Ouija boards are also referred to as talking or spirit boards with a history dating back 100 years. They are made up of alphabetical letters, with numbers 0-9, yes on one side, below the numbers it is written goodbye they further contain other symbols. It has a plastic indicator for communicating. The ideology of talking boards was believed to have originated in China and was popularized in America with its commercialization in 1890 by Charles K.
In 1891 Elijah Bond won a patent on this game idea when a patent official tested it out. The board spelled out the officer’s name, which he believed to have been unknown to both Bond and Charles. The Novelty company, under its founders, went ahead to produce its first set of talking boards. Adverts on newspapers terming it as interesting plus mysterious, yet another writing that it is a magical device that answered questions about past, present and future occurrences promising amusing all classes. Two or more people place their fingertips on the plastic indicator to ask questions and would be mind-blown as they were answered.
The toy patent was later purchased by the Parker Brothers, who continued to market them as links to a mysterious limbo: filling game board isles with their product. Taking advantage of a rise in spiritualism during that era when people were desperate to communicate with their loved ones. So many dying; children of diseases, men of war, even women in childbirth. Entrepreneurs tapped into this need by providing an innocent parlor game that would be both a mystical oracle and family entertainment offering another world’s excitement. The game grew so popular that in 1967 2 million boards were sold, exceeding the sale of monopoly.
The movie Exorcist production in 1970 changed the story of the gadget to a tool of the devil, which was then used by horror books and movie writers for inspiration. This, however, barely reduced its popularity, with the board being used in teenage slumber and horror house parties. Ideas of possession and opening doors to other worlds are mind-blowing to young teens. Having absorbed the Parker brothers, Hasbro marketed it to teenage girls by providing a purse carrier for the board with cute questions such as, will he ask me out? Will he kiss me?
Scientists insist that the board is a means to which the subconscious communicates; therefore, no relation to the spirit world. That the lightness of the indicator allows the player to move it easily on the board. They disqualify that there is much spiritual phenomenon but more of the human mind that lies dormant and is revealed through this game’s excitement.
Talking boards are a major player in board games selling with the best of them, being carried by brands like game stores and major retailers. Hasbro has even made an online game based on this concept, produced boards that glow in the dark with most recently the pink Ouija board for girls with a pink purse that carries question cards. One would not even dare to attach this gadget to such a tenuous history.