Hebejeebees about the Ouija

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Hebejeebees about the Ouija

I recently returned from a trip back east to visit family, and the route I took led me right past Alton, Illinois. If you’re a die-hard ghost hunter from the Mid-West you’ve probably heard the name Troy Taylor. Taylor was into ghost hunting way before it was trendy and has written over 100 books on hauntings and the unexplained. He’s also the founder of the Haunted America Conference, which takes place right there in Alton. I took a detour and looked through the museum he and his group have set-up in an old hotel near the river. It was full of the macabre and was different than I expected. And–for the second time in three days– I came across a reviled relic from my childhood–an Ouija board.

The Ouija might be making a comeback though if my short trip is any indication. A board was set up inside Taylor’s Soul Asylum museum and available to any who dared lay fingers upon the planchette. I was touring by myself and, while there were a few other visitors, I didn’t feel comfortable asking a stranger to join me in a little divination. What was really odd was that this was my second encounter on this trip with a board I’d last seen four decades ago. My brother and I went on a ghost hunt at Lemp Mansion, and somewhere on the second floor was a Quija Board, sitting quietly on a table and available to any brave soul’s exploration. I tried half-heartedly to convince my brother to use it with me but he wasn’t interested. I did put my fingers on the planchette and moved it gently about, but felt no electricity, no ghosts nor anything unusual.

As someone who has a healthy respect for spirits and the paranormal I’m not belittling stories of demonic energies funneling through any instrument, be it a Ouija board or Tarot cards or a magic wand. I do think we can create superstitions, though, by blaming mishaps and poor choices on something outside ourselves. That said, the spirits I’m most familiar with are the ones we describe on our Freaky Foot Tours, and for the most part, they are happy and historic although occasionally prone to mischief-making. Join us some evening and make up your own mind about them.