Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The United States Marine Corps...and the Ouija Board

Happy Ouija Wednesday, everyone! If you've been on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook for a few years, you might recognize this photo. It comes from the Talking Board Historical Society's Photo Gallery and shows a group of United States Marines playing with a talking board, circa 1944. I really love this photo and I cannot help but wonder what it is they are asking the spirits to tell them? Are they asking about their wives/girlfriends left at home...or is it something more serious? Given the date of 1944, perhaps they are wondering how and when the War will end. The man on the left seems to be rather jovial about the whole process, so I'm guessing the topic of conversation isn't too serious in nature. 

What is kind of serious is what happened 70 years after this photo was taken. In early 2014, the Marine Corps Engineer School outlawed the use of Ouija Boards and similar devices due to them "creating mystery and fear." I guess students at the school were scaring themselves silly, to the point where administration felt the need to take action.  Personally, I think the situation would have been better handled with a healthy dose of education concerning the ideomotor principle. You can read more about my thoughts on the Ouija Board at the link provided, but in short, the ideomotor principle means that the planchette is not being moved by spirit hands; instead, it is being moved by the sitters through very small, imperceptible, involuntary muscle movements.


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