to the curious and otherwise unsuspecting.
“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,” writes Catholic apologist Joel S. Peters.
“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.”
The best advice for anyone who desires to use a Ouija board just for the “thrill” of it came from another Reddit user who described it this way:
“My theory on the ouija board is that it is like living in a house deep in the woods and leaving the front door wide open all night. Maybe something dangerous will get in or maybe not. However, your chances of safety are a whole lot better by not opening the door. Playing with a ouija board is opening a door.”
This is a door that is better left shut, locked, and sealed.