Ouija or wouldn’t ya?

8 January, 2011
Rat Fink

Good thing I’ve been up since 4; lots of time to read. :-/

I don’t know why, but as kids, we loved to scare each other. Sitting around a campfire telling scary stories, sitting under a blanket with a flashlight while telling scary stories, and sitting in a circle at a Halloween party telling scary stories are all part of my past. Remember chanting I believe in Mary Worth in front of the mirror, then running out of the room shrieking? I do. And I think it scared me even more because I was the little hanger-on in a group made up of my older sister and her friends. Crazy times, I tell ya.

Notice the city and state in the fine print? Well now.

We were never allowed to own one of these, but believe it or not, Parker Brothers manufactured Ouija boards from 1966 – 1999. [The creepy slogan, “It’s only a game — isn’t it?“, is honestly quite clever.] I can’t remember who had one, but I sat next to someone and watched him/her play once. The player moves a planchette around the board after asking questions, supposedly guided by the “oracle.” Questions are answered yes or no, or they are spelled out letter by letter.

“Ouija,” arguably taken from the combined French and German words for “yes,” first appeared on the entertainment novelty scene in the late 1800s. The history of the game can be found at The Museum of Talking Boards website — home of the ooky planchette cursor.

All *very* important questions.

Of course, you can’t have a cool new naughty toy without some puffed up Poindexter throwing cold water on everyone’s fun. From flat-out calling the Ouija boards satanic tools to yammering about the ideomotor effect, naysayers labeled the game — and anything claiming to have the slightest connection to divination — a hoax.

Well yeah, but…what about Jumanji? How cool was that?

Can you see Hasbro hawking Ouija boards nowadays, when everything’s supposed to be happy and cute and super-positive, and nobody ever shoots the bad guy anymore? Big fat chance.

Did you ever play with a Ouija board, or play the Jumanji game? What creepy stories can you share?

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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
8 January, 2011 1:15 pm

I have not played either of those, but have heard stories. Believable stuff like someone burning a ouija board and having demons fly out of it if i’m remembering correctly.

The best board game ever is Dungeon Dice: http://www.vintagegameworld.com/images/Dungeon%20Dice%20G132.jpg

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Rat Fink Reply:

Spooky! Those kinds of stories make my skin crawl. And you know how I hate scary movies! And I have never heard of Dungeon Dice…why is this?!? Looks like late 60s/early 70s, but it’s totally new to me. Wonder why. What’s the premise?

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Ross
Ross
9 January, 2011 4:59 am

My best friend and I played one in the 7th grade; we were both st*ners, big time. Yes, the thing moved. No I had nothing to do with it. Yes I’m sure that he had plenty to do with it.

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Rat Fink Reply:

7th grade and stonin’…HA

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Suzanne
9 January, 2011 9:20 am

We had one of these but I used it as a tabletop for my incense. :) I do remember taking the Magical Black 8 ball very very seriously though!!

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Rat Fink Reply:

I played with the 8-ball on several occasions! And I also remember sandalwood incense. Everyone who was anyone in 1972 burned it. LOL

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Suzanne Reply:

Patchouli was my scent of choice, still is :)

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Sam
Sam
9 January, 2011 4:05 pm

I’ve used an Ouijia board before. I never took it seriously until one night until me and a friend decided it would be fun to use on Halloween night. This time it was different – a sense of dread came over the room and we felt like we were being watched. I remember it felt as though a third set of hands was on the planchette, and then the candle beside our board blew out.

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Rat Fink Reply:

No stinkin way. Did you ever use it after that?

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