This is another piece that was originally done for our paranormal group, “Cressona Paranormal”.  It was also, thanks to Jim Achey, featured in the Reading Eagle in their “Bizarre Berks County” section…. AR

It has been requested of me to discuss Talking Boards and my experiences with them. Before I begin, I will say that these are MY experiences and through them, my opinions of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of using them. I am aware that there are people that use these boards with no ill effects, but I feel that being given some precautions hurts no one and helps everyone.

Talking Boards became popular as the Spiritual Movement gained momentum in the early 1900’s. Mediums were very popular, but not everyone could afford a medium so ways that the ordinary person could contact spirits and speak with them started popping up. It was at this time that the Talking Board became popular and was soon trademarked by Parker Brothers as the “Ouija Board”, “Ouija” being the combination of the words “oui” and “ja” which are the words for “yes” in French and German. Mass marketed boards and their accompanying planchets could be bought cheaply and used by every household.

Everyone has the potential to be a conduit for spirits. We all have latent psychic powers hiding somewhere in the deep recesses of our untapped brains. Using the Talking Board helps these powers come closer to the surface, allowing spirits to speak through us. We open our psychic door, inviting the proverbial Elijah to come through and eat at our table.

Sometimes this can be a wonderful experience. We feel we are talking to those that have passed and they get to tell us that they are all right and watching over us. But there are times when our experiences are not as wonderful. People are told horrible things by spirits bent on mischief out of malevolence or just plain boredom. Spirits can manifest pretending to be loved ones, famous people who have passed (I once supposedly was speaking to Jim Morrison) or even angels. And people believe them, opening up their psychic energies, their souls so to speak. They open their homes and invite them in. Now, one would not just open their door and invite in a stranger from off of the street, would you? But when you use a Talking Board without precautions, that is exactly what you do.

I’m not trying to scare you into thinking that “The Exorcist” is real. Frankly, that severe of a manifestation is rare indeed. Even the supposedly real story in the book by William Peter Blatty is different than portrayed in the movie. In the book, the entity is contacted by a toy phone. We think it was changed to a Talking Board in the movie for effect.

Your question now is probably: “What are the precautions of which you speak?”. Glad you asked. I’ll explain some of them…

DON’T USE A TALKING BOARD. It’s kind of like saying if you don’t want the countless consequences of sex, don’t have sex. And it’s as easy for me to tell everyone out there to not use a Talking Board as it is for a Health teacher to tell a bunch of preteens to abstain until marriage. And just as realistic.

For those of you that are going to do it anyway…

1. Light a white candle and say a prayer. If you are Christian, I recommend an Our Father. If you are Jewish, I’d recommend the Shema and the Kaddish. If you are another religion, I would say a prayer summoning the protection of your God and a blessing for the Dead. A prayer for your ancestors would not hurt either. The candle needs to be WHITE. Do not be lazy and substitute. The color is important. If you are going to go to the lengths to use a Talking Board, you might as well do it right.

2. Don’t use the Talking Board while drinking, using drugs or with anyone who is. These substances lowers inhibitions and opens you up to suggestion. Plus you won’t have the greatest judgement. If there is something there that is a bit mischievous, being drunk is going to tweak it and make it want to mess with you. If there is something there that is downright malevolent (or sometimes even just mischievous), being drunk can give it entrance into your body where it can possess you and it might be damn hard to make it want to leave.

3. Many have said that what happens when you use a Talking Board is all in the intent brought to it. I believe that is true. If you come to a session with the Board nervous and thinking that something horrible will happen, that is the kind of energy you will probably attract and you will have the negative experience you expect. Try to come into a session with a clear head and heart. This will provide you with a possibly wonderful experience.

4. That being said above, there is certainly no harm in taking precautions against things that might appear no matter how good your intentions may be. What many people don’t seem to grasp is that in using a Talking board, you are opening a portal. You are asking and giving permission for an entity to come through and manifest. You are most often not specific about what entity comes through. You do not know it’s name and most likely it will not be giving you it’s real one when it does come through (knowing an entity’s name gives you power over it). So you have opened a door, invited in someone you don’t know (or even a group of someone’s) don’t know it’s name to ask it to leave and have no idea on how to shut the door when and if it does leave. This does not seem to be an ideal situation, but a large percentage of Talking Board sessions end up just like this. A door remains open and entities continue to come through like uninvited party guests. This could end up costing money in the long run as you would have to call some one who could spiritually cleanse your house and you, close the door and give a stern lecture in taking precautions when using a Talking Board, or better yet not using them at all.

Possession is real. It’s not like the movies. You are probably not going to crab walk across the ceiling or projectile vomit pea soup. You will however, feel like crap. Your health might be affected, both mentally and physically. You may have crazy dreams, even nightmares. There could be physical manifestations in the form of unknown bruising or scratches.

When you use one of these boards, it’s best to use respect for the spirits present. Light your candle, say a prayer and declare your intent and invite them to speak. Have some holy water available, or positively charged crystals, blessed salt (kosher is good) or blessed oil. If someone in the party knows how to cast a sacred circle, it would be wise to do so. If someone in the party is a die hard skeptic, it might be best for them to not even be present. Spirits LOVE to play with skeptics. Same goes with anyone who is in a bad or angry mood. Spirits are attracted to that kind of energy like flies to honey.

All in all, the best thing to do is use common sense. If you’re unwell, drunk, high or skeptical, don’t use a Talking Board and for those of you that are believers, take some simple precautions. You may not alway need them, but it’s sure helpful when you do.