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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Georgia Southern chapter.

Have you ever wanted to do something impossible and talk to the dead? Well, with the Ouija board, you can. With a history as mysterious as the boards themselves, spirit boards have rapidly grown in popularity as a fun yet spooky game. Even the film industry jumped onto the trend, creating both Ouija and Ouija: Origin of Evil. Yet, very few people actually know what a Ouija board is and how one works. 

What is a Ouija Board?

A Ouija board– also called a spirit or talking board– is a tool to communicate with spirits and the dead. While usually made of wood or plastic, they come in all shapes and sizes. However, all Ouija boards include rows of letters from A to Z; numbers zero to nine; and the terms “yes”, “no”, and “good-bye.” Each board is also accompanied by a piece called a planchette– a heart-shaped tool used to select the letters. 

 However, the application of spirit boards varies from person to person.

Many view these boards as demonic invitations for evil spirits and should be avoided at all costs. Some believe spirit boards provide a great opportunity to speak with otherworldly spirits. For others, the Ouija board is no more than another game on the shelf, used to ask “ghosts” silly questions. After all, Ouija boards are mass-produced and now marketed as a children’s toy by Hasbro– you can buy one here

How do you use it?

First, set the atmosphere by turning off all the lights and only using candles (or, if you’re fancy like me, you can use a glow-in-the-dark board). Second, gather at least one other player. Together, two players lightly place their fingertips on the planchette in the center of the board. One player is chosen to be the Speaker. The Speaker is the only person to directly ask questions and speak to the spirits. A third player is also beneficial to take notes and record responses.

Now comes the fun part. You and your group can ask whatever questions you want– with some advised-against exceptions! You can treat it like a game and ask questions about your life, future, dating, etc. Or, you can attempt to make contact with a real spirit, asking about the world or even their previous life.


Like any game, the Ouija board comes with its own set of rules. While many additional rules, tips, and signs to look out for exist, three main rules should ALWAYS be followed:

  1. Never play in a graveyard
  2. Always say good-bye
  3. Never play alone

Do Ouija boards really work?

No one really knows whether or not spirit boards are real. Many non-paranormal explanations exist, yet various personal accounts say otherwise. Some think of the Ouija board as nothing more than another board game on the shelf, but others view spirit boards as a serious ritual.

So, what do you think? Is it a toy or a tool? And do you dare to find out?

Kelly Wilcox

Georgia Southern '22

Kelly Wilcox is a senior Writing & Linguistics and Philosophy double major at Georgia Southern University. She has a passion for writing in all forms; however, her areas of focus are essay writing--articles and features, editing, and new adult fiction. When she isn’t writing, Kelly enjoys caring for her two cats, betta fish, tank snail, and ferret. She also values spending quality time with her loved ones when possible. Her dream is to write and edit content for a lifestyle, entertainment, or news-focused publication while writing romantic NA fiction during her spare time. Want to see more of Kelly? IG: @kelly_wilcox_c //Twitter: @kellywilcoxc //Gmail: kellywilcoxc@gmail.com