Q – Is using a Ouija Board ok, if just for fun? Also, what do you think of the comments at the bottom of this website? I can’t believe that Hasbro makes this and Toys ‘R Us sells them!
A – Thanks for the questions. I think my answers might just surprise some of our readers.
The origin of these boards is not from a game. Rather, they come from a practice of “channeling” or “divination”. Channeling is asking the dead to give us answers to questions or power and is an ancient – and dangerous – practice. Thus, the word “occult” = “hidden”. The Bible speaks directly to this practice:
Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the LORD, and because of such abominations the LORD, your God, is driving these nations out of your way. – Deuteronomy 18: 10-12
He practiced soothsaying and divination, and reintroduced the consulting of ghosts and spirits. He did much evil in the LORD’S sight and provoked him to anger. – 2 Kings 21:6
And when they say to you, “Inquire of mediums and fortune-tellers (who chirp and mutter!); should not a people inquire of their gods, apply to the dead on behalf of the living?” – Is 8:19
So, the history of divination and channeling is ancient, but it has some more modern forms, which have become popular again from various sources, including – New Age practices, the Occult, fortune-telling, Wicca, astrology, and “games” such as the Ouija Board. All of these have Pagan spiritual origins and should never be practiced by Christians.
Ultimately, this is a dangerous practice because it is an attempt to seek spiritual power from somewhere other than God. If this is the case, then demons or evil spirits are most likely the ones supplying it. We open ourselves up to demonic influence if we do so – to the point of having possession being possible down the line.
Some might think this is an overreaction and that it is just fun. I have heard some say – at most, it is a spooky time for kids to pretend they can talk to the dead. But, demons can work through this kind of attitude to quietly induce someone to their way of thinking and acting.
A personal disbelief in the power of Satan, does not make his power go away. Just ask an exorcist who has had to fight with such demons. They will not beat around the bush in regards to such practices.
The danger is very real.
Thus, the Catechism states:
2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.
2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.
So, in answer to your question – I believe the Ouija Board and other kinds of New Age practices to be very dangerous. I also think it is scandalous that they are marketing it as a “game” and so many people accept such things uncritically.
Marcel is a husband and father of five, serves on the pastoral council at St. Mary’s and is the founder and Executive Director of Catholic Missionary Disciples.