22 April 2009

Ouija: Let The Right One In

If you grew up in my generation, you may well have been warned about the dangers of the Ouija board when you were young. You may have been told that attempting to contact the spirit world through this Parker Brothers game was simply asking for trouble. Even inviting the possibility of demonic possession. If you were anything like me, all of this warning of foreboding meant that you would not--could not--rest until you had purchased one and tried it yourself. After all, what would liven up your dull teenage life more than suddenly being possessed by the devil?

As I've mentioned before, I know I have a lot of elementary school readers. Pre-K, even (which is why I use only the most basic of words. Yes it is too.). I'm here to tell any of my younger readers, and even some of my older ones, DO NOT MESS WITH THE POWER OF THE OUIJA! This is serious, my friends. Here is my story. After reading it, you too will know that the Ouija board is not a joke. It is not cool. It is an instrument of evil, and by using it, you are endangering your very soul.

My friend Brian and I were fourteen and sitting Indian-style (that's criss-cross-applesauce to my younger readers) on the floor. Before us on the carpet was the freshly purchased Ouija. I was looking forward to asking it a whole host of questions. When will I die? When will Brian die? What was the name of that guy who played on Greatest American Hero? Keep in mind this was before the age of the Internet. After I explained once again that it wasn't pronounced "Oy-juh", Brian and I gave each other a hesitant look and then placed our fingers on the planchette.

I took a deep breath and uttered, "Spirit world, we have urgent business with you. If you are there, please respond with 'yes'."

We waited, deep in concentration. After a moment, the planchette began to move slowly towards the big "YES" at the top of the board. I looked at Brian, immediately suspicious.

"You moved it," I said.

"No way, man," Brian said. "I think we should put it away."

I looked back at the board, the planchette resting quietly on the big YES at the top. "Hmm, maybe you're right."

I started to put the board back in the box, and that's when it leaped out of my hands. It spun itself three times on the carpet and then laid itself flat again. The planchette jumped into the air, righted itself, and then began to make words entirely independent of us. We both cowered in the corner, but unable to turn away from the horror. We watched as the words began to spell out on the board.

G-E-T ... O-F-F ... M-Y ... L-A-W-N

"Holy shit, dude, we need to get out of here," Brian said.

"Hold on," I muttered, slowly moving back towards the board. I stopped in my tracks as the planchette began to move again.

Y-O-U ... S-T-O-L-E ... M-Y ... L-A-W-N-M-O-W-E-R

"Oh for Christ's sake," I said, taking a seat on the edge of the bed. "Mrs. Opplestein? Is that you?"

"No...way..." Brian said, finally coming away from the corner.

Mrs. Opplestein was an old hag from next door. She was always accusing us of being on her lawn and stealing her lawnmower, as well as a host of other minor infractions, none of which we were guilty of. It would be stretching it to say we threw a party when we found out she had died, but we didn't exactly mourn, either. Of all the interesting spirits we might have contacted, it figured that we would tune into her old ass frequency.

"How did you die, Mrs. Opplestein?" Brian asked, barely able to keep the tremor out of his voice.

The board came alive once again.


Brian nodded solemnly. "So ... are you in Hell?"

The pointer slowly moved to the YES.

"What's that like?" I asked.

L-I-K-E ... L-I-V-I-N-G ... N-E-X-T-D-O-O-R ... T-O ... Y-O-U

"Sick burn," Brian said.

"Well, this sucks," I said. "Let's go see what whiskey and grape soda tastes like."

Brian agreed and we put the Oujia board away, feeling both triumphant and deflated over our brief contact with the world beyond. If only we had known then what we came to know later.

Strange things started happening.

Prunes found their way into my parents' grocery bags without them having picked them out.

The television would go to static intermittently, only to suddenly change over to Murder, She Wrote.

The family car started to smell like a mixture of Chanel No. 5 and urine

It was happening. I was being haunted by the ghost of Mrs. Opplestein.

Three exorcisms later, we finally got rid of the poltergeist, but not without some casualties. No, no one died (well, other than Mrs. Opplestein), but Brian was never the same again. I would catch him walking down the hall at school muttering something about "should have never taken that lawnmower".

Don't play with the Ouija board kids.

And don't mix whiskey with grape soda.


Marissa said...

Oy-juh boards still scare me. I walk really fast past them in the toy section. Don't you think planchette is a rather effeminate name for something that can unleash so much evil? Maybe it should be pronounced plan-shay, oui?

Jenn Thorson said...

Heh- "Get off my lawn"-- there for a minute I thought you were going to tell us Crotchety Old Man had passed on. :)

I actually did a post about my own best friend and I using the Ouija board when we were kids.


We didn't shake it off with grape soda and whiskey though. Maybe we should have.

C.B. Jones said...

Just ordered 6 of these things off eBay after reading your story.

I just now remembered I already had one in the closet. That explains all the knocking and screaming that wakes me up in the middle of the night.

those bloody spirits are always spelling out gobbity gook.

Jeff Tompkins said...

I know a guy who, many years ago, broke up with his girlfriend because she was into the Ouija board. It freaked him out, they couldn't reconcile their differences, and he just left her.

She also claimed to be clairvoyant, but for some strange reason she was caught completely off-guard when he broke it off.

ReformingGeek said...

Um...scary stuff. But I think it was the whiskey that made those things happen.

Quirkyloon said...

Spooky Dude! I've always steered clear of those "wee-gee" boards!

So did squeegees get their start from wee-gee boards?

Just askin'.

heh heh

DouglasDyer said...

"Brian and I gave each other a hesitant look and then placed our fingers on the planchette." Until I figured out what a planchette was, that was the scariest line in the whole blog.

Shawn said...

Marissa: Maybe it is pronounced like that. I don't know if that would make it less femme though.

Jenn: Please don't invite direct comparisons between this crap and Cabbages n Kings.

C.B.: Yes, I hear its gotten worse since demon spirits started using "l337 speak".

Jeff: Strange how that's always the way, eh?

Reforming: You could be right. It was unlabeled.

Quirky: Good question. I wonder if a sqouija can summon spirits.

Douglas: Before I read your comment a second time, I thought I had mistakenly posted the wrong story. Whew!

Dalton J. Fox said...

She was evil. Forcing you to watch Murder, She Wrote is way to harsh for simply stealing a lawnmower.

dizzblnd said...

I LOVE this! My encounter with the spirit wprld wasn't nearly as funny.

Have I told you lately how much I love your blog? That's the ONLY good thing that came out of my EC use.. you found me

Mike said...


Someone told me old people turn 30 when they die.

Fucking liars.

That means I have to kill myself now if I want to stay young.

Well, cya around then.

Margo said...

The devil's work. Please don't speak of this again :)

Shawn said...

Dalton: You say truth. I would have much preferred Golden Girls.

Dizz: Awwww. No mas!

Mike: Keep putting those steak knives up your nose and it could happen.

Margo: You're right. I had to warn people, though.

Heather Cherry said...

This really sounds like the plot to a Stephen King short story. Also, how do you know so much about little kids?

@ Doug: Lolz!

The Stabbing Pen said...

Does it make me a fascist because I think this game should be banned?


Shawn said...

Heather: Most of my brain consists of Stephen King stories, so that's not surprising. As for the kids thing, blame the manager program at Chuck E. Cheese.

Stabbing: No, it must be banned for the good of the children.

Winky Twinky said...

Shawn...you're just not right...but you are sooo delightfully hilariously wrong..... love it!!

JerseyGirl said...

i often drink whiskey and grape soda while sitting criss-cross-apple sauce.


Dave said...

Right now, I am watching my keyboard tap out this comment. Oooh, spooky--but unoriginal.

JerseyGirl said...

...but never with an Oy-juh board...

ettarose said...

I don't like them, I don't want them I will not play with them Sam I am. They are way too scary for a chicken shit like me.

Shawn said...

Winky: Thanks :)

Jersey: You hate grape soda, don't even try it.

Dave: That is freaky. I can barely get my keyboard to cooperate when I use it normally.

Ettarose: It's for the best. You never know what could happen.

Chris said...

Outstanding post, very good reading. And working in the elementary school system, I know exactly what "criss cross applesauce" is all about. My friends and I also experimented with the dreaded Ouija as kids...we were never convinced it was even remotely legit, but we sure had fun f***ing with each other.

Glad I found your blog! (through Blog Catalog, I believe, in case you keep track of such things). I'll be back often, this is good stuff.

JerseyGirl said...

yeah, i do. you know why, too. LOL.


Thinkinfyou said...

Leave it to Parker Brothers to bring witchcraft to the masses,and destroy young lives in the process.
I too have memories of fucking with the Ouija,and they're very painful. Thanks for bring them back up.Now I won't be able to sleep tonight.Thanks,Shawn!You're just as bad as Parker Brothers!

Shawn said...

Chris: Thanks. No refunds, though. Thought you should know up front before you start complaining later on.

Jersey: Come on, you've got to like it a little tiny bit.

Thinkinfyou: A nightmare or two is a small price for the good I have done for the community.

Me-Me King said...

I received a Ouija board for my 12th birthday. My girlfriends and I would light a candle and would ask it questions. Trying not to be too obvious that we were directing it to the answers, we believed, we truly believed. Then, out of the blue, my mother confiscated it because, as she was told at the beauty parlor, Ouija boards were works of the Devil. Hey, I lived in the Bible Belt, go figure.

Jen said...

We said "psych/sike burn" maybe you just spelled it wrong? I have no idea what it meant however. Dag, doy, a-doy (reserved for super idiots), I want to be a kid again and use all that wonderful language.

My brother and I would play that game with my dad. Dad would ask the board what my brother was. It always spelled out t-w-i-t, they weren't very close.

JerseyGirl said...


Chris said...

Lol @ Criss-Cross-Applesauce. I've played with the Ouija board many a time only to get freaked out when a nail fell on my friends head, causing him to freak out and stand up too quick hitting his head on the shelf. Idiot.

Winky Twinky said...

OKAY it ends NOW!!!..... Exactly WHEN did Indian style become criss cross applesauce??? WTF???

lilaphase said...

How about levitation?

Anyone remember 'light as a feather, stiff as a board" ? Anyone?

Shawn said...

Me Me King: I wonder why candles and darkness are always necessary when contacting the dead. I should think they would like the chance to come out into the sunshine.

Jen: Yeah, I really only picked up "sick burn" in the last year or so. "Sike/psych" meant something else...like saying "not!"

Chris: Really, that exact strange scenario happened "many a time"?

Winky: November 3rd, 1999, according to Wikipedia. Of course, I just wrote that entry, so it could be false.

lilaphase: I remember it, but only from that movie about the three witches.

Phillipia said...

DO NOT MESS WITH THE POWER OF THE OUIJA! When I was a very young sister, an evil friend's OUIJA (it hurts to say the word) told me I was going to die before the turn of the century....I was sooooo paranoid through December 31st 1999...but boy did I party on Jan 1, 12:01 AM!!!

unfinished person said...

I knew those things were evil. My mother always said so. I'm glad I listened to her after hearing your horrifying (hilarious) story. You, my friend, are the Boom King.

Stumbling this if it already hasn't been.

Unfinished Rambler
signed in as Unfinished Person

brookeamanda said...

I LOVE Ouji boards and even tried to buy one recently. Guess what? You can't find them ANYWHERE! Did some Christian parents group get together and outlaw them?

Shawn said...

Phillipia: What was it like to live like you were dying? Did you go skydiving? Motorcycle riding? Something, something on a bull named Fu Manchu?

Rambly: I AM the Boom King! What does that mean?

Brookeamanda: Interesting. I wouldn't be surprised.

Soda and Candy said...

Heh. Awesome.

(sorry, I think a ghost stole the part of my brain that makes witty comments)

Winky Twinky said...

Yes Shawn...went skydiving...Motorcycle riding, of course.... a bull named Fu Manchu.... OMG...are you a psychic? OH WAIT... that was a SONG..........

Shawn said...

S&C: Since I don't hold myself to that standard, I definitely wouldn't ask it of the comments.

Winky: So you're answering for Phillipia now? Mmmhmm, I thought it was odd I'd never seen you two in the same place at the same time.

bearman said...

I am getting tired of blogger losing my comments...I remember posting something the other day and now I can't find it....ugh.

Charlene said...

Ok. I loved this post! I'm at work--not working--and your post actually made me laugh out loud. My favorite parts were about the prunes and the Chanel no. 5 and urine. Great stuff.

Wendy said...

I laughed out loud at criss-cross-applesauce because a few months ago my son started saying that when he'd sit down and I was like "wtf?" (but only spelled it out in my mind since I can't talk like that in front of the kids). He explained (patiently) to me that that was what you call that kind of sitting. Then I told him I was going up to the school and punch his PC teacher right in the face and then he cried and ruined our beautiful moment of parental bonding that we were about to have. Damn liberal teachers!

Shawn said...

Bearman: Yeah, it's a little unstable sometimes.

Charlene: Thanks :)

Wendy: lol, well it's just the way it is now, I guess. Glad to see you're not spewing internet slang in front of your kids.

Mrs. Opplestein said...

I know what you did last summer!

Shawn said...

Mrs. Opp: Even about...that? Please don't tell anyone.

George said...

I used to be so afraid of Ouija boards. Until Milton-Bradley started making them. Them and those nice Parker Brothers would never endanger me, right? :)

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