Consider the source of course, of course....But just in time for Halloween, the UK Mirror features a story about a paranormal investigator outraged that Halloween shops are selling Ouija boards. (I did say it was the Mirror)

Paul Marsters, who is a member of True Paranormal Events UK says, "Ouija boards are most certainly not a toy and should not be available for kids to buy in shops for Halloween - never mind adults that are not trained in how to use them".

OK Wait. Seriously?  Didn't we all think these were just goofy devices made to use to scare ourselves and our friends at teen parties?  Is this science or silliness?  Seems science has a say in the matter.

Here's what the Smithsonian Magazine has to say about them. "In February, 1891, the first few advertisements started appearing in papers: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” boomed a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop, describing a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy” and promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a link “between the known and unknown." Price, $1.50.

The basic idea is that the users ask questions and the hands-on-device known as a planchette "somehow" moves about the Ouija Board spelling out the answers.  It's the "somehow" part that freaks us out!  So if it isn't someone or something from the other side doing it, how is that happening?

Back to the Smithsonian Magazine, "Ouija boards are not, scientists say, powered by spirits or even demons. Disappointing but also potentially useful—because they’re powered by us, even when we protest that we’re not doing it, we swear."

SO what is doing it?  Scientists say it's the ideometer effect... automatic muscular movements that take place without the conscious being aware, like with dousing rods or pendulums. if that's science, what up with the Paranormal investigator dude written up in the Mirror?

That guy, Paul Marsters warns that deadly demons could be released by the boards if they are in the hands of anyone but mediums.  "It does not matter if they are plastic or wood, if the planchette spells the word 'Zeus' it is a demon trying to come through and you should not even say the name, never mind continuing to communicate with it."

Apparently other paranormal are unhappy that Ouija Boards are cheaply available

Marsters adds, "We won't even touch Ouija boards - we only have mediums to do that who are trained as they are just too dangerous and you don't know what it will entail using them."

So is that scary but sound advice.  The continuation of a 130 year old myth? Or is it current hype and a clever way to generate interest and more sales of Ouija Boards?
Here's an idea, let's ask the board....but if Zeus answers...HANG UP!




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