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When you purchase a William Fuld Talking Board, aka Ouija, you’ll find that it comes with rules. However, over the years, movies have shared with us more rules to follow when it comes to using this form of spirit communication safely. There are a couple of movies in particular that offer some great advice on this “game.”
My two favorite movies concerning Ouija boards are Witchboard (1986) and Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016). Both of these films delve into the usage of boards, the importance of safety and rules when using them, and what can happen if you don’t follow the rules. Sure, these are fictitious movies, but there are people that have had horrifying real-life experiences associated with Ouija boards.
Mostly, the rules are there to protect you from harm or, even worse, possession. When you’re “playing” with something that is advertised as a way to commune with spirits, it makes sense to take as many precautions as possible. I mean, if you don’t believe in ghosts, why are you using a Ouija board?
Here are the rules and a little bit about the reasoning behind each of them.
According to the box, your William Fuld Talking Board is best used when placed on the knees of two people, preferably a man and a woman. This instruction is not only on the game box, but it’s also mentioned in Witchboard.
Why only two people? Probably because this offers less confusion when you’re asking the board questions. Why a man and a woman? Who knows, but to me, it seems kind of sexist (just saying). Why on your knees? Well, according to Brandon in Witchboard, this allows the energy to flow more clearly through the users to the planchette.
2. Only one person should ask questions.
If you’ve watched Witchboard (and I highly recommend you do), you know that too many people talking to the board can anger the spirit(s) inside. This rule is also on the game itself. According to the box, this helps avoid confusion. If there are more than two of you in the room, ask one of the other people to write down the various questions asked and the answers the board gives.
3. Concentrate and be focused.
As with any tool of divination, you need to concentrate. Not only should you be concentrating on using this tool, but you also want to concentrate on each question you’re asking.
I think that one of the rules from Witchboard will fit well in this section too. Brandon says that the two people using the Ouija should have “clean and pure systems.” He says you shouldn’t be on drugs, drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. This also allows more of a free flow of energy.
4. Understand the spirit world.
In the movie Witchboard, Brandon specifies that spirits like to lie and that they are poor spellers. If you get a message that isn’t clear at first, take a look at it again and see if the words could be misspelled.
Also, another note on not angering the spirits you commune with—if you make a ghost angry, it might harm you or your belongings. This happens a few times in Witchboard.
5. Never use the board alone.
This is one of those rules from the movies only. It’s not on the Ouija box. I’ve played with Ouija boards alone many times, and I’m still here to talk about it.
In Witchboard, the warning about not using the board alone cuts out before a reason is given (at first). This rule is also one of the only three rules in the movie Ouija: Origin of Evil. I think the main reasons for not using alone are that you are opening yourself up for greater chances of possession, and you aren’t going to have someone there to help you if something does go wrong.
6. Never play in a cemetery.
Ouija: Origin of Evil’s second rule of three is to never play with the Ouija in a cemetery. I guess this makes a lot of sense since cemeteries are where the dead are resting. Waking them up may annoy them (or worse), you may get more responses than you bargain for, and you could raise something worse than just a spirit looking for some lively conversation.
7. Don't ask it when you're going to die.
I don't really know where I first heard this rule, but it's a good one. Since spirits sometimes lie, they might give you a false date, and you might spend the rest of your life worrying about what might happen to you that day. It's not worth it—just enjoy life!
8. Always say goodbye.
The last of the Ouija: Origin of Evil rules states that you need to always say goodbye before you quit the “game.” Why? This releases the spirit from the board. Keeping them trapped in the board can anger them, and you risk them passing from the board into you or your home.
9. Take good care of your Ouija board.
The final rule on the Ouija box states that it is important to keep your board free of dust and moisture. That means you should keep it clean and store it in a safe place. Don’t put it in the attic or in the basement. Don’t spill things on it. Dust it off with a dry cloth before each use.
If you want to learn more about using Ouija boards, including the dangers, check out my other Ouija articles: