The 13th Floor

It Was Never Just a Game: Terrifying True Ouija Board Stories

Everyone is familiar with the Ouija board. Consisting of a board covered with numbers and letters, and a planchette with a clear window in the center, participants gather around the planchette and asks questions of “spirits,” who then spell out answers by mysteriously moving the planchette across the board. While “talking boards” have existed in a variety of forms for centuries, the Ouija board that we all know and love today was originally patented in 1891 and produced under the name Ouija in 1901 by William Fuld. Fuld sold to Parker Brothers in 1966, and Parker Brothers sold to Hasbro in 1991, where the Ouija trademark remains.

"Image of a Ouija board - this is the original and vintage text arrangement of letters, numbers, and words."

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL (releasing on October 20th) is the second in the OUIJA movie franchise, but this one acts as a prequel. Set in 1965, fifty years before the events of the first movie, a widow and her daughters hold fake séances to make a living. But when they introduce a Ouija board into the mix, a malevolent spirit possesses the youngest daughter, and shit hits the fan.

I have always thought of Ouija boards as slumber party fodder. But some people claim that their Ouija boards reached out to real ghost, spirits, and demons, and haunted them. 


The Mars Volta got an entire album out of their experiences with a Ouija board. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez bought an antique Ouija board at a flea market in Jerusalem as a gift for bandmate Cedric Bixler-Zavala. The two played with the board after shows, in the tour bus, and they contacted a spirit named Goliath. Omar got nervous when the spirit started making demands in a threatening way, and Cedric was becoming obsessive over the game. Omar ended up burying the board. He is the only one who knows where it is buried. But that didn’t stop Goliath, and weird stuff happened as the band continued working on their new album. There were severe equipment problems. Their drummer quit. Tracks were literally disappearing from the computer. Omar’s studio was wiped out by a flood. Cedric suffered a foot injury that required major surgery. Goliath’s story was the basis for their record, but the band tried to balance the chaos with control, such as a song called “Metatron,” after a saint who is said to cure some of the “ailments” associated with Ouija boards. The album, called THE BEDLAM IN GOLIATH, went on to debut at #3 on the Billboard charts – a career best for the band.

In 2014, orphan Alexandra Huerta used a Ouija board with her brother and cousin in an attempt to reach her deceased parents. A few minutes into the séance, Alexandra started growling, thrashing around in a “trance-like state,” and “speaking in tongues.” Her brother and cousin also reported feeling “possessed,” with hallucinations, blindness, deafness, and muscle spasms. Alexandra’s guardian, Maria, tried to get a local priest to perform an exorcism, but he refused because they were not regular churchgoers and he was not qualified. Maria called paramedics and had the trio hospitalized. While Maria believes, without a shadow of a doubt, that Alexandra was possessed by a spirit, the three kids were taking a powerful Shamanistic drug called Brugsmansia that can cause many of the described symptoms.

spiritualistic seance by candlelight close-upspiritualistic seance by candlelight close-up

Angela Jackson attended a spiritualist meeting, and the psychic gave her a warning from her father, who had died twenty years ago. “You’re thinking about using a Ouija board,” came the message. “Don’t. No good will come of it.” Angela had always had an interest in the spiritual, and she had always been intrigued by Ouija boards. One night, she went to a neighbor’s house and they pulled out a homemade Ouija board. When asked, the Ouija board said it wanted to speak to Angela. Then it spelled out “Die bitch.” The spirit identified itself as Satan, and said it was murdered, “just like you will be.” The glass they were using as a planchette flew across the room and smashed into the wall. Everyone was scared, and over the next few months, Angela convinced her friends to try to reach the spirit again, but they were never successful. One day, Angela was leaving the house to go visit her adult son, when she heard a voice behind her. “Die bitch,” a man growled, wielding a claw hammer. He hammered her over the head twice before the lost consciousness. She awoke in the hospital with a fractured skull. The police never caught anyone in the attack, and while Angela never used a Ouija board again, she still lives in fear that she will be murdered.

Actress Goldie Hawn had a haunting experience with a Ouija board in the 1980s, but hers had a happy ending. One night, after the kids were asleep, Hawn, partner Kurt Russell, and their nanny decided to give the Ouija board a go. When asked who was with them, the board spelled out “New Baby Russell.” Hawn was not pregnant. She continued, asking, “Do you know what you want to be?” (“Happy”) and “Who is willing you in?” (“Oliver,” Hawn’s eldest child). Russell and the nanny were both blindfolded while moving the planchette, so they had no idea what was happening. Suddenly young Oliver, woken by a nightmare, comes downstairs. Hawn put him back to bed and asked the Ouija board one more question: “Do you know that you are coming to me?” The board answered, “Yes. Bye bye mommy.” Hawn gave birth to her third child, Wyatt, on July 10, 1986.

Those are just a few experiences that made headlines. But in all corners of the internet, there are people with their own Ouija horror stories. Here are a few I culled from Reddit:

lifeinhexcolors tells of the time that she and her older sister made a spirit board out of construction supplies. They reached a spirit named Roger, who claimed their eldest sister needed them. The eldest was vacuuming, and just a few minutes later, she shut off the vacuum and called her younger sisters. They were “freaked out” and threw the spirit board in the ravine. The next day, the two younger sisters decided to go swimming in their pool. They go outside and discover the spirit board sitting beside the pool. They took the spirit board back out to the ravine and never spoke of the incident again.

Ouija Board Game Apparatus Classic from 1892 version. A planchette, a small 3-legged device with a hole in the middle or a pointer of some sort, is manipulated by those using the board. Board is generally used at night by candle light or dim lights with incense and burning sage for proper mood.

frostfromfire was playing with the Ouija board with a friend when they were about 12 years old. They asked the board to give them a sign to let them know someone was there, and the flood alarms in the city went off three times, as if in response. It was a clear night, no rain, no swelling of the creek, and certainly no threat of flooding.

glitterymenace used to play Ouija with her friend in high school. They would take it to churches and graveyards and nothing unusual ever happened. One day, they Ouija’d in her friend’s attic and reached a spirit who said his name was Jack. The friend was terrified, and they stopped. She pulled herself together and asked the spirit, “If this is the person I’m thinking of, give me a clue that only you and I will recognize.” The spirit pointed to the numbers 1977. Then it spelled out BELIEVE IN GOD. The friend finally admitted that Jack was her ex-boyfriend, one whom she started a 1977 Punk Revival band with. He died three years prior, of a heroin overdose.

throwawayweegee believes that his Ouija board predicted Princess Diana’s death. The Ouija said that she would die while the poster was in Ohio. He went to Ohio, nothing happened, and he forgot about it. But he went to Ohio again, about a month later, and that was when Princess Diana died.


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