Are Ouija Boards Dangerous? Know the Potential Risks

Updated June 29, 2021
Ouija board

People tell spooky stories about the Ouija've probably even herd a few yourself. Such tales of terror lead people to wonder whether playing with a Ouija board is dangerous. And, if the stories are true, how can something so unsafe be sold as a game? The truth about whether a Ouija board is dangerous largely depends on who you ask. Some people use Ouija boards and never have a frightening experience. Others claim to have had terrifying encounters that happened because they dared to use a talking board to interact with spirits.

Is the Ouija Board a Dangerous Game?

By itself, a Ouija board isn't dangerous. After all, it's a cardboard game board with some letters and symbols printed on it and a plastic pointer. There is nothing about the materials that make up the game, the letters and symbols on the board, or any other aspect of its construction that's inherently dangerous unless you throw it at somebody or eat it.

But when used carelessly, the results from playing with a Ouija board can certainly be scary. You'll find plenty of scary Ouija board stories from people who misused the board or weren't prepared for what they would encounter when they dabbled in spirit communication.

So what's the difference between some slightly creepy fun and a terrifying or dark outcome? Preparation and intention.

The Truth About the Ouija Board

While the Ouija board is sold as a game and is a party favorite for pre-teens at slumber parties everywhere, it's also used as a device to connect to the spirit world. And like any other avenue of connecting to ghosts and spirits, such as conducting a séance, having an EVP session in a haunted place, using a pendulum, or visiting a spirit medium, when you connect with spirits and you're unprepared to do so, occasionally the outcome is scary.

Why? Because while a majority of spirits are relatively benign and content to answer questions by helping you push around a Ouija planchette, occasionally you'll come across a spirit that's kind of a jerk. And as people who are jerks in life often enjoy messing with people, sometimes when they die and are ghosts, they remain jerks and still like to mess with people. So, when you come across a nasty spirit, sometimes the results can be frightening. And sometimes being that frightened can cause psychological damage, trauma, and other issues that aren't so great.

Likewise, every once in a while, you may encounter a spirit that is downright evil. While these instances are rare, there are anecdotal accounts that they happen, and for the uninitiated and unprepared, these encounters can do a great deal of psychological, religious, emotional, and spiritual harm, and even at times, physical harm.

Psychological Risks

There are many psychological reasons why a person might be in danger from using a Ouija board according to psychology professionals. The main one is the belief that the Ouija board is communicating with spirits. Psychologists believe a susceptible person may convince themselves that they are possessed by a demon.

Hands on a Ouija planchette

According to the mental health industry, the psychological dangers of Ouija boards rest with the mental health of the participants. Psychologists/Psychiatrists believe that psychic phenomena such as demonic possession, poltergeist activity, and hauntings by spirits are the result of various mental illnesses. This professional belief automatically displaces any supernatural or paranormal causes for the patient's condition.

There are many creepy tales that circulate about the Ouija board, and it's easy to get caught up in superstition. The idea of communicating with spirits can feel spooky, and this creep factor can affect the most logical people when the planchette seems to move by itself by responding to questions. This can frighten or even traumatize you, so it's important that you stay grounded during a Ouija session. If you begin to feel afraid, then close the session by sliding the pointer to "Good-Bye" and then off the board then turning the board upside down so the letters touch the table.

Spiritual Dangers Associated With the Ouija Board

If you connect with a spirit with nefarious intent, you may experience spiritual issues such as loss of belief, repression or possession, or a dark night of the soul. Each of these can cause a great deal of spiritual angst which can affect mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

For example, you may ask questions you really don't want answered and start to regret it, especially if the information delivered by the Ouija board isn't true. For example, a participant may flippantly ask, "When am I going to die?" and the planchette slides to give a specific answer. Knowing a specific date of your death can actually lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Likewise, it can lead to all types of angst that may affect you spiritually and emotionally.

Scared woman

Another spiritual risk is that, once you've contacted a spirit, it may decide to stick around. Nobody wants an unwanted spirit following them around, especially if it's a ghost with ill intent.

Some mediums and psychics believe that only low frequency entities and spirits use Ouija boards as a form of communication. These beings don't vibrate at high enough frequencies to achieve communication any other way. This alone is a warning of the dangers of Ouija boards. These spirits are adept at deception.

spiritual portal

The low frequency beings using the Ouija board often pretend to be someone you once knew. The spirit may offer a few small truths to gain your trust. This information almost always takes a turn and becomes dark and misleading. By design, the communication can cause confusion, anguish, and even isolation.

There are several telltale signs that you're communicating with a negative entity. Once you know what to look for, you can quickly end your Ouija board session. If you notice any of the following odd behaviors, immediately slide the planchette to "goodbye" and then turn it upside down. End your session and store the board appropriately.

  • Ouija board planchette slides to number 9 and counts backwards to 0.
  • Planchette slides between Z and a vowel repeatedly.
  • Planchette exhibits laughter by sliding back and forth between the letters H and A.
  • Planchette moves erratically.
  • Planchette cycles through the alphabet in either alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.

Emotional Risks

If you are a frequent user, you can run the risk of becoming emotionally attached to the Ouija board. This is especially dangerous if you rely on the Ouija board for advice and guidance in your life. This can lead to an obsessive behavior and even result in you shutting out friends and loved ones.

Upset man

You should constantly remind yourself that no game can dictate how you should live your life. You have free will and you live in the real world, not the world of a Ouija board. In spite of being consciously aware of these facts, you discover you're relying on the board in an unhealthy manner, seek professional guidance either through a mental health professional or a spiritual advisor, such as clergy.

Physical Risks

Physical risks associated with the Ouija board include unleashing psychokinetic energy. There are anecdotal reports connected to Ouija board use about physical attacks and objects being thrown and smashed by unseen forces. In some cases, the activity continued even after the individual stopped using the Ouija board. This is known poltergeist activity.

Poltergeist activity is caused by the phenomenon known as psychokinesis, which is frequently related to a living person although it can be generated by spirits. If you experience poltergeist activity during a Ouija board session, properly end the session and see if the activity stops. If it continues, you may need to help from a paranormal expert. In addition, you might need to talk with a therapist to resolve any residual emotional problems you have from the experience.

Religious Risks

The most frightening danger associated with the Ouija board is the possibility of demonic possession. This fear was heightened by the movie, The Exorcist, and the spirit Captain Howdy communicating through the Ouija board that led to the fictional demonic possession.

Possessed-looking woman

If any of the participants in the Ouija board session exhibits odd behavior, promptly end your session. You can perform a cleansing burn with sandalwood or other incense to clear out any negative energies. If it continues and you fear a demonic possession, infestation, or oppression, then you're dealing with a religious issue, not a paranormal one. Seek help from clergy trained to deal with possession.

Is Ouija Just a Game?

While a most people can play with a Ouija board and have a creepy good time without anything happening, there are always outliers who have frightening experiences. Many people believe the Ouija board is just a game and play with the board flippantly or without respecting the nature of spirit communication. This attitude makes them vulnerable to the dangers of Ouija boards. Never take communicating with spirits lightly. Be cautious when you use a Ouija board and make sure you are using spiritual protection techniques. Familiarize yourself with the signs of spiritual oppression. If, at any time, you feel the situation is out of control, any of the participants are uncomfortable, or you feel any sense of spiritual danger, end the session immediately using proper closing techniques.

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Are Ouija Boards Dangerous? Know the Potential Risks