When I was a child I had an unhealthy obsession with the movie “Witchboard”. Looking back on it now, after having watched the movie just recently, I cannot understand why I thought it was the best movie ever made.
The film scared the crap out of me when I was a child and not because of the low production values, poor special effects and Tawny Kitaen’s attempts at professional acting that didn’t involve dancing on the hood of Whitesnake’s car.
What scared me was that there was a way to possibly communicate with the dead. It changed everything I thought knew about the finality of death. Having been raised Catholic, I understood that death was it, the final stop on life’s journey.
After watching the movie for the umpteenth time I begged my mother for a Ouija board. My brother and I launched an all out campaign that consisted of begging, pleading, and we even took the “pathetic” approach and crafted our own Ouija board out of a large sheet of paper and a Dixie cup with the bottom cut out to act as the planchette. This was apparently the deal sealer; my mother finally relented and ordered our father to take us immediately to Toys r Us to buy a Ouija board.
We convinced her that it was harmless, that it was cheap, and that it was made by Parker Brothers so therefore it was only a game.
To say that I became obsessed with the board is the understatement of the decade. It started out painfully slow. The planchette moved but a fraction of an inch per minute and I was disheartened that it was nothing like it was in the movie.
My brother, sister and I would sit around, taking turns partnering up to use the board. We knew that we should not use it alone, that was the strongest message we took from the movie and possession by an evil spirit was not on our “to do” list.
It is important to know that by this time, even though I was in my pre-teens, I already had a strong interest in what I would later come to know as the paranormal. I was obsessed with “The Mysteries of the Unknown” books by Time Life. You know the ones they used to hock on those commercials where the phone operator who was standing by would entice you into purchase with a free tote bag or a free travelling alarm clock? I was reading about ghosts, hauntings, cryptozoology, out-of-body experiences and psychic phenomenon.
I was never scared of the books, they filled me with wonder and it always felt like coming home when I would crack one of those books.
After a few hours using the board the planchette was sliding with ease around the board as we made contact with the spirit of a young girl named “Mary”. She had fantastic stories about the other side and about her life and death.
Apparently she, her brother Tom Junior, and their mother were all killed by their father, Tom senior. The elder Tom was apparently an angry man. Mary said she and her brother were drowned while the mother was beaten to death.
I recall one time we decided to test Mary’s perception of our world. We asked if she could see us and she indicated that yes she could. I went into the bathroom on the second floor of the house while my brother and sister controlled the board. They did not know in which room I took up occupancy.
I washed my face in the sink; something I thought was completely random. I headed back downstairs and joined my siblings. My sister asked, “Where did Tony go?”
Slowly, the board spelled out “Water closet”, which we assumed meant the bathroom. My sister then asked what I did in there and the plastic plank slid across the faux wood surface of the board and spelled out “Wash face in water basin”.
I was sold, I am not sure to this day if one of my siblings followed me or checked on my whereabouts unbeknownst to me, but that moment sealed it for me. I felt that I was communicating with a very cognizant spirit.
Eventually Tom Junior started communicating through the board. He liked to tell bad jokes, was a little bit of a bully and he eventually became the dominant spirit on the board preventing Mary from ever contacting us again.
He was not bad, just a typical adolescent boy if not a little overbearing.
Over time we gradually lost interest in the board but the experiences hung around a lot longer. I could feel Tom and his family around me; I could sense them as if they were physically in the room. We eventually grew up and moved out of the house and we lost track of that phase of our life.
Just like Jackie Paper leaving his imaginary dragon, we left Tom, Mary and their parents and grew into adults and got on with our lives. The lingering sense that we summoned something into this world was and still is hard to shake.
This was before the advent of the internet and searching for any evidence that a family whose story matched that of the stories coming through the board was almost impossible. If it had happened today all we would have had to do was ask pertinent questions, hop onto a search engine and try to find validation.
Was Mary, then eventually Tom, nothing more than a figment of our imagination? It is a strong possibility, but the experiences and interactions were very real to us. Which begs the question, can we will something into existence/summon something through our ignorance?
Some people believe so. I have spoken with several people throughout the years who believe their homes were haunted by dark forces brought about by use of Ouija boards, séance, and simply reaching out and accidentally inviting something in.
The very idea that the veil separating our world from the spirit world is so thin that a mere suggestion can allow something to slip through seems almost unfathomable, to some it seems all together impossible.
The Spirit Seekers investigated a home here in Arkansas that prior to occupation by a young family had served as a place where teenagers would gather and perform satanic rituals. Pentagrams were drawn on the walls and it looked as if a makeshift altar had existed in one of the rooms.
Whether the teenagers/kids who were conducting these séances had any knowledge of what they were doing remains unknown, but they opened a doorway which allowed something dark, something violent and something completely evil to cross over into our world.
The young family that newly occupied the home was left to deal with the repercussions as they found themselves under physical and spiritual attack.
The case was later documented on the Discovery Channel’s hit show “A Haunting” in season four with the title “Where Evil Lurks”.
The idea that we can summon something so easily may seem far-fetched, but a society that quickly dismisses the existence of ghosts is far more hesitant to dismiss the possibility of the existence of demons.
What do you believe? Do you think it is possible to unwillingly summon a demon or dark spirit? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below or visit our message board by accessing the “forum” link above.