Last time, I wrote about how urban legends about the Ouija board surged in the 1970s and early 1980s due to the influence of the film The Exorcist on popular culture.
So what’s up with Ouija right now?
In 2014, filmmaker Stiles White directed and co-wrote a low-budget horror movie called Ouija. The film cost a mere five million dollars to make, but earned over nineteen million in its first weekend alone in North American markets. While panned by critics, the film’s financial success peaked the interest of various deep-pocket movie studios.
It wasn’t just Hollywood who was interested in investing in more Ouija films, either. Toy manufacturer Hasbro–the same company that produces and sells the licensed Ouija boards– reportedly put up a significant amount of funding for the prequel to Ouija, a film called Ouija: Origin of Evil, released in 2016.
Since the success of Ouija (2014), twenty films with Ouija board themes have been released or announced.
These films have some relationship* to the increasing the number and variations of urban legends around the board, such as the three used in Ouija (2014) and Ouija: Origin of Evil:
- Never Play Alone
- Never Play In A Graveyard
- Always Say Goodbye
There are many more legends in circulation:
- The true spirit board is not Ouija boards, but “Witch Boards”, so named such because witches once used them to summon demons. Witch boards have been used for centuries **
- Placing a silver coin on the board prior to play will block any evil spirits from contacting you. One in each corner is the best way.
- Don’t take everything a spirit says at face value. Spirits like to mess with humans because they are bored, lonely, or evil.
- If you use the board for financial gain or to pry into personal matters, the board will be more attractive to evil spirits
- Never use the board when you are angry, that will attract angry spirits, maybe even poltergeists
- Don’t use the board when you have poor mental or physical health- you’re more vulnerable to demonic possession
- Don’t use the board when you are under the influence of substances- you’re more vulnerable to demonic possession
- ZoZo (or ZoSo) printed on the board is the name of the demon that likes to trick users. ZoZo may haunt people during and after a Ouija session.
- If the planchette moves to the four corners of the board an evil spirit has been contacted.
- If the planchette moves across the number printed on the board declining from nine on down to one, the spirit is counting down as the exit the board.
- Ouija Boards that are not properly disposed of will return to haunt the owner.
- If you Burn the Ouija Board it will scream
- To properly dispose of the Ouija Board break it into seven pieces, pour holy water on it, and bury it.
I was amused to find a website that made this claim:
Do not use the board if you are under 18, unless supervised by an adult. Remember, the Ouija is not a toy and connecting with spirit is not a game.
‘Not a game’ but owned by Hasbro? Sheesh.
Want to know why Ouija boards appear to work? Read this
Want to see Penn & Teller debunk Ouija boards? Watch this
* Exactly what the relationship is can be left up to the social scientists. Leave me out of it, but remind to set up a Google alert so than when that literature is robust I remember to go have a look it.
** As you know from reading the other posts on Ouija, this assertion is not remotely true (which is hardly surprising).