The Revenge of the Ouija Board Spirit: Part 2

The finale of the haunting story of the dead spirit who entered the plane of the Living

November 9, 2019


The apparatus that scientist Michael Faraday used to demonstrate how involuntary human movement can cause table turning, the precursor to the Ouija board. (Photo Courtesy of the Illustrated London News)

For the first part of the story, see the previous article, “The Revenge of the Ouija Board Spirit: Part 1,” under Editorials. 


The next day, the four of us were all shaken by the events of the previous day and our own nightmares. The only person who seemed unmoved was Nikki. 


We sat out on the same patch of grass as the day before, feeling as if the glow of the sunlight could shield us from the wrath dead spirits. The Ouija board sat untouched under Derek’s bed; none of us were brave enough to reach for it again. 


“So,” Harper started, “whose idea was it to get out that thing anyway?” Nikki laughed. 


“The board can’t actually summon dead spirits, you know,” Nikki said. We all looked at her. 


In disbelief, I said, “Did we all not just–”


“I know,” Nikki said. “But someone had to have been pushing it.” We all eyed each other. Who had been the voice of Lucy?




“I thought–” 


“Alright, fine. You cowards,” someone spoke up. “I pushed it.” We jerked our heads to the source of the voice. 


Nikki smiled. “Lucy Granger! Was I not obvious enough?” 


Turns out, the only dead spirit that summer was Nikki. And the only vengefulness was her own – the scare had been planned months in advance after an especially heart-stopping April Fools Prank that Derek and Harper had pulled on her. I, apparently, was collateral damage. 


A considerable amount of research has gone into decoding the secrets of the Ouija board. The board has its roots in the nineteenth-century religious movement called Spiritualism in which people were obsessed with the possibility of communication between the living and the deceased. 


The first Ouija boards, produced by the Kennard Novelty Company, were not thought to have the ability to release dead spirits into the world of the living. Rather, communicating with the dead was common thanks to the low life expectancy: people died due to disease, wars and poor health, among many other reasons. 


The boards, without an eerie origin, do not seem to have any eerie explanation either for how they work. Isn’t it curious how the Ouija board requires players to place their fingers on the planchette? Wouldn’t it make more sense that the dead spirit would communicate to the living by moving the pointer directly without human contact? It seems, then, that the movement of the pointer relies wholly on the players themselves.


Even if there is no Nikki to push the planchette, scientists discovered that the ideomotor effect may cause players to unconsciously move the pointer. The psychological phenomenon is a result of the power of our subconscious over our conscious selves: The brain sends signals to the body, provoking involuntary movement without conscious awareness of it. 


Even if you don’t buy the science, truly believing that your body has no control over the planchette actually makes your subconscious more likely to wield greater control over your conscious self. Basically, if you think you have no control over your movements, your subconscious will only gain more control. 


The Ouija board might, in fact, be a portal into our own subconscious. Although you may not be able to speak with a ghost, the board can serve as a communication device between you and your unconscious self.


So for this Halloween season and the next, don’t trust everything horror movies tell you about Ouija boards – “The Exorcist” and “Paranormal Activity” have got all the science wrong. However, even though the Ouija boards may not have the ability to summon dead spirits, they may be able to summon a different kind of spirit – those from our own unconscious.


Nevertheless, to this day, there have been no explanations for the door that slammed shut, the flickering nightlight and the letter-filled nightmare. Those details, dear reader, are up to you to figure out. Happy Halloween!


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