How to Use a Ouija Board

Four Parts:Printable Ouija BoardCreate the AmbienceThe Proper MindsetPlaying the Game

A Ouija is a flat, wooden surface which has letters from A to Z, numbers from 0 to 9 and a Sun and Moon symbol. A movable indicator or a "planchette" is used to supposedly answer questions that its users ask. In popular culture (all the rage in the 1920s), these boards are considered to be a "spiritual gateway" used to contact the dead; however, the only evidence for this is the various accounts of users--nothing has been scientifically proven. Decide for yourself -- are you willing to give it a try?

Printable Ouija Board

Printable Ouija Board

Part 1
Create the Ambience

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    Grab a few friends. Technically, Ouija can be played alone, but it's best to play with at least one other person. Especially if it's a dark and stormy night.
    • Two people is ideal. The more people you have, the more hectic it may get (loud, distracting, etc.) and you may confuse the spirits. More than two is fine--just make sure everyone stays calm and respectful.
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    Set the mood. Before getting down to the business of contacting "the other side," you may want to get in the mood by dimming the lights, using candles, lighting incense, and burning sage.
    • Ouija can be all about timing. Sometimes the board is ultra-responsive and sometimes it seems asleep. It's best to try it at night or into the wee hours of the morning.
    • Remove all distractions. There should be no loud music, noise from the television, or kids running around. A séance requires your undivided attention in order to be successful.
    • Turn your phones off! Accepting a call in the middle of the conversation interrupts the progress and mood.
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    Grab a seat. On the original instructions of the game, it says to place the board on the knees of the two participants, with their knees touching. It also says, "Lady and gentleman preferred." So, take it for what it's worth. However, this shouldn't really affect your experience at all.
    • Working on a clear table or on the floor is fine. So long as everyone can clearly see and keep fingers on the planchette, or pointer.
    • The participants should be on either side of the board or at the base of it; sometimes the planchette moves fast and the letters need to be quickly processed and sequenced. Viewing the board upside-down could confuse the intended message.

Part 2
The Proper Mindset

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    Be patient. Sometimes the spirit needs a minute to warm up. You may not get answers right away. Don't give up.
    • The myths about 'moving the planchette to warm it up' mean nothing. The spirit is the one providing the answers, or the planchette, so slow answers will be nothing to to with the planchette. Some spirits can move the planchette faster than others.
    • Sometimes the planchette moves very quickly and sometimes it moves very slowly. If getting a message out of your planchette is like waiting for dial-up, don't get angry. Wait it out or close the board and resume a little later.
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    Be polite. If you are speaking to a highly communicative spirit, talk to it! Be friendly. This will encourage him/her to cooperate with you.
    • You may not get the answers you want. This is not the spirit or the board's fault. Getting angry or violent will just ruin the vibe of the board and the room.
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    Start simply. It's best not to bombard your spirit with questions on the content and length of your next history exam. Start simple, like a normal conversation.
    • Your first questions should have easy, short answers.
      • How many spirits are in the room?
      • Are you a good spirit?
      • What is your name?
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    Be careful what you wish for. The last thing you want to do is stay up all night contemplating your imminent death. If you don't want to know the answer to a question, don't ask it. But if you do choose to ask about your future, take note that it will be jokingly. Just like us mortals, spirits can't see the future. They're messing with you if they tell you your sister is going to die in a week.
    • Don't ask silly or stupid questions. "What did Billy tell his sister about me?" is not something your spirit may want to waste time on. Not to mention how long it would take to spell the answer out!
    • Don't ask for physical signs. That's just asking for trouble. What's more, those you're communicating with may not be able to follow up. It's best to keep it contained within the Ouija. However, some spirits are ok with asking for proof. It varies.
    • Don't believe everything the board tells you. If it says you're going to die in the next ten minutes, just don't go running in front of buses. That's you fulfilling the prophecy, not the prophecy being correct.

Part 3
Playing the Game

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    Pick a medium. Designate one person to ask all the questions. This keeps things simple and prevents the ones on the other side from getting confused.
    • However, all players should have a say in questions. Take turns thinking up questions, but have the medium address them to the board.
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    Place your fingers on the planchette. It should be resting on the "G" space on the board to start.
    • Ask all players to gently place their index and middle fingers on the planchette. Slowly move the planchette in circles to let the board warm up and concentrate on what you want to ask. Rest your fingers on it firmly but without much force; if you hold it too stiffly, it won't move as easily.
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    Develop an opening ritual. This could be anything -- a prayer, a welcome, or even trinkets scattered around you.
    • Have the medium greet the spirits and affirm that only positive energy is welcome.
    • Line the board with jewels or other relics. If you are seeking to talk to a deceased relative, have something of theirs nearby.
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    Ask a question. These should start out simple and progress as you get the feel for that specific session.
    • If your spirit indicates that he/she is bad, it's best to close the board and resume again later.
    • If you start getting rude or vulgar responses, do not mirror it with your own rude behavior. But you don't start using vulgar words. And don't shout if you get too scared just say goodbye to the spirits and quit.
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    Concentrate. To get the best, most effective results, all players need to clear their minds and focus on the question at hand.
    • Everyone playing needs to sit seriously and respectfully. If you have a friend who is laughing or encouraging ridiculous questions, kick them out of the room.
    • As the planchette moves, you may want to have one person serve as the writer. Sometimes responses get quite lengthy and need to be worked out.
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    Watch it move. Sometimes this happens quickly and sometimes it happens slowly; once in a while, it doesn't happen it all. But if everyone is focused and attentive, the planchette should slowly take off.
    • Make sure no player is dominating the planchette. If they are clearly the reason it's moving, they shouldn't be playing the game. Each player should have the same amount of weight distributed on the pointer.
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    Close the board. If the planchette starts doing "figure eights," or counting down from Z to A, or counting down from 9 to 0, end the séance by moving to goodbye. Any of these 3 things happening indicates that the spirit is trying to escape from the board. It's very important to tell the spirits goodbye. You would hate to be left all of a sudden, wouldn't you?
    • Have the medium state that it is time to finish the séance and sweep the planchette over the 'GOODBYE' symbol on the board.
      • Of course, if you enjoyed the time with your spirit, say, "Goodbye!" and wait for the planchette to move to "Goodbye" in turn.
    • Before you box your board up, rub it with a soft, dry cloth. This keeps it clean and prevents dust and moisture from building up.


  • The sun and moon identify what kind of spirit is contacting you. If it comes from the sun it is good, if from the moon, it is bad. If you get a bad spirit, thank the spirit for its time and say goodbye. When the planchette sweeps over goodbye, it means the bad spirit is gone.
  • If the pointer repeatedly goes to eight, the spirit is angry. Eights are considered unlucky after "Wild Bill" Hickok's death hand of aces and eights. Somehow this superstition has found its way into Ouija lore. Don't worry about it unless you're a gunfighter and are using your Ouija board in Deadwood, South Dakota[1].
  • Light a single white candle. White in witchcraft is used for protection and purity; even though black is used for energy, it is also used for dark, evil, and black magic.
  • Some spirits haven't had any communication in many years. Be patient with them and be polite. You're calling them, not the other way around.
  • But if the session went well but you are done, say goodbye out loud and wait for the planchette to move to goodbye on its own, if it doesn't then politely say you enjoyed speaking and sweep it over yourself.
  • To prevent calling a bad spirit, put a silver coin on the board. This can deter bad spirits but remember they may still get through.
  • Before you start the session, sit in a circle, hold hands and say, "Let there be no evil forces or demons."
  • If at anytime you get scared or feel that the session is getting out of hand, simply close the board by sweeping the pointer over "Goodbye" and say, "We're leaving now. Rest in peace."
  • Make sure everyone in the seance are people that you trust not to intentionally move the planchette, imagine if you were a ghost and you finally had the chance to talk to the living again and someone starts speaking for you!
  • Never use a ouija board unless you know what you're doing. It is not a game. The only spirits it calls are evil ones. Do not use the board by your self. Do not use the board at YOUR house or a cemetery. This could lead to possession or hauntings of your house. And lastly make sure you do a lot of research before you use the board. Stay safe, God (or which deity you believe in, if any) is with you.
  • Nothing can 'come out of' a paper/cardboard/wood board.
  • No spirits can do you harm unless you let them. You are alive, you have a body and soul. That makes you say stronger than the spirit. If a spirit says they're going to harm you simply tell them that you are alive and they are not and that they can not harm you.
  • Consider using the ouija board in a neutral space, it's commonly unadvised to ever use it in your own home.
  • It will work only if your mind is open to it; don't expect an outcome if your energy is negative and not open to such things.
  • A lot of people may advise you that Ouija boards are a waste of money, and you're better off making your own. When making your own, you need to write: yes, no, the numbers 0-9, letters A-Z, and Goodbye. You can also add other words like maybe or sometimes to the side of the board. Of course, there's always online.


  • Do not use the Ouija Board while consuming alcohol and/or drugs. You're more likely to attract negative entities.
  • The existence of ghosts, demons, and the supernatural is disputed. Don't take everything for granted.
  • Never ask the spirit to prove its existence; it is believed that this is granting permission for the spirit to leave the board and doing so can let evil spirits into your home.
  • Never ask questions about your death or another's death. Also refrain from asking questions about the future, but if you can't help yourself remember that all spirits can be mischievous.
  • Important Note: Ouija boards have a reputation for being two-way portals to other realms. When using a board, you should be very careful that you don't let something into the "real" world from the realm you are contacting!
  • Before you use your Ouija Board, Google 'Ouija Board stories' and read a few, just to be sure you want to dabble with the "other side."

Things You'll Need

  • A Ouija Board and planchette
  • One or two friends (Never be alone while using the Ouija board)
  • White Candles or a dim light
  • Burning sage or incense (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Ouija Boards