edited February 2015 in Writing
Hi All,

I wonder how many of you know what an Ouija board is and what it looks like without googling it.
Would you let me know, please?


  • The locals in Bolsover may have an answer for you.
  • Yes, I know what one is, but don't know if there is one standard design, or they can have different designs.
  • Board with letters and numbers that lets people speak to spirits.

    One of the greatest examples of 'confirmation bias' on the planet.
  • Uh, it looks like most of you know it indeed. I posted a short story into a forum for critique. I described what the board looked like. As I hadn't seen one before and I'm not practiced in psychomancy I had no idea. I was advised not to describe the board as most folks would know it. It wasn't so obvious for me and i think most of my friends wouldn't know it as Ouija.
  • It's probably something older people would know about, but fewer younger people.
  • I know - dangerous toys.
  • Hmmm. It was a simple game made by Waddington's wasn't it? A parlour game, that was appropriated by 'darker' forces later on.
  • No I don't know what a board looks like. I'd need a simple explanation within context.
  • I played it when I was about 17, maybe 16. In my memory the board was round, but that might be because any representation I've seen with 'Mediums' have been round on TV, perhaps because they can't use the 'real' design as it is copyright to Waddington's or whoever made it in the beginning?

    This is a link to images of them, and they are not round. so what i am saying is, what people think of may well be what they've seen on TV rather than the real thing.

  • We made our own (I was very poor). We cut out letters and placed them in a circle on the table. Then we 'read' them with an upturned glass.
  • If I was shown one I expect I'd work out what it was, but I couldn't accurately describe it.
  • I wouldn't have thought it was ever marketed as a game, Liz.
  • so do you think I should describe it?
  • I wouldn't have thought it was ever marketed as a game, Liz.
    I'm pretty sure ours was a Waddingtons one (or something similar).
    It came in a box a bit like Monopoly, a rectangular board with all the letters and Yes/No (possibly also maybe!) with instructions and a triangular thing with a hole in the middle to read the letters through.

    We used to play with it quite often, asking it questions about boys we fancied and the like.

    Never bothered me till I was a bit older and realised that there were no instructions for sending the spirits away once we had roused them! :)

  • Just been to read up about it - - this on Wiki "the Ouija board was regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I"

    It really was unrelated to the Occult at first. That was brought in. So yes, it was a board game.
  • You can even buy an "Ozzy Osbourne" version :)
  • so do you think I should describe it?
    If the story is meant for a UK market, then a basic description - no.

    Depending on how it is used in the story, then little bits of the action will maybe give a good idea anyway if anyone is unsure.

    Or unless there is something particular about it - 'the board was well worn, the letters barely visible after years of use and scuff marks where the spirits had pushed the glass a little too hard' or something.
  • Ah, Waddington's as a child's game.

    It's interesting isn't it, it's all perception. People think it's going to be voices of the dead, it will be.
  • We made our own (I was very poor). We cut out letters and placed them in a circle on the table. Then we 'read' them with an upturned glass.
    That's how we did it too, Casey. I remember a few of us mucking around with our homemade version - the glass skidding everywhere, and managing to frighten the bejesus out of ourselves - as young girls are wont to do!
  • Yeah, it started of as a game. I know a bit about them. I often wish they'd stop using them in films etc as I think it's overdone. Unless of course they make a good story and change it somehow.
  • If it became more than a children's game during WW1, Liz must be a lot older than she lets on!
  • What a coincidence. I have just completed a short, fictional, story where a Ouija board is used to contact the dead. It is based on a true-life event that happened in 1970. No one in the room, including myself, admitted cheating. I am not saying that I believe it is possible to contact the afterlife, but since that day I have never been anywhere near a Ouija board. Yes, it was made by Waddington’s.

  • *rubs garlic on computer screen for protection*
  • Good idea, I think I will too.
  • *immerses self in a giant vat of Patak's Garlic Pickle*
  • Erm...aint that only good for vampires, guys?
  • *laffs until makes self sick*
  • All this talking to spirits stuff is worrying me - I'm going to play safe and stick to wine.
  • Whining at them won't help.

    the one we played with was i'm pretty sure by Waddington's and it wasn't very scary in look.
  • When I was young (well I was once a very long time ago) Ouija board was 'the' thing to do. We just got 28 little squares of paper, write a letter of the alphabet on each one plus a YES and a NO. You arrange them in a circle on a smooth table with the letters in order and YES and NO at equal halfway points. Place an upturned glass tumbler in the centre of your circle. Everyone sits round the table and places one fore-finger on the bottom of the glass. Then, daft as a brush someone says out loud, "spirit are you with us?". Everyone concentrates and the glass begins to move - you must all keep one finger resting VERY LIGHTLY on the bottom of the upturned glass throughout the proceedings. If the glass comes to rest near the YES paper then you take turns to ask the SPIRIT a question - it has to be a question requiring a YES or NO answer. Then with fingers on the glass and if the Spirit is willing the glass will move from letter to letter spelling out an answer. If you decide to dabble in this dark art, take it all with a pinch of salt. Be warned - strange things can happen if you take it too seriously.
  • Know what one is - wouldn't know what it looked like....

    Might struggle to take it seriously...but then I am usually wrong about most things
  • Don't do it! kado might be leading you to The Dark Side...
  • *gasps and covers eyes*
  • ...though, thinking on it, the word 'mow' in the link suggests something very tame, like Alan Titchmarsh.
  • When I was about 12 a friend and I used one. We asked such deep and meaningful questions as "Who are Everton going to play in the third round of the FA Cup?" (which was still some months away). We laughed when it came up with the name of a non-league team. We didn't laugh when it came true.
  • wow! maybe you should have asked the lottery numbers :D
  • Yes, Onlinegenie, we asked for the football results as well; it didn't work.
  • No lottery in those days, Balazs! Strangely enough, kado, it didn't occur to us to ask for results.
  • Derren Brown proves that all the medium stuff is nonsense. He often proves how he can find out things about you and he has no psychic ability. I believe that they are all con artists. Or delusional
Sign In or Register to comment.