The True Origin Story of the Ouija Board

OuijaInterested in Ouija? Read this great article by Reuben Westmaas


Ever wonder what "Ouija" means? Maybe it's the name of the first spirit contacted through the veil of death. Maybe it's the demonic force that introduced the eerie power to the mortal realm. Maybe the ghosts that early mediums contacted were just very agreeable Europeans repeating "oui" and "ja." Here are the true origins of the board, which you might not have expected — including the real-life movement that spawned it.


A Spiritual History

Like a few of the other stories we've told with roots in the 19th century, the Ouija board is a product of the Spiritualist movement that seized the United States in the wake of the Civil War. People across the country were desperate for a way to connect with their late relatives — not to mention their own divine powers. As such, it's perhaps not surprising that there used to be more than one way to talk to a ghost using a board and a planchette — that's the thing you push around on a Ouija board.

Still, it's sort of surprising to hear that "Ouija" isn't a general name for a type of oracle. Spiritualism was started by sisters Margaret and Kate Fox sometime around 1848 when they allegedly contacted the spirit of a deceased merchantthe first talking boards wouldn't show up for some decades after that. It's a little unclear where they started, exactly, but they likely emerged from table-tipping or -turning. Mediums who tried to reach the afterlife with this method would sit at a table, which would move and tip as they spoke to ghosts and spirits (we're guessing no one was looking too closely at their feet). This movement would bump tiles bearing letters off of the table, allowing a message to apparently get through.

From this technique, mediums expanded to proper talking boards, which might either be pencil- or alphabet-based. A pencil planchette would roll on three legs, two of them wheels and one of them a pencil facing tip-down so any movement would leave a mark behind. A medium might attempt to see a message in the scribble on a blank sheet of paper or use a specially prepared sheet of paper with messages or omens the planchette could hover ominously near.

The Birth of Ouija

Modern Ouija boards, on the other hand, are examples of alphabet boards. But they weren't even the first of those, either. Boards adorned with the alphabet and a few key phrases ("yes," "no," "hello," "goodbye") predated the Ouija as well. So what made it so special? Simple. While the inventors of the Ouija board may have been a decade or so late to claim coming up with the idea, they were the first ones to actually submit it to the patent office.

There are some questions surrounding who, exactly, gets credit for this particular board, but whether it was Charles Kennard (whose name is on the patent) or Elijah Bond (a major investor closely tied to its creation), the Ouija board was first advertised in 1891. As for the name, we have a pretty definitive source, but its meaning is still shrouded in mystery. Bond's sister-in-law, Helen Peters, was a medium of some renown and asked the board what it would like to be called while it was still in the playtesting phase. "Ouija," it replied, and explained that the word meant "Good luck."

Except it definitely doesn't, at least not in any known language. And, as Peters herself claimed later, she was wearing a locket engraved with the word "Ouija" at the time of the reading. This is making less sense by the sentence. Fortunately, there's one theory that can pull all of these threads together. As a well-read, upper-class woman, Peters was likely familiar with the English novelist Ouida, and may indeed have worn a locket that bore the pen name. Swap one letter, and you've got your answer. So much for the supposed ancient origins of this alleged link to the next world.


Thomas Glare Reveals His 8 Gambling Good Luck Charms

Good luckGuest blogger Thomas Glare is a full-time blogger and journalist and part-time gambler who loves sarcasm, red cars, and jackpot winnings. As a millennial, he is highly experienced in new online casinos, especially slots. His favorite game is Texas Hold’em, but the old Book of Ra slot does the trick from time to time.

Nowadays you need more than just your experience to make big winnings in gambling. Apparently, you need effective good luck charms to turn your losing streak into a winning one. Discover the most popular good luck charms for gambling!

If you are a gambler, you need lots of good luck in your gambling endeavors. The good thing is that good luck charms are now readily available and are in plenty. A lucky charm is an object that is meant to bring you good luck in the sense that, if you carry the lucky charm with you to the casino, chances are you will come out a big winner.

Lucky charms are very popular with gamblers today. Apparently, gamblers are using good luck charms for money to increase their odds of winning huge payouts in their gambling sessions. You too could attract a stream of goodluck with the right good luck charm, or so it seems.

The following are eight (8) of the most popular gambling good luck charms that have made millionaires out of paupers through gambling. You too could turn the tide in your favor if you acquire one of these good luck charms and use it in gambling.

Family Memento

Family memento has been used as lucky charms for many years by gamblers. Family memento is old objects that have been in your family for many years and have been passed down from one generation to the next one, usually as gifts. Family memento could be anything: an old portrait photo, necklace, pocket watch, etc. and they are proving to be effective good luck charms. Gamblers believe that nothing can bring you luck in the casino like a good family memento!

Rabbit’s Foot

Another item among the good luck signs, Rabbit’s foot have been around for ages and as it seems, they have been working miracles for many gamblers out there. In fact, the rabbit’s foot is one of the most popular Irish lucky charms. Of late, a large population of gamblers walks around with a rabbit’s foot lucky charm in their pocket because it has this magical power of attracting good luck to anyone bearing it.


In the casino, you cannot fail to spot gamblers carrying figurines as a good luck charm. Ideally, figurines are easy to carry and they won’t draw much attention to you. One popular figurine for good luck is the frog that a good percentage of today’s gamblers carry with them every time they step in a casino for a gambling session. You too should consider having one of these if your luck in the past few days hasn't been good.


The acorn is a common site in many casinos and is among the top good luck charms. Many people believe that the acorn can attract good luck and help a gambler to win substantial winnings. Popular acorns are made out of silver, gold, and for the conservative ones, wood. But they all serve the same purpose, which is to bring you luck by the bucketload.

Color Red

Red is not for Valentine’s day only, it is also the Chinese symbol for luck. No wonder people now dress up in red to increase their chance of winning big money through gambling, because they believe the color red has all the luck they could ever need. Don’t be surprised to see people wearing all-red, including the underwear. The belief is that color red represents good fortune and good luck, which are just the right combination of the things you need in your gambling life.


Even though hats, just like shorts and flipflops, are not allowed in most casinos, it has not stopped gamblers from using them for luck. Many people nowadays would rather grab their favorite hat which they were wearing the last time they won and use their gadgets to enjoy a thrilling gambling session on a mobile casino. At the comfort of your own home, who can stop you from winning big with the help of your favorite good luck charm?

Horse Shoe

Horseshoes have for a long time been considered magnets for good fortune and protection.  While some people prefer to hang a horseshoe over the entrance of their house to ward off negative energy, gamblers prefer to carry them to the casino for good luck. This lucky charm is among the most popular items owned by gamblers, possibly because of their potential to make winners out of losers.

Red Dice

Red Dice, not just any other color, but red dice! Gamblers love those very much. They will have red dice with them everywhere they go, especially in a casino for a gambling session, as these objects are believed to bring luck to the owners.


Call it superstition or whatever you fancy, but the fact is many people believe in the power of good luck charms. Gambling forces you to look out for every possibility of increasing your luck. If you have used any of the lucky charms mentioned, how was your experience? Please let us know in the comments section below.


Thomas Glare (Author’s Bio)

Full-time blogger and journalist and part-time gambler, Thomas loves sarcasm, red cars, and jackpot winnings. As a millennial, he is highly experienced in new online casinos, especially slots. His favorite game is Texas Hold’em, but the old Book of Ra slot does the trick from time to time.

Gypsy Fortune Teller Machine

Gypsy fortunetelling machine Do you rememebr those wonderful Gypsy Fortune teller machines that would spew out a card with your fortune on it or it would actually speak. Okay I am definitely dating myself! Those were around years ago! But I did use one in Las Vegas about 12 years ago and boy was it accurate!

Someone has discovered one of those very old machines and it has been reported that magician David Copperfield is willing to spend millions to buy it. It is a unique antique Gypsy fortuneteller machine made by the Mills Novelty Company more than 100 years ago and it is currently is owned by the State of Montana.

The machine is believed to be "one of the first amusement machines to use a recorded human voice to dispense a player's fortune ..." Montana inherited the Gypsy in 1998 when it paid $6.5 million to buy nearly 250 buildings and their contents" which included "a massive collection of antique games, music machines and other oddities."

David Copperfield is also "an avid collector of turn-of-the-century penny arcade machines," and has restored other Gypsy fortuneteller machines. But he says this one is special. "There are other verbal fortunetellers that exist, but a Mills verbal like that, that's the only one," he says.

However, the Montana Heritage Commission, "which oversees a vast collection of rare antiques," says that state law prohibits it from selling "items from its collection without first completing an intensive public process." And so David says he'd be content simply to help restore this rare Gypsy to her former glory.

Montana has actually been working on doing just that for some time, although it's not easy to find parts: "The original Edison wax cylinder phonograph records that gave the Gypsy her voice were in poor shape and couldn't be played," for example. Her voice has been restored, however, via digital scans of the cylinders. And David is okay with not owning the Gypsy machine as long as it's restored. "I think it deserves to be wherever it is as long as it's going to be preserved and kept properly and that people who would understand it would be able to see it," he says.  This great recap is from Tim Manners, editor.

Try your hand at fortune telling with a Gypsy or Fortune Teller Crystal Ball Costume Prop Whoo hoo!!

The Superstitions of Michelle Ryan, Jet's Coach Rex Ryan's Wife

Sports Sports is one of those areas where superstitions are prevalent. Players may wear their lucky socks or carry a special charm. Michelle Ryan who is the wife of New York Jet's coach Rex Ryan has several superstitions and rituals that she does in preparation for a New York Jets football game. And now as we are in the middle of the play-offs - the Jets against the Colts, the New York Post has listed them for us. Maybe all New York Jets fans should join her!

Superstitions and Rituals of Michelle Ryan and the Ryan Family

1. Michelle wears throwback old logo Jet jersey on game day.

2. She wears green on the days leading up to the games.

3. Family dines at Jose's Cantina Friday nights before games. She wears black pants and tennis shoes.

4. Family watches a movie Thursdays before games.

5. Son Payton wears a Darrelle Revis jersey and watches games with the same friends.

Let's see if the Jets are helped by all of the above....

If you want to learn more, try reading: Don't Step on the Foul Line: Sports Superstition

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