One unusually hot, spring day, my buddy and I escorted my younger brother and his friend on the long trek home from 6th grade. Lithe palm trees, lining the street, cast little soothing shade. So since we were dropping off my brother at his friend’s house (about half-way between Rowland Avenue Elementary and home), we stopped for a drink of water.

Mrs. Case, her hair puffed up and heavily sprayed, handed us each a glass and set down a plate of cookies. The boys grabbed several treats and ran outside, slamming the screen door behind them.

“Do you want to play a game before you head home?” She opened the hall closet door. Stacks of colorful boxes crowded the shelf. Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, and Life. But I didn’t see my favorite, the bright pink box with Mystery Date printed on the side.

“This one, Ouija, will predict your futures,” she said. “Wanna play?”

“We gee,” we parroted. Like every preteen girl, we imagined what our futures would hold.

She withdrew an odd brown board covered with capital alphabet letters, the numbers zero to nine and the words “Yes,” “No,” “Hello” and “Goodbye” in black writing. In addition, the stars, sun and moon crowded the playing surface. Mrs. Case then set down on the maple dining room table a strange piece of wood shaped like a heart.

“It’s best if you sit across from each other. And, lightly place your fingers on the top of the mover,” she instructed. “Ask it a question, then let it wander wherever it wants. I’m going to start dinner. If you need anything, just holler.”

“I’ll go first,” I said. “Who will be my husband?” I held my breath as it moved slowly without my help.

K…..E…..N   It stopped dead on the N.

“Ken?” I giggled. “The only Ken I know dates Barbie.”

We laughed.

“My turn!” my friend exclaimed.

We asked it quite a few other questions, none of which I remember, except for the very last one.

“Who are you?” I queried. What mysterious being could be playing with us? A genie? An angel? 

The mover slid haltingly around the board, as if it didn’t know what to spell. My friend smiled at me in anticipation.



It started sliding a little faster.    V……I…….

As it moved to the L, I jerked my fingers off the cold heart and pushed away from the table.

*                            *                             *

Many psychics warn of using a Ouija, saying it indiscriminately summons any type of spirit, including dark ones. Once when I told a seer of my recurring problems with shadow people, he asked me if I’d used Ouija at the condo where we lived at the time. He thought perhaps someone had and unknowingly opened a portal to the spirit world there.

Evil lurks on the Other Side, just as it exists here on Earth. And we should never naively invite a spirit without caution and God’s protection.