Ouija Boards, originally popularized by the Hasbro toy and game company, are boards with numbers, letters, and phrases on them. Also called Spirit Boards or Talking boards, these devices usually come with a small triangular device called a planchette. Participants who use the Spirit Board gather around it and all place their fingertips gently on the planchette. The idea behind the device is that the spirits will use the energy of the participants to move the planchette and answer questions or deliver messages. So why don’t we use one?
Practical Reason: Ask almost anyone and they can tell you a horror story about a Ouija Board. Almost everyone has a family member or friend of a friend who has had a terrible experience with them. From poltergeists and posession to demons and even death, Spirit Boards do not have the best reputation. Besides not wanting to open up ourselves to something like that, we would never dream of inflicting something so perilous on a client!
Skeptical/Scientific Reason: The science just isn’t there. Countless studies have been done on the use of Spirit Boards, and all conclusions point to the fact that somebody in the group is moving the planchette on their own, often even subconsciously. This phenomenon, called the iodometer effect, has been documented in all studied cases of Spirit Board use. When you ask a question, your subconscious will cause tiny movements in your hands, causing the planchette to move toward the answer that you either know or simply want to hear. The tests which were done to prove this are easily repeated at home. Blindfold the participant(s) and then have them use the board and ask questions. The messages will usually be very scrambled. An even better test is to have the participants sit and blind fold them before setting down the board, that way there is no chance of a subconscious memory of the board’s orientation influencing their movements.