5 Most Important Ouija Board Rules That'll Keep You Safe As You Play

Photo: adeliz photography / shutterstock
Five Most Important Ouija Board Rules To Memorize Before You Play

Whether you're a bored teenager look for a scary game to play, curious occultist, or casual diviners trying to contact the dead, neglecting to follow Ouija board rules can leave you in a host of trouble. You are entering the spirit world, after all.

As popular movies like Ouija has shown, the board game uses people’s hands on a small device to send a message to and from beyond. However, it comes from very real-world origins and has its own, applicable purposes in daily life. 

It is not all Satanism and gore. People often use ouija boards and divination as a way to find closure and comfort.

Even in its origins, Ouija was a way people dealt with times of rapid and sudden change. Ouija boards arose in tandem with the actual spiritualist movement in the second half of the 19th century. 

RELATED: 15 Best Scary Documentaries On Netflix

In the wake of the Civil War, the foundation of America and life itself changed. Many people sought spiritual answers rather than religious ones; through seances, the lecture circuit, etc. people attempted to talk to the dead. 

Talking boards became one of the ways people could explore spirituality, and easily bring this movement into their homes. 

The meaning of Oujia itself changed over time, but the board’s name itself comes from a popular myth: a medium once asked what the board wanted to be called, and it spelled out “Ouija.” When asked what it meant, the board spelled simply: “Good luck.” 

Here are the five most important ouija board rules to memorize before you play. 

The board holds great power; it is important to wield it responsibly. 

1. Don’t joke around

While you generally shouldn’t get your board advice from T.V. and movies, there is a reason why every horror movie starts with dumb teenagers and then ends with dumb teenagers in um, various states of harm.

Many people, because of the stigma against spirituality, tend not to take occult practices like the Oujia board seriously. While you might not necessarily meet the grisly, sensationalized ends of your horror movie counterparts, it is still just good practice to practice utmost respect for the dead.

So be sober, don’t laugh, and focus. You are dealing with forces many do not fully understand! So it is important to be cognizant of the potential consequences. 

2. Be intentional

Assign only one person to talk, and have questions already in mind.

While the board might be a fun thing to whip out in the middle of a sleepover with all fifteen of your closest friends, the Ouija board’s official, written rules are that you should not exceed more than two players. 

Ouija boards are about intention. So you should have only one person ask the questions. If you want to contribute to the question asking, instead of shouting them out in the middle of the session, brainstorm the questions together as a group before you assign your person. 

The Ouija board is about connection, and connection takes clear and precise communication. Ensure you have someone who is collected enough to handle this responsibility, and you all can safely proceed together. 

RELATED: 10 Best Movies About True Scary Stories & Where To Watch Them

3. If you are playing alone, be very clear about where your headspace is at.

It is crucial to be in a good headspace. If you are sick, injured, depressed, or otherwise impaired, you are especially vulnerable. 

Whether or not you believe in the spirit realm, there is no denying the deep psychological hold the dead, and our relationships with it, have over the human mind. 

If you are playing alone, you become especially vulnerable to the board’s power. The reason why the board’s rules usually ask for a second person is that the second person not only shares the burden of the board, but they also help ground you to reality. 

In times of grief, the board can be a great comfort. It can give you the closure you never even imagine you needed. But, you should only attempt to speak with the dead if you are in a place to handle your sadness.

If grief is overwhelming your everything, especially your own rationality, then you might not be able to handle what is on the other side. 

4. Never leave the planchet on top of the Ouija Board 

In general, it is important to end the session very cleanly. Say goodbye once you leave; don’t leave the channel open.

Leaving the planchet on top of the board is like leaving an open portal, a blank check for a world you do not understand to come and go as you please.

The planchet is your agency in Ouija; so leaving it unattended means you hand this tool to your world straight to undeterminable forces. 

Instead, say goodbye, and cleanly put the planchet off to the side.

Even better, put it somewhere where it can be separated from the board itself. That way, the planchet cannot move on its own when you leave, and you always know that when you’ve ended a session, your connection with the spirits has cleanly stopped. 

5. When the planchet starts to count down, or go through all the letters, stop it immediately. 

It should already be a red flag when the Ouija boards start moving wildly out of your control, but when it starts rapidly counting down or quickly moving through all the letters, this means one of two things: 1)  the spirit (while not necessarily malicious) can escape. 2) you have contacted a demon or an evil spirit.

Either way, you want to fully have the reins on the entire session, so to have the planchet wildly bounce around is already very disorienting. It is also not good practice to just have a spirit loose in your house, so the second this starts quickly and loudly say goodbye.

Say goodbye, and only once you have stated you want to end the session take the planchet off the board. If you try to wrestle with the planchet before you closed the session, this might aggravate the spirit even more, and spin things further out of your control. 

RELATED: 5 Binge-Worthy Podcasts About True Scary Stories

Jessica is a writer who covers entertainment, media, and culture. 

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!