Friday, October 26, 2007

The Science behind Spirit Boards

Now that the worst of the wildfires are over (we hope), let's get back to
science and the supernatural.

Maybe carbon monoxide poisoning, infrasounds and paranoia aren't enough to explain the sights and sounds that accompany hauntings. Maybe you, like 33 percent of Americans, believe these are, in fact, caused by the spirits of the dead. How might one reach out and communicate with these spirits?

Through Ouija Boards, of course.

Ouija boards -- also known as "talking boards" or "spirit boards" -- are flat boards bearing letters, numbers and symbols. These boards often come with message indicators, or planchettes; when people rest their fingers lightly on a message indicator, it moves around the Ouija board and spells out messages that some say come from the dead.

Although some believe that spirits control the planchette, others say there is a simple scientific explanation for this movement: the ideomotor effect. The ideomotor effect is the body's involuntary and unconscious response to psychological stimuli. (Crying, for example, is attributed to the ideomotor effect). Scientists say that Ouija board users may be moving the planchette even though they think they're not exerting any pressure on it. This movement would be more pronounced if more than one person had their fingers on the planchette.

For some interesting history on the Ouija board, check out the Museum of Talking Boards.

If you're interested in hearing some Ouija board stories, check out graveaddiction.com


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The word "Ouija" is now copyrighted by Parker Brothers. If you're interested in buying your own gateway to Hell, you can find it here.

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