Ghosts and Hauntings/Ouija Boards
Hello. I wanted to ask you about whether Ouija boards really make us have a conversation with ghosts and spirits? are they useful? are they dangerous? what is the right place to use'em? what is the science behind all this??
please help me to know..
Thank you for writing to me at All Experts / Ghosts and Hauntings with your questions. It is always a pleasure to receive inquiries from India. I wasn't expecting one about Ouija boards, although a similar device was used in neighboring China as long ago as 479 B.C.E. Around 550 B.C.E. the Greek philosopher and mathematician, Pythagoras made use of a similar device. Pythagoras was also fascinated with the number five, and therefore the pentagram is often associated with him, and the ignorant often associate the pentagram with Satan and evil. I wonder if this is not the beginning of the age old assumption that nothing but evil comes from usage of the board? In modern times the board as we know it today was patented in the USA in 1883. The rights were sold to Parker Brother's Toys in 1966, selling two million boards the first year! It can be purchased today at Toys'r'Us for around $25. Incidentally, something that annoys me is that the board is rarely, if ever pronounced as it should be based on it's name. OUI is French for "Yes" and JA is German for "YES" so it should be pronounced as we-yah instead of we-gee.
Let me move on to your questions. Yes, the board can be used to safely contact those from the ghost realm if used properly and can open doors to the other-side that may be difficult to close if used improperly. Most people fear using the board, but that is due to improper handling. It is like a knife, safe in the hands of a chef but dangerous in the hands of a serial killer. The Ouija board is in essence a tool or instrument and it is like any other tool or instrument that is used to contact the deceased including voice recorders, video cameras, pendulums, or simply asking aloud for an entity to make contact. It is amazing that the majority of "ghost-hunters" use the latter instruments on a regular bases to make contact and record the dead, but if you mention the Ouija board they turn pale and run away like scared rabbits. Contacting the ghost realm is contacting the ghost realm regardless of the method used - it's that simple.
The board's usefulness is subjective and relative. But if I had to narrow things down to a word, NO! Not so much as the board itself, but because it requires human contact and there lays the problem. Humans are subject to flaws and those flaws are passed on the planchette or pointer. As this is similar to the science behind them, you'll get a more detailed answer there.
Yes, they do pose a danger, but not for the reason that most people think, that being an actual demonic haunting or possession. Yes, if not used correctly, unwanted ghosts may enter, BUT that is a rare event and it is also true of any method used in "spirit contact" be it a camera, voice recorder, etc. To avoid that problem the users must ask for protection from their spirit guides and gatekeepers, and have them allow no communication or entrance by any being that poses any kind of danger or who is not of the light. After usage the users must ask again for protection as well as having the spirit guides and especially the gatekeepers [doorkeepers] ensure that no entity is left behind. A banishing pentagram should be performed over both the board and pointer and the board put away sprinkled with some Kosher or sea salt before closing the lid. You can repeat the banishing pentagram over the whole box for extra safety. But do most people do that... no! Most are too hyped and excited [or drunk]to play the danger game and do not even consider protection.
The board is also dangerous to the gullible, suggestible, believers of the "powers of the board", psychologically challenged, psychotic, and of course the ignorant. These are the people who will most likely begin to convince themselves through belief or guilt or fear that they have attracted a malicious factor into their home [to be fair, in a few cases they actually have]. However the majority convince themselves that they are haunted or possessed and from there on every little odd occurrence only adds to or validates their illusion, or delusion, depending on the individuals personality and psychological state. This is especially true of people who may have a Dissociative Identity Disorder or other abnormal psychological disorder where delusions play a part of the disorder.
Where is the right place to use them? A parapsychologist's lab. Or as they are for the most part garbage, a landfill might suffice. But they could be used on a table, square or round preferably, with easy access to the pointer for the users. Candle light or a red light seems best. A person is required to write down the letters as the "board responds". NOW this is how I would conduct a Ouija session. I would seat the users, I would blindfold the users and then place the board. I would turn the board after each response so that the positions of the letters are moved for each question. I would then write down the gibberish, nonsensical answers that came from the "beyond". In my opinion if the answers are coming from the realm of the dead it is only important that they see where the letters are, not the living.
Now for the meat and potatoes of my reply, the science behind the Ouija. Let's go back to the days of another form of spirit contact, table tilting, and let's get the chemist / physicist Michael Faraday involved. He was certain that table tilting was fake, and went out to prove it. Long story short, one of his discoveries was that the hand nearly never exerts a direct downward pressure when one presses down on an object. He discovered that the pressure is not just downward but down and angled away from the sitter. The pressure is actually down and oblique. Therefore there is a pushing force as well. This discoverer can be applied to the pointer of the Ouija board, albeit less pressure downward is applied, but the oblique pressure remains. This alone can cause the pointer to "move". As the sitter is not aware of the subtle pressure the assumption is made that it is under the control of something otherworldly.
The movement may also be caused by the Carpenter Effect better known in psychology as an ideomotor response [ideo: idea / of the mind - motor: muscle activity / movement]. These movements are made unconsciously [?, see below] with the user unaware that they are controlling the response by manipulating the pointer.
Another issue that needs to be addressed is the state of mind of the sitters, or better the 'stage' of mind. Because of the dark, quiet and concentrative attitude of the sitters is fair to assume that they have entered a mild trance state in the Alpha brainwave frequencies. This is comparable to a daydreaming type state. This may facilitate a merging of the minds so to speak. Let me explain...
I am writing this and you are reading this in a conscious state, ruled mostly by the right hemisphere of the brain. The left hemisphere is more responsible for our subconscious mind. It has been said that the human as a whole has two personalities, the right side personality and the left side personality, that we possess a "dual brain". In an Deep Alpha stage it may be possible for the two sides to be present at the same time, similar to hypnopompia / hypnagogia. [Usually we are in our conscious mind during the day and our subconscious mind during our REM sleep. If this merging of the minds happens the subconscious mind may be the "ideo" that is controlling the 'Motor" with the conscious mind acting as observer. According to the Honegger Theory, the subconscious self is a second 'ego' and competes with the conscious for attention and wants to be the 'I' or in other words, the domineering mind, but it can't break through, under normal circumstances, the barrier that the actual "I', the aware conscious mind creates. Yes, this opposes Freud's viewpoint, but times are changing and Freud was on cocaine. [personally, Jung was always my favorite]
In closing I need to state that any type of communication with the deceased is fairly safe if precautions regarding protection are utilized. I will also repeat the use of a Ouija board is a tool or instrument of such communication as are many other methods, be them ancient or digital. And I will state again that any instrument that relies on direct human contact such as the board, pendulums, or dowsing rods etc. are prone to human error, expectancy responses, ideomotor reflex responses and of course, down right fakery.
I hope that my response has added some insight to the questions that you had. There will be those who will disagree with me. There will never be total agreement in fields of study of paranormal events, psychical phenomena, or parapsychological research, it is merely too relative and subjective and fights empirical closure like a cornered tiger. If you should have any other questions or concerns that you feel that I can assist you with you know where to find me. I'm here to help.
Director od Parapsychology and Paranormal Studies,
Eidolon Project Canada - EPC
Edmonton, Red Deer, Calgary, Alberta, Paranormal Investigations