Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dear Ghostiegurl:

We have experimented with a kind of "game". It consisted of calling a soul which would give us answers, even predicting the future.

The alphabet, numbers from 0-9, yes/no, and goodbye were written on pieces of paper and put on the table forming a circle. A plastic glass with our fingers on it was being moved by that spirit to give us the answers.

I don`t know the name of this "game" but it used to be very exact in giving answers about the past. I would like to know the name of this game and if it is dangerous. I heard some people who tried it lost some family members. It might have been a coincidence or maybe not.........Please give me some answers.


You're talking about a handmade version of the talking board, a method of divination/spirit communication that dates back to ancient times.

It is believed to be an easy way of establishing a connection with the ghost world, especially for people who aren't naturally aware of such a connection. In the 19th century, fascination with the spirit world and communication therewith grew--in the form of the spiritualism movement--and some now-famous people got swept up in what was essentially considered a parlour pastime.

It was popularized in the 19th century but it was marketed in the early 20th century in the most recognizable form of a board-and-planchette game by Kennard Novelty Company and William Fuld's company, to name a couple. Parker Brothers acquired William Fuld's company in the 1960s and produced "The Ouija Board". (Since 1999, it has been a very different-looking product.) There are other companies that produced talking boards under different names and, today, different religious groups have other names for it.

Beliefs about talking boards run to both ends of the spectrum: some believe that it's not a game, that it's very dangerous. In a religious context, it has been labelled "an instrument of the devil" or the playground of demons. At the other end of the spectrum, some people believe that the planchette or message indicator is moved, subconsciously or consciously, by one or more of the participants in the game and that the predictions/answers are actually an expression of the participant's or participants' subconscious.

There is a good collection of literature on the subject of the talking board, each piece detailing anecdotes or techniques or warnings. Perhaps the most famous is the early-20th-century tale of Patience Worth; she was believed to be a spirit--apparently contacted by Pearl Lenore Curran --who produced poetry and novels.

Whether or not to use a talking board is, of course, a personal decision and I, personally, don't like them and don't advocate their use. Why? Because I believe that ghosts are everywhere and those that wish to help us are already doing so.

Many people report false information, vulgar language and insults in their experience with talking boards while a very few relate positive experiences to me. In my years of providing readings to people, I have found that many people are very curious to use one but are afraid to do so. I have never received firsthand or even second-hand stories of injury or fatalities and I've read for hundreds of people.

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