Spirit Board Bibliography:
Ouija, Spirit Boards, Talking Boards,
Their History and Use

Compiled by nagasiva bryan w yronwode
for the Yronwode Institute (YIPPIE)

Bibliographic Entries


(c) 2010 YIPPIE, the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology, catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode. All rights reserved; contact the editors for permission to reprint or use data.


The practice of automatic writing is ancient, and despite the confusion surrounding the devices employed to achieve it, its global character has been confirmed in diverse forms, such as execution in soil by stylus, or selection of letters, words and phrases by pendulum. The particular form of divination one may call board automatism has a more recent and well-documented history, particularly insofar as it has intersected patent records and game manufacture from the 19th century to the present.

With the advent of Spiritualism in the 1800s, the development of means to communicate with the dead, especially through raps and knocks the deceased might make, placed a heavy focus of attention on the furniture of the seance. Table tipping, rapping, and knocking were already of great interest before more expedient methods to convey language began to be employed. One of these, the planchette, was affixed with a writing instrument, but sometimes yielded insufficiently meaningful marks from the spirit world. It became apparent that a more suitable mechanism was a pointer of some kind whose movements were governed by tentative fingertip contact on the part of the mediums. This pointer was placed upon a simple alphabet board, and the messages were spelled out letter by letter. Production of talking boards or spirit boards with an array of letters and numbers for this purpose escalated from unique home-made boards to those issued patents with intruiguing and exotic names like 'Egyptian Luck-Board', 'Nirvana Talking Board', and 'Igili Marvellous Talking Board'.

With the selection of the proper apparatus of spiritism, variations on design had little affect on the uses toward which these tools were put. This included capitalizing on afterlife communication with those celebrated as authors while alive, the retained connection between spouses or good friends, conversations with persons previously unknown for a variety of purposes spanning from the composition of poetry and novels to researching historical events, and expanded to communications with extraordinary intelligences such as angels and faeries.

Publications about spirit boards have focussed on the methodologies of Spiritualism and its testing; the manufacture of the devices and their pedigrees; coverage of, or expressions from the entities contacted through the boards; and fiction incorporating them. This latter category was foreshadowed in writings such as Jack London's 1906 serialized novella Planchette, featuring an automatic writing instrument that carried news of impending calamity, and extended to horror stories in which the main character uses a Ouija to make contact with ultimate evil or accurately predict a coming apocalypse. More recently, serious collectors and spirit board archivists have created online museums with breath-taking photos of talking boards through time, putting the Ouija into a coherent context. In addition, contests and festivals challenging entrants to construct novel and innovative designs compete for the attention of the web surfer, while board manufacture spreads to incorporate more diverse designs and a wider range of targets for communication.

The intention of this bibliography is to catalogue the publishing history that documents the subject of spirit boards, talking boards, and of Ouija through the course of one hundred fifty years. References in literature and the media to automatic writing devices that operate without the use of an alphabet board have been excluded. In order to present these documents in their historical context, the list, minimally annotated, is presented in chronological order, by original publication date. It is intended for use by those who are doing research into Spiritualism, the history of game boards, and the material culture of occultism.



Kardec, Allan. Le Livre des Esprits. Contenant les Principes de la Doctrine Spirite. Recueillis et Mis en Ordre par Allan Kardec. (Second ed.; First ed. 1857 was not translated into English). Paris: Didier Et Cie, 1857.

Allan Kardec was the pseudonym of Hippolyte L. D. Rivail. French original was translated into English (The Spirits' Book) by Anna Blackwell in the 1870s. This is a classic of Spiritualism, and gives us some of the first descriptions of spiritist devices for spirit communications, including rudimentary spirit boards and planchettes. Referenced by Orlando 2000.

"Allan Kardec, the father of French Spiritism, reveals everything you ever wanted to know about spirits, mediums, and the evolution of the planchette and early talking board in three of his most important contributions."
From http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/books.html (accessed 01/31/10).

"[Rivail] was approached by a group of fellow-researchers who asked him to organize a set of fifty notebooks containing transcripts and journals of numerous spirit communications. Using the same logical rigor that he had applied to his work in education and science, Rivail set out to study this material. In the meantime, he supplemented the transcripts with philosophical and scientific questions, which he posed to different channels (mediums) in different countries. The answers were compared, analyzed, and organized into the present book, which was first published in 1857." -- dustjacket,
From http://www.afterlife101.com/Spirits_Book.html (accessed 01/31/10)


Kardec, Allan. Le Livre des Mediums; ou Guide des Mediums et des Evocateurs. (First ed.). Paris: Didier Et Cie, 1861.

This is a classic of Spiritualism, and gives us some of the first descriptions of spiritist devices for spirit communications, including rudimentary spirit boards and planchettes. It was translated, along with Kardec 1857, into English (The Mediums' Book, aka Mediums and Evokers Handbook) by Anna Blackwell in the 1870s. Referenced by Orlando 2000.

"The first written communications were obtained by attaching a pencil to the foot of a toy-table, placed upon a sheet of paper. The table, set in motion by the influence of a medium, began by tracing letters, then words and phrases. This method was successively simplified, first, by making use of light baskets, boxes made of cardboard, and planchettes; and next, by finding that these objects were mere pencil-holders, and might all be dispensed with, and the pencil held the usual way, in the hand, which, moved and guided by an involuntary impulsion, was made to write, without the concurrence either of the will or of the thought of the medium. Thenceforth, communication was held as freely with the world of spirits as with people in the flesh."
From http://www.geae.inf.br/en/books/codification/mb.pdf (accessed 01/31/10).

"141. Typtology was speedily improved by the adoption of a more extended method of communication, which we may designate as alphabetical typtology. This consists in designating the letters of the alphabet by tilts; words, sentences, and even long communications are thus obtained. According to one method, the table makes as many tilts as are needed to indicate each letter; that is to say, one tilt for a, two for b, and so on; meanwhile, some one of the party writes down each letter as indicated by the number of tilts. When the spirit has finished, he makes some sign, previously agreed upon, to indicate the fact.

"This mode of proceeding, as will be readily understood, is extremely tedious, and requires an enormous amount of time for obtaining communications of any length; but practice soon suggested various abbreviative methods more rapid than the above. That which is generally employed, consists in having the letters of the alphabet, and the numerals, written on a sheet of paper or card-board. The medium being seated at the table, some member of the circle runs a pencil or other pointer along the letters, when words are wanted; along the ciphers, when numbers are wanted. When the pencil reaches the desired letter or cipher, the table gives a tilt, and the letter or cipher thus indicated is written down; the person who holds the pencil going through the same operation for the next letter, and so on. If a mistake occurs in regard to a letter, the spirit gives notice of the fact by several tilts; and the pencil is again taken through the alphabet. In this way, by dint of practice, it is possible to get on with tolerable quickness."

"143. In order to render spirit-communications independent of the medium's mind, various instruments have been devised. One of these is a sort of dial-plate, on which the letters of the alphabet are ranged like those on the dial of the electric telegraph; a moveable needle, set in motion through the medium's influence, with the aid of a conducting thread and pulley, points out the letters....

"144. A more simple contrivance, but one open to abuse, as we shall see in the chapter on Frauds, is the one devised by Madame Emile de Girardin, and by which she obtained numerous and interesting communications .... The instrument alluded to, consists of a little table with a moveable top, eighteen inches in diameter, turning freely on an axle, like a wheel. On its edge are traced, as upon a dialplate, the letters of the alphabet, the numerals, and the words 'yes' and 'no.' In the centre is a fixed needle. The medium places his fingers on this table, which turns and stops when the desired letter is brought under the needle. The letters thus indicated being written down one after the other words and phrases are obtained, often with great rapidity. "It is to be remarked that the top of the little table does not turn round under the fingers, but that the fingers remain in their place and follow the movement of the table."


A Mysterious Talking Board and Table Over Which Northern Ohio is Agitated. New York Daily Tribune, p. 9. March 28, 1886.

This is the 'lost link' article referenced by Horowitz 2009. The photograph within the article is of a rectangular talking board he describes as "the spitting image of Ouija". It predates the Bond patent by 4 years. (* - The title of the article may actually be 'The New Planchette. A Mysterious Talking Board and Table Over Which Northern Ohio is Agitated'.)


Sargent, Epes. Planchette; or, The Despair of Science. Being a Full Account of Modern Spiritualism, its Phenomena, and the Various Theories Regarding it. With a Survey of French Spiritism. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Of Michigan Library. 1899.

Cited by Goss 1991, reviewed in The Athenaeum, May 15, 1969.


Barrett, Sir William F. "Proof of Supernormal Messages: The Ouija Board" In On the Threshold of the Unseen : An Examination of the Phenomena of Spiritualism and of the Evidence for Survival after Death; With an Introduction by James H. Hyslop (p. 176). New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1917.

Chapter XIV details numerous experiments made with those employing a Ouija board in association with psychical researchers. Professor James H. Hyslop (the Secretary for the American Society for Psychical Research), wrote the introduction. See http://www.survivalafterdeath.org.uk/articles/barrett/ouija.htm (accessed 3/11/10).

Hutchings, Emily Grant. Jap Herron A Novel Written From Ouija Board With an Introduction 'The Coming of Jap Herron'. New York: Mitchell Kennerley. 1917.

Emily G. Hutchings was a friend of Pearl Curran (see Litvag 1972) who participated in the contact with Patience Worth via a Ouija board that launched Mrs. Curran's writing career. Emily was a native of Hannibal, MO, a writer herself, a fan of Mark Twain, and a correspondent with the author. In his letters to her he explained his 'unconscious cerebrations' ("U.C."), by which his books would seem to 'write themselves', and after his death, Mrs. Hutchings teamed up with spiritualist and author, Lola V. Hays, employing a Ouija board to contact his ghost. Their efforts, assisted by Emily's husband Edwin, yielded this manuscript, which saw very few copies sold before being quietly withdrawn from publication under threat of a legal suit from the Clemens estate and the Mark Twain publishers.

"Missouri writer Emily Grant Hutchings, along with spiritualist Lola Hays, claimed to have communicated with the spirit of Mark Twain via the ouiji board in the composition of an 'after death' manuscript titled JAP HERRON. Spiritualism was all the rage, and several clairvoyant novels had been published with claims of authorship beyond the grave. In the novel Jap Herron, a young Huck Finn-like boy, who sounds like he could be a Twain character, is taken in and guided by a benevolent older couple. With their help, he becomes a successful editor of the hometown newspaper. Author Hutchings and publisher Mitchell Kennerly [sic] eventually halted publication of Jap Herron after being threatened with a lawsuit from Samuel L. Clemens' daughter."
From http://tinyurl.com/choosebooks-twain-jap-herron (accessed 01/31/10).

Professor James H. Hyslop (the Secretary for the American Society for Psychical Research) was investigating the spirit communications by Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Hutchings, as was explained in the January issue of the 'Journal of the Psychical Research Society', covered by the Times:

"It seems that Professor Hyslop and two women mediums, Mrs. Hays of St. Louis, and Mrs. Hutchings, have held frequent conversations with the spirit of Mark Twain, and have found the humorist in a state of intellectual torture because of the difficulty he is having in getting his momentous work into print. He is now greatly relieved because at last he has found a means of communication with the world which he was forced to leave before he had time to put the volume into writing. The great author is elated, Professor Hyslop says, because what he has to say to the world will shed enlightenment where now there is only darkness and dismay."
'Twain's Daughter Spurns Spirit Book', The New York Times, February 11, 1918, http://www.twainquotes.com/19180211.html (accessed 01/31/10).

Ultimately the publisher, Harper and Brothers, got into the legal saddle and demanded the destruction of all of the copies thusfar printed on the basis that they allegedly or implied that they were dictated by a Samuel L. Clemens*, the book contained a portrait of Mark Twain drawn by John Cecil Clay, and maintained that the writing in the novel itself had no literary merit, not having emanated from Mark Twain. They presented for support Twain's writings "What is a Man?" and "Mysterious Stranger", in which he asserted the non-reality of the afterlife. For details, see this collection of newspaper articles: http://www.twainquotes.com/japherron.html (accessed 01/31/10).

(* A New York Times account of the suit against Hutchings and Mitchell Kennerley claims that:

"The announcement in the book concerning the alleged spirit story states that 'after several messages had been spelled out the pointer of the planchette traced the words "Samuel M. {sic} Clemens, Lazy Sam,"' and the story as printed was then told." The New York Times, June 8, 1918, http://www.twainquotes.com/19180609.html (accessed 01/31/10)
and yet BOTH the archived text of the novel and its introduction at the link above and the google books graphic copy (see immediately below) give the correct middle initial of "Samuel L. Clemens, lazy Sam" in her introduction, The Coming of Jap Herron, p. 2. http://tinyurl.com/google-books-lazy-sam (accessed 01/31/10)).


Wilcox, Ella Wheeler. The Keeping of the Promise. In The Worlds and I (pp. 361-388). New York: George H. Doran Co. 1918.


Davis, Katherine Mardon. The Light From Beyond: as Taken Over the Ouija Board. New York: W. J. Watt and Co. 64 pgs. ASIN:B00087Z9AQ. 1919.

A short story about WWII code interpretation. It was apparently written using the means of a Ouija board.

Jones, Lloyd Kenyon. Ouija-Board and Automatic Writings. In Development of Mediumship (pp. 42-47). Chicago: William T. Stead Memorial Center. 1919.

Smith, Hester Travers. Introductory and Appendix: Hints to Experimenters at the Ouija-Table. In Voices From the Void: Six Years' Experience in Automatic Communications. New York: E. P. Dutton and Company. ASIN:B002WTVL50. 1919.

See http://tinyurl.com/googlebooks-void-voices (accessed 3/21/10).

Walters, Nellie Irene, and Perrin, Clarisse Eugenie. The Secret of the Successful Use of the Ouija Board. New York: The Blakeley Press. Limited to 135 copies. ASSN:B0008B6ICU. LCCN:19004342. 1919.


Casseres, Benjamin de. Madame Ouija, Bolshevik of the Spirit World Sinister Suggestion by a Worshipper of the Psychic Goddess That There's a Slight Impediment in Her Veracity. New York Times, p. 46. January 11, 1920.

An amusing article from which this is an excerpt:
"Mme. Ouija has rocked the bases of civilization and science to their gizzard. She is the Bolshevik of the psychic realm, and her Soviet of Ghosts threatens to fire all our Ephesian noodles and lay in ashes the little Swiss republics of our certainties."
From http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_01111920.html (accessed 01/31/10)
A Literary Digest version of this article was cited by Ellis 2004, but the author's name and previous publishing of this article before January 31 were omitted.

Goodman, Edgar. Who Shall Own the Cable Line to Spirit Land? .... New York World Magazine, 203, n.p. May 23, 1920.

Ouija, Ouija, Who's Got the Ouija?. Literary Digest, 66, 66-68. July 3, 1920.

A second description of the Ouija board legal struggle, (the first being in Goodman 1920, above). See http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_07031920.html (accessed 01/31/10).

William Fuld Made $1,000,000 on Ouija But He Has No Faith in It. Although He Doesn't Believe Board Has Spiritual Powers, He Shows His Confidence in it as a Money-Maker by Erecting New Factory to Supply Demand. Baltimore Sun, p. 12. July 4, 1920.

Referenced by Horowitz 2009.

Smith, Hester Travers. Oscar Wilde From Purgatory. New York: Henry Holt and Co. 84 pgs. ASIN:B001IE0BBU. 1920.

"More than half this script came to me when I was sitting alone at the ouija board. Perhaps I had better explain this method of communication, as it seems less familiar to most people than automatic writing. The ouija board, which I use, is an ordinary card table covered in green baize. On this the letters of the alphabet are placed; they are cut out singly and arranged in any convenient order. A sheet of plate glass is laid over the table and the letters. When using the board I rest my fingers on a small, heart-shaped piece of wood covered with rubber and shod underneath with three pads of carpet felt."
From http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Wilde-Purgatory-Hester-Travers/dp/1419139347 (accessed 3/7/10).

Spence, Lewis. Ouija Board. In An Encyclopaedia of Occultism: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Occult Personalities, Psychic Science, Magic, Demonology, Spiritism and Mysticism (Vol. 2, p. 676). New York: Dodd, Mead And Company. 1920.

Thiebault, Jules. Chapter VIII: Apparatus. In The Vanished Friend: Evidence, Theoretical and Practical of the Survival of Human Identity After Death (p. 184). New York: E.P. Dutton and Co. ASIN:B00085NU3G. 1920.


Nothing Occult in Ouija, Federal Court Rules. Boards are Taxable, According to Opinion Handed Down by Judge Rose. Baltimore Sun, p. 10. June 2, 1921.

Referenced by Cornelius 2005. See also http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_06021921.html (accessed 01/31/10)


U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Say What it Thinks of Ouija Case Over Taxes, Long Contested in Several Tribunals, Finally Thrown Out and Status of Board Remains on List of Unsolved Mysteries. Baltimore Sun, p. 3. June 6, 1922.

Referenced by Cornelius 2005. See also http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_06061922.html (accessed 01/31/10).

Raupert, J. Godfrey. Chapter IX: The Truth About the Ouija-Board. In The New Black Magic and the Truth About the Ouija-Board (pp. 205-234). New York: The Devin-Adair Co. 243 pp. ASIN:B00089OLI0. 1922.

Ch. IX was reprinted as "The Truth About the Ouija Board" in American Ecclesiastical Review 1976 (November); pgs. 463-478.
"...Contents: claim of modern science; claim specified; evidence of history; evidence of fact and experience; evidence of true science; evidence of Christian thought and experience; evidence of reason and commonsense; inevitable inference; truth about the Ouija board."
From http://www.amazon.com/black-magic-truth-about-Ouija/dp/B00089OLI0 (accessed 2/21/10)
A 1976 printing was cited by Ellis 2004, p. 180, referring to "American Ecclesiastic Journal") as regards anti-Ouija warnings on p. 463.


Blackmore, Simon Augustine. The Ouija Board and the Preternatural. In Spiritism Facts and Frauds (pp. 144-175). New York: Benziger Brothers. 1924.

"In this exposition, the author summons to his aid the most eminent spiritistic authorities, subjecting their testimony to a keen analysis, and their phenomena and assumptions to a searching criticism. Blackmore proves that some of the phenomena are preternatural beyond all questions, and distinguishes between the frauds of spiritism that are deliberately done by the medium and those inspired by spirits of evil." -- product description.

"[On] pp. 144-175, ...an example is given of a Catholic priest who was physically pursued by a ouija-board (propelled, of course, by a demon) when he tried to give up using it!"
From http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/frseraphim_charismatics.aspx (accessed 3/11/10).

"An anti-Spiritualist work by Simon Augustine Blackmore (1848-1926), a Jesuit who basically believed that Spiritualism was just another form of occultism, and that with some exceptions the related phenomena were either fraudulent or the work of the Devil."
From http://www.weiserantiquarian.com/catalogthirty/ (accessed 3/11/10)

Wickland, Carl A. Thirty Years Among the Dead. Los Angeles: Wolfer Printing Co., Inc. 1924.

"A record of experiment in the field of normal and abnormal psychology, with treatment of cases of obsession...."
From Index to Psychic Science: An Introduction to Systematized Knowledge of Psychical Experience compiled by Samuel Rowland Morgan, Swarthmore, PA, 1950. See http://www.spiritwritings.com/IndexPsychicScienceMorgan.pdf (accessed 3/11/10).

Researchers used Ouija boards for communicating with the spirits. Cited by Ellis 2004. ISBN:0910122083.


Wauchope, Virginia, and Wauchope, Robert. Invisible Inzi of Oz. Child's Garden for Cheerful and Happy Homes, n.v., n.p. (1926, August).

Serialized within this children's periodical during at least 1926. Reprinted in The Baum Bugle: A Journal of Oz, which is the official journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club: Winter #1 1980/81 (Pt 1); Baum Bugle Spring #3 1981 (Pt 2). Issued as a book by Buckethead Enterprises of Oz, 103 pgs. ASIN:B0006F3YTI. 1993.

"The [Wauchope] children, Robert (9) and Virginia (13), wrote an Oz book under direction of a Ouija board. The year was 1920 and L. Frank Baum, the series original creator, was dead less than a year. Could this book have been his final literary effort from beyond the grave? Most Oz lovers doubt it. They agree that Invisible Inzi of Oz is not the best of the Oz books and that is putting it charitably. Some think that it may well be the worst."
From http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/stories.html (accessed 2/7/10).

"Note: Back in the early '20's, the young authors of this manuscript claimed they received this story from L. Frank Baum's spirit through the use of a Ouija board. Not likely. First serialized in 12 monthly installments of Child's Garden for Cheerful and Happy Homes beginning in 1926, and was later reprinted in the Baum Bugle, Winter 1980 and Summer 1981. The above claim was considered a hoax by many, and the story is said to be rather poorly written."
From http://www.timelineuniverse.net/Oz/Parallelhistories.htm (accessed 2/7/10).


Wm. Fuld is Killed in Fall From Roof, Support Gives Way While He is Helping Erect Flagpole Atop Factory. Plunges Three Stories. "Spirit" Board Inventor and Toy Manufacturer Formerly Was Customs Inspector. Baltimore Sun, p. 24. February 25, 1927.

Referenced by Cornelius 2005. See also http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_02251927.html (accessed 01/31/10).


Tubby, Gertrude Ogden, and Bayley, Weston D. James H. Hyslop - X: His Book, a Cross Reference Record. York: York Printing Co. 424 pgs. ASIN:B00085NTXM. 1929.

Ouija mediated post-mortem communication with James H. Hyslop (the Secretary for the American Society for Psychical Research).


White, Stewart Edward. The Betty Book: Excursions into the World of Other-Consciousness. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company. 1937.

This text was mentioned by J. Gordon Melton in his Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology (see Melton 1996) as a reference on Ouija boards. "Author and adventurer Stewart Edward White and his wife Betty experienced a spiritual revelation while using a Ouija board for the first time at a party. Together they continued their exploration and Betty subsequently reached an altered cognitive state in which she claimed to communicate with entities named the "Invisibles." Through these communications, Betty relayed the entities' religious doctrines and special techniques to teach humans super-consciousness and higher awareness. Stewart wrote three books recording these experiences: The Betty Book, Across the Unknown, and The Unobstructed Universe. The books attracted many followers, inspiring him to write several more. Betty continued to speak to Stewart even after her death, through friend and psychic Ruth Finley."
From http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/stories.html (accessed 01/31/10).


Claimant to Title of Father of Ouija Board Craze Dies - Isaac Fuld Retired 2 Years Ago From Business That Sent Fad Roaring Across Country. Baltimore Sun, p. 24. November 19, 1939.

Referenced by Cornelius 2005. See also http://williamfuld.com/ouija_articles_11191939.html (accessed 01/31/10).

Cross, Harold H. U. Table-Turning, Ouija-Boards and Raps. In A Cavalcade of the Supernatural (pp. 42-55). New York: E. P. Dutton And Co. 259 pgs. ASIN:B000856Z42. 1939.

A brief and simple overview on the use of planchette and Ouija board, including an anecdote of parallel results.


Hall, Manly Palmer. The Devil's Flatiron. Horizon, 4, 71-77. Winter, 1944.

Cited by Ellis 2004.


Ouija Board is Wartime Fad. Science Digest, 17, 30. April, 1945.

Cited by Ellis 2004.


Rawcliffe, D. H. Automatic Writing: Table Turning, Ouija and Planchette. In Illusions & Delusions of the Supernatural and the Occult (pp. 134-151). New York: Dover Publications. 1959.

Referenced by Orlando 2000. See also http://tinyurl.com/google-books-rawcliff-ch9 (accessed 01/31/10).


Monopoly on Ouija. New York Times, n.p. February 24, 1966.

Referenced by Cornelius 2005, cited by Ellis 2004 p. 181 (no bibliographic entry).

Roberts, Jane. How to Develop Your Esp Power. New York: F. Fell. ISBN:0883910160. 1966.

This book was aka "ESP Power" and aka "The Coming of Seth". In the early 1960s Jane Roberts and Robert F. Butts used a Ouija board as part of an exploration for this book, and during this contacted 'Seth', with whom the conversation quickly extended beyond the board. The 2000 edition was titled "ESP Power", and contained an introductory essay by Lynda Dahl including a clear explanatin of Roberts' Ouija experiences. Also see the author's additional communications (1970), where she summarizes her experiences with Ouija. Cited by Ellis 2004.


Sann, Paul. The Wonderful Ouija Board. In Fads, Follies and Delusions of the American People: A Pictorial Story Of Madnesses, Crazes, and Crowd Phenomena (p. 142). New York: Bonanza Books. 370 pgs. 1967.

A critical text written by the Executive Director of the New York Post. Referenced by Orlando 2000.


Corinda. The Ouija Board. In Thirteen Steps to Mentalism. Boston: D. Robbins and Co., Inc. Step Nine, Part Three, #28, p. 299.


Christopher, Milbourne. The Ouija Board. In ESP, Seers and Psychics: What the Occult Really Is (pp. 124-131). New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co. 1970.

Referenced by Orlando 2000.

Heywood, Rosalind. Ouija Boards. In Man, Myth, and Magic: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology, Religion and the Unknown (Volume 24, p. 2089). Denver: BPC Publishing. 1970.

Roberts, Jane. The Seth Material. Englewood Falls: Prentice Hall Inc. 1970.

Jane Roberts' interactions with the entity known as 'Seth' are explained in detail here, having come into being during research for Roberts' book on ESP (1966). This includes a summary of her use of the Ouija board with Robert F. Butts. Cited by Ellis 2004.


Balfour, Brad, and McInerney, Mike. Ouija 2. Cincinnati: Self-published. 17 pgs. ASIN:B0013P1F0A. 1972.

Litvag, Irving. Singer in the Shadows: the Strange Story of Patience Worth. London: The Macmillan Co. ASIN:B001FPK92S. 1972.

This is a summary of Pearl Curran's 1913 contact with a spirit called Patience Worth through the device of a Ouija board employed with her friend (who happened to be Emily G. Hutchings, see Hutchings 1917). Though the mechanism of the Ouija board was given up, through subsequent years the spirit Patience dictated many thousands of words in numerous volumes.
[Pearl Curran] "channeled an entity named Patience Worth through the Ouija board and produced six novels, two thousand items of blank verse, and hundreds of pages of poetry. She wrote so much that she had her own magazine devoted to her, named appropriately enough, Patience Worth's Magazine. But when push came to shove, Pearl Curran denied that the Ouija board was responsible for her prolific output. Many of her admirers refused to believe this, and argued that Pearl had buckled under the pressures and criticisms from outsiders." http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/stories.html (accessed 1/31/10).
This book was cited by Ellis 2004.


Gruss, Edmund C., and Hotchkiss, John H. The Ouija Board: Doorway to the Occult. Chicago: Moody Press. 1975.

The authors mention Fuld and Pearl Curran in association with the board's early promotions and well-known usage, give a helpful introduction to the board's origins, and examine the early developments of religious reaction to its use. There are many articles and books (most of them Christian) from this time period (known as 'The Satanism Scare' and falling between the late 1970s and the early 2000s) warning of the dangers of the use of a variety of occult and conventional objects and games. They began flourishing at the end of last century, have entered the used book market in a flood now, and can be picked up for a tenth of their cover price and less. They often contain very little usable information to the serious researcher unless one is interested in sociology and how religious are seeing popular culture of the time (e.g. the fear-mongering about Dungeons and Dragons made a good number of us laugh who like to play role-playing games). Reviewed by Clarie, 1978:
"637 Gruss, Edmond C. [sic] _Ouija Board: Doorway to Occult._ Chicago: Moody 1975. 191p. $1.50 pa. ISBN 0-8024-1783-3
"This work gives a view of Christian thought on use of the Ouija board and other such techniques, and attempts to present the Bible's answers to the occult. It contains discussions of the history, operation, explanation, and verification of the Ouija board; the board as a dangerous approach to psychic development; the Bible on demons, possessions, and exorcism; and The Exorcist [See W.P. Blatty -- ny] (both movie and book). Appendices contain the following: Ouija board and automatic writing, an article by Bill Brinkley titled "Priest Frees Mt. Ranier Boy from Devil's Grip," and a list of selected readings. The author is against use of the Ouija board, and laments the use of such devices by unskilled amateurs. Since this is the only work out on the board, it is very useful. Hopefully, a more complete, deeper study will someday be done without the Bible/Christianity slant that appears here."
"Occult Bibliography: An Annotated List of Books Published in English, 1971 through 1975" by Thomas C. Clarie, Scarecrow Press, 1978; p. 130, entry 637. Cited by Ellis 2004, pgs. 25-26, pgs. 34-35, 59, on Ellis p. 180, 181, and attributes the text as authored by Gruss).


Fuller, John Grant. The Ghost of Flight 401. New York: Berkley Publishing Corp. 1976.

"Author John G. Fuller used a Ouija board in his research for his 1976 book The Ghost of Flight 401. As he was skeptical of its effectiveness, he worked with a medium and claimed they both contacted Don Repo, the flight engineer on the flight which crashed into the Everglades en route to Miami. According to Fuller, the information divined described facts that neither he nor the medium previously knew."
From http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Ouija (accessed 2/10/10).


Stadtmauer, Saul A. Visions of the Future: Magic Boards. Chicago: Olympic Marketing Corp. 48 pgs. ISBN:0817210407. 1977.


Covina, Gina. The Ouija Book. New York: Simon and Shuster. 1979.

This seems to be one of the better sources on Ouija. Reviewed by Clarie, 1984:
"2386 Covina, Gina. _The Ouija Book._ London: Hale, 1981 (orig. pub., New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979). 158p. Illus. [6.50 POUNDS] ISBN 0-7091-8983-4
"After years of practice on the board with a friend, the author feels that she understands the uses, limitations, and pitfalls of the board that lie in wait for the gullible and the 'disrespectful.' Covina discusses Patience Worth, a 17th-century spirit who supposedly dictated books to a 20th-century Ouija board user, and covers other such cases. She recommends 'an open-minded skepticism, a critical optimism' in studying such cases, saying she believes there are elements of truth in both the view that the Ouija board puts one in contact with spirits from the afterlife and that it merely reaches our own subconscious. Covina relates the board to other psychic methods such as dowsing, and feels that new scientific notions of electromagnetic fields and human consciousness may help explain how the board works. _Library Journal_ says, 'at last, a sensible book on Ouija.'"
"Occult/Paranormal Bibliography: An Annotated List of Books Published in English, 1976 through 1981", by Thomas C. Clarie, Scarecrow Press, 1984; p. 91, entry 2386.
Ellis 2004 cites it as a valuable reference.

Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn. Messages from Michael on the Nature of the Evolution of the Human Soul. Chicago: Simon and Schuster. 303 pgs. ISBN:0872235262. 1979.

Author, teach and musician, Yarbro experimented with a Ouija board with friends, consulting with a few spirits, but recording the one that they knew as 'Michael' for the series of texts she published with his New Age ideology. Over time the use of the board became unnecessary, and a series of channelling sessions replaced the previous seances. Other books by this author include: "More Messages from Michael" (1986), "Michael's People" (1988), "Michael For The Millennium: The Fourth Book in the Michael Teaching" (1995, with Stan Drate), and she inspired "The Michael Handbook: A Channeled System for Self Understanding" (1995, by Jose Stevens and Simon Warwick-Smith).

In "Michael's Teachings: The Unexplained Board Mysteries", Mike Lichteig posts:

"During that time, other groups began purportedly channeling Michael and titles not authored by Yarbro hit the nation's bookshelves. A web site for the teachings currently lists 20 books written by authors other than Yarbro."

"... Several years later I made a most amazing acquisition. A friend from California who heard about our Ouija board sessions asked if we would be interested in owning some of the actual transcriptions from the Michael sessions. Her father was a member of the first group documented in Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's books, and she had inherited two huge volumes of transcribed sessions.

"...The Michael Teachings, unedited for public consumption, shed tremendous light and shadow upon the published works and the individuals involved.

"...Eventually the group became comfortable with Michael's concepts, and their questions were geared toward his thematic structure. Their work became increasingly complex, and the group itself grew in purpose and scope. They struggled not only to integrate these odd teachings into their daily lives, but with how to function as a structured group. They noted in a session the need to charge $10 per month for photocopying, and also discussed becoming a corporation. Initiates were required to have several meetings with older members before attending an actual Ouija board session. Eventually the group envisioned purchasing land and building a community based upon the Michael Teachings.

"There were other differences between the books and the original transcripts, as well. Foremost among them: Michael was not the only entity channeled by the group. There are also extensive notes made channeling an entity named "Tomas", "Crystal" and another named "Soleal".

"...Neither the original books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro nor the Michael Teachings group that emerged later has (to my knowledge) acknowledged Tomas, Crystal or Soleal."
From http://tinyurl.com/lickteig-michael-transcripts (accessed 02/03/10).


Virtue, Doreen. Angel Guidance Board. New York: NY. Instruction booklet printed by Hay House in U.S.; ISBN:1401905412; Board dimensions: 10.5 x 10.5 inch folding, crystal dice, four angel markers; ASIN:B000N6QOTW. 1980.


Plath, Sylvia. Dialogue Over a Ouija Board: A Verse Dialogue. Boise: Rainbow Press. 30 pgs. ASIN:B0000EES6L; LCCN:84210079. 1981.

Sara Todd explains that this book:

"...incorporates the text of one of the sessions she held with her husband [Ted Hughes] using a ouija board."
From http://www.psychicpen.com/z_ouija2.html (accessed 2/20/10).


Laurance, Andrew. Ouija. Barcelona: Star. 160 pgs. ISBN:0352310480. 1982.

Mystery thriller fiction. "The game was for fun, but the killing was for real!" Book advertizement.
From http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/andrew-laurance/ouija.htm (accessed 2/23/10).


Hunt, Stoker. Ouija: The Most Dangerous Game. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, Inc. 176 pgs. 1985.

Perhaps no book beyond that of Covina 1979 addresses the breadth which Hunt attempts to cover here. The author consults with psychologists, with religious, and psychics in a well-rounded, yet skeptical, attempt to describe what Ouija is and what the most reliable means of using it may be. A number of sources make reference to this text.


Klintberg, Bengt af. "Black Madame, Come Out!": On Schoolchildren and Spirits. ARV: Scandanavian Yearbook of Folklore, 44, 155-167. 1988.

Cited by Ellis 2004.


Anft, Michael, and Ellsberry, John. Chairmen of the Ouija Board. Warfield's The Baltimore Business Monthly, n.v., 46-52. August, 1990.

Referenced by Orlando 2000.

Magus, Jim. Tales From the Talking Board: A Treatise on the Ouija Board for Mystery Entertainers. Acworth: James L. Saltarella. 1990.

A compendium of mystery theater seance and bizarre magic performances using the Ouija board. It is written for the use of professional magicians, and its value lies in its practical description of the employment of the board, as compared to the background on the Ouija or talking boards which the author seeks to provide. Contains a bibliography of Ouija effects that helpfully identifies sources for the treatise.


Goss, Michael. Old Hat New Hat. Magonia, 40, 9-11. August, 1991.

This article was cited by Ellis 2004. See also http://magonia.haaan.com/2009/oldhat/ (accessed 01/31/10).

Laymon, Richard. Darkness, Tell Us. London: Headline Book Publishing. 1991.

A horror novel about a group of students using a Ouija board to discover treasure in the wilderness.


Fuld, William. Ouija - Talking Board Set. Salem: Parker Brothers. Model#:600. ASIN:B001AV3ERO. 1992.

This was the Ouija board available in 1990s.


Farber, Monte, and Zerner, Amy. Psychic Circle. New York: Fireside. Board dimensions: 9.4 x 9.4 inches; booklet: 32 pgs. ISBN-10: 0671866451. 1993.

Morgan, Keith. How to Use a Ouija Board. Toronto: Pentacle Enterprises. 30 pgs. ISBN:1872189717. 1993.


Bennett, Geraldine M. Paulette. Katrina and Elishia Learn About Ouija Boards. (The Katrina Tells Series, Book 6). Nevada City: New Dawn Publishing Co. 44 pgs. ISBN:1882786041. 1994.


Christopher, Michael St. How to Use a Ouija Board: Communication with the Spirit World. Los Angeles: International Imports. 1995.

Davis, Vance A. Unbroken Promises: A True Story of Courage and Belief. White Mesa: White Mesa Publishers. 280 pgs. ISBN:1887266003. 1995.

The author gives his account of the use of a Ouija board by he and five other military personnel who are stationed in Germany during the summer of 1990, and as a result of the entities whom they contact through it, go absent without leave, trek back to the United States, and enter Florida before being apprehended by military police amidst scandal and disbeilef. The alternate subtitle: the Intriguing Story behind the Gulf Breeze Six Incident, in Which Six Army Intelligence Specialists Went AWOL for Reasons That Could Affect the Future of Mankind.

Lu, Shen-yen. 30. The Efficacious Ouija Board. Encounters with the World of Spirits (pp. 139-142). San Bruno: Purple Lotus Society. 1995.


Melton, J. Gordon. Ouija Board. In "Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology: A Compendium of Information on the Occult Sciences, Magic, Demonology, Superstitions, Spiritism, Mysticism, Metaphysics, Psychical Science, and Parapsychology, with Biographical and Bibliographical Notes and Comprehensive Indexes" (Volume 2, pp. 965-966). Detroit: Gale Research. 1996.


Bjorling, Joel. Consulting Spirits: A Bibliography (Bibliographies and Indexes in Religious Studies). New York: Greenwood Press. 800-225-5800. 1998.

Orlando 2000 writes: "possibly the most comprehensive bibliography on the subject to date. Joel lists almost every important book ever written on the subject -- both pro and con -- in an easy to read and informative format. There is more than enough information in this book to keep you busy in this lifetime, and possibly the next."


Farber, Monte, and Zerner, Amy. The Pathfinder Psychic Talking Board Kit. North Clarendon: Journey Editions. Booklet is 32 pgs. ISBN:1885203896. Board dimensions are 9.4 x 9.4 inches. 1999.


Ellis, Bill. Raising the Devil: Satanism, New Religions, and the Media. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 2000.

Ellis is a substantive source for reference on folklore and participative transformation. Within this text one may find the chapter 'Speak to the Devil: Ouija Boards and Deliverance', covering an introduction of the subject, 'The Ouija Ritual', 'Exorcism and Ouija as Parallel Experiences', and 'Ouija and Exorcism as Mythmaking'. His approach is analytical, clarifying, and important as an attempt to see what people (primarily teens) were doing in the late 20th century with popularized spiritualist tools: primarily as a testing mechanism for their extant faith. His later work (2004) goes into greater detail as regards Ouija and spirit boards and cites many more resources valuable to the student or researcher.

Hasbro. Ouija Board: Glow-in-the-Dark. Pawtucket: Hasbro. Model#:600, ASIN:B0000524NG. Board dimensions: 10.6 x 15.8 inches. 2000.

"Ouija Board has always been mysterious. It has always been mystifying. And now the OUIJA Board is glow in the dark! With 72 fun questions included, you'll never run out of things to ask. Who will call/text me next? Gather your friends around, draw a card, place your fingers on the planchette and ask your question. Concentrate very hard and watch as the answer is revealed in the message window. Make up your own questions, and let the OUIJA Board satisfy your curiosity in virtually endless ways. OUIJA Board will answer. It's just a game - or is it? Includes OUIJA Board, message indicator (planchette), card deck with 72 questions, carrying case with storage pockets and instructions." product description
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2266493 (accessed 2/22/10)

Orlando, Eugene. Main. Museum of Talking Boards: An Online Museum of Ouija Boards. http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com First online April 7, 2000.

Orlando provides a pictographic array of historical boards, which one may compare with the Ouija.

"The 54-year-old private investor ... has not only placed his collection of talking boards online, but he has also exhaustively researched their history and cultural influences. From his oddity-festooned home office in San Francisco..., Orlando has created a sterling resource on what is usually considered to be a mysterious subject."

PopCult Magazine continues, quoting him as saying:

"'All the boards, planchettes, and other apparatus are from my collection with the exception of a very few and they are duly noted. I've written all the text, taken all the pictures, and done all the graphic design.'"
From http://www.popcultmag.com/passingfancies/websiteoftheweek/talkingboards/talkingboards1.html (copyright 2002, accessed 2/12/10).

Contact data for Eugene Orlando: P. O. Box 723, Corte Madera, CA 94976; ouijamuseum@usa.net; ouija@ix.netcom.com.


Lurie, Alison. Familiar Spirits: A Memoir of James Merrill and David Jackson. New York City: Viking. 2001.

Biographical account of the lives of writers who used the Ouija board to contact ghosts, gods, and spirits, which assisted in their writing, at least resulting in Merrill's poetic work "The Changing Light at Sandover".


Murphy, Caroline. Conflicting Spirits: Penetrating the Darkness. British Columbia, Canada: Trafford Publishing. 280 pgs. ISBN:1553696670. 2002.

Christian horror about the dangerous contact with demons via the Ouija board by the son of a God-fearing family.

Sword, Helen. Ghostwriting Postmodernism: Plath, Merrill, and the Poetics of Ouija; The Haunting of Ted Hughes. In Ghostwriting Modernism (pp. 132-158). Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 2002.

"'. . . . Sword offers a convincing demonstration of the ubiquitous influence of spiritualist practice. Of particular interest is the chapter on 'spirit writing' - that is, books written by mediums who claim to be channeling the words of the deceased. . . . [I]ts extensive bibliography, copious notes, and fine insights make it a recommended volume for academic readers at all levels.' Choice, September 2002."
From http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=3746 (accessed 2/20/10).


Meide, Christina M. Ouija Boards. In There's No Place Like Home: Nine Forms of After Death Communication (pp. 195-226). Boston: 1st Books Library. 304 pgs. ISBN:1410762556. 2003.

A collection of reflections and stories about communications from the dead via a variety of means.

Murch, Robert. WilliamFuld.com - Ouija Boards. WilliamFuld.com - The Official Website of William Fuld and Home of the Ouija Board!. http://www.williamfuld.com/ouija.html First online April 14, 2003.

This website is the production of Robert Murch, Jr., and is a fount of information which will likely be raw materials for the book that Mr. Murch and Mr. Orlando are working on.

"...in the summer of 2008, Robert Murch began working with Michael Albert, President of Papa's Toys, who currently manufactures the Canadian Ouija board. With the help of Albert, The Toronto Public Library, and the McMaster Library, Murch has successfully traced the Ouija through it's many Canadian locations and document it's development throughout Canada. Without this information much of the Ouija's Canadian past would be lost.

"Robert L Murch Jr., resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He is presently working with Baltimore city officials, the Maryland Historical Society, The Baltimore Museum of Industry, and the Maryland State Archives to preserve their Ouija legacy and document their favorite son, William Fuld. While he continues his research he is currently working with Eugene Orlando from the Museum of Talking Boards to co-write a book about the history of the Ouija board."
From http://www.robertmurch.com/references.html (accessed 01/31/10).

Contact data for Robert Murch: 617-291-7451, http://www.robertmurch.com/contact.html

Orbanes, Philip E. The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers, from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit. New York: Harvard Business School Press. 2003.

A very good reference on the general subject of Parker Brothers games, their patents and history. The author consults correspondence and tapes from the company's executives of the time. A relevant example follows:
"With $975,000 in cash and Channing Bacall's blessing, [Robert Barton, president of Parker Brothers at the time, in the late 1960s] made the most expensive product acquisition in the firm's history. He purchased the rights for the venerable *Ouija* board from the sons of William Fuld, who had popularized this 'Mystic Oracle' four decades earlier. [AUTHOR's NOTE: "Robert B. M. Barton, interview by Professor John Fox, audiocassette, 27 December 1986."]

"...*Ouija* would outsell *Monopoly* in 1967 -- 2.3 million copies to 2 million. [AUTHOR'S NOTE: Preston Gise, Parker Brothers -- Acquisition Review memorandum for General Mills, 16 January 1968.]

"...In 1891, Elijah Bond received a U.S. patent on the forerunner of the *Ouija* board. But the following year, 1892, Fuld purchased Bond's rights in the patent and applied for an improvement. (Evidence of the origins of *Ouija* devices can be found in ancient Greece and China. The Romans were also known to have *Ouija*-like devices.) Notwithstanding where it may have originated, Fuld was bent on exploiting his new acquisition. He founded a firm known as the Southern Novelty Company in Baltimore, Maryland. Years later, he changed its name to the Baltimore Talking Board Company and began to make 'Oriole' Talking Boards and *planchettes* ...."

pp. 145-146; 229n32, 229n33.

Roberts, Virginia Kent. My Friend, the Ouija Board. San Francisco: Brite Lite Books. 2003.

A brief account of the author's approach to and use of the Ouija board, as well as some helpful advice on best methods of its employment.


Belanger, Jeff. Talking Boards. In Communicating With the Dead (pp. 13-36). Franklin Lakes: New Page Books. 288 pgs. ISBN:1564147932. 2004.

Ellis, Bill. The @#$%&! Ouija Board. In Lucifer Ascending: The Occult in Folklore and Popular Culture (pp. 174-196). Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. 288 pgs. ISBN:0813122899. 2004.

Ellis devotes an entire chapter to the tool itself and includes a decent history of it that would be useful to a student. The author classes the Ouija board with other testing or initiatory events such as what he calls 'legend-tripping', explaining how this interweaves with rumor-panic materials that flow through Christian culture, particularly of certain communities. Ellis is especially valuable for those who have an extended interest in Christian reactions to, and use of, occult folklore, and for details in the history of spiritualism and divination.


Bohm, R. K. Testing the Spirits. British Columbia: Trafford Publishing. ISBN:141205141X. 2005.

"Crises develop when a pastor in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania assists the owner of a New Age shop hit with graffiti by vandals and lets the youth group experiment with a Ouija board: a graffiti attack on the church, a divisive rift in the congregation, the discovery of a New York drug connection using the woods between the shop and the church, and a murderous attack on the police chief's son in a locked room situation in the woods." back cover.

Cornelius, J. Edward. Chapter Two. In Aleister Crowley and the Ouija Board (pp. 11-26). Los Angeles: Feral House. 2005.

Most of this book explores the imagined intersection amongst the summoning methods of the occultist Aleister Crowley, the mechanism or ideal of the Ouija board, and the 'Enochian' system attributed to Dr. John Dee from centuries prior. Chapter 2 contains data of historical relevance to Ouija, recounting an 'E.C. Reichie' story (legend?):
"The earliest possible facts upon which historians can agree about the origins of the 'Ouija' as we know it today center around E.C. Reiche, a coffin maker in Chesterson, Maryland. It is generally believed that he had a strong interest in spiritism and table-tapping due to his unique trade. He wanted to create a simple means to communicate with the deceased more for personal reasons rather than something for the public. Initially he 'noticed sympathetically that a large table was a heavy thing for a frail spirit to juggle about {so} he devised a little table.' [AUTHOR'S NOTE citing Gruss/Hotchkiss and mentioning that "Original quote from *The Literary Digest*, July 3, 1920, p. 66; see Digest 1920]

"When he teamed up with his two friends, Elijah J. Bond and Charles Kennard, they put their heads together and the three of them created the final design for the talking board. However, no written records survive which allow these facts to be easily verified. At this point we can only speculate as to what might have inspired these three gentlemen or from where their original design might have come." p. 19.


Peebles, Karen. The Ouija Handbook. Raleigh: LuLu Enterprises, Inc. 16 pgs. Self-published. 2006.

Shuman, TerryAnn. Guiding Light Angel Board, Not a Ouija But... Angel Board, Talk with Angels and Spirit Guides. Bombay: Guiding Light Products. TAS Designs. Board dimensions: 11.75 x 17 inches. ASIN:B000GDAQQE. 2006.


Farber, Monte, and Zerner, Amy. The Enchanted Spellboard: Magical Messages from the Spirit World. East Hampton: Enchanted World. Booklet 32 pgs. ISBN:0978696832. Board dimensions: 9.6 x 9.6 inches. 2007.


Farber, Monte, and Zerner, Amy. The Truth Fairy: The Enchanted Pendulum and Message Board Kit. East Hampton: Enchanted World. Booklet:48 pgs. ISBN:0979943302. Board dimensions:9.5 x 8.9 x 1.4 inches. 2008.

"...contains an inscribed Truth Fairy pendulum on woven cord; 12 Magical Message Boards; an illuminating 48 page full-color guidebook; 12 Fairy Enchantments; and the CD Music from the Nature Spirits. Just swing the inscribed pendulum over one of the fairy boards to contact your Fairy Guides for inspiration and advice, receive answers to virtually any question; develop intuitive powers and awareness; and find your life's path.

"Each marvelous message board is the special province of one of the 12 multi-cultural fairies of Love, Success, Communications, Creativity, Timing, Location, Wellness, Banishing, Courage, Enlightenment, Abundance, or Joy. Plus, when you're not using the pendulum as a divination tool, you can wear it just like a pendant -- except that it also contains a secret chamber to hold special messages, fairy dust, or herbs to enhance the magic and help uncover the truth that's so often hidden from the conscious mind." product description (accessed 2/20/10).

Garcia, Patricia. Patty's Adventures: The Tales of the Ouija Board. Frederick: Publishamerica. 138 pgs. ISBN:1604740469. 2008.

"This is an interesting story of the many sides of using a Ouija board, the adventure will linger on in one's mind long after you are finished with the book. This story is written in the first person with Patty Robinson telling the story of her and her friends adventures with the Ouija board when she was 14 years old. It's a good story, but could use a bit more dialog." (Tabitha Robin)
From http://www.amazon.com/Pattys-Adventures-Tales-Ouija-Board/dp/1604740469/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266820737&sr=1-1 (accessed 2/20/10).

Hasbro. Ouija Board - Pink. Pawtucket: Hasbro. ASIN:B001HEKJ2M. Board dimensions:?? 2008.

Kuriakos. How to Use the Ouija Board. Raleigh: Lulu.com. 50 pgs. ISBN:1435735854. 2008.

Price, Aleister. Synful. Raleigh: Aleister Price Creations (Lulu.com). 42 pgs. Self-published. 2008.

Horror fiction about unspeakable evil unleashed via a Ouija board.


Cain, D. Lynn. Ouija: For the Record. Raleigh: Lulu.com. 342 pgs. ISBN:0557158729. 2009.

"The history of the used Ouija board Mary Cain bought in 1968 is not known, but Mary's family will never be the same. Their two-year odyssey is filled with unexplained and frightening twists and turns as they cede control to the spirits who inhabit the board. Will they survive being chosen for a destiny in Afghanistan? "'This novel had several starts and stops since I first put pen to paper (literally) in 1980. Reliving our family's saga has been a painful journey, but one I was willing to to take to get our story on the record - for this and future generations.' - D. Lynn Cain" - back cover
http://www.amazon.com/Ouija-Record-D-Lynn-Cain/dp/0557158729 (accessed 2/20/10).

Hasbro. Ouija Answer Book: Look into the Future. Have Fun!. New York: Sterling Innovation. 784 pgs. ISBN:1402767471. 2009.

Book to be used for bibliomancy with a Ouija theme. "Literally a page each for 0-9, A-Z, and "Yes", "No", and other phrases on a traditional Quija board, repeated several times; not much more than that. Fun to add to your bibliomancy collection, if just for the cover; but not very useful for divination."
From http://www.amazon.com/Ouija-Answer-Book-Look-Future/product-reviews/1402767471/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_helpful?ie=UTF8&coliid=&showViewpoints=1&colid=&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending (accessed 2/20/10).

Horowitz, Mitch. 3. Don't Try This at Home: Ouija and the Selling of Spiritualism. In Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (pp. 66-79). United States and Canada: Bantam. 291 pgs. ISBN:0553806755. 2009.

For those interested in the history of Ouija in particular, especially its origin and patenting, Horowitz passes ona great deal of very helpful information, which he obtains from Murch 2003 and Orlando 2000, such as:
"The conventional history [that Fuld 'invented' Ouija around 1890] is wrong.

"The patent for a 'Ouija or Egyptian luck-board' was filed on May 28, 1890, by Baltimore resident and patent attorney Elijah H. Bond, who assigned the rights to two city businessmen, Charles W. Kennard and William H. A. Maupin. The patent was granted on February 10, 1891, and so was born the Ouija-brand talking board.

"...The Kennard Novelty Company of Baltimore employed a teenage varnisher who helped run shop operations, and this was William Fuld. ... a separate patent -- this time for an improved planchette -- was filed by a nineteen-year-old Flud. In years to come, it was Fuld who would take over the novelty firm and affix his name to every board."
p. 69. and

"Though patented and sold as entertainment, Ouija was no ordinary fad. It was, in fact, a homemade device concocted by nineteenth century American Spiritualists who, from the earliest days of their movement, yearned to make talking with the dead as natural as dinnertime conversation. Whether the object of fear or fascination, Ouija proved the most enduring symbol of their success."
p. 67.

Psyche, Old School. How to Make Your Own Ouija Board and Conduct a Seance. London: Createspace. 36 pgs. ISBN:1448662125. 2009.

Rose, Karen. How to Use the Ouija Board. London: Createspace. 32 pgs. ISBN:1442163305. 2009.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Conversations with Dead People Board. Milwaukee, OR: Dark Horse Comics. Instruction sheet with comic panels, pressed board planchette. ASIN:159617594X. Board dimensions: 17.62 x 12 inches. 2009.

"The board itself is beautifully designed but there is a problem with the package. A design flaw is with the planchette. With the feet being made of rubber, the planchette does not glide easily along the board. There are two quick fixes for the problem. If you don't mind spending extra, you can buy another board with a workable planchette and throw away the other board or get a shot glass with a clear bottom and use that as a planchette."
From http://www.amazon.com/Buffy-Vampire-Slayer-Conversations-People/dp/159617594X/ref=pd_sbs_misc_2 (accessed 2/20/10).

Tree of Life Pentacle Glass Top Ouija Board Witch Pagan. Casselberry: Black Art Products. ASIN:B000RY83L2. Board dimensions: 13 x 13 inch octagon. 2009.


yronwode, nagasiva bryan w. Bibliography on Ouija, Spirit Boards, and Talking Boards, Their History and Use. Yronwode Institute for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology (YIPPIE). http://www.yronwode.org/spirit-board-bibliography/ First online 4/1/10.

This bibliography.



What follows is a key term list for the benefit of those who may wish to use search engines to conduct additional research via search engines or institutional databases. This type of study and search kernel is the future of library reference, supplemented by excerpted quotes from meritorious sources.


spirit board; talking board; talking-board; game; oracle; small table; letters; numbers; mystic symbols; transmission board; planchette; Mystic Oracle; Mystifying Oracle; Ouija; Ouija board; We-Ja; Wee-Gee; ouiji; Ouija Oil; Egyptian luck-board; Hindu Luck Board; Oracle Board; Oriole Talking Toard; Nirvana Talking Board; Volo board; Igili Marvellous Talking Board; Yogee Board.


mediumship; spiritualism; spiritism; divination; trance mediumship; typtology; channelling; communication with the dead; evocation; necromancy; psychism; psychicism; seance; automatic writing; fortune telling; unintentional writing; magic game; prophecies; forewarns; predict the future; magnetic vibrations; metaphysical; automatism; answers questions.

Patent/Business Owners:

Elijah H. Bond; Charles W. Kennard; William H.A. Maupin; Harry Welles Rusk; Col. Washington Bowie; John T. Green; William Fuld; J. M. Raffel; Albert C. Strobel; Isaac Fuld; patents; trademarks.

Games Businesses:

Southern Novelty Company; Baltimore Talking Board Company; Kennard Novelty Company; Northwestern Toy and Manufacturing Company; International Novelty Company; American Toy Company; Ouija Novelty Company; Swastika Novelty Company; Copp Clark; Parker Brothers; Hasbro; board games history.

Famous Users/Contacts:

Pearl Curran; Patience Worth; Emily G. Hutchings; Samuel L. Clemens; Hester Travers Smith; Oscar Wilde; Jane Roberts; Seth; Carl A. Wickland; Robert Wauchope; Virginia Wauchope; James H. Hyslop; Stewart Edward White; John G. Fuller; Sylvia Plath; Ted Hughes; Chelsea Quinn Yarbro; Michael; James Merrill; David Jackson.

Fables and Legends:

Pythagoras; Philolaus; Ernest C. Reiche; E.C. Reiche; E.C. Reichie.


Robert Murch; Eugene Orlando.


A list of amusing, entertaining, and informative websites somehow related to the subject of spirit boards.


Thanks to Eugene Orlando, whose website was an inspiration, to amazon.com and alibris.com (without whose catalogue data and book delivery services this bibliography would not exist), google.com, which allowed me to find a number of difficult resources via computer, and bibme.com, which was very helpful for formatting. Also thanks to my wonderful wife catherine, who so enthusiastically joined me in an appreciation of talking boards and automatism, and for her incomparable editing assistance.

This project began as a response to a call for references on the history and use of the Ouija board from within the JISC forum for the Academic Study of Magic (@jiscmail.ac.uk). The content of the response primarily derived from online search and the acquisition of a few key texts available at the time (Horowitz 2009, Cornelius 2005, Orbanes 2003), with the rest following, obtained for the purpose of polishing the whole. A few clues came from posts made to that initial forum.