Ouija
ADWEEK|October 22, 2018

How A 19th Century Talking Board Became A Hit For Hasbro And A Fright For Everyone Else.

Robert Klara

Forty-five years ago, Americans flocked to theaters to see The Exorcist. Many were sorry they did. The movie— which many consider the scariest of all time—made the news after audiences began fainting, crying and running out of theaters. As Linda Blair’s character Regan MacNeil demonstrated, demonic possession is no picnic—but it is pretty easy to get started. All it takes for the demon Pazuzu to take hold of Regan’s tender little soul is a few games of Ouija.

This week, as millions of our fellow citizens plan Halloween parties, it’s a good bet that many are rummaging around in their basements to find that old Ouija board. After all, there are enough of them out there (25 million, by one estimate). And what other board game can give one a case of the creeps as reliably as Ouija?

“The reason people still play it is because of the belief that it might be dangerous,” noted Ouija authority Robert Murch. “Belief is what gives it power. It’s why it works. And it’s why kids in the age of tap, swipe and click [still] put their hands on the planchette.”

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