The Ouija Stigma
I think many of us can go back to our childhood and recollect playing with or knowing someone who had a Ouija board. We were just a bunch of bored kids sitting in a circle asking spirit questions from the great beyond. At the time it was all about the thrill of going against community standards and a big touch of naivete' that made us think we could challenge the spirits into giving us a message.
Today, while many still consider using the Oujia board a novelty there are some in the paranormal community who warn against it. We know that Ouija hasn't ever really stood a chance for positive reviews. Throughout history, people, movies and books have protrayed the Ouija as a catalyst for evil occurrences and demonic activity.
The mid to late 1800's boasted parlor games, and psychics as a favorite pastime of many spiritualists in this era. It was during this time that a generic board grew in popularity. It would be etched with letters and numbers which helped its believers to communicate with the dead more efficiently. The manmade boards could be found far and wide each created uniquely by its user.
Two keen investors by the names of Kennard and Bond took notice to the boards rising fame and rushed to place a patent on the board. The board had no "official" name until Bond's sister-in-law Helen Peters a self-proclaimed psychic asked the board what it should be called. The board allegedly responded with, "Ouija". When asked what the meaning of the word Ouija was, she replied, that the board told her "Good Luck."
A very skeptical patent officer told Kennard and Bond their product must work properly for a patent to be issued. He told Helen Peters, Kennard and Bond that if the board could spell out his very unusual last name that he would see that a patent was issued. They performed a Ouija session that proved to be successful and a very shaken patent officer issued the patent.
The Kennard Novelty company proved an immediate success and in 1892 six additional factories opened in Baltimore New York, Chicago and London. By 1893 Kennard and Bond were out of the company due to immense money issues and a ground floor employee by the name of Fuld who had investments in the company took over. He died in a freak accident in 1927. He fallen from the roof of a factory that the Ouija allegedly told him to build.
Over 120 years later the board's mysticism still draws buyers to the shelves. Over the years it has been marketed as the mystical oracle and family fun while drawing in users from all walks of life. Copycats have tried replicating the game throughout the years but all have failed to live up to Oujia.
So why, so many years later, is their still this negative stigma attached to the game? History shows that it started at the games origin. It was a popular tool used by mystics and psychics in the 1800s. The Catholic church immediately denounced the board as being related to the occult and admonished those caught playing with the board and often times expelled its users from the church. In 1920 the first negative Ouija related movie was released called simply, "The Ouija Board". 68 more scary movies would follow all featuring Ouija as the source for turmoil, demons, possesion and more.
Throughout history there have been people who have claimed true stories of suffering posession, demonic visits, curses and opening portals upon using the board.
As far as opinions among paranormal investigators I'm finding a mixture of believers and nonbelievers in the power of the board itself. However, when it comes to the actual use of the board I find that most investigators whether they believe or not, would prefer not to tempt fate. The most common perception is that the board can open a portal for all spirits, even demonic ones. Some claim that it opens doors on the lower astral plane of spirits that are angry, confused or had died violently which can result in harm to its user, while others may argue that using the board is no different than using spirit boxes or calling on spirit to answer questions.
Dealing with the paranormal is a science in which we no very little about compared to all other sciences. It's always best to not venture into areas of the occult that we do not understand and to always respect the possibilties of the outer realm.