Ian Parkin is the verified author of this post.
Do Ouija boards work, and can we really get in touch with the long (and not so long) departed? This has always been a popular reason to see a psychic medium.
Some go so far as to dabble in the occult themselves, trying to contact their late aunt in hopes of discovering the whereabouts of her lost jewelry case. More often than not, this is done using the ever-popular Ouija board.
A product of the late 19th century spiritualist movement, the "talking board" (as it is also referred to) has grown into a veritable popular culture phenomenon and is possibly the first method of communicating with the dead that comes to mind of any layperson. A flat plank marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" and "goodbye", it uses a small piece of wood called a planchette to trace the messages from beyond the grave. Do Ouija boards work?
Some will, of course, immediately dismiss it as merely a toy, more suitable to late-night house parties than any serious occult business. Others will claim to have seen results and to have communicated with both of their late grandparents. Chances are, the truth is somewhere in between.
Whether you are trying to get in touch with a historical personage that has been dead for centuries or simply wanting to contact your recently deceased grandmother you miss very much, you need to take into consideration their needs and habits first, and not your own. Just because an Ouija board appears to be the easiest way to go about it doesn't mean that it will indeed work. Sometimes it will - but most times it won't. This is because communicating with a spirit depends on a plethora of factors, not limited to your level of clairvoyance, the phases of the Moon, the location at which you are attempting the ritual, and quite often - the mood of the ghost in question. Aimlessly wandering through a 15th century German castle and trying to speak to the spirits in modern English (as some "TV psychics" tend to do) is not very likely to result in anything other than embarrassment.
Instead, it is better to remain calm and listen. Regardless of whether you're at home, at the local cemetery holding a black mirror over someone's gravestone, or in a house rumored to be haunted - listen with your inner, spiritual ear and be ready to receive messages unlike those from living beings. Since the mode of existence in our world and that of the dead is likely very different, thoughts and ideas are often exchanged not through words (or letters on an Ouija board) but through more direct communication that is sensed rather than heard or seen. Our language can appear redundant and insufficient to what the spirit may want to impart.
A Ouija board may be fun but a true and accurate message is more likely to be received through the focused mind and well-intended heart of a real psychic medium.