Spirit Boards aka Ouija Boards
Communicate with the Spirits

Communicate with the Spirits
Spirit Boards

A Ouija board (from the French and German words for "yes", oui and ja, and usually pronounced /ˈwiːdʒiː/ in English), also known as a spirit board or talking board, is a flat board marked with letters, numbers, and other symbols, supposedly used to communicate with spirits.

It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit's message by spelling it out on the board during a séance.

The fingers of the séance participants are placed on the planchette, which then moves about the board to spell out messages.

Ouija is a trademark for a talking board currently sold by Parker Brothers. It has become a trademark that is often used generically to refer to any talking board.

Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond in the late 1890s, the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.

Mainstream Christian religions and some occultists have associated use of the Ouija board with the threat of demonic possession and some have cautioned their followers not to use Ouija boards.

While Ouija believers feel the paranormal or supernatural is responsible for Ouija's action, it may be more parsimoniously explained by unconscious movements of those controlling the pointer, a psychological phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect.

Ouija boards have been criticized in the press since their inception; having been variously described as 'vestigial remains of primitive belief-systems' and a con to part fools with their money.


Ouija Board and the Ideomotor Effect

The ideomotor effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein a subject makes motions unconsciously.

As in reflexive responses to pain, the body sometimes reacts reflexively to ideas alone without the person consciously deciding to take action.

For instance, tears are produced by the body unconsciously in reaction to powerful emotions.

Automatic writing, dowsing, facilitated communication, and Ouija boards have also been attributed to the effect of this phenomenon.

Mystics have often attributed this motion to paranormal or supernatural force. Many subjects are unconvinced that their actions are originating solely from within themselves.

The term was first used in a scientific paper discussing the means through which the Ouija board produced its results, by William Benjamin Carpenter in 1852. In the paper, Carpenter explained his theory that muscular movement can be independent of conscious desires or emotions.

Scientific tests by the English scientist Michael Faraday, the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, and the American psychologists William James and Ray Hyman have demonstrated that many phenomena attributed to spiritual or paranormal forces, or to mysterious "energies," are actually due to ideomotor action.

Furthermore, these tests demonstrate that "honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations". They also show that suggestions that can guide behavior can be given by subtle clues.

Some alternative medicine practitioners claim they can use the ideomotor effect to communicate with a patient's unconsciousness using a system of physical signals (such as finger movements) for the unconscious mind to indicate "yes", "no" or "I'm not ready to know that consciously".

A simple experiment to demonstrate the Ideomotor effect is to allow a hand-held pendulum to hover over a sheet of paper. 

The paper has keywords such as YES, NO and MAYBE printed it. Small movements in the hand, in response to questions, can cause the pendulum to move towards key words on the paper.

This technique has been used for experiments in ESP, lie detection and ouija boards. The validity of these experiments has not been proven. This type of experiment was Kreskin and has also been used by illusionists such as Derren Brown to test the hypnotic suggestability of audience volunteers that are called onto the stage.

Despite being debunked by the efforts of the scientific community, Ouija remains popular among many young people.

Consequently, mainstream Christian denominations have warned against using Ouija boards. Occultists, on the other hand, are divided on the issue, with some saying that it can be a positive transformation; others echo the warnings of many Christians and caution inexperienced users against it

Since science has felt it has debunked the truths of the Ouija Board (regarding the paranormal aspects) then the questions that comes to the mind is why do people especially within the religious standpoints warn individuals from using it? Maybe there is more to the Ouija Board then science can explain.

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