While I’m a total believer in the spirit world, I’ve never been particularly successful in my attempts make contact with it. I know I’m not alone when I say, as a kid, I was all about dusting off the Ouija board in a friend’s basement Halloween night, surrounded by mini Snickers and someone’s mom’s Yankee Candle collection. We’d ask questions like, “How and when am I going to die?” And sometimes, we’d actually get answers. While our attempts inevitably scared us, I always felt it was pretty clear one of us, in one way or another, was responsible for moving the planchette. Nevertheless, believer or not, using an Ouija board on Halloween is still a pretty popular phenomenon. But the question of the Ouija board’s effectiveness, credibility, and yes, even the safety of their use, is still up in the air.
Just as a little background, Ouija boards are flat boards used to contact spirits. They have all of the letters of the alphabet, the numbers zero through nine, and the words “yes” and “no” printed on them, and you use a little piece of wood or plastic with a circle in it, called a planchette, to spell out answers to the questions you might ask. While it is, indeed, a game sold in toy stores, the history of the Ouija board dates back over a century to the rising interest in spiritualism.
We had the pleasure of speaking to some bona fide paranormal experts on the matter, who shed some varied opinions on using an Ouija board on Halloween.
Now, you may know Amy Bruni and Adam Berry from Ghost Hunters, or as the stars of TLC’s hit series Kindred Spirits. They’re both actual ghost hunters, and in the show, the two help people who are tormented by paranormal activity in their houses. Both Bruni and Berry had experiences with ghosts when they were younger, as well as hauntings that sparked their lifelong devotion to research and contact with what they refer to as “the great beyond.”
When asked about using Ouija boards on Halloween, or even just in general, both are a bit skeptical.
Berry says the Ouija board is essentially a toy, and if you’re hoping to break one out on All Hallows’ Eve, you should use it as directed according to the gaming instructions on the box.