Author’s note: After last week’s story of a Ouija board encounter gone wrong, a “From the Shadows” reader contacted me with a story of his own.
Kindred walked into his older sister’s house one weekend night in January 1979, his senior year in high school, to find his sister, her boyfriend, and a few cousins around the kitchen table, some sitting, others standing.
He had no idea what the night would bring.
“All (cousins) were female, all in their early and late teens,” he said. “No real significance, although I now wonder if an overwhelming female presence influenced events that followed.”
Kindred’s cousin Dianne waved him toward the table.
“Check this out,” she said.
As Kindred stepped to the table, he saw something that sent fear through him.
“I was taken a little aback,” he said. “Coming from a Christian background we were all told not to mess with Ouija boards.”
But they were, and Kindred joined the game.
“Are you dead or alive,” someone asked, the plastic, triangular planchette skittering across the board. The group asked the question again and again as the planchette indicated a different spirit had joined the conversation.
“It would go to each letter, stop at each letter, and spell out ‘dead’ or ‘alive,’” Kindred said.
Cousin accused cousin of moving the planchette, but everyone denied it. The group would soon find no one in the room – no one living – had moved the triangle.
“A whimsical remark angered whatever was there and one leg of the widget caught on the end of the board,” Kindred said. “Everyone lifted their fingers off the widget and (it) quickly moved across the table top.”
Although frightened, no one wanted to stop the session.
“Curiosity had gotten the best of us all that night,” Kindred said.
Simple yes or no questions made way for more complex queries, like “what are you?”
“We would get answers back such as rabbits, cows, snakes and people we knew that said they were asleep but communicating with us,” he said.
Then whatever communicated with them began to get too close.
“One upsetting moment when going through the list of questions, it said it was by the cliff,” a landmark on the property, Kindred said. “Then by our corrals, then crossing the creek. The procession was towards us – and fast. Finally it said it was outside in the yard, wanting to come in.”
As the group hovered over the board wondering what to do, someone stood, peeled back the kitchen curtain and looked outside. A dog stood in the yard, staring at the house. It was Kindred’s parent’s dog Choco, who would have had to cross those landmarks to reach the house.
“That was pretty freaky,” Kindred said.
Fueled by tension, imagination and adrenaline, the group continued to work the board – then something happened.
“These routine sessions of questions and answers were suddenly broken,” Kindred said.
The board randomly spelled out “purple,” which confused everyone in the room. But when the board spelled “Newtown ND” and “Samantha,” Kindred realized the board targeted him. An ex-girlfriend named Samantha he’d always associated with the color purple lived in Newtown, N.D.
“It was all very startling to me,” Kindred said. “It was as if this universal conscience or entity somehow focused on me and brought up knowledge only I knew, and these were things that were not on my mind at all, at the time.”
The most disturbing event while the group sat in that kitchen, watching the plastic planchette skitter from letter to letter by its own power, didn’t occur in that house.
“While we used the board, my cousin’s mother kept getting phone calls from a little boy claiming he was her abandoned son,” Kindred said.
The voice told her he was calling from a pay phone from nearby Lander, Wyo., and wanted her to pick him up at the 7-11 there.
“Of course, she was clueless and took it as prank calls,” Kindred said. “She would know if she had a baby and had abandoned it anywhere.”
As soon as she hung up the telephone, the little boy would call back – then the “prank” turned into horror.
“The most terrifying thing for her was on the last of these several calls when the little boy’s voice morphed into a man’s voice as he was talking to her,” Kindred said. “Very, very, creepy.”
Although the telephone calls stopped after that, and the group put up the board and everyone went home for the night, the Ouija board experience has stayed with Kindred for 32 years.
“I do not encourage any one to experiment with a Ouija board,” Kindred said. “That night was the only and last night any of us ever engaged in (one).”
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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.