Friday, November 1, 2013

The History of the Ouija Board, Witchboard, and a Backpack That May (Or May Not) Open The Gates To Hell

Great article from
"The Strange and Mysterious History Of The Ouija Board"

When I was growing up, I had a religious zealot neighbor who filled me with all kinds of terrors.  She warned me that Ouija boards open the gates to hell. I don't know why she was pestering me - it seemed like an issue to take up with Parker Brothers. If one of America's largest toy-makers saw fit to distribute Ouija boards, she should confront them.

Between my neighbor's warning and the movie Witchboard, I never wanted to own one.  As you can see from the Witchboard movie posters (particularly the one on the left), Ouija boards do not look like a lot of fun.  I don't know of anyone who enjoys the sight of an axe, bloody red smoke, a person screaming, or Tawny Kitaen.

Nevertheless, the history of the Ouija board from 1891 to the present is fascinating.  It also reveals the desire of many Americans to believe in the supernatural especially during uncertain historical times.

Interesting Facts...
  • Did the Ouija board name itself?
  • Strange story of how the Ouija board was "proven" to work at the patent office.
  • "Inventor" William Fuld died after a freak fall from the roof of the new factory the Ouija board told him to build.
  • Spirit mediums were more upset by the Ouiji board than religious protesters.  The mediums "found their job as spiritual middleman cut out" because people could communicate directly to the other side.
  • Sales boomed during the Great Depression and other uncertain times.
  • The Ouija board was so popular and "normal", it was featured in a Norman Rockwell illustration on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post" in 1920.

I am a Ouija board skeptic but this backpack is the cutest thing ever. I wonder what my neighbor would think about this.

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