Question:

Does the Ouija board actually work?


Answer:

James Randi, a magician and fraud buster, points out that when blindfolded, Ouija board operators are unable to produce intelligible messages [James Randi, An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural]. Magicians Penn and Teller performed a similar demonstration in which the operators moved the planchette into what they thought were the positions of "yes" and "no" without knowing that the board was turned upside-down, which caused them to move the planchette into blank spaces on the board. What these prove is that the users of the board are actually producing the messages supposedly coming from the spirit world. American psychologist, Ray Hyman, noted, "honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations." [Ideomotor phenomenon]. In other words, people's muscles react to their expectations without conscience thought.