Are Ouija Boards Dangerous?
"Who's Captain Howdy?"
"You know, I make the questions and he does the answers..."
The Exorcist 1973
If you saw the movie the Exorcist, then you probably hold a healthy respect for Ouija boards. While the movie was simply a fictional account of a possession that occured through the use of a Ouija board, many people including some priests actually believe that harm may befall those that use Ouija boards. To this day talking boards are a symbol of fear for many people.
Many psychics and mediums believe that it is possible to contact spirits that have passed on through the use of a Ouija board. Some also believe that you may contact other entities as well such as angels, demons, and devils. Whether you believe this to be true or not, the possibility adds to the mystery and excitement surrounding the use of talking boards.
Many Christians and Catholics believe that the Ouija board is a dangerous tool of the devil. Some believe that when loved ones pass on, they are not permitted to speak with the living. Once they're gone, they remain silent until you rise up to meet them in heaven. Therefore if you do make contact with an entity, even one claiming to be a dead relative, you are in fact communicating with an evil spirit. They believe that these spirits will attempt to mislead and deceive you.
As in the movie The Exorcist, some people believe that you may actually be harmed by using a Ouija board. This includes the possibility of demonic possession. While considering it to be somewhat rare, the Catholic church does accept that demonic possessions are real and will occasionally perform exorcisms.
Now whether one can become possessed by an evil spirit through the use of a Ouija board or not is debatable. Most frightening experiences that occur as a result of a Ouija board are simply from the users becoming frightened and letting their imaginations run wild.
Most Ouija board users believe that if you use common sense and are of a sound mind, then using a talking board is harmless. Most people do suggest taking some precautions such as always using opening and closing prayers of protection. It is also recommend that you NEVER invite a spirit into your home, or allow it to manifest itself physically. NEVER ask a spirit to prove that it exists. You are in essence allowing it to enter your physical space and escape the board.
The famous psychic Sylvia Browne has warned on the Montel Williams show that Ouija boards can be dangerous. The first question some paranormal researchers will ask when investigating a haunting is "Was a Ouija board used here?" They believe that the use of a Ouija board can open up a doorway to the next plane of existence. In the hands of untrained users, you never know what may step through that doorway.
Harry Houdini believed that Ouija boards had the power to drive people insane. John Zaffis, a famous paranormal researcher and the founder of the Paranormal and Demonology Research Society of New England made the claim that "Ouija boards are just as dangerous as drugs." Manly P. Hall, founder of the Philosophical Research Society, stated in Horizon Magazine that of those that use Ouija boards "Out of every hundred such cases, at least 95 are worse off for the experience."
Dr. Curry, a former medical director of the New Jersey State Insane Asylum believed that Ouija boards could have an unbalancing effect on those with a pre-disposition to mental instability. He believed that if Ouija boards continued to rise in popularity and use, eventually insane asylums would be filled with those that had used the talking boards.
Many Christians believe that the bible expressly forbids the use of Ouija boards because it is a form of divination. Malachi Martin a Jesuit Priest, wrote extensively on the topic of Ouija boards. He believed that people using Ouija boards were making themselves vulnerable to demonic attacks and possibly even possession.
Not everyone believes that Ouija boards are dangerous. Many people use them for recreation and report only having had positive experiences. Many people involved in the occult use them and advise that only those with proper training in the paranormal should attempt to contact entities beyond our realm of existence. Regardless of which viewpoint you side with, there's no denying that Ouija boards are fascinating items shrouded in mystery.
The bottom line is that you should never blindly do what you may think a Ouija board is asking you to do. Never blindly accept what you believe it's telling you. Spirits may attempt to trick and deceive you. They may speak half truths. You don't know who or what you've made contact with. It may not even be a spirit at all but your subconscious mind merely voicing your own inner concerns and fears. The words being spelled out on the board may simply be your friends acting mischievous.
Using a Ouija board should be an enjoyable, light hearted experience. If it ceases to be such say "Goodbye," flip the board, and put it away for awhile. Come back to it when you're in a more positive frame of mind. Ouija boards aren't for everyone. If they frighten you, the solution is simply. Don't use it.