Spirit Matters

All types of paranormal discussed
 
PortalHomeCalendarFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 Some History

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
suziesheree
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-03-23
Age : 43
Location : Penrith NSW Australia

PostSubject: Some History   Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:34 pm

Two people sit opposite each other at a table. On the table is a rectangular playing board with two curved rows of letters, one above the other. The top row runs from A to M, and the lower row runs from N to Z. Just below these is a row with numbers One through Zero. At the top left of the board is the word Yes, and at the top right, the word No. Near the bottom of the board is Goodbye.


On the board rests an odd little device, like a tiny heart-shaped table, with three legs that allow it to glide smoothly over the board's surface. The two people put their fingertips lightly on the little table, the planchette, and it starts moving. The planchette moves from letter to letter, supposedly under its own power, and spells out messages, or answers yes or no to questions put to it.




And so begins a session with a Ouija board, a game which is also known as the talking board and the witch board. Ouija boards were immensely popular between 1890 and 1950, and dozens of manufacturers competed with different versions, sometimes claiming that the Ouija was much more than just a game. Capitalizing on the the craze for spiritualism, they didn't hesitate to suggest that the Ouija was a portal to the spirit world, capable of putting one in touch with the dead of all ages.

The Ouija board wasn't so much invented, as it was refined. Communicating with the dead through spirit mediums swept the United States and Europe during the latter part of the 19th century. Seances were held, in which people sat around a table, waiting for the spirits to speak. The disembodied dead made their presence known by tipping the table, and knocking one of its legs on the floor. The taps were supposedly a code which the medium interpreted for her guests.


But table tipping was a slow and rather boring way to receive the spirits' messages. Some mediums chose to go into a trance and allow the spirits to speak through them. Others preferred automatic writing, believing that what they wrote while in the trance state came to them from the spirits. Numerous gadgets were also invented, some of them involving complicated gears and pulleys. Gradually, a simplified planchette and a standardized board evolved, becoming the Ouija board that we know today.


In 1892, in an early business takeover, William Fuld became the owner and president of the Kennard Novelty Company, which had developed the final form of the talking board. He then renamed it the Ouija Novelty Company. Fuld was such an enthusiastic promoter, even claiming that he had invented and named the board, that his name is still associated with it, and its actual originators are mostly forgotten. Capitalizing on public fascination with the exotic and mysterious far east, Fuld declared that Ouija was the Egyptian word for good luck. It's more likely, however, that he derived the name from the Moroccan city of Oujda.


Fuld went on to sell millions of talking boards, as well as other toys and novelties. In spite of fierce competition from other toy makers, his company dominated the market for 35 years. Thanks to his own talent for sensationalizing a simple toy, his accidental death in 1927 was turned into a lasting legend. His fall from the factory roof while doing repairs was rumored to have been a suicide, and to this day that story is still circulated as fact.


After Fuld's death, his family sold the company to Parker Brothers, which still produces the Ouija board, and owns all rights and patents. The popularity of the game has waxed and waned over the years, and controversy has centered on whether it is just a game or a real doorway to another plane of existence. People who believe in spirits and similar beings, insist that using a Ouija board can provide an opening for malevolent forces, placing the souls of users in danger.


In fact, the Ouija board has inspired its own body of superstitions and legends. Most of the superstitions concern ways to make sure that evil spirits can't make use of the board to enter our world and create mischief or worse. Placing a silver coin on the board is supposed to prevent spirits from coming through, but if you don't have a silver coin there are other things you can do to protect yourself. Never use the board in a cemetery or any place where a murder or other unnatural death has occurred. Never use it when you are sick, since evil spirits can take possession of anyone who is in a weakened condition.


Other precautions are: never play alone, don't let the planchette fall off the board, and don't allow it to go straight through the numbers or the alphabet, since these provide a direct path for the spirit's release. If the planchette makes a figure eight several times, or goes to the four corners of the board, you have contacted an evil spirit and should turn the planchette upside down to use it.


Is any of this true, or do all the manifestations have a reasonable explanation? No one has ever completely resolved the question of how the planchette seems to move on its own, even against the wishes of the users. One explanation is that invisible micro movements of the users' hand and arm muscles guide the planchette to spell out messages from their own subconscious. Does such a theory take the fun and mystery out of the Ouija board? Certainly, true believers in spirits ignore any debunking efforts.


Whatever the theories, the Ouija board has made a place for itself in history. In the late 1800s, Pearl Curran produced six novels and reams of poetry which she claimed were conveyed to her by Patience Worth, an entity she contacted with her Ouija board. Later, a friend of Mrs Curran wrote a novel with the help of her board and Mark Twain's spirit. The Ouija board has played a prominent part in at least one murder trial, and has been featured in movies, including Awakenings and Witchboard, a series of three low budget horror films.


Today, the commercially produced Ouija board is seldom considered anything more than a toy. Yet it does have its devotees: collectors whose interest is rare antique boards, spiritual seekers who use the board as a focus for meditation, and craftspeople who design and create limited edition or one-of-a-kind boards. For those who want something more than cardboard and plastic, handmade boards of wood, glass, and even leather are available for prices well up into the hundreds of dollars.


Ouija boards even have a presence on the internet. There are email/chat groups, personal pages devoted to various aspects of its history and use, and several sites with interactive boards to play with on line. Dominating the internet scene is The Museum of Talking Boards. This beautifully designed site is not only full of fascinating information about Ouija boards, it has many photographs of boards past and present, and links to more than a dozen sources of handmade boards.


Toy or mystic portal? Whichever it is, the Wonderful Talking Board is an enduring part of popular culture

_________________
Remember - - - 'STRESSED' spelt backwards! is 'DESSERTS'
Back to top Go down
suziesheree
Admin
avatar

Posts : 1431
Join date : 2009-03-23
Age : 43
Location : Penrith NSW Australia

PostSubject: Re: Some History   Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:35 pm

Scientific explanation
Users subconsciously direct the path of the triangle to produce a word that is in that person's subconscious thought process. This subconscious behavior is known as ideomotor action, a term coined by William Carpenter in 1882. It is also known as automatism.[6] Some people may be convinced that the "powers" of the ouija board are real because they are unaware that they are in fact moving the piece and therefore assume that the piece must be moving due to some other "spiritual force". The subconscious thought process may produce an answer that is different from what the user expected in their conscious thought process—thus perpetuating the idea that the board has "mystical powers". The Penn & Teller: Bullshit! episode on Ouija Boards ran an experiment using unbiased participants. Questions were being asked to the late William Frawley with very strong answers. The participants were then blindfolded and the board was turned 180 degrees without their knowledge. With continued questioning, the planchette then traveled to bare areas of the board where the participants believed the "Yes" and "No" marks were located.


Spiritualist explanation
Spiritualists who believe Ouija boards can be used to make actual contact with the spirit world feel that the act of hindering a medium’s ability to use his or her own eyes while the board is in use effectively places too great of a handicap on the whole exercise. This argument stems from the belief that contacted spirits actually utilize the eyes of the medium during a Ouija session in order to point to the letters and words needed to form a message. Most believers of this notion believe that the board has no intrinsic power in and of itself, but rather, is used simply as a tool to aid a medium while in communication with the spirit world.[7]


Skeptical explanation
A skeptical view of the Ouija board is that it is frequently used as a prank game by persons who are fully conscious that they are guiding the planchette.[8] Considering that the boards are sold by a game company, and are widely used by children, they can be used in a game similar to the popular "snipe hunt" trick, in which one or more participants are in on the joke, and at least one participant is not. When one or more players deliberately but discreetly moves the planchette, it is indistinguishable (to other players) from the sensation of the planchette "moving on its own". Players moving the planchette may either maintain a deadpan expression, or act out shock and surprise. Players who are fooled but eventually figure out what happened, can go on to become one of the pranksters in a future session with other new players.

from Wikipedia

_________________
Remember - - - 'STRESSED' spelt backwards! is 'DESSERTS'
Back to top Go down
 
Some History
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» A Sort Of History of BMH Iserlohn
» BMH HISTORY
» Canadian holdings history
» Mansergh Bks - History
» Prix Leclerc History Question

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Spirit Matters :: Methods of Divination :: Ouija Boards-
Jump to: