Now introducing… The Devil

“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.”

Tom Waits


My friends and I  met the Devil on a Saturday night in 1993. We spent the night at Lisa’s house and Joanie finally had permission to hang out with us. I had decided to make a Ouija board out of plain paper and we used a glass lens as a makeshift movable indicator. In black marker, I wrote out the alphabet, numbers, hello and good-bye on the piece of paper. We placed our fingers on the lens and asked our first question.

“Who are you?”

The glass first moved in circular motions…  then stopped at 6, moved sharply away and then back to 6, and once more moved erratically then one last time at 6.

We were all delighted it had worked… but frightened… it worked. Continuing on, we wrote down each new message the board would reveal to us. It managed to shape our young minds to superstitious, god-fearing pseudo-psychics.  We grew tired of playing with the board eventually, but we never spoke about the science behind what really happened. Maybe it was a prank pulled off by one of the girls? Or perhaps another explanation is in order?

The Ouija phenomenon has been criticized by many scientists as a hoax related to the ideomotor response, which is a really cool reality. Basically, we unconsciously moved the indicator. Unlocking our collective unconscious with a piece of paper. Real science is so interesting.

A conscious prank or an unconscious misunderstanding… I just wish we had Wikipedia then and the winning lottery numbers for the next hundred years.

Meanwhile in 1993…

“Who are you?”

The glass moved over the letter and spelled D-E-V-I-L.

Then we promptly asked, “Who will we marry?”


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