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What I Learned About Collecting Ouija Boards for the 125-Year Anniversary

The patent for the Ouija Board was filed 125 years ago…and it’s been terrifying people ever since. To celebrate, I decided to start collecting them.
Vintage Ouija board

125 years ago today, on May 28th, 1890, a business man named Elijah Bond filed the original patent for the Ouija Board. To celebrate, I decided it was time to finally add a talking board to the collection. I tend to favor science over superstition, but the Ouija is fun because no other board game has the ability to make so many people uneasy.

I mean, people don’t generally get sweaty palms and heart palpitations over Monopoly.

So it was only a matter of time before I found an excuse to own one.

I don’t actually have any money though, so at this point any of the rare and valuable boards are completely out of my reach. Which I’m okay with, because the more common and affordable vintage Ouija boards have that iconic design everyone is afraid of.

Regan plays with the Ouija board in The Exorcist
Regan (Linda Blair) examines the planchette in this scene from The Exorcist, 1973.

The Exorcist was inspired by the true story of Roland Doe, a boy who underwent a series of exorcisms in his Missouri home in 1949 after using his aunt’s Ouija board.

Ouija Board Collectors Corner

Before making the purchase, I consulted the Museum of Talking Boards Collector’s Corner to make sure I knew what I was looking at.

Some of the most sought after boards seem to be:

  • Made of wood
  • Original Kennard Novelty Company boards from 1891
  • Completely out of my price range

The board I ended up buying is the William Fuld design on paper hardboard. According to this page, this design was first introduced in 1944. The planchette that came with this board is plastic, which replaced the original wood pointer that was packaged with boards until 1946.

Also, this board came in the original box featuring the Blue Ghost. In his article about coming face-to-face with the potential inspiration for this design in Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery, Ouija authority Robert Murch states that the ominous character was used on William Fuld and Parker Bros. boxes from 1941-1972.

I don’t know enough yet to pinpoint a more exact production date, but at least I can tell my particular mystifying oracle hit the shelves sometime between 1946 and 1972.

OuijaCon 2015 – Talking Board Museum Walkthrough

The Talking Board Historical Society held the first ever OuijaCon in Baltimore last month. It included a traveling museum of historic talking boards, which you can see in the video below.

On a side note, nothing more “paranormal” than usual has happened at Cult of Weird HQ since I bought the Ouija board. But in the event that a portal to Hell opens up in my living room, you’re all invited to the party.

Elijah Bond’s Memorial Ouija Board Gravestone in Baltimore

The memorial gravestone of Ouija Board inventor Elijah Bond was erected in 2008 by the Talking Board Historical Society in Baltimore, Maryland’s Green Mount Cemetery.
Ouija board gravestone of Elijah Bond in Baltimore, Maryland
Ouija board gravestone of Elijah Bond in Baltimore, Maryland

It took 15 years, but eventually Ouija board historian and Talking Board Historical Society founder Robert Murch managed to track down the unmarked grave of Elijah Bond, inventor of the infamous board game that has spawned more nightmares than any other toy.

Related:

Bond was a lawyer and inventor. He filed the patent for what would become known as the Ouija Board on May 28th, 1890. The first talking board was produced by his friends at the Kennard Novelty Company.

Murch found the grave in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery in 2007. With permission from the cemetery and the blessings of Bond’s descendents, he raised donations from Ouija enthusiasts to get a memorial gravestone erected a year later. The new stone features the iconic Ouija design from the original patent.

More info here: Elijah Bond Memorial Gravestone

Going to OuijaCon this weekend? Share your photos with the Cult of Weird community on Instagram by tagging #cultofweird

Celebrate 125 Years of the Ouija Board at OuijaCon

The Talking Board Historical Society is celebrating the Ouija board’s 125th birthday in Baltimore with the first ever Ouija conference.
OuijaCon 2015 in Baltimore presented by the Talking Board Historical Society

The Ouija Board was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1890 and manufactured there for many years by William Fuld and the Kennard Novelty Company. Now, in celebration of 125 years of Ouija, the Talking Board Historical Society presents a first-of-its-kind event – OuijaCon 2015 hosted by expert Robert Murch from April 23rd-25th at the Baltimore Harbor Hotel.

Related:

Join talking board collectors, historians, paranormal experts and fans for panels and symposiums including presentations by:

  • Robert Murch
  • Jeff Belanger
  • Chip Coffey
  • John Zaffis
  • Rosemary Ellen Guiley
  • Brandon Hodge
  • Dave Schrader
  • Karen Dahlman
  • Darren Evans

The conference will also include a talking board fashion show and art contest, collectors panel, live séance with Chip Coffey, and an exhibit displaying some of the rarest and most valuable talking boards on the planet.

World’s First Traveling Talking Board Museum

Traveling Ouija talking board museum

The museum will showcase 125 years of history with prized artifacts from collectors around the globe, including talking boards, planchettes, dial plates, spirit trumpets and more.

OuijaCon 2015

Get more info here: OuijaCon 2015