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Ouija Board Alternatives for Communicating With Spirits

Karen Frazier
Ouija board with candles on table

Not everyone who wants to try to communicate with spirits has a Ouija board. Fortunately, there are several tools you can use and methods of communication that are great alternatives to using a Ouija board.

Try Other Spirit Boards

Ouija board is a branded item from the game manufacturer Hasbro. And while it is the granddaddy of talking boards, there are many others you can purchase and use as well. Most have similar elements to the Ouija board including some form of a planchette or pointer, letters and numbers, yes and no, and goodbye, but they may have different designs, layouts, and motifs. Use these talking boards just as you would use a Ouija board following the same rules and guidelines. You can use these talking boards alone or in groups.

Other Names for Talking Boards

You'll find these boards marketed under many names, such as:

  • Talking board
  • Spirit board
  • Witch board
  • Oracle board
  • Divination board
  • Fortune telling board
  • Message board
  • Spell board
  • Spirit guide board
  • Occult board
  • Mystic board

Intention Matters More Than Branding

Regardless of how the board is branded or named, what matters when you work with it is how you intend to use it. So even if it is called a spell board, if your intention is to use it to communicate with spirits, then it will work in a manner similar to a Ouija board.

Online Talking Boards

You will also find talking boards online or as smartphone apps. These apps and websites may have different themes, but the intent is similar to a Ouija board in affecting spirit communication.

Make a Simple Homemade Talking Board

It's easy to make your own talking board, either from a pattern or as a simple object you whip up in a few minutes.

Items You'll Need to Make a Low-Effort Talking Board

To make your talking board, you'll need the following:

  • A table with a flat, smooth surface that you can sit a few people around either on the floor or on chairs
  • A large piece of butcher paper, parchment, or similar about the same size as or slightly smaller than your table
  • A permanent marker, such as a Sharpie
  • Double sided tape or putty you can easily remove that won't mar the table's surface
  • Something to use as a planchette, such as a drinking glass turned upside down
  • A writing pad and pen

How to Make a Simple Talking Board

  1. Empty the table and clear it of dust or debris. Make sure the table is clean and dry.
  2. On the smoothest side of the paper (if it has one), with your marker, write "yes" and "no" in the upper left and right corners of the paper respectively.
  3. At the bottom center of the paper, write the words "Goodbye."
  4. Across the paper in two or three rows, write every letter of the alphabet leaving some space between them. You can write these letters in a curve or in a straight line. The design is up to you. Make sure the letters are good sized so you can easily see them.
  5. Above the "goodbye" along the bottom of the paper, write the numbers from 0 to 9, leaving space between them. Make the numbers about the same size and spacing as the letters.
  6. Allow the ink to dry and set on the paper. It's ready to use when you can run your finger across the ink without any smearing or ink transfer.
  7. Using the double-sided tape or putty, tape the paper to the table in each corner and along the center so it lies flat and will not bunch. If using putty, make it as flat as possible.
  8. Place whatever you are using as the planchette in the center of your homemade board and have two people sit on either side of the board with their fingertips resting lightly on the planchette. A third person can record any letters on the pad and paper. If you are playing alone, then turn on a recording device as you play and read the letters aloud as the planchette slides to them.
  9. Open the session as you would a Ouija board session and ask questions.
  10. When you're done, slide the planchette to "goodbye" to close the session.

Try Pendulum Divination

Another alternative to a Ouija board is pendulum divination. You can use a gemstone or pre-made pendulum, or you can use any heavy object tied to the end of a string or chain, such as a heavy wedding ring or a necklace with a relatively heavy pendant. You can try pendulum divination alone or in a group.

Several beautiful pendulum crystals

Using a Pendulum to Communicate With Spirits

When you use a pendulum for spirit communication, it's easiest to ask yes or no questions. If spirits are present, they may answer through the pendulum by causing it to swing back and forth or in a circle. To use a pendulum in this manner:

  1. Rest the elbow of your dominant hand on a flat surface, such as a table, where you will be comfortable and not feel like you need to keep shifting elbow position. A standard sized dining table or desk is ideal for this purpose.
  2. Face the palm of your hand pointing towards the ceiling and hold he pendulum in your hand with the chain resting between your thumb and forefinger with the pendulum and chain dangling loosely towards the table. Don't squeeze the chain; just rest it between the pad of your thumb and the side of your forefinger's middle phalanx (the second bone from the top of your finger) or proximal (bottom) phalanx. This position allows free movement of the chain and pendulum without you being able to direct or restrict its movement.
  3. Start by saying aloud, "We ask any spirits or guides present to please communicate with us through this pendulum. The pattern you use to make the pendulum swing will tell us the answer to our question."
  4. Say aloud, "Show me yes, please." Hold your hand, arm, elbow, and fingers perfectly still and allow the pendulum to begin to swing on its own. Even if you're tempted to do so, don't make a movement to get the pendulum swinging.
  5. The pendulum will either swing in a circle or swing back and forth or side to side. Note the pattern it swings in. Every time the pendulum swings in this way, it will indicate the answer "yes."
  6. Stop the pendulum from moving and say aloud, "Show me no, please." The pattern it swings indicates a "no" answer.
  7. Stop the pendulum from moving and say aloud, "Show me maybe, please." The pattern it swings will indicate a "maybe" answer or tell you the spirit doesn't want to answer the question.
  8. If the pendulum doesn't swing at all, don't force it. Try again another time if after ten minutes or so nothing happens.
  9. Now, you can ask yes or no questions and note the direction in which the pendulum swings to give you answers.
  10. Close the session.

Try Automatic Writing

Automatic writing has been used as a method of spirit communication for many centuries. It is considered a type of psychic ability. This is a good method to use when you wish to try to communicate with spirits, but you're alone. Use this primer to get you started on automatic writing.

Man doing automatic writing in diary

Conduct a Séance

A séance works best with a group of people who have gathered with the intention of contacting spirits. You don't need a spiritual medium present to conduct the séance; any determined and focused group can try it. Use this primer to conduct a séance to communicate with spirits.

People around a table doing a séance

Use a Candle

You can also use a candle for spirit communication. This works well alone or in a group. Any candle will work for this purpose. To use a candle:

Woman calling spirits using a candle
  1. Before you begin, close any windows or doors and turn of any heaters or fans in the room to eliminate drafts. You want the air in the room to be as still as possible.
  2. Set the candle on a table at about eye level and sit back from the candle so you can observe the flame without your breathing or movement affecting it. Turn off the lights so you can better see the flame.
  3. Say aloud, "I wish to communicate with any spirits present. I am going to ask yes or no questions. To respond yes, please bend the flame to the left. To respond no, please bend the flame to the right. If you don't wish to answer, bend the flame towards or away from me."
  4. Now, begin to ask your yes or no questions noting the direction the flame bends. Leave at least a minute between questions to give the spirit a chance to respond. If the flame doesn't bend after five to ten minutes, then close the session and try again another time.
  5. Close the session.

Ask for a Dream

Some people receive spirit communication best through dreaming when their critical mind is shut down. This method works best for a single person, although groups can try it as well. The simplest method for asking for a dream is to say as you fall asleep every night, "Show me what I need to know." Then, pay attention to your dreams. When you wake, record your dreams right away and look for dream symbols to help you discern their meeting.

sleeping senior woman in white bed

Asking for a Visitation Dream

If you have a specific spirit you wish to have come in a dream, such as a loved one who has passed away, before you go to sleep each night ask for that person to come meet you in your dream. It may take a few nights, but chances are your loved one will come communicate with you. You'll know they've come for a visit if the dream they appear in has a hyper-real quality that feels different from other dreams. You can even try lucid dreaming techniques so you can consciously communicate with your loved one.

Try Bibliomancy

Bibliomancy allows you to glean messages from books. While books traditionally used for bibliomancy include The Bible and I Ching, you can use any book you have handy or one that has spiritual meaning to you. Bibliomancy can be done alone or in a group. To use bibliomancy to communicate with the spirits:

Person holding an open book to read
  1. Sit or stand near a bookshelf or some other place you have books collected or choose a single book and sit holding it.
  2. Say aloud, "I wish to communicate with any spirits present. I will ask you a question, and I ask you to guide me to any book and/or passage that will answer my question."
  3. Ask your question aloud. Now, with your eyes closed select a book if you haven't already and open it to a random page.
  4. With your eyes still closed, point to a spot on the page.
  5. Now, open your eyes and read the passage you are pointing to. This is the spirit's answer to your question.
  6. Close the session.

Use a Plasma Ball Lamp

Using a plasma ball lamp is a fun and novel approach to spirit communication, but it works! You can use this approach alone or in a group. Plasma ball lamps have little bolts of lightning in them from electric currents, and the bursts of lightning appear when something touches the surface of the lamp. You can find home décor plasma lamps for between 25 and 50 bucks in novelty stores. To use a plasma lamp to communicate with spirits:

People's hands touching a plasma ball
  1. Plug in the plasma lamp and place it nearby on the floor or on a low table where you can see it clearly.
  2. Turn off the lights in the room so you can better see the lamp. Sit well back from the lamp so your energy won't affect it in any way.
  3. Say the following aloud. "We wish to communicate with any spirits who may be present. We have this lighted globe, and we can use it to communicate with you by asking yes or no questions. If the answer is yes, please approach the lighted ball and touch its surface. It will not hurt you, but it will cause lightning to swirl inside that will allow us to know your response."
  4. Now, ask yes or no questions. If the lightning flares in the lamp, the answer is yes. If it doesn't after a minute or so, then the answer is no and you can proceed to the next question.
  5. Close the session.

Try Dowsing Rods

You can also use L-shaped copper rods called dowsing rods to communicate with spirits. You can do this alone or in a group. This will allow for yes/no communication in a method similar to the pendulum. To use the dowsing rods for spirit communication:

Man holding dowsing rods with hands
  1. Hold the rods loosely grasped in your fists, holding them along the short axis with the long axis pointing straight in front of you parallel to the floor and ceiling. Tuck your elbows in at your sides with your forearms perpendicular to your body and parallel to the floor and hold your fists with palms facing six to ten inches apart. The rods should be able to spin freely in your hands without obstruction.
  2. Say aloud, "I wish to speak to any spirits that may be present. You can use these rods in my hands as a form of yes or no communication. Please cross the rods for yes, point them away from one another for no, or spin them in my hands if you don't wish to answer the question."
  3. Now, proceed to ask yes or no questions. The way the rods move will give you your answers. If the rods fail to respond at all after five to ten minutes, close the session and try again another time.
  4. Close the session.

Tips for Spirit Communication

When communicating, consider the following:

  • Always explain to the spirits what you are doing and how you wish to have them communicate with you. Describe how they can manipulate whatever you are using to answer your questions.
  • Always be respectful and polite in your questioning.
  • Never provoke or ask questions you don't want the answer to.
  • When starting with a specific method, give it five to ten minutes for the spirits to figure out how to make it work. If you receive no responses after that period, close the session and try again another time.
  • Always leave at least one minute after asking a question to allow the spirit time to respond.
  • Close each session (even those where you feel you didn't receive any communication) by thanking any spirits who participated and asking them to return to from where they came.
  • It's best to cleanse the energy in the space and cleanse any items you use in the session by performing a cleansing burn using a sacred herb like sage or palo santo. Wave the smoke throughout the space and over any object you've used for communication. This will sever any lingering energetic connection.

Communicate With Spirits Without a Ouija Board

There are numerous methods you can try to communicate with spirits that don't require a Ouija board. Try any of these that appeal to you or seek your own methods of communication for eliciting responses from spirits.

Ouija Board Alternatives for Communicating With Spirits