|Alice Cooper, formerly known as Vincent Furnier|
It's no surprise that someone so interested in the strange and spooky side of life would be so heavily influenced by it, so much so that he'd actually change his name and become almost another person because of it!
There are different variations of the legend, but the basic story states that Vincent Furnier received a message via Ouija Board that he was the reincarnated soul of Alice Cooper, a young woman accused of being a witch in the 17th century. He quickly adopted that name for himself and his band, and the rest is history. Or is it?
This tale has been passed around for years in some form or another. In one version, young Vincent casually came up with the name at a party, while he and others were brainstorming what to call their band. He likened 'Alice Cooper' to 'Lizzie Borden,' a juxtaposition of sweet and deadly, and when several days later a Ouija board came up with the same name, he knew it was fate. (Source,) We'll save the discussion of the ideomotor principle for another blog.
In another variant, Alice wasn't looking for a name reminiscent of a little girl...but of an old woman, and 'Alice Cooper' seemed like a perfect example (Source). In yet ANOTHER variant, Alice explains that he personally didn't have anything to do with the Ouija board aspect of the story...it was a guy named Dick Phillips and his mother who learned that Vince was Alice incarnate through their own use of the board (Source).
It seems like with every telling and even with every interview, the story changes slightly. At this point, I don't even think Alice really remembers how and why he became to be known as Alice. It definitely adds to the mystery and the mystique and in this case, I'm personally okay with it! Some things in life are just better left unknown...