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Oija Board

Dec 28, 2011

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What is a Ouija board? Ouija boards came into existence as a parlor game in the mid-1800's, when spiritism and channeling were at the height of fashion. The word "Ouija" is a blend of the French and German words for "yes." Adolphus Theodore
Wagner first patented Ouija boards, sometimes referred to as "talking boards," in London, England on January 23, 1854. In the patent, Wagner called his invention a "psychograph" and its purpose was to read the minds of people with "nervous energy." By 1861, Frenchman, Allan Kardac, was describing the Ouija board as instruments with which to open communications with the spirit world. In seven short years, the Ouija board had evolved from a mind-reader to portal of communication with the dead.

Modern Ouija boards were developed by inventor William Fuld. Fuld sold his patent to Parker Brothers in 1966. Ouija boards, as we recognize them today, look nothing like the original prototypes. The 20-25 million Ouija boards sold by Parker Brothers consist of a rectangular game board that is covered with a woodcut-style alphabet, the words yes, no, and good-bye, and the numbers 0-9. Also included with the "game" is a heart-shaped plastic planchette. The planchette is the 'pointer' that is supposed to glide over the board under the direction of supernatural forces and form comments and questions by pointing out questions and comments. Parker Brothers has marketed Ouija Boards under the tagline, "It's only a game - isn't it?"

China
One of the first mentions of the automatic writing method used in the Ouija board is found in Chinaaround 1100 CE, in historical documents of the Song Dynasty. The method was known as fuji 扶乩 "planchette writing". The use of planchette writing as a means of ostensibly contacting the dead and the spirit-world continued, and, albeit under special rituals and supervisions, was a central practice of the Quanzhen School, until it was forbidden by the Qing Dynasty.Several entire scriptures of the Daozang are supposedly works of automatic planchette writing. Similar methods of mediumistic spirit writing have been widely practiced in Ancient India, Greece, Rome and medieval Europe.

Toy
During the late 19th century, planchettes were widely sold as a novelty. The businessmen Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard had the idea to patent a planchette sold with a board on which the alphabet was printed. The patentees filed on May 28, 1890 for patent protection and thus had invented the first Ouija board. Issue date on the patent was February 10, 1891. They received U.S. Patent 446,054. Bond was an attorney and was an inventor of other objects in addition to this device. An employee of Kennard, William Fuld took over the talking board production and in 1901, he started production of his own boards under the name "Ouija".Kennard claimed he learned the name "Ouija" from using the board and that it was an ancient Egyptian word meaning "good luck." When Fuld took over production of the boards, he popularized the more widely accepted etymology, that the name came from a combination of the French and German words for "yes". The Fuld name would become synonymous with the Ouija board, as Fuld reinvented its history, claiming that he himself had invented it. The strange talk about the boards from Fuld's competitors flooded the market and all these boards enjoyed a heyday from the 1920s through the 1960s. Fuld sued many companies over the "Ouija" name and concept right up until his death in 1927. In 1966, Fuld's estate sold the entire business to Parker Brothers, who continues to hold all trademarks and patents. About ten brands of talking boards are sold today under various names.


Can't Hide Secrets from Ouija - exploring true Oija Board story

One summer, three middle school boys discovered a Ouija board in a trash bin outside a local apartment building. Tom, the oldest, was terribly cruel to the younger boy, Josh. He would often punch Josh jokingly in the arm, but so hard that it would bruise. Other times he would call Josh stupid or a "retard". The third boy, Chris, would avoid the abuse by remaining silent. Secretly Chris and Josh disliked Tom's behavior, but they tolerated it because they had no other friends.

That summer, the three boys took the discovered Ouija board to Tom's house where he was alone most of the time anyway. His father was always working, and his mom had passed away years earlier. As the three boys sat in the middle of the living room with their hands on the planchette, they became bored after twenty minutes of waiting. When they were just about to give up, the planchette budged. Finally it spelled out "G-E-T A-W-A-Y".

"Get away? I live here," Tom barked. The planchette started moving more briskly in a figure eight.

"N-O-W!"

"That's weird. I wonder what it means?" Chris said, glancing at Tom and Josh. He looked back at the board.

"Where should we go?" Chris asked.

"I-T H-U-R-T-S..."

"This is stupid," Tom said. He looked at Josh and Chris, "You guys are doing this..let's test it. Josh, let go"

Josh removed his hands from the planchette.

"Now ask it a question that only you will know," Tom ordered.

Josh immediately asked, "Who's the person who keeps hitting me?"

Tom gave Josh a nasty glare, but the planchette was already moving quickly.

"A-S-K T-O-M," it answered.

"This is stupid," Tom said.

"D-A-D," the board spelled.

"Huh?" Chris said, staring at the board. "I think this question is for Tom." He glanced up at Josh and they exchanged confused expressions.

"D-A-D," it spelled again. Tom's breathing started to race, his face turned red and sweat formed on his brow.

"D-A-D," it spelled a third time. Tom jumped up and ran from the room crying. It was the first time Josh and Chris had ever seen or heard Tom cry. They only learned a few days later that Tom's father routinely abused him. Somehow, the Ouija board knew Tom's innermost secret.

Final Words

Most people consider the Ouija board nothing more than a toy. However, the mystery and psychological power that the board can have over people is a serious concern. Some people claim that the board has the ability to accurately predict the future or that it harbors terrible and evil forces. Still others believe that it provides a channel through which the user can communicate with spirits of the dead. Whatever you believe, true Ouija board stories can offer some insight into what it's really like to interact with this mysterious board.

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