How To Play Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board (& The Scientific Reason Why It Works)

Photo: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund
How To Play Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board & Why It Works

We’ve all been in our best friend’s bedroom, surrounded by discarded pizza boxes, our ears filled with laughs and the occasional “Shhhhhh” as we’ve contemplated playing Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.

Whether you've seen it on The Craft or it was lore passed down from older siblings, we were interested then and we’re interested now! Light as a Feather Stiff as a Board is the perfect game to play to get into the Halloween spirit. 

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How to play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

While it feels like you need to have stacks of occult books and secret witches for ancestors to make it work, all you need is four people and your hands.

Get into the spirit.

Make sure you have a cozy set up in case the floater falls! The more blankets and pillows the better. The game should not be dangerous, but it’s nice to be safe.

While someone is making sure the liftee will be comfortable, someone else should set the mood. Dim the lights, light candles, and put on eerie instrumentals. Now is a good time to choose a leader. The leader will be the one to begin the chant.

Have the person being lifted lay on the floor.

The person being lifted should cross their arms over their chest. Position people around each shoulder and knee. If you are playing with an extra person, have them stationed at the liftee’s head. 

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Use your ring and index fingers.

Position your index fingers underneath the person’s knee, shoulder, or head depending on where you are.

Do a preliminary test. Try to lift the person with your two fingers in your current position. It may not work but this round shows you how it feels to lift the person before you place mind over matter. 

Chant “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.”

Now that you’ve gotten a sense of what it takes to lift the person individually, focus on doing it as a team. Everyone should lightly place their hands on the person’s head. As a group, you are opening up the person’s body to spirits or healing them, this will make them lighter.

Get back to your original places and reposition your fingers under the knees and shoulders. Focus. Chant together “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board.” 

Lift and chant. 

If you are working in sync and as a group, you should be able to lift the person! Continue chanting.

Once you’re finished, slowly bring the person back down. The group should command the spirits to leave the person’s body. Just as when you’re using a ouija board, always make sure to say goodbye!

How does it work?

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board doesn’t require spellbooks but it also doesn’t require a science textbook either. The answer is simple: you’re working together as a team! Everyone is pulling their ― or the person you’re lifting’s ― weight!

It may be hard to lift a person by yourself but with four people it becomes easy. Distributing the weight equally and lifting at the same time turns an old parlor trick into a party trick.

The next time you’re watching Hocus Pocus with your friends, be sure to suggest this classic game! 

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Melissa Moscoso is a writer who mainly covers astrology and pop culture.