The popularity of the Ouija board goes back to its first introduction in the 1890s in the American market, but the idea behind it is much older. And it has had a tumultuous time ever since it came into being.

If you've never used a Ouija, it's a type of "genie-in-the-glass". It has a series of letters and numbers on it, and users place their fingers on a tablet, a small piece of wood or metal. The theory is that spiritual forces will "press" the fingers on the tablet against particular letters and numbers to spell messages and communicate from the spirit world. Whether you believe in the spirit world or not, the Ouija board is an incredibly interesting object.

The Ouija board itself isn't even 130 years old, according to Smithsonian Magazine, but the idea of ​​using "talking boards" to communicate with spirits or ghosts is very old. Attempting to contact the gods or spirits through earthly interpretation has been common among many civilizations throughout the ages.

The specific characteristics of modern "talking boards" may have originated with the Fox sisters, three famous American mediums from the 19th century. They used table dancing and knocking as signs that ghosts were speaking to them, as well as "automatic writing", where they wrote what came into their heads while the spirits controlled them. It may have been their idea to use letters to produce more defined messages. But spirituality was so popular in 20th century America that it is difficult to narrow down the exact origins of the idea.

"Talking boards" were actually quite common in the 1800s in the United States, but none were as popular as the Ouija board.

J. Edward Cornelius, in his History of the Ouija Board, explains that the first modern Ouija was marketed in the United States in 1890, when the country was awash with interest in spiritism and mediumship. While details are scant, it appears to have been invented by a man named EC Reiche, a carpenter (made mostly coffins) in Maryland with a strong interest in spiritualism. The name "Ouija" was first used for the board at this time and it was marketed as "Ouija, The Wonderful Talking Board".

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You will find Ouija boards in the shop!

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