Beware the Ouija Board

Based on a True Story

The Ouija Board fascinated my friends and me back in the sixth grade. We would play with it at slumber parties and during evenings when it was too cold to run around in the streets at night in suburban 1960s Santa Rosa. We were young, naïve, and it was something unusual and mysterious–a diversion to play when you didn’t have hours to devote to Monopoly or Clue. We didn’t know what could happen if you played with it. That is, until we called a spirit into my house.

I don’t remember much in my childhood but I remember that whole experience. It scarred me for life.

My best friend, Joan, who lived across the street and I were sitting in my dining room with the Ouija Board between us. We were spending what seemed like hours asking it the typical questions young girls want answers to: ‘Did Ronnie like me?’ ‘Were we going to have a boyfriend soon?’ ‘Did any boy we know like us?’ They were the typical all-important topics we pondered and fretted over on any given day.

Finally, we asked the ‘spirit’ if it had a name. The plastic disk our fingers rested on began to move around as before, back and forth, and pausing before slowly spelled out a name: P-A-U-L.

We were delighted and mesmerized. Was there really a spirit at the other end we wondered?

After a few more questions and answers from Paul, we asked it where he was. After much moving around on the board, the disk slowly spelled out its answer: I-N, pause, Y-O-U-R, pause, B-E-D.

Screaming in terror and suddenly feeling something like foreboding sweep through the room, we immediately stopped playing the game and decided it was best to call it a night.

Though scared and creeped out at the time, I–being a typical 11-year-old girl–soon forgot about our brush with evil. That is, until one day a few months later.


At that time in my life, I loved to sleep in late whenever I could. It was not unusual for me to sleep until late morning while the rest of the household was awake and active.

This morning was no different and I remember I was slowly waking up to the sound of my mom in the backyard watering the garden. I was laying on my side with my back to the rest of my pink daisy wallpapered room. It was bright outside and the hot sun was streaming in through the white curtains. It was going to be a beautiful summer day.

Then I heard it.

It was heavy breathing in my right ear. It sounded like that obscene phone call from a horror film. You know, the kind of call the woman receives right before the murderer appears in the house. I was half asleep and my eyes were still closed as I tried to figure out whether I had been dreaming.

I awoke fully and lay still. It was there all right and I listened to it for a couple of minutes trying to figure out where it was coming from.

Then, I knew. It was my little brother, Russell, trying to scare me. He always got up early and thought it would be funny to wake me up and scare me in the process.

Well, I was smarter than him. I was going to scare him.

I waited another couple of seconds, patiently listening to his breathing. Then, I flipped over, tossing my covers back, and screamed out at him, “AWWWWWWWW!”

The room was empty.

I never played with the Ouija Board again.

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