I write about things I find interesting, and although I am not an expert, I have fun learning as I research. I hope you like the results!
A Typical Ouija Board
Ouija Board - Myth Vs Reality
First of all, let me state categorically that an Ouija Board is not a portal to the ‘other side’! It does not bring forth demons or spirits into our homes after using it. It is a board game and the word ‘Ouija’ is capitalised because it is the registered trademark of a toy company.
Am I suggesting this means the board holds no dangers? Not at all. If someone believes in the things already mentioned, then it can adversely impact on the person involved psychologically. Belief is a compelling thing and shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to using an Ouija Board. If you firmly believe in its powers, then I suggest you stay away from it.
An Alternative Use?
However, if you are more rational and see it for what it is – a piece of wood or plastic made in a toy factory, or hand-crafted by an enthusiast – then does it serve any purpose other than scaring our friends, that we can use?
As it happens, the answer may well be yes. Have you ever put something ‘somewhere safe’ and then can’t find it? This is an everyday frustration for many people so, let’s first examine why we forget things.
Two Kinds of Memories
Our brains are full of a whole lifetime of memories, ranging from things like our first day at school, our first kiss, to the license plate of the first car we owned. Some crucial memories, some more trivial but all held in the complex system of neurons that makes up our brain.
If we think of our brain as two separate components, it makes it easier to understand. I use a computer as an excellent analogy to explain this. A computer has two forms of memory - RAM (Random Access Memory), used for short term processes while we are working - ROM (Read Only Memory) which stores all our documents, videos, music etc.
Our brain works in a very similar way to this. Short term memories can be transformed into long-term memories during sleep, passing from one section to the other where they are stored for future use.The problem of forgetfulness seems to occur when we are searching for a specific memory.
We are very good at pictorial recognition if it is shown to us, but what if the thing we are searching for is not represented in our immediate vicinity? Then it becomes a little trickier and it is this process of searching for the vague pictorial memory retained somewhere within that causes the problem.
So, back to the Ouija Board.
We know this works because of the ideomotor effect - the unconscious movement and decisions we take without being consciously aware of it - usually in response to a suggestion or anticipated event.
An example of this in everyday life would be to flinch from an anticipated pain before we have even had time to think about it, like some insect flying toward our eyes. We don't have time to physically think about it and yet our eye closes straight away.
However, it is more usually a minuscule movement that is hard to detect and one that we are not conscious of making. Many in the world of the paranormal refuse to believe that the ideomotor effect is responsible for this and are convinced that the spirit world is using the Ouija board as a conduit to communicate.
For this reason, I would like to share this video with you where Dr. Joe Schwarcz explains how the ideomotor effect works.
Spiritualism and the Ideomotor Effect
Recommended for You
The Proposed Experiment
Now, back to the point of this post. What I am suggesting is that the Ouija Board 'could' be used to tap into unconscious memories via these unconscious ideomotor actions.
I have an acquaintance who uses this method whenever something is lost and knows that the location of the missing item is somewhere within their memory. My friend sits with the Ouija board and asks it questions, the subconscious does the rest.
They assure me that it works the majority of the time. I am talking about a very rational person here, who knows how the Ouija board works and has turned it into a communicator from hidden memory to conscious thought.
I think it would be a great idea for research graduates and university students to try this experiment out and map the findings.
Are there any college or university people reading this and wanting to take this challenge on? If so, I would be very grateful if you remember (see what I did there?) to get in touch with me and let me know your findings.
Meanwhile, all of those of you who own and regularly use an Ouija board, next time you ‘lose’ something, take out your Ouija board and see if you can tap into your unconscious memory.
If it works for you, I would love to hear about it.
Please let me know in the comments section.
Hasbro's Ouija Board
© 2018 Ian
Ian (author) from Durham on November 01, 2018:
You are very welcome.
Be sure to let me know if it works! I don't own an Ouija board but if I did I would have plenty of chance to try it out... at least 2 senior moments per day!
Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on November 01, 2018:
I'm always finding that I can't remember where I put something when I put it somewhere "safe." Next time, I will dig out my Ouija Board. Thanks for the tip.
Ellison Hartley from Maryland, USA on October 23, 2018:
This is a cool and fun article. When I was a kid we loved scaring ourselves with those things!