11 August 2013

The Horror of Talking Boards! Part 1

This article is part of Kallan's wonderful Sunday Stew. Please hop on over and read all the different flavors added by each chef. I know that you will love it!

As you know from my most recent post describing my collection., I am a lover of all things Spirit/Talking/Ouija. I have been for a while. I've also created art of the Ouija. I don't find them evil. They don't make me writhe in pain from demon possession. I'm not scared by them or of them. I do get mad when people tell really stupid stories about them. Because, c'mon, that puts that person right up there with the preachers that have to tell their one and only demon possession story of the local fortune teller over and over.

I have been using the board in some form for the past 14 years (give or take) and I have only been mildly scared a couple of times, in the beginning. I'm not going to say that I haven't because I would be lying. I attribute it to nervousness of using a (gasp) OUIJA. I started out using The Psychic Circle board., then I graduated over to a Ouija. Such horror stories surrounded this board, that I was scared the first couple of times. And I was much younger. And I grew up in East Tennessee. Get the picture?

As I used the Ouija more, I realized that if I used it the same way as my Psychic Circle and treated it with respect, then I understood it was not a portal for the demonic hoard to take over the world.

So, I got to thinking about what causes these beliefs surrounding these Talking Boards? Why are people so scared? What makes them all have a horror story from someone that they know, that once (and only once), used the board?

The first one is obvious. Religion. But, I'm not going to discuss that one today. I want to discuss this one:


Note* I've called this Part 1, later I would like to list TV shows with Ouija boards and perhaps later still, books. I also want to list some of the more ridiculous homemade Youtube videos out there, a page of informative videos, and I may even make a few myself.

First, lets review some movies that the Ouija has been featured in:

1. The Exorcist- 1973

The Exorcist is indeed a frightening movie. It was long banned in the UK by a number of town councils and the VHS itself was not approved for release in the UK until 1999. Today, if we adjusted what the film made with inflation rates, the Exorcist would be the top grossing horror film of all time.

As you know, the movie story is about a young girl, Regan, who becomes possessed by a demon through her contact with a Ouija board.

The back story:

A young boy, "Roland Doe", becomes possessed in Maryland and the book, written by William Peter Blatty in 1971, and the movie were made from this story.

Peter Blatty used two sources of information for his novel, the diary of  Father Raymond Bishop and testimony of Father Walter Halloran.

The book supposes that Roland was introduced to the Ouija by an aunt and when she passed he tried to contact her with it. Soon after is when the noises and things moving began. Which was followed by of 30 exorcisms in a two week time period.

Later, another author, Mark Opsasnick , wrote a book about his investigation of the events and he concluded that Roland was just a "was simply a spoiled, disturbed bully who threw deliberate tantrums to get attention or to get out of school." If this is true, I bet after all those exorcisms, he was a changed child, just for the sheer fact of having to endure it.

2. Deadly Messages- 1985

Laura is a single woman with a Ouija board. The previous owner of the board was murdered and it now gives Laura warnings that she could be next! This movie is from TV 1985 and it is not based on a true story. This movie seems scary but has a happy ending. She is being stalked and she gets help in the form of a supernatural entity.

3.  Witchboard- 1986

A guy brings his Ouija to a party. He leaves it at a girl's house. She plays with the board alone and she thinks that she is talking to a nice spirit, but in movieworld reality, IT IS THE MOST EVIL SPIRIT IMAGINABLE. Also not based on a true story. 

I'm also going to include Witchboard 2 and Witchboard 3 here. 

4. Don't Panic- 1988

Michael's best friend, Tony, gives him a Ouija board for his 17th birthday. Soon, they open the gates of hell with it, and there begins a spree of terror and murder, with Michael being the suspect. I think what we can learn from this is that fully grown boys should not wear printed pajama sets if they expect to be taken seriously.

5. Koko The Clown- Ouija Board -1920

Silent and also the first cartoon to feature a Ouija

6. The Uninvited-1944

A brother and sister move into an old, seaside haunted house. They have a seance and use a board that they make from scrabble letters and a wine glass. The lesson learned from this movie, you parents don't have to worry about that Pink Ouija corrupting your young ones at that slumber party. All they need is paper, a pencil, and a shot glass, snuck from the parent's kitchen cabinet. 

7. Alison's Birthday- 1981

Alison gets a dire warning from her father, who is now a spirit. Again, this movie shows us that young girls can prove to be quite clever when they want to speak to those behind the veil.

8. The Devil's Gift - 1984

This movie is not based on Stephen King's short story "The Monkey", however the plot is so close, that many believe that it was plagiarized. A witch talks to a spirit on a Ouija, the spirit kills her, puts her spirit in a monkey with cymbals. The monkey ends up in a suburban home where it starts taking over the mind of a housewife. What's scarier than that Ouija? Those dolls. 

9. Awakenings-1990

This movie is based on the memoirs of Oliver Sacks, a British neurologist. So, it is a true story. Although the trailer doesn't show it, in the movie Robin Williams' character uses the Ouija to communicate with his patient. Nothing scary here.

10. Repossessed- 1990

I think that once you watch the trailer, there's no explanation needed for this one. Obviously a comedy, but it still ties the devil with the board.

11. Only You- 1994

Nothing scary here, unless you find romantic movies scary. I've only got this to say: Robert. Downey. Jr.

12. What Lies Beneath- 2000

This trailer doesn't show the Ouija that Claire uses, but it is in the movie briefly. Claire believes that something is haunting her home. She is trying to find out what going on, she uses a Ouija to help. I like this movie because the Ouija doesn't cause the terror that is happening in the film, it aids in uncovering what is going on.

13. Long Time Dead- 2002

Group of friends partying turn to using a Ouija, they all end up dead. The movie is the evil spirit killing them. Its the typical horror/Ouija coupling. 

14. Paranormal Activity-2007

The demon sets the Ouija on fire....but why would it set a demon portal on fire? Anyway, another typical horror story. 

Well, the majority of these movies that use the Ouija definitely have the Ouija as the cause of the problem, the portal of the devil...etc. So, this is definitely one of the causes of people's fear. People also like horror movies. People believe the Ouija can and will do these things. 

Spirit boards are a tool for spirit communication. The key to them is to not use them frivolously, don't use them if you are scared of them, don't abuse them, and don't be arrogant while you are using them. My use of spirit boards has went from using them quite often to only using them every now and again. I enjoy them, but now they have become more of a collector piece for me. 

Some good websites that have lots of info are:

Their Facebook page, which has lots of great pics of different spirit boards

And, of course, we can't leave out the William Fuld site

I hope you enjoyed this article, I know that I didn't list ALL the movies and I'll add more to it at a later date, but this is a good starting point. I think I will try to find a copy of Only You and watch it.

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