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 Page: Profile: Poetry   Total Views: 17,058,561  

Poem Specs

VxPoem ID: 26492


Posted: January 20th. 2007 2:33:44 AM

Views: 2794

An Article on Ouija Boards...

by Ladykelshan

Age Group: Adult

Message 1 of 3 in Discussion
From: ¤Cyan©???™¤ (Original Message) Sent: 8/21/2003 10:12 PM
What makes the Ouija so different and controversial is that it has a certain reputation. Without this notoriety it would be just another board game like Monopoly or Chinese Checkers. Speaking of games, someone once made the observation that Ouija was really Scrabble with attitude. The Museum of Talking Boards would not be complete without a few interesting Ouija narratives. The Ouija board, while usually expected by popular culture to reflect the darker side of life, can also act to inspire and direct, as you will see. Realize that we present these strictly as "believe it or not" entertainment pieces and do not necessarily expect you to take them as gospel. Often, stories like these reveal much more about the people involved with the Ouija than the actual board itself. That said, we present the following stories, some old, some new, all thought provoking and worthy of further investigation.

The Bradbury Building looms bizarrely on the corner of Third and Broadway in the city of Los Angeles. It is an architectural marvel and Hollywood film makers are drawn to it, filming within its walls such Film Noir classics as DOA, Blade Runner, and Seven. There is something about this building—something weird—something foreboding. Legend has it that George Wyman consulted his dead brother using a Ouija board before building it for Louis Bradbury in 1893. An apprentice architect, Wyman had little real experience and lacked confidence in his own abilities. His brother didn't, apparently, and spelled out this message during a Ouija session: "Take Bradbury Building. It will make you famous." He did, and it did.
Mrs. John Howard Curran stunned the literary world during a twenty-four year period (1913-1937) when she 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 maintained that Pearl had buckled under the pressures and criticisms from outsiders.
Emily G. Hutchings, a friend of Pearl Curran, contacted the spirit of Mark Twain through her own Ouija board and wrote a novel ostensibly by him named Jap Heron. The novel was universally condemned by the literary community as a fabrication and a poorly written one at that. Perhaps, as one disappointed reporter remarked, "Mark Twain left more than his body when he passed over to the other side."
The Wuachope 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 very well be the worst.
English author Sax Rohmer, famous for his Fu Manchu novels and membership in such occult organizations as the Golden Dawn, credited the Ouija board with jumpstarting his writing career. He asked the board about how he could best make a living and the board replied: "C-H-I-N-A-M-A-N". This was enough to inspire a long and lucrative career and it brought him fame, riches, and the freedom to travel the world. Had he consulted the board further, it might have warned him to stay away from the casinos. He lost most of his fortune in Monte Carlo.
Dorothea Turley and her daughter Mattie were convicted of murder, in a celebrated legal case during the 1930's, after Mattie killed her father with a shotgun. Fifteen year old Mattie described on the witness stand how the Ouija, operated by her mother, directed her to commit the homicide. The judge and jury determined that the murder had more to do with a life insurance policy and the mother's secret lover than the Ouija board, and sentenced Dorothea to prison and Mattie to reform school. The higher courts overturned Dorothea's sentence three years after her imprisonment and set her free. Mattie stayed in reform school until the age of twenty-one.
While writing one day, poet Jane Roberts had a paranormal experience when she "felt her consciousness leave her body." Flooded with new ideas, she and her husband experimented with a Ouija board and made contact with an "energy essence personality entity" named Seth. The results were several popular books by Roberts and a few dictated by the entity Seth himself. Roberts is credited with starting the "channeling" craze in 1972 with her book, Seth Speaks. The writings of Roberts and Seth are still very popular among New Agers and there are quite a number of websites devoted to their works.
James Merrill, writer and poet, composed his epic The Changing Light of Sandover after long sessions on a homemade Ouija board with his friend David Jackson. Did his inspiration really come from the spirits, as some claim, or was the Ouija his personal instrument for creative expression?
Iris Maloney won 1.4 million dollars in the California lottery after picking the winning numbers through her Ouija board. "Hank isn't laughing at me anymore, " chortled Iris, referring to her husband who had counseled her to throw the "damn thing" away. Waving a facsimile of the check in one hand and her Ouija board in the other, Iris posed for the obligatory photo session before a small group of photographers. "I don't know if I will continue to use the Ouija, " Iris commented. "I'll probably hang it next to my needlepoint collection in our new home." Hank was still in the hospital recovering from the heart attack he suffered after hearing the news of his wife's success and was unavailable for comment.
At least two rock bands credit the Ouija board for their original sounding names. The band Cheap Trick visited a psychic's house and asked the board what they were having for dinner. The Ouija, perhaps a little hard of hearing or woozy from the smoke in the room, mistakenly thought the question was, "WHO is coming to dinner?" It spelled out, "C-H-E-A-P-T-R-I-C-K". A more famous tale is that of group Alice Cooper who allegedly conjured the spirit of a 17th century witch with the same name during a Ouija session. So impressed were they that they decided the name would be perfect for the band. All, that is, except for one hold out who thought the idea stupid. We should tell you that there are so many variations of these legends that it is impossible to ascertain the truthfulness of them. Even the band members seem to be somewhat confused on the matter.
Six United States Army soldiers went AWOL when a Ouija board warned them of a coming global cataclysm. Broken tail lights on their Volkswagen van gave them away and they were arrested. The six, all with top security clearance, were headed West to live "like a survivalist group." An FBI investigation uncovered their Ouija board manifesto complete with (accurate) prophesies of the Gulf War and the earthquake in Iran. The destruction of New York City by a gas leak and the second coming of Christ have yet to occur. The Army was quite understanding of the situation and gave the men honorable discharges but reduced them in rank and docked them a half month's pay. The group's leader currently tours and gives lectures on "self-sustaining" lifestyles.
A group of ten Airdrie, Alberta teenagers ran afoul of some malevolent forces when playing with the Ouija board. After a Q and A session with unknown entities, some teenagers became disoriented and began striking the walls and at "something in the air." Someone called an ambulance and one girl was admitted to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. Theories about the incident ranged from "A lot of kids just got scared, " to a case of "suspicious spiritual activity." Worried parents summoned a local Minister to perform a spiritual cleansing on the girl and the house where the incident occurred; everything has been back to normal since then. There is no word on the fate of the Ouija board.
Several concerned English villagers held a Ouija séance to see if the board could provide any information about three local murders. Bludgeoned as they walked to school, were a mother, her daughter, and the family dog. A second daughter survived the attack but with serious injuries. Investigators counted the number of blows to the victims as sixteen. The Ouija board suggested that the police re-examine an area where a bag of clothes from the victims was found, and indeed, a hammer was lying there in plain sight. Villagers were understandably upset at the police for missing so vital a clue. Embarrassed officials later issued a report stating that the hammer could not be linked to the killings and denied that the Ouija board figured in the discovery. The search continues for the real murder weapon.
An English court of appeals ordered a retrial after the discovery that some jurors used a Ouija board while sequestered in a hotel room. The Ouija board told them to "vote guilty tomorrow, " and they did, convicting the defendant of the murders of two people. The jurors later admitted to drinking too much in addition to using the Ouija board and they were appropriately remorseful about it all. Although a majority rule is necessary for conviction, and only four people had used the Ouija board, their Lordships decided that the entire matter could not just be written off as "merely a drunken game." The defendant was found guilty again at his Ouija-free retrial.
Inmates in a California county jail spooked themselves into near hysteria after using a Ouija board fashioned from a Scrabble set. The prisoners, all hardened Latino gang members from southern California, thought that they were possessed by the devil and caused such a ruckus that officials had to call in a priest to perform an exorcism. A spokesman for the Santa Clara County jail system was quite amazed at the ingenuity of the inmates. "On the back of a Scrabble board, they created the moon and the sun and the letters—all the components of a Ouija board, " he said. The prisoners vowed never to dabble in such things again.

Author's Notes: Posted by ladykelshan
Written Saturday January 20th, 2007

I just thought that this looked VERY interesting!

Author's Location: Washington, Washington DC
More Poems: Ladykelshan has posted 485 additional poems- View them?
Author's Profile: To learn more about Ladykelshan - Click HERE
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