Trailer for Ouija Movie. (BagoGames/CC BY 2.0) Insert: Ouija board on your skull: noe valley, san francisco (2015).

Talking Boards: Terrifying Tales of Ouija Boards and Demons, Possession, and Death

(Read the article on one page)

Ouija boards, also known as talking boards or spirit boards, are a relatively modern tool/game that strikes fear and wonder in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone has heard stories of someone connecting with malevolent beings or suffering unfortunate events following the use of a Ouija board. But what’s the real story behind these terrifying tales?

Introduction to the Ouija Board

Spirit boards have been in use since at least the 19th century in America and rose in popularity with the interest in spiritualism – the belief that the dead can communicate with the living. ‘Ouija’ boards weren’t released until Kennard Novelty Company produced them out as parlor games in the late 1800s.

A Halloween party featuring a Ouija board. (simpleinsomnia/CC BY 2.0)

A Halloween party featuring a Ouija board. (simpleinsomnia/ CC BY 2.0 )

Mediums claimed they were intermediaries between the living and the dead and employed a number of techniques in their work. One method involved the use of planchettes with two wheels at one end, and a pencil at the tip, forming a third leg. A medium would place his / her finger on the planchette, a question was asked, and an answer would be written out by a ‘spirit’ who was believed to have moved the device. This set the precedence for the planchettes of Ouija boards, which are made of wood or plastic and have a hole or pointer to spell out answers. The board itself usually has the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0 – 9, and words such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘goodbye’.

"Mystic Hand" planchette.

"Mystic Hand" planchette. ( Fair Use )

Today, Ouija boards can also come with a set of ‘rules.’ These are generally a list of warnings for users. Some examples include: not letting the planchette touch the four corners of the board or ‘count down’ numbers or go backwards through the alphabet, not asking about your own death, and NEVER playing the game alone.

The following are some stories said to have taken place, perhaps when Ouija users didn’t follow the rules…

20th century Ouija Board ‘Rules’

20th century Ouija Board ‘Rules’ ( CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 )

"Curiosity Killed the Cat…"

The night was like any other. Quiet, calm. The girls were all in high school so it wasn't as though they were able to go out and "party." Further, they were simple girls. Close friends. Cheerleaders with strong Christian morals. It was highly unusual that one of them brought a spirit board to their sleepover.

It was the Hasbro game, Ouija. Easily found in most stores and thrift shops and reasonably priced, it wasn't hidden away in a dark corner of an old, dingy attic with a foreboding, wilting candle flickering across its surface. One would never expect it to do anything more than cause a few laughs.

The girls gathered around the board in a misshapen circle at the dining room table. A friend of theirs was absent that night, so they decided to inquire what she was up to. The spirits would surely know, the girls reasoned. The spirits were supposedly everywhere, watching, waiting. Surely they would be able to tell them what their missing cheerleader was doing on a Friday night. Perhaps she had a date.

Painting of teen-aged girls playing with a Ouija board.

Painting of teen-aged girls playing with a Ouija board. (Judithcarlin/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

The board said nothing. The girls asked ordinary questions and waited patiently for the planchette to move. Every now and then, one of the girls would twitch or shift the planchette in an obvious way. They'd all giggle nervously and laugh, and then move on. Eventually, the game wore out its excitement. They put the game away and moved on with their night.

A week later, their absent friend was in a terrible car accident. She died in the hospital.
None of the girls ever discovered what she'd been up to the night of the sleepover.
But none questioned whether they might have painted a spiritual target on her back.

"…Satisfaction Brought it Back."

Ouija boards apparently have a habit of bringing the unwanted into sacred spaces or homes. However, often overlooked is that Ouija boards themselves are not always wanted in certain spaces. Such was the case of a young man, who will remain unnamed.

Participants in a Ouija game.

Participants in a Ouija game. ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

In his childhood years, his siblings had brought a Ouija board into the family home. They were kids; they did not know the board was anything more than a game.


I love a good Ouija board story! Your third story was probably the best.
The first story sounds like it was written by someone else and the end was rather silly. Kind of like something that would have been told by 10 year olds at a sleep over. Probably that's what you were going for though.
The second one seems really choppy and there was too much new information in the last paragraph for it to be considered scary. It also came across as a slumber party Ouija board story.

Check the way that you tell your story and improve. You can make anything seem scary if you just organize it right and use better language, more earthy language-not cussing- and metaphors. Really flavor your words. Ouija boards really terrify some people and when you have the opportunity, use it to your advance. Good luck for next time.

--Still learning--

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods
One of the oldest goddesses in Egyptian mythology is Nut, the goddess of the sky (nut means ‘sky’ in the ancient Egyptian language). It was believed that that the sky is, in fact, a star-covered nude woman arched over the earth in a plank or perhaps down-dog position.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article