On Tuesday, October 31st, Halloween night, on Spaced Out Radio, I will be having Karen Dahlman on as my guest for the second year in a row. Together, Karen in Texas and me in British Columbia, will dedicate three full hours to a live Ouija Board session on the air. It’s something we did last Halloween with rousing success in audience and downloads, and it’s a topic I do not fear to do on the show, because I have a different view of the spiritual talking board than most others. Now, I will preface that I do not own a Ouija Board or any sort of talking board. In fact, I haven’t used a spirit board for years now. But for some reason I’ve never had an issue with these type of communication boards. You know, the type that seem to scare the hell out of people with lights flickering or doors opening and closing. Never seen it happen. The only real surreal experience I’ve had with a talking board was a number of years ago when we were over at a friend’s place. There were four of us around the kitchen table using the board. All the sudden, Dave, the owner of the house, looked over at the wood burning stove that was about six feet from where we were and the logs were burning inside. Now the wood stove hadn’t been used since 9:30am that morning, and it was now 10:30pm that night. After asking if any of the kids lit the fire, and them saying no, they hadn’t, we turned to the board. Asking the board if one of the spirits connected started the fire in the stove. The answer was ‘YES’. When asked why? The spirit replied, “I was cold!”. It’s something that’s made me scratch my head since. Now I’m not denying that people have had negative aspects happen while using the board. However, I do believe that it’s strongly been blown out of proportion; some of the stories that have come along with it.
To analyse the Ouija Board we first have to go back in its history to figure out how this line of spiritual communication began. Although it cannot be traced through history, man has always had a fascination with life after death. What happens when we die? Biblically speaking, God and the resurrection of Jesus Christ led us all to believe there is a Heaven, and eternal life after death. As great as that sounds if you’re a believer of the afterlife, it’s still painful emotionally to lose someone you love whether it’s a friend, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or your partner in life. We have all wished through time to be able to communicate one more time to tell our loved ones how much we love them and miss them. Around 1840, in the United States, there was a real movement to learn more about individual spirituality, which led to the creation of the talking board. Every day people, from clergy and government officials to the everyday farmer were contacting mediums to connect with their loved ones on the other side. One of the methods used were using wheeled planchettes connected to a pencil at the point. It was believed when the planchette was being used, the pencil could write messages from spirit to the loved ones. According to the Museum of Talking Boards, the results were varying. So mediums preferred to channel while in a trance. While others started painting letters on tables with the planchette rolling over to the letters to build communication. Hence the talking board. Popularity rose quickly with people and in 1890, Elijah Bond and friends filed the first patent for a game they called the Ouija board. The patent was granted in 1891. The word ‘Ouija’ is Egyptian for ‘Good Luck’.
The Ouija Board quickly became synonymous with the occult, which lead to Christian faiths decrying the board as evil and opening up potential demonic portals leading to Lucifer, himself. The Catholic Church was one of the fiercest opponents of people in their congregation using the talking boards to communicate with those on the other side. The religious students and scholars will point to verses in the Bible to explain the reasoning to stay away from any sort of occultism.
– “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 – “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.”
Isaiah 8:19 – “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?”
Galatians 5:19-20 – “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Now, let’s look at the science behind the Ouija Board. According to many scientists, the Ouija Board is harmless and frankly doesn’t work other than by the energy, no matter how faint, of the people who place their fingers on the planchette. In fact, a simple test by blindfolding the participants really messed with the messages coming through. All of the sudden the messages weren’t coming through as clearly. Professor of neurology Terence Hines, in his book Pseudoscience and the Paranormal (2003), stated, “The planchette is guided by unconscious muscular exertions like those responsible for table movement. Nonetheless, in both cases, the illusion that the object (table or planchette) is moving under its own control is often extremely powerful and sufficient to convince many people that spirits are truly at work. The unconscious muscle movements responsible for the moving tables and Ouija board phenomena seen at seances are examples of a class of phenomena due to what psychologists call a dissociative state. A dissociative state is one in which consciousness is somehow divided or cut off from some aspects of the individual’s normal cognitive, motor, or sensory functions.”
But professionals like Karen Dahlman believe the Ouija is a conduit to the ‘other side’. The guides Karen works with help protect her from anything negative that could come across the board. Protection with the spirit realm should be used in everything we do, whether it’s Ouija, or going on a ghost hunt or tour. Karen stated on Spaced Out Radio last Halloween the Oujia Board, “Is not a tool for everybody. I think what happens is people let their fears get the best of them. It’s truly not the board that does anything, it’s ourselves. So we have our own fears and trepidations and hesitations and come to the board, we begin to project those fears onto the board. Any sound we hear or any thump or bump in the night, we assume that it’s the boogeyman that’s evil; it’s demonic and we scare ourselves. And also there’s a thing called conjuring up, like tulpas where you can create your own thought forms that become really real to the people that experience them. Although it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re real for everybody else. And I’m not saying it’s like a psychosis or anything, I’m just saying, we have the ability to manifest all kinds of things in our world.” With practice comes experience, as Karen states learning about the board and the do’s and don’ts are part of the process in using the board safely. “I have learned to use it in a way that allows, to really help people find answers that are going to help them with their lives, to better themselves; to better their world. To become more empowered. To have more resolution. To have closure and to grieve and to answer some questions to life.”
As for the board itself, Dahlman states, “We should think about this (Ouija Board) as like a cosmic phone. We can pretty much dial up any frequency that you want to communicate with. Now, that doesn’t mean every frequency is going to communicate with us, back. But it allows to move out to the possibilities of what’s out there. We just don’t go into the negative stuff. I just don’t play in that area. I will say a prayer, kind of an incantation, to help enter the vibrational state because how this tool works for me is my partner and I set an intention which becomes a vibration. We meet the spirit guides on that same level of vibration and that’s where the communications happen.” When it comes to safety and the unpredictability of the board Karen states, it’s upon the user. “I don’t see this as anything negative ever. It never has been for me. I just make sure I’m just always really grounded when I do this work.”
However, there is a stigma attached to the board, which, for all intents and purposes, is a person’s personal choice on the subject on whether or not they feel comfortable or more importantly protected in using one. And that’s fine. But the question then lies as to why so many people demonize the Ouija Board, yet promote the usage of mediums, dowsing, pendulums or even ghost hunting equipment. In the end, are we not doing the same thing? Looking for the same results? In my opinion the Ouija Board is a tool. How you use it defines what you bring out of it? If you’re looking for negative, or put that intention out there, as Karen stated, then of course, that will be the result. The idea behind any of these communication tools is to treat them, and more importantly, yourself, with respect and safety. The reputation of the Ouija Board gives many people that instantaneous sense of fear and resentment. But remember, the same could happen with every other connecting device. They, for the most part, don’t have the dark reputation thanks to popularity and Hollywood bluster that the Ouija Board does.
As for me, I’m excited to have Karen back on Halloween night, as we look to conjure up aliens and spirits for our audience to have communication with. It’s going to be a great night of entertainment and if your question is asked, I hope you get the result you’re looking for. Come hang out with us. Bring a pen, and paper because the messages will be for all of us.
Dave Scott can be heard on Spaced Out Radio every Monday through Friday at www.spacedoutradio.com
starting at 9pm Pacific, 12am Eastern. Follow Dave on Twitter @SpacedOutRadio and on Instagram @DaveScottSOR.