Would'ja Ouija?

Here's a ridiculous ad from Parker Bros. in which they encourage young kids to use a Ouija board to get "turned on". In this picture, a pair of disembodied heads and hands are finding their total soul mates.

What makes Ouija boards do their thing is a phenomena called the "ideomotor effect". Basically, you're making it move, but you think you're not. here's a fun test for that: use a Ouija board blindfolded. Have a third party (someone who's not touching the board at all) observe where the planchette moves. See if anything coherent is spelled out. Don't let any of the "users" see you place the board in front of them so they don't know if it's upside down, face down, face up, or whatever. This should prevent them from cheating by memory. Then see if it spells out the name of your future husband. Any time anybody has ever tested dowsing, facilitated communication, or automatic writing, if the test is arranged so that the subject can't see what they're doing, nothing happens. Shocking.

This is also what's going on with "water dowsing". You know... those guys who hold a Y-shaped stick and claim to find water underground? Here's a decent article about dowsing, if you're interested.

Play with your Ouija board all you want. You're not communicating with demons or spirits, and no one's going to get possessed... unless you're afraid of being possessed by your unconscious actions! WooooOOOOoooo!!!

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