The young couple sat across from each other as their hands joined on the planchette of a Ouija board. Tim Hess began using the board after his girlfriend moved into his Pennsylvania apartment, not realizing what it would invite.
“We had been doing this almost every evening for about a month and had been talking to an entity that claimed to be a man who died at about the same age I was,” he said. “He claimed to have died in an accident ... apparently he was working on this vehicle and it fell on him, crushing him.”
Although nothing bad had happened to Hess and his girlfriend while using the Ouija board, they were still cautious.
“We always used it together because we heard you should never use one alone,” he said.
But one night, when Hess sat in a bar up the hill from his apartment, his girlfriend, who wasn’t yet 21, broke the rule.
“As I was walking home one evening I found a bottle jack lying along side the road and decided to take it home because I work on cars a lot,” he said. “When I walked in the door with the jack in my hand my girlfriend’s face turned white as a ghost and she was screaming at me telling me I had to get rid of the jack.”
After she calmed down, she told him why.
“She had been using the Ouija board while I was out,” Hess said. “She told me she had been trying to talk to our friend but he wouldn’t say anything except ‘Tim’ and ‘No Jack’ over and over for about 15 minutes.”
Finally, after numerous requests, the board spelled out that Hess would find a jack walking home from a bar June 14. That night was June 14. But it’s what the entity then claimed that threw the girl into hysterics.
“(The entity said) I would use the jack and a car would fall on me killing me,” he said. “I told her not to worry because nothing was going to happen to me.”
She pleaded with him to get rid of the jack, but he refused; it was in good condition.
“I took the jack down to the basement and tried to forget what happened,” he said. “But every time I saw that jack I got a very uneasy feeling in my stomach.”
Exactly a month later, Hess’ brother-in-law asked if he’d help replace the clutch in his car – and he didn’t own a jack.
“I proceeded to tell him the story of how I got the jack and the warning my girlfriend received,” Hess said. “I told him that if he waited a few days I would help him but there was no way I was going to crawl under a car on the 14th.”
The men waited two days and, using a jack Hess’ brother-in-law bought, repaired the clutch.
“We fixed his car without incident,” Hess said. “I don’t know if this was because we waited or the fact that my brother-in-law purchased a jack for us to use.”
Hess has not touched a Ouija board since.
“This incident made me realize that there are truly other entities out there. Some may be good and some may be bad. I just got lucky enough to not get mixed up with a bad one. Something has always bothered me about what happened though. Do you think I would have even found the jack if we weren’t talking to our ‘friend?’”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s books on the paranormal, “Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,” and “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.