The Ouija experience isn’t all Milton Bradley and slumber parties. Sitting around a Ouija board, fingers on the planchette, asking for spirits to show themselves may seem harmless, but all too often it’s not.
And, as Jake Kayen discovered, Milton Bradley doesn’t even have to be involved.
“I’m from India and I’d like to narrate my one and only Ouija experience,” Kayen said. “It was nothing dramatic, mind you – very plain, simple and straightforward.”
Kayen was an undergrad in Poona, India, when early on a winter’s morning he and three friends sat on the floor around a Ouija board Kayen had drawn.
“I enquired as to why these early hours,” he said.
A friend, Surya, “ever the joker,” thought the question was funny.
“You’ll probably get fresh (spirits),” Surya said. “Maybe one who died while exerting in the toilet.”
The group laughed and they prepared for their séance. Someone lit an incense stick and collected smoke under a bottle cap they placed on the board as a planchette.
“We touched (it) with the tips of our forefingers,” Kayen said. “Gaurav, the senior in the group, got into a meditative mood and intoned in a solemn sonorous voice, ‘Any spirit close by, please come here and answer our questions.’”
Gaurav said this three times. Then said, “If you are here, please give us a signal. Move the cap to ‘Yes.’”
The cap started moving.
“I was sure it wasn’t me,” Kayen said. “Kumar looked at me suspiciously. Modi was looking around half-expecting a joke, but did not want to disturb the experience. Even Surya was silently watching the board.”
Members of the group asked a number of questions that the cap moved to answer.
“Satisfactory answers were given,” Kayen said. “At least to my questions. What’s my pet’s name? It (answered) correctly, spelling out each alphabet, ‘K-u-t-t-a-n.’ Well, I was satisfied as this was an unusual name for a dog.”
Anxious, Modi asked the board, “Will I win the Nobel Prize?” The board answered, “No.”
“There were snickers,” Kayen said. “Surya cracked a rude comment and Modi shot an angry glance at him.”
After a while, the cap started moving erratically.
“Oh spirit, do you want to go away?” Gaurav asked.
The cap moved to, “Yes.”
“We shall count to 10 and remove our fingers from the cap, OK?” Gaurav asked.
The cap again moved to, “Yes.”
“Go in peace, o spirit,” Gaurav said. “Our thanks.”
And the cap stopped moving.
“We had a good laugh afterwards over tea,” Kayen said. “Modi was talking about the spirit not knowing anything, deliberate sabotage by us, and the ‘polygon of forces,’ the resultant vector being a pure reflection of our subconscious, etc. We teased him a lot on his Nobel Prize afterwards.”
But Kayen wasn’t finished with the spirit world. He soon found his cousin had made contact, too.
“I related this incident to Manu, my cousin, when I visited Bombay,” Kayen said. “Apparently, he and his friends had organized a tryout of the Ouija board for himself in an apartment in his building that had been empty for some time.”
The board was the one Kayen had drawn.
“They started around midday, following the same procedure till a spirit had come,” he said. “They asked the spirit it’s earthly name – apparently that’s something prohibited – and it replied ‘Kulkarni.’”
Manu and his friends were surprised at a response.
“They had a lark, but soon tired of it,” Kayen said. “When they asked whether it wanted to go away, the spirit would point to, ‘No.’ This happened twice. Then one of them asked, ‘What would happen if we just got up and left?’”
The cap slowly spelled something vulgar … and threatening.
“When the meaning of this arrangement of letters dawned upon them, they realized the spirit, or whoever it was, seemed quite earnest in its interest and could endeavor to be with them somehow,” Kayen said. “With a yell and a bang, they broke up the meeting, threw away the Ouija board and quickly vacated the premises.”
Manu and his friends have since avoided both the apartment and the Ouija board.
“Ah, the way I laughed,” Kayen said, although he knows his contact with the spirit world was anything but funny. “After that one Ouija session, I felt kind of, dirty, soiled, sad. I’ve never ventured into such stuff again.”
Copyright 2008 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or email@example.com. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at: tsup.truman.edu, www.amazon.com, or visit Jason’s Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com.