What is a “talking board?”

Talking board is the generic term for a message board with numbers, letters and a moveable message indicator. The message indicator, touched lightly by one or more persons, slides or pivots along the surface of the board to spell out words. Hence, the name talking board. There is debate about whether the messages come from supernatural entities or are some form of psychological phenomenon originating from the players. Boards using pendulums, fixed spinners, or rolling balls, are not technically talking boards although they may have the same effect. The name Ouija is a registered trademark for Parker Brothers’ William Fuld Talking Board Set.

When was the first Ouija board invented?

The first Ouija board was invented in Maryland around 1890. Earlier talking boards (alphanumeric tables with rotating pointers), date to the 1850’s. We don’t see true talking boards much before that.

How many different kinds of talking boards are there?

No one really knows but it is safe to say hundreds, maybe thousands.

Where did you get your historical information about Ouija boards?

My information was culled from historical records known to be accurate, court records, newspaper accounts, websites, US patents, and interviews with relatives of manufacturers. I strive for accuracy but as you will note, there are some folklore here also! Comments and corrections are always welcome, so let me know if you have something to add.

Where can I find a really old Ouija board?

You can search antique stores, flea markets, and auction houses. Ask your Mom, maybe she has one in the closet.

What if I don’t like store-bought boards?

You may be a candidate for a handcrafted board. You might look at your local New Age store to see what is carried there.

If I make my own talking board will it work as well as a “real” one?

Homemade talking boards work just fine. We have seen some wonderful examples dating back almost a century.

Why are Ouija Boards called Witchboards?

To capitalize on the Ouija’s reputation of conjuring spirits, some talking board manufacturers added witches to their designs starting in the early 1900’s. Swamis were also a popular design and they were called Swami boards.

Do Witches use Ouija boards?

Anyone can use a Ouija board, Witches and Christians alike!

Is a special ritual needed to avoid negative entities?

This is a popular, rather recent idea. We recommend that you always do a meditation calling in the Universal light and encircle everyone present and also the board in use. Then ask for your guides, angels, higher beings to come forward and assist you with your quest.

Do I need special training to use a Ouija board?

No special training is really needed, however in order to help our customers feel more comfortable, we do offer a short class on the proper use of the board.

Sometimes it is hard to find partners. Is it OK to use the Ouija board alone?

Many people have great success using the Ouija by themselves. However, I feel that using the board with two people helps to balance out the energies present and makes for a clearer connection with Spirit.

The Ouija Board won’t work for me. Am I doing something wrong?

Like many things in life, people sometimes have better luck with the Ouija when working with a partner. Then again, some may have no luck at all. Be sure that you are not just sitting and waiting for a response. You have to ask, “Is anyone there?” The Ouija is a great mystery and we do not presume to know all the answers. It does not work for everyone, but generally persistence pays off.

What do the Sun, Moon and People in the corners of the Ouija board signify?

Traditionally, the sun (originally designed as a full moon) means “YES” or conditions favorable. The waxing crescent moon with the single star (the evening star, really the planet Venus, representing enlightenment) means “NO” or conditions unfavorable. The people in the lower corners don’t mean much of anything and are just part of the design. If the planchette cycles repeatedly to the sun and moon and/or people below, it means the board is not cooperating. Try again later.

The Ouija board is a tool of the Devil. Absolutely no good can come from its use, only eternal damnation.

We understand your position and suggest that you never use a Ouija board. We also hope that you will give us the same consideration as we are showing you.

What is the proper way to dispose of my Ouija board?

Under no circumstances should you burn your Ouija. People can be injured when proper fire precautions are ignored. Really though, instead of destroying the board, why don’t you give it to someone who is interested in using it? You might place a call to a local New Age store and let them know you have one you are interested in getting rid of.

What in the world is a psychograph?

It’s a talking board with letters, numbers, and symbols. The symbols usually are of the fortune telling type.

What does ideomotor response mean?

Ideomotor response is the fancy-schmancy term scientists use to say that you moved the message indicator yourself without knowing what you were doing.

What is the thing called that you put your fingers on?

The proper name is planchette (plan-‘shet) after the French word for “little plank.” Some believe that the actual inventor’s name was Planchette. Wouldn’t that be a coincidence? If French is hard for you, call it a message indicator.

What if I don’t believe in Ouija boards?

It is ok to be a sceptic. However, you must still have an open mind in order to see any results when using the Ouija board.

How do you pronounce the word “Ouija?”

The proper pronunciation is ‘wE-ja, but you may also use the more colloquial ‘wE-jE. Totally inappropriate are: oh-jee, oh-ja, oh-jar and hoo-jee.

Should I light candles before using a Ouija Board?

We are all for the proper atmosphere. We would also suggest the burning of incense. Have an extinguisher handy for your candles and never indulge in alcoholic beverages or mind altering substances while using the board.

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