Top 5 Creepiest Ouija Boards Facts

Written by George Pacheco

Ok, guys...which one of you is moving it? Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts, and in today's installment, we'll be looking at the Top 5 Haunting Facts About Ouija Boards!

For this list, we'll be ranking the spookiest facts about this classic board game which has been said to possess supernatural and occult power. The Ouija board has a long and fascinating history which may or may not be tied in with some seriously devilish leanings, so let's not waste anytime in consulting those spirits to uncover some cold, hard facts!

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Okay, guys...which one of you is moving it? Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts.

In today's installment, we'll be looking at the Top 5 Haunting Facts About Ouija Boards. The Ouija board has a long and fascinating history, which may or may not be tied in with some seriously devilish leanings; so let's not waste anytime in consulting those spirits to uncover some cold, hard facts!


#5: Ouija Turned a Corner With "The Exorcist"

The reputation of the Ouija Board has always been shrouded in superstition, with many in the members of religious faith decrying its supposed power, to the scientific community's claim that all of Ouija's imagined intelligence was a fraud. One thing's for sure, however: the release of "The Exorcist" in 1973 forever shifted any perception of Ouija Boards as a harmless toy among the commercial public. The film caused panic and concern in theater screenings and the entire plot is kicked off by the young Regan MacNeil communicating with a spirit known as "Captain Howdy" with her Ouija Board, which leads to her being tormented and possessed. If filmmakers still had any doubts as to the cinematic impact of using a Ouija Board in their movie, then "The Exorcist" managed to turn that corner with a vengeance.


#4: Ouija Was Once Utilized in a Court Case

It may seem incredible to believe that a jury might consult a Ouija Board to influence their decision, but this was exactly what happened in England back in 1994. Following Stephen Young's conviction to life in prison for a double murder, a retrial was ordered after it was revealed that the jury used a Ouija Board while in their hotel room in order to assist with their deliberation. The Ouija board many not have been all that helpful, however, as Young was again found guilty during this second trial. This wasn't the only time Ouija's name reared its head in the judicial system, either. In Oklahoma, a woman named Carol Sue Elvaker blamed a Ouija Board for influencing a fatal stabbing in 2001, while a British man by the name of Paul Carroll drowned his dog in 2015, after a Ouija Board told him the animal was "possessed by the devil."


#3: The Board Apparently Named Itself

The practice of spiritualism and communicating with the dead was nothing new prior to the commercialization of the Ouija Board back in 1890. Variations on the talking "spirit board" date all the way back to the Victorian Era, but it was businessman Elijah Bond who was partly responsible for getting what we know as the modern Ouija Board into the family home. Bond was one of the first to invest in the product, and declared proof of its power when he revealed a spooky story of using the board. The group he was with asked the board its name, and it dutifully spelled out the word "Ouija." The group also asked what name actually meant, but the ever-cagey board replied only “Good Luck.” Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson was a noted fan of the supernatural, and claimed that he used his Ouija board to communicate with a monk, who then assisted in the development of AA's 12 Step Program for Alcoholism Recovery.


#2: There's a Name for How Ouija Works

Have you ever wondered how to tell whether someone is purposefully moving their hands on a Ouija Board? Well, there's actually a name for how Ouija works, and it's called the Ideomotor Effect. This refers to the subconscious moving of the Ouija planchette and subtle shifts of the disk that can be chalked up to either plain old curiosity, or a secret, hidden desire for answers. These subconscious desires then stimulate reflexes, often without the person even being aware. Researchers from the University of British Columbia conducted studies in both 2012 and 2014. Subjects in the experiment were blindfolded and told they were using a Ouija with another person, who then quickly took their hands off the board. The results found that there was a marked increase in correct answers with the board, surmising that there might be a "second intelligence" within the subconscious; an intelligence with which Ouija might assist in bringing out obscure facts and information.

#1: Ouija Gained Its Patent Through Psychic Means

Still not convinced that Ouija Boards possess some scary powers? It turns out that the Washington Patent Office wasn't, either, and was reluctant to lend a patent license to Elijah Bond during his visit. This was until the board was used in front of the office's Chief Patent Officer, by Bond and Helen Peters, who claimed to be a medium. Neither Bond nor Peters claimed to know this officer's name, yet Ouija guessed correctly when the officer asked for a demonstration of how the board worked. Although accusations would fly as to who was officially responsible for inventing Ouija– a vicious war of words ensuing between Charles Kennard and the estate of his former co-worker E.C. Reiche, both of whom lay claim to the original idea–its iconic reputation as something which may or may not be an innocent party game is secure.
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