It’s not Halloween (with Easter we approach the opposite of that), but Ouija boards are in the news. They’re a big craze among teens and those in their twenties.
They’re also dangerous.
Did you know the Ouija board was first contrived and manufactured by two men in the Baltimore area, Charles Kennard and E.C. Reiche. A Prussian immigrant, Reiche worked in a funeral home and made coffins.
Let that sink in.
Their company was incorporated in 1890 the day before Halloween.
Some say the very term “Ouija” came from a medium they knew who (accounts vary) either heard the word as a demonic locution or was wearing the letters on a pendant. According to Wikipedia, “The name is taken from a word spelled out on the board when its inventor asked a supposed ghost to name it.”
It came to be, did the Ouija, at the height of Spiritualism (communicating with the “dead”) in the U.S. and Europe. Similar boards (with letters of the alphabet that a lightly-touched planchette or pointer indicates, along with numbers) were used by spirit mediums in Ohio — and were later embraced by notorious folks such as Aleister Crowley (founder of modern satanism).
In other words, it basically was born of darkness and seances. (The Lord rebuke you, Satan!)
But popular? Even Norman Rockwell portrayed it for the Saturday Evening Post.
When those two fellows sold the company, it was to a poor guy who in 1927 fell through the roof of a new factory the “board” had him build and died when a rib punctured his heart.
Not a good “sign.”
Not a great “omen.”
But successful? The Ouija even outsold the board game Monopoly many years — and remains strong.
At one point it was sold to Parker Brothers, and their headquarters? Salem, Massachusetts, of course — ground zero for witchcraft.
Kids love to “play” it during sleepovers.
They’re not aware that the case of possession that inspired mega-famous The Exorcist was triggered by an aunt playing with the Ouija board with her nephew (it was actually a boy, not a young girl, who was possessed).
The latest twist: Amazon is offering a Ouija-like board that instead of communicating with ghosts and assorted other “spirits,” communicates with God.
It would be nonsense — if it wasn’t so dangerous.
Says the Amazon description:
- ⛅ GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED! – The Holy Spirit Board can answer all of life’s most important questions, straight from the man himself!
- 👼 Huge 12×18” game board with beautiful artwork featuring the crucifixion and the angels of heaven.
- ✝ Beautiful golden Magic Cross planchette with metallic mirrored finish.
- ⛪ Perfect for churches, prayer groups or just getting together with friends.
- 🙏 Unlike other spirit boards, this one will NEVER contact evil ghosts or demons, so you can ask your questions with an assured sense of safety.
Note two things:
First, buyers’ reviews. “This board and box are absolutely gorgeous!” says the first one. “Graphics and quality are all-around excellent. My only reason for 4 instead of 5 stars is that the board is kinda flimsy, and could be made out of stronger cardboard.
But then there is this:
“Also, the messages I’m getting from Jesus are odd — he says his actual name is Asmodeus. Weird! But I still love it!”
Still love it? Really? Asmodeus is an infamous demonic entity, mentioned even in Scripture (the Book of Tobit). He is known as the “king of demons.” The very name “Asmodeus” has its origins in the Avestan where aēšmadaēva, where aēšma means “wrath” and daēva signifies “demon”.
And it’s clear what happens, from the board itself.
Take a closer look at the words at the very bottom of the board: