Looking at the age rating from Hasbro, they rate the Ouija board as for children ages eight and up, but you may wonder if it would make sense to allow a child that young to play with the Ouija board. Many have their thoughts on the topic of whether a child should play with the Ouija board. Let’s explore this topic more in-depth and create a guide for parents.
Why Did They Choose 8 and Up?
You may have never realized it, but Hasbro Games owns the trademark rights and all of the related characters of Ouija. Still, about 10 brands sell Ouija boards. Before they were Hasbro, they were known as the Parker Brothers, and they first bought the rights to the Ouija board in 1966. By 1967, they sold more of the game than Monopoly, which marked the first time in history that any game outperformed Monopoly.
Hasbro may have chosen this age rating because they think of it as simply a game—a piece of cardboard. The game itself, they believe, has more to do with one’s imagination.
The game company probably chose eight years old because you can’t play it unless you know how to read. You must have reading skills to decipher the directions and understand the rules. Kids under the age of eight usually show no interest in games like this.
Tool of the Devil or Harmless Family Game: Should You Let a Child Play Ouija?
Before a parent lets their child play with the Ouija board, they should consider their child’s unique psychological disposition. Children and teens with psychological issues probably shouldn’t play it because it can worsen their mental condition. Whenever the game becomes less of a game, it probably isn’t the best choice for a child.
Many cultures believe that people can use an Ouija board to speak with the dead, but many stories exist about those who contacted a malevolent demonic entity. Provided that was true, a child has less ability to cope with encountering a demon. They may prove more vulnerable and easier to manipulate.
With everything said, many people remember playing on the Ouija board when younger, and nothing bad happened. Some, in fact, found it boring. It depends on their maturity level. Children who scare easily shouldn’t use the Ouija board regardless of whether real or not.
Have Someone Responsible Present
It would be advisable to at least keep someone responsible present to supervise the use of the Ouija board. They should understand some of the rules when dealing with the supernatural on the board such as:
- Never leave the planchette board unattended. When the planchette sits on the board, someone must hold it at all times.
- Say goodbye at the end of each session. The planchette must say goodbye as well. Otherwise, think of it as the same as not hanging up the phone. If the spirit wanted to hang on and keep listening in, they could. You may need to continue to demand to say goodbye until the spirit leaves.
- Never let an entity channel or make noises around the room or near you. You don’t know this entity or what its intentions might be.
- Never allow the planchette to go from A to Z or 1 to 0. Never allow it to make a figure eight backward or forward. That incantation allows the spirit to enter the human world. Say goodbye immediately to spirits that attempt this.
- Don’t play Ouija board in the cemetery. The board even specifically states that no one should play the game in the cemetery. No good will come of it.
- Play respectfully. A child that plays with the Ouija board must have the maturity to act respectfully toward it. You never know who sits on the other end of the line. Many who didn’t believe in the Ouija board later felt differently after a negative experience. You don’t even always necessarily have to believe in it.
Tips for Parents and the Ouija Board
For those who choose to let their children play with the Ouija board, you have a few tips that can make the experience better.
Tip #1: How to Request Talking to a Spirit
First, always ask if someone would like to speak with you. Don’t ask if someone is there with you since this breaks the rules of the game.
Tip #2: Patience, Patience, Patience
In some cases, nothing happens and you don’t experience anything. You may see no response at first, but it takes time for the spirits to speak with you on the board. Instead of bombarding the board with questions, ask one question and wait for an intelligent response. Sometimes, nothing responds because of the way that you word the question.
Tip #3: Use Yes or No Questions
One of the reasons that many don’t always believe in the Ouija board, the easiest questions to receive a response from are the yes or no questions. If you receive a longer response, always keep one hand on the planchette when writing.
Tip #4: Demons Lie
You can ask a spirit’s intentions from the beginning whether they come from the light or the dark. Beware of trusting anything too much on the Ouija board since demons will often lie to you or feign friendliness. Many stories exist where the demon started friendly and grew increasingly more sinister and threatening over time. Once you open a supernatural portal, it can make it difficult to close.
Blindfold Test and Ouija: What It Shows
Some people have tried a test with the Ouija board where they blindfold the person to see if the spirits still respond. Long story short, it doesn’t work. This shows us the power of suggestion to the mind.
Experts call this the ideomotor effect, which refers to how your hands make the motions unconsciously. The three main factors that influence the ideomotor effect include suggestibility, preconceptions, and expectations. Individuals under this effect often don’t even understand that they have done it themselves.
Even with all that said, I would still recommend caution. You have so many stories of people who had a bad experience on the Ouija board that it makes sense to take precautions Even some non-religious people fear the board, which says something, and occultists remain divided on if it provides value.
Never Let Your Child Play the Ouija Board Alone
Never let children, or anyone else, for that matter, play on the Ouija board alone. You always want to play it with someone else since this gives you a support system. Think of it in the same way that you wouldn’t go diving by yourself. If something bad happens, it’s much better to have a friend there to help out. Even those who didn’t believe in it thought otherwise after a negative experience.
Here’s a creepy story about someone who played the Ouija board alone, but imagine how much worse that experience would be for a child:
Ouija Board: Teenage Rite of Passage?
Many teenagers report having used the Ouija board, and many had no negative experiences. Even adults today report that they used a Ouija board as a teenager. It has the same effect as telling ghost stories around the campfire. The board provides an escape from the teenage condition.
In 2014, at the release of the horror film Ouija, searches on Google steadily rose by 300 percent. It renewed interest in the board and put it back into the public eye. Many teenagers go through a phase where they play with the Ouija board for a creepy experience with a friend. For some, the creepiest part might have to do with choosing whose bedroom to do it in since no one wants to sleep in the room where a ghost lingers after the activity.
For others, they may have had such a frightening experience that they don’t even want it in their house decades later. The simple speaking of that demon’s name makes them shudder in fear that it might manifest itself. The video above was an example of a bad experience where a cold, dead hand was laid over the top of her hand. It shows you one of many terrifying experiences that some people report having with the Ouija board.
Why Do They Sell Ouija Boards in Toy Stores?
You may commonly see the Ouija board sold in toy stores. Why do they specifically market it toward children? The reason behind this is that the Ouija board has always been considered entertainment. You honestly receive little true value from it. Many times when you hear about the Ouija board, it happens as a kid when you learn about someone else who played with it, or they convinced you to play with it as well. Adults do occasionally play with Ouija boards, but children commonly convince their parents to buy them so that they spook themselves.
The other reason is that they may see it as just a game without consequences. Companies like Hasbro never took it seriously to begin with. You have the people who believe in the Ouija board as extremely dangerous, and you have other people who think of them as a simple toy that won’t work since ghosts don’t exist.
If you wish to buy a used or vintage Ouija, I have written an article on the subject. There are things you should know about used Ouijas. My recommendation is to not buy used Ouijas for kids. But you have to decide for yourself, of course.
Buying a used Ouija board: Things you should know
Learn everything you need to know about buying used Ouija boards
What to Do if Your Child Asks You to Buy Them a Ouija Board
No one can tell you one way or the other with this. Make your own decision. Buying a child a Ouija board is a personal choice up to each parent. Some see it as harmless fun, but the superstitious may be better off not buying it. There are some frightful stories out there about the Ouija board, and it may be a mistake to disregard them all as tricks of the mind.
What age to buy a board may play a role as well since some may think of eight years old as too young to play with it. The common age group for those who play with the board is usually between 11 to 13, and Hasbro has especially marketed itself toward girls of that age since they tend to play with them more than boys.
Ouija Board: True or Hocus Pocus?
Many children outgrow the Ouija board naturally because nothing happens when they play with it. They lose interest in it themselves over time. Still, some frightening videos on Youtube show people who played with them. Some believe that this is simply good marketing to keep the game selling to people.
No one would buy the Ouija board if there wasn’t some thrilling thought that they could touch the other side of the spirit world and frighten themselves a bit with it.
Like the argument for and against ghosts, no concrete evidence can prove them true or false. You have to make up your own mind on whether you believe in them or not. Some people think of the Ouija board as complete poppycock. Others tread on the side of caution even when they’re not particularly religious because of the frightful stories about them. Still, you have others who dive headfirst into them.
You don’t have to research too deeply to uncover a bunch of creepy stories about the Ouija board. Those stories probably even help to sell more of the boards since people feel fascinated about the mysteries of what’s beyond the earthly realm.
In the beginning, most thought of the Ouija board as an innocent parlor game that helped people to reconnect with loved ones who had passed on. It wasn’t until World War I that the spiritualist Pearl Curran got involved with it that people saw it as more of a divination tool. Whether children and teens should use them remains an ongoing controversial debate that will continue well into the future, but children from the ages of 11 to 13 are one of the most common age groups to play with them, which explains why they have been marketed as more of a toy.
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