Mar 16, 2010 I Amelia Crater

Ouija Board took Coast to Coast Host to “Brink of Unfathomable Chaos”

Over the past couple of months, Aaron and Ben have been debating whether to experiment with a Ouija board despite all of the calamitous reports that this "game" tends to manifest evil child ghosts or cause "players" to become demonic possessions more often than answering questions like "Does Suzy really like me?" or "Did I pass the algebra exam?"  Let's say,  the boards are controversial.

The "Talking Boards" have a long history of use in spiritualism, some of it good but much of it more along the lines of this warning:

"Most often the spirits whom are contacted through the Ouija are those whom reside on "the lower astral plane". These spirits are often very confused and may have died a violent or sudden death; murder, suicide, etc. Therefore, many violent, negative and potentially dangerous conditions are present to those using the board. Often times several spirits will attempt to come through at the same time but the real danger lies when you ask for physical proof of their existence! You might say, "Well, if you're really a spirit, then put out this light or move that object!" What you have just done is simple, you have "opened a doorway" and allowed them to enter into the physical world and future problems can and often do arise."

However, given Mysterious Universe's role in researching psychical and paranormal phenomenon, perhaps it is Ben and Aaron's duty to explore the mystical board.  Still, demonic possession seems like a pretty steep downside.

Then, completely by chance (or was it?), I stumbled across a copy of "Worker in the Light"  a book written by George Noory, the Coast to Coast host,  in 2002.  Who knew George Noory wrote books?  Or that he considered himself spiritual enough to write (with William "UFO Magazine" Birnes) a how-to memoir to help the rest of us achieve enlightenment?  Not I, that's for sure.

Nonetheless, I flipped it open and found that the first chapter was entitled, "The Ouija Board."  What followed was a cautionary tale about what happens when you experiment with the unknown while surrounded by lots of high tech audio equipment, which, of course, is directly analogous to the MU studio located in Aaron's home.

I have a premonition that Noory's tale is not going to convince Aaron or Ben that research on the Ouija board will bring MU to the "brink of  an unfathomable black pool of chaos,"  as Noory claims it did him.  What you don't find out until later in the book is that Noory had toyed with the  dark arts before, which is most likely why this incident nearly pitched him over the edge.  You'll have decide whether the incident is evidence for or against Ben and Aaron's experiment based on this excerpt from "The Ouija Board":

"I had no idea what it was. Maybe it was a gift given in good conscience.   Maybe someone sent it to me on a dare.  I'll never know for sure.  Whatever the sender's intention, the weathered and worn Ouija board inside the box ultimately took me to the very edge of reality, from which point I looked over the brink into an  unfathomable black pool of chaos.

Why is it that such an innocuous piece of cardboard with tits triangular-shaped planchette holds the threat of  becoming a force for evil?  This was not a question that came to mind that late-night in the KTRS studios in St. Louis as I was hosting Coast to Coast AM back in 2002, filing in for the legendary Art Bell....And I told my audience about the Ouija board in the antique box.  Should I use it on the air, I asked the listeners?

Calls came pouring in jamming the switchboard, the first-time caller line, and all the wild-card lines: "Do it!"

I slid the Ouija board out of its box.

Now, for anyone who has never seen the inside of a modern radio broadcast studio, the sight of so many switches, dials, flashing indicator lights, and phone hookups, all set around a table festooned with standing and hanging microphones and computer monitors for reading email can be intimidating....On this particular night in St. Louis, amid the mass of electrons and blinking light arrayed all around me like a nice warm security envelope, I unfolded the Ouija board and set it on the studio desk.  I felt a hesitation.

Should I or shouldn't I? The listener calls kept flooding in. Voices in my earphones stretched almost 5,000 miles diagonally across the entire continent from Halifax in Canada to National City, California, on the Mexican border.

"Hi, George, this is Josh from Watertown. Ask it a question."

But I remember the Exorcist, as well as countless other movies, when the person about to become the innocent victim finds that the pointer is out of his or her control and the demonic voice speaks through that person's fingertips.  Sure, I hesitated. Who wouldn't?

My audience was insistent.

"I have a question, George. Can it talk to the dead?'

I took the Planchette out of the box.

Okay, I thought, maybe just once. I told the audience what I was doing, placing my fingertips lightly on the planchette so as to let whatever force was present guide the reader along the letters laid out along the board.

Ask a yes or no question, the planchette will direct you. Ask for a name or a word and the planchette will spell it out.  Remember every B horror film you've ever seen where the camera does a close focus on a pair of hands being  guided by something out of their control, and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

"Okay," I said to the audience. "I'm ready. Call in with a question and let's see what this baby can do.  The numbers again are..."

Darkness, sudden and terrifying. Not even the diodes were blinking. Before my eyes could adjust, the lights came on again. The back up generators had kicked in and the studio came alive.

"What was that?" I heard of of the engineers say through my earphones."

"You're supposed to know," another voice said.  Maybe it was  my in-studio producer, Howard Morton. "Are we on generators?"

There was a lot of background chatter as I stared down at the planchette on the Ouija board. I was pointing to


"Hey, George, I got a question," a caller's voice crackled through the earphones.
"Go ahead," I said. But just then my earphones went dead.  I signaled to my producer on the other side of the thick glass window that separated the control from the broadcast booth," Are we on?"

He gave me a thumbs-up back, but I still couldn't hear anything coming out of the earphones.  I pointed to my ear and gave him the cut sign across my neck.  Audio was dead to me.  I could see him check his board and shake his head.  The the sound came back.

So what do you think, George? Can you ask it?" The callers voice said.

"Hey, my friend, you broke up out there," I said hoping that it was his phone and not our audio. "Run that by me again?"

I looked down. The planchette was still sitting on "No." only this time it seemed as if it had moved a little.  My hands were resting on it, but I felt nothing.

My caller began speaking when, as suddenly as the lights had gone out moments earlier, all the dials on the panels in front of me dropped to zero as if somebody had pulled the plug.  I still had sound in my earphones, but none of the instruments were registering.  And, again, I shot a what's up look to my producer, who only shrugged and then gave me a thumbs-up.

"We're having some difficulty here with the line," I said to my caller, who, by now, was getting impatient. "So I thank you for dialing in." And I cut off the call.

"Why?"  I could lip-read my producer through the glass.

I shrugged again. I didn't know. It was as if some poltergeist were playing tricks with the equipment, but I went back to the Ouija board as another call came in with a question, this one really spooky:

" Who was the spirit attending to the board?"

"What do you mean?" I asked the caller.

"The boards have spirits sometimes," the caller said, assuring the audience that she had used the Ouija board many times and had communicated with spirits speaking through them and guiding the planchette over the letters.

"You can ask it a question and it will identify itself."

My producer's attention was riveted on the caller as she explained that I had to concentrated my full attention on the board and ask the board to spell out the name of the spirit.

As I began it focus,the entire studio went black again and this time, event the computers lost power.  I could hear a multitude of voices in my earphones, lots of yelling and the frantic sounds of engineers shouting to technicians. Then the auxiliary generators kicked in, the lights came up, dimmed and then went out again. The studio was dead.

Next thing I know, amid the darkness that seemed blacker than a moonless night, the door from the control room burst open with a crash and in flew Howard Morton, my producer.

"Give me that damn thing," he said, without even telling me what he meant, but I sensed it anyway.

He took the Ouija board out of my hands, stuffed it back in the box, threw the planchette in after it, and folded the flaps closed.

"Now I'm getting this thing out of here."  And he tossed it through the control door to another technician.

The light came up. I could hear the hum of the generators' winding motors up and suddenly the dials on the panels shout up to their nominal levels. Diodes and LEDs began to flicker and I heard the soft sound of the computer hard-drive head engage. We were back.

"You know what, caller from Texas," I said into the mike. "We just got rid of the Ouija board. It was the darndest thing you ever saw."

"I copy that," the caller said. I was gonna warn you about it but you beat me to it." And with a click the caller was goine into the vast great link of people who comprise the Coast to Coast audience, invisible except for their presence over the phones.

I had gone to the very edge and looked over into the word of misery where those who allow themselves to be taken over will find themselves.

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