Ouija Boards In The Movies
Ouija boards, when first invented in 1850 were more of a novelty item than something to be feared. If you look at brochures for the games produced during that time, many of the pictures look like families are playing together after a having just returned from church. They're dressed up and having a good time together while using a Ouija board at the kitchen table. The sense you get from that time period is that Ouija boards were more of a fun family game than a fearsome portal to the underworld.
It didn't take long for Hollywood to change the image of the Ouija board from a light hearted game to something potentially much darker. This began with the release of the classic 1973 film "The Exorcist."
The Exorcist took the Ouija board and transformed it into an item that could potentially harm people both physically and psychologically. The Ouija board was now more than just a way of communicating with spirits and loved ones that had passed on. The Ouija board became a portal to hell that could possibly lead to demonic possession.
In the film a young girl Regan contacts a spirit named "Captain Howdy." All manner of spooky things happen to the poor girl, culminating in a possession by the devil himself. The movie is not for the faint or heart but it is outstandingly well done and definitely worth renting. For horror film fans, this movie is a classic and in the same realm as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
The film caused an uproar at the time it was released. Christians and Catholics alike burned their Ouija boards in droves. Some people were not only afraid of Ouija boards, but of the film itself. Some folks would actually drive far out of their way rather than pass a movie theater showing the film. The film nearly created a religious hysteria among the Catholic and Christian communities. To this day many churches forbid their members from using Ouija boards. Here is an example of a site that is typical of those that fear Ouija boards and expresses many of their concerns.
Another popular film released in 1985 is Witchboard. Part of a trilogy it's worth a rental. The film is about friends at a party using a Ouija board to contact a spirit. Unfortunately for them they contact an evil spirit named Malfeitor. Things quickly go downhill fast. The film touches upon just about every superstition ever voiced regarding Ouija boards. There are two other films in the series that were released, but they're nowhere near as enjoyable as the first film.
Other films worth mentioning where Ouija boards make an appearance are Thirteen Ghosts (great film), What Lies Beneath, and the Uninvited (released in 1940).