So a hot topic for debate in the Paranormal Hauntings group is always the topic of the Ouija. The scale of belief surrounding it ranges from it being nothing more then a piece of wood to the other end of the spectrum where others think thinking it is some kind of portal to hell…..some will use it, some don’t mind it and others would prefer to set one on fire!
So where does the Ouija originate from?
The Ouija board was made popular in February, 1891, the first few advertisements started appearing in papers: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” boomed a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop. The shop described a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy” and promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a link “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Another advertisement in a New York newspaper declared it “interesting and mysterious” and was Price,d at $1.50.
This board was like the boards we see today in shops, a flat board which has numbers and letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semi-circles. “yes” and “no” within the corners, “goodbye” at the bottom and it is normally accompanied by a “planchette,” a teardrop-shaped device, usually with a small window in the body. The planchette is used to maneuver about the board for responses.
Looking further back through history the board was a common tool used when spiritualism started to trend. The Fox sisters Maggie, Kate and Leah was to kick start this trend by conducting what they called ‘Rapping sessions’ and ‘Spirit Circles’. Leah developed an early version of the Ouija board, on which she painted letters and numbers to enable the spirits to better deliver their messages. The Fox sisters later admitted that half of their sessions they concluded was indeed faked!
But if you look through practices and rituals practiced years before, aspects of the Ouija board can be identified within, this method was used more to cast predictions to fore coming events or to predict outcomes.
So Where does the name OUIJA come from?
The name was picked by Helen Peters, a medium who was using the board with her brother-in-law Elijah Bond one night 1890 in Baltimore. When she asked what they should call it, the planchette spelled out “Ouija”, which the board told her meant “good luck”. The building where Peters named the board is now a 7-11 convenience store, which has a plaque commemorating the event on the wall.
Helen then sold the creation on to William Fuld after a number of conflicts and bad luck, she blamed the misfortunes on the Ouija Board. William then marketed the Ouija and even he encountered strange occurrences throughout this time, even his death resulted in a question mark it is was purely accidental or if the Ouija board had some kind of involvement in it.
Read the full story here:
It was in the March of 2009 that a man from Oklahoma called Darren Wayne Evans posted on a true ghost story sharing website. His post began with a warning. Ouija boards ‘are not toys,’ he wrote. ‘And should be used with strict caution, and probably should not be messed with AT ALL’. He then went on to describe a series of terrifying encounters that he had with a spirit named Zozo. At one point, Evans supposedly asked the entity where paradise was. It spelled out the response: ‘H.E.L.L.’ Prior to this ZOZO had never been reported!
It was in 2016 that a completely new story of the Zozo began to unfold. At this point, Evans had been working on a book with renowned paranormal author, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, for some time. Evans conducted a telephone interview with a New Jersey newspaper. It was then that he revealed that, in 1982, he had discovered a mysterious Ouija board underneath his then-girlfriend’s house. The board, according to Evans, was ‘weird looking’ and ‘menacing’. ‘On the front, it had ‘Zozo’ where ‘Ouija’ was usually written’.
Looking back through history the first known reference to an entity named Zozo appears in 1818, in Le Dictionnaire Infernal, a demonological encyclopedia written by French author, Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy based on demonic possession cases.
This extract has been used to provide historical evidence for the Zozo phenomenon but when translated the truth is far less demonic.
The following translation from the extract:
The village of Teilly, three leagues from Amiens, in 1816 gave show to a girl who wanted to pretend to be possessed. She was, she said, in the power of three demons, Mimi, Zozo and Crapoulet. An honest ecclesiastic warned the authorities, recognizing that this girl was ill. We took her into a hospital, and he would no longer speak of possession … the King [Louis XVIII] immediately sent his surgeon… and two other doctors to examine the case. When the possessed girl was brought before these doctors she was interrogated. She rattled nonsense. The prior [of the Capuchins] asked her questions in Latin to which she responded badly. Finally it was found in some papers, that a few years earlier, she had been whipped in the public square for trying to impersonate a possessed person. She was condemned to perpetual imprisonment: Source http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5754923d
The author of this book says this case was a complete hoax. He goes on to describe other – what he perceives to be genuine – cases of possession. Indeed, he even concludes the ‘Zozo’ extract with the sentence: ‘Nonetheless, there are real cases of possession.’
so is the ZOZO Phenomena real or Not?
Who knows only them who claim to have encountered such a entity will know exactly what they have experienced. The historical evidence would suggest that people are just experiencing a hysteria but some claim to have not heard about ZOZO prior to conducting a Ouija and it was only after having the name come through that they had researched it to have then found out that it was alleged entity attached to the board!
No matter who you are or what you believe, the stories that seem to surround the Ouija seem to fascinate people from all over the world, love them or hate them, with them having such a big stigma attached to them the interest in them will always be there!!