What To Ask A Ouija Board
Photo: © Pavel Danilyuk
Knowing what to ask the spirits when using a Ouija board can be difficult and asking questions to the board can feel a bit unnatural, so we've put together this guide to help you get little more comfortable with speaking to the spirits through a board.
Once the planchette starts moving across the board, you'll need to ask some meaningful questions to try to validate that the responses are indeed the words of supernatural entities.
Within the field of paranormal research, asking spirits questions is called "calling out" or "asking out." It involves an investigator, or in this case, a Ouija participant, speaking aloud in an attempt to encourage any spirits that might be present to communicate with them. The classic ghost hunter's trope is, "Hello, is anybody there?" There are a few tips and best practises that should be observed when calling out.
Know Your Audience
The most common mistake people make when trying to communicate via a Ouija board is saying, "If there are any spirits here, can you give us a sign?" The issue with this is that we have no idea about the nature of spirits, assuming they even exist in the first place, but one commonly shared belief is that some spirits carry on about their daily lives without realising they're dead, so they might not identify with the label "spirit." Even worse are terms like "entity" or "ethereal being."
A better way to call out is to give whatever you are calling out to the respect of treating them like a person. Perhaps say something like, "I'm speaking to anyone who can hear my voice; please can you give us a message using this board?"
But this leads to another problem for many séances, as they are often conducted in the dark and there's no reason to assume that when someone dies they develop night vision as a ghost. So how can the spirit see the board you are talking about?
Some people believe that spirits see the living as a glowing beacon of energy in the darkness and can be drawn towards us, but the truth is that this is another property of ghostly existence that we know nothing about.
So, it's better to hedge your bets and assume that whoever you are talking to can't see you in the dark and say something like, "It might seem a bit strange that we are all sitting here in the dark. If you can't see us, then follow the sound of my voice and come towards us."
But of course, the chance that a spirit who doesn't realise they're deceased would be happy walking towards a group of strangers in the dark seems just as unlikely as the chance that a living human being would be comfortable enough to do the same. To make them feel safer and more welcome, you might consider turning your torch on for a moment and scanning it around the room to show the spirit where you are, who you are, and who is with you.
Since we don't fully understand the nature of ghosts or have any real idea of who or what we're dealing with, it could be that ghosts can see in the dark and that they're ready and waiting to interact with us when we call, but by being clear and inclusive, you increase your chances of getting a response.
Similarly, don't assume that spirits understand the jargon that paranormal investigators use. They may not know what a Ouija board is, let alone a planchette. So use generic terms and explain what's happening. Say something like, "We have our fingers on a wooden pointer on the table in front of us; if you can see that pointer, can you try to move it for us, please?"
Encourage, Don't Demand
You need to get any potential spirits on your side. You may be conducting the session in a haunted location, perhaps even in the spirit's former home or a place that means something to that person. So treat them with respect. Tell them you're not there to mock them, that you just want to communicate.
Chances are, you're not the first paranormal investigator on their patch. They might already feel like a performing monkey. If spirits truly do exist, then it's unlikely that they're going to be happy existing in spirit form for no purpose other than to amuse you.
So, instead of demanding they perform for you, ask the spirits if they need help or have a message. Ask them to show a sign that they are with you so that you can talk to them, perhaps even to help them move on.
Say Thank You
One commonly held belief about ghosts is that they are usually only able to give very subtle signs that they are present. They might knock over an object, tap on a hard surface, or whisper in someone's ear. It's unusual to hear a loud noise, a clear voice, or see an object deliberately being moved for any sustained period of time.
Therefore, we can assume that spirits, should they exist, have to muster up a lot of energy in order to give us these signs. So, we should assume the same applies when asking a spirit to move a planchette. Therefore, thank the spirits for their efforts if they do move the pointer. Give them encouragement; let them know that what they've shown you is great, but politely request that they show you a little more if they can.
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Don't Shut It Down
If you are able to make contact with a spirit, be sure not to shut the conversation down prematurely. You almost need to think of it like a sales pitch; you've got to keep the conversation flowing and don't give the spirits any chance to leave.
One common mistake is to say things like, "Give us a sign that you're here, and then we'll leave you alone." To be true to your word, if the spirit does indeed move the planchette, then you're going to have to pack up the board and end your session. Otherwise, you'll have lied, and the spirit is unlikely to trust you again or do as you ask.
Similarly, don't use phrases like "don't you want to talk to us anymore?" Because you're giving the spirits the chance to say "no" or "goodbye."
While asking questions, always be polite, say "please," and thank the spirit when it answers. All spirits are different; some will move the planchette slowly, others much quicker. Spirits may also come and go during a séance. If the planchette is moving slowly or infrequently, don't give up. Remain patient and keep the faith.
Below is a list of themes for follow-up questions and some example questions and phrases for each that you can use to try to encourage the spirits to communicate with you. You shouldn't copy these exactly; it is better to be yourself and talk in a natural and open way as you normally would.
First, some generic questions to help you establish whether the board is active or not:
- Is there anyone here with us?
- Can you give us a sign of your presence?
- Do you have a message for us?
- What is the current year?
- Can you tell us about the afterlife?
- Can you give us any insight into the future?
- If you are drawn to someone around the board, can you please indicate who?
Ask questions designed to find out more about the entity you are communicating with, such as their age, gender, career, relationships, or how they died.
- What is your name?
- How did you die?
- Are you a friendly spirit?
- How old are you?
Ask questions about the spirit world, such as about the nature of existence after death or the presence of spirits around you.
- Do you remember passing into the spirit world?
- What was that experience like?
- Can you see us here in the physical world?
- Is there anything you miss about being alive?
- Are you alone?
Ask questions about past events; this could relate to your past, your ancestors, or events relating to the location you are in.
- What is your connection to this place?
- Did you die here?
- Do you see this place as it once was or as it is now?
- Can you provide any information about my ancestors or family history that I am not aware of?
If using a Ouija board in its more traditional form as an oracle to obtain insight or prophecies, you could try asking questions about future events, such as upcoming opportunities or challenges.
- What opportunities or challenges are coming my way in the near future?
- What can you tell me about my future career prospects or financial situation?
- Will I find love or a significant relationship in the near future?
- What can you tell me about my future spiritual growth or personal development?
- What can you tell me about any major life changes or transitions that I may experience in the near future?
Use the board or the spirits to access information that is not available to living people, but may be known to the spirit world, such as the nature of reality or the meaning of life.
- What is the ultimate nature of reality?
- What can you tell me about the origin and purpose of the universe?
- What can you tell me about the nature of consciousness and its relationship to the universe?
- Is there life beyond our planet Earth, and if so, what can you tell me about it?
- How can I deepen my understanding of the universe and my place in it?
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