The Strange Origin of the Ouija Board

What’s one of the easiest ways to communicate with ghosts? People can hire mediums and those who are capable of reaching into the supernatural planes of our very mortal realm. 

Aside from that, there are also items that can easily be purchased for communicating with spirits. They range in complexity and in price. 

For veterans or ghost hunters who want the full technical experience, gadgets such as the honey tone (a modified version of the spirit box) can help facilitate conversations. For those who wish to interact with the supernatural without all the fancy gadgets, a simple board can help. 

You might know it as the Ouija board, a product that is labeled with the alphabet, numbers, as well as the words “yes,” “no,” and “goodbye.” Here’s what is interesting about this kind of board: Ouija doesn’t really refer to these kinds of devices for the supernatural. It’s more of a brand. 

Think of it as Coke. When we say Coke, we’re talking about soda. But we usually refer to all kinds of soda as Coke or even Pepsi even though there are other brands. The Ouija board operates in this kind of way as well. 

The Ouija brand was created by Charles Kennard, a fertilizer entrepreneur in Chestertown, Maryland. The name was coined after he held a seance in April 1890. 

According to the businessman, he actually asked the board what it wanted to be called. The board spelled the word “Ouija” for them, and the rest was history. 

This is an interesting tidbit when it comes to the origins of the well-known item. Next time you can call a group of friends, bring one of these items, and ask if the name Ouija still comes up now, I guess!

Image credit: Emily MacDonald/Pexels

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