There’s nothing quite like the Ouija board. Nothing can give you the thrills and scare your pants off like this game. In the 19th century almost everyone used to believe in ghosts. The short life expectancy back in the days along with conflicts like the Civil War surely had a major role in making people want to desperately communicate with their lost loved ones.
The advertisement for the board first popped up in 1891, claiming it to be the most interesting, remarkable and mysterious production of the nineteenth century. Novelty stores in Pittsburgh started selling them for $1.50. It became popular soon enough as teenagers started playing it during sleepovers. While with friends, you would place your fingers on the planchette and ask a question. The planchette starts moving from letter to letter according to the questions answered.
The Ouija board consists of a flat ‘talking board’ and a teardrop-shaped planchette. The letters of the alphabet and the numbers from 0 to 9 are neatly arranged on the surface of the board with a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ in the uppermost corners. Apart from that, it is has the sun in the left, representing light, and a moon in the right, representing darkness. The pentagram on the middle of the board represents the five elements. At the bottom of the board is the word “goodbye’’. Some of you might know the basic characteristics about the board. Well, here we give you 15 strange facts about the Ouija board that you probably never heard of.
1. The Ouija board’s strange and spooky history began when it named itself.
The Victorian era was obsessed with people trying to communicate with the dead. Spirit boards were widely popular and being used when the Ouija trend started.
According to Elijah Bond, one of its first investors, Bond first played with his sister-in-law, Helen Peters. They asked the board what it should be called. Not long enough, the planchette glided and worded out “Ouija”. They asked to know the meaning to it, and the board replied “Good luck”.
2. Ouija board sales skyrocketed by 1922 to outsell Monopoly.
By 1990, the fast moving trend captured everyone’s attention. It was so common that every house in the United States had one. Three million boards were sold that year and within the next two years, the popularity beat monopoly by a huge margin. People often bought the board to keep one on their coffee tables as a display.
3. The creator of the board game secured the patent by pulling off a spooky stunt.
The board named itself as well as paved its own path into all American homes. The descendants of its founders explained how Elijah Bond secured the patent through an eerie demonstration. According to them, Bond invited his sister-in-law to join him along with the patent officer, who’s name was not known to either of them. When they asked the board what the patent officers name was, the board correctly spelled out his name. This shocked the officer and he granted the patent. Even though the patent doesn’t have any technicalities on how the board works, it simply says that it does.
4. Most players ignore the rules of the board.
We are all curious creatures of this planet. We always look for unique experiences and sometimes our curiosity makes us jump into the pool before reading the rules. The Ouija board has its own set of rules that we are supposed to follow. Ignoring these rules has serious consequences. Some people believe that, by not playing by the rules we are opening the doors to evil. Three of those rules are considered to be the most important. They are “never ask the board when you are going to die, never play alone, and never talk about God”.
5. Back in the 1890’s, it was advertised as a fun dating activity.
To increase the sales of the board, the sellers advertised the game with well-dressed people, often the opposite sex playing with each other. This was a great tactic back in the 1890’s as it caught a lot of attention and young people often purchased it to play with their date’s. The board traveled all over the country and made a fortune to its sellers.
6. The trend was shunned by people after the release of the movie ‘The exorcist’.
The Exorcist is a 1973 horror movie, in which a 12-year old girl named Regan MacNeil becomes possessed by demons while playing with an Ouija board. Though the directors of the movie meant no harm, the sales of Ouija board collapsed instantaneously after the release of the movie. Most Americans considered it a gateway to hell and started destroying it.