How Does a Ouija Board Work?


Quick Answer

A Ouija board consists of a planchette that moves around a board to spell out answers to questions. There are two theories on how it works. The spiritualist theory believes players channel spirits or ghosts, whereas the automatism theory states the players subconsciously move the planchette.

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Full Answer

Those of the spiritualist theory fall into two groups. One group believes the Ouija board is a harmless tool that can be used to seek answers and insights. They say the spirits that are channelled are friendly and only want to share information.

Others believe the Ouija board is dangerous and should not be used. They feel it attracts evil spirits that portray themselves as good. They believe these spirits can do both emotional and physical damage to the players, and some say death has occurred after playing with a Ouija board.

People who follow the automatism theory state that by sitting down at the board, the subconscious opens up, and the individuals move the planchette without knowing they are doing so. It is not intentional, and is instead an involuntary, subconscious act.

The Ouija board has been popular in the U.S. since the late 1800s, when it was a common parlor game. Although it is designed to be used by anybody, it is sometimes used by psychics to assist them in readings.

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