The first and last time I used a Ouija board was in the mid-1960s, when I was still in primary school. My best friend had received one for his birthday, and we tried it in his Connecticut living room one chilly fall day.
We were captivated by the moving planchette (the pointing device that spells out words and indicates numbers), and we posed many questions. Finally, we asked when we would die. The board said that my friend would die in 1985.
He did. He was killed at the age of 30 in a scuba-diving accident on September 8 of that year.
Even though the board pronounced then that I still have a considerable number of years to go, we put away the planchette on that day and we never used the board again.
Today people frequently ask me about Ouija boards. Often, they announce that they have used it to contact one or another spirit. As a matter of fact, I have an elderly cousin who has used one all her life and believes everything it tells her.
Ouija boards are a method of "divination," a word that literally means "seeking messages from the Gods." Methods of divination have been used throughout history and have included oracles, crystal gazing, reading animal entrails and many others.
Though they come in a number of forms, Ouija boards as we know them today are relatively recent. They date only to about 1848, when the famous Fox sisters of New York State started experiencing their alleged communication with spirits, much or all of it reputedly faked.
When I started my paranormal studies as a high school student in 1970, I immediately began to run into cases that began with people using Ouija boards.
Problems included hauntings and oppressions of all kinds, psychological problems of many descriptions and even crime. In the latter case, people would develop such a dependence on the board that they would do whatever it told them. I wrote about one of these cases in my 1998 book Faces at the Window ("Trouble from the Ouija Board").
MAKING MATTERS WORSE
Another popular practice I've never gotten along with is the sťance.
In a sťance, a group of people led by a medium (the buzzword today is "channeler") gather to contact a spirit or spirits, then ask questions and, frequently, get answers. Various phenomena often occur. Many sťances are fakes, some are not.
The general idea is that, by communicating with the allegedly poor, lost spirit that's troubling a person or place, the sťance group can help it resolve its problems and "pass over" correctly into the great beyond...rather like a psychiatrist's couch for the "dead."
I never used the practice myself but several investigators I worked with in my salad days did. It seemed obvious to me that when a sťance did any good at all, the effect was only temporary. More often than not, there was no change in the situation and sometimes it even got worse.
-Paul F. Eno
Why do Ouija boards and sťances cause problems?
Because they both tie into the power of participants' minds to open holes in space-time. Often enough, what comes through those holes are parasitical entities that want to feed off your energy and know just what "buttons" to push to do so.
When predictions take place, it's because whatever is giving them to you is conscious of the quantum probabilities and simply reports one. This is what psychics do, whether they realize it or not. When a prediction comes true, it's simply because it, he, she or they have picked the right probability OR because your own consciousness has "collapsed the wave function" (as theoretical physicists would say) to bring it about.
Whatever comes at you through the board or the sťance group may pretend to be your Uncle George and convince you of it. It may even help you for awhile. BUT DON'T BE A SCHMUCK!
THESE ENTITIES ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!
From the beginning, I've been struck by the tendency of people to believe everything they hear from a Ouija board or at a sťance.
Even the Bible warns against this:
"Do not trust every spirit," (1 John 4:1)
Translated properly from the original Greek, this really says: "Do no believe every spirit."
Don't get me wrong: I do believe there are good spirits and plenty of them, especially ancestral ones, but you don't need Ouija boards and sťances to seek their help and advice. All you have to do is ask with a pure heart.