How Do Ouija Boards Work?

Ouija boards have been around for a long time and thousands are fascinated by them. What you may not know is that this board initially appeared in the 1890s in stores but they have been used for a lot longer than that. Finding answers to questions and having them come from the other side is something that is scary for many.

The Build

Ouija boards are always built in the same way. It will feature all alphabet letters, usually written in 2 rows and the digits. The two extra additions are the presence of “Yes” and “No” in the upper corners and the word “GOODBYE” right at the bottom. There is also a planchette, which is a device that is under the form of a tear and with feet. This is normally used to read a letter or a number under it.

The instructions of use are normally simple. There are 2 or more individuals that will put their fingers on the present planchette as it is placed on the board. Then, you ask a question and you ask spirits to give you guidance. Answers to questions can be Yes, No or a word can be spelled out. Normally all the devices that would emit electrical disturbances will be turned off and lights will be lit. Incense is also quite common.

Ever since the Ouija board appeared, nothing really changed. The only difference appears in our understanding about how the board works. While spirits may be looking for you, science also tells us that there is a second spooky possibility that you did not know anything about: your subconscious answering questions you did not know you know the answer for.

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How The Ouija Board Works

There are 2 main factors that appear when you use the Ouija board:

  • The subconscious mind that needs an answer
  • The Ideomotor effect

The ideomotor effect basically means that people will be able to move something without having the conscious mind realize that this happens. When you use the board and you really want the answer to be yes, you end up pushing the planchette without you realizing that you do this at a subconscious level or that you are applying force. Since the other people do not want an answer or do not have a connection with the question, they will end up moving with you.

There was a test that was done in 2012 that had 2 people blindfolded using the Ouija board. One of the people removed the hands without the other one knowing about it and the person that remained did end up moving the planchette alone, basically answering questions, thinking that they did not use any force.

Obviously, when thinking about the influence of a spirit, we do not have answers. However, many believe that this is the case in various situations so we cannot dismiss this.