Ghost sms or swindle. Scientists explain why a planchette moves on a Ouija board

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Ghost sms or hoax. Scientists have explained why the Ouija board moves

Very Halloween revelation – during séances, the Ouija board actually moves on the Ouija board and there is an explanation for that.

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Ouija boards have been around for over a hundred years and have a long and varied history. On the eve of Halloween, the researchers told whether the planchette held by the session participants can really move along the Ouija board and why this happens, writes Science Alert.

Researchers have been able to trace the history of the Ouija board back to the 19th century, when the item was often used by the Fox Sisters, who were popular mediums at the time and are essentially considered the pioneers of the Spiritualist movement. The Fox sisters in their sessions used a special method of communicating with the spirits – they called out loud all the letters of the alphabet and listened to the “answers” of the spirits in the form of tapping. Initially, this method captured the attention of the public, but quickly got bored with it – everyone wanted to communicate with the spirits faster.

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To speed up the process of communicating with spirits, a special board for séances was developed in 1890. This know-how became popular in the blink of an eye. Still would. On the board were the numbers from 0 to 9 and all the letters of the alphabet, as well as three separate words – “yes”, “no” and “goodbye”. Such a technique made it possible to speed up the process of communicating with spirits at times.

Everything changed at the beginning of the 20th century, when many of the famous mediums were publicly exposed. However, interest in spiritualism and ouija boards returned after the Second World War and has not lost its popularity to this day.

On the eve of Halloween, the researchers decided to put an end to the question of how the Ouija board works and who in the end moves the planchette across it.

Researchers suggest that there are three most suitable explanations.

First of all, the movement of the planchette on the Ouija board can be explained by an ideomotor effect. In essence, these effects include movements that people make, but are not aware of – subconscious movements. For example, during a séance, a person can subconsciously move the planchette, stating facts that are known only to him.

The researchers note that the ideomotor effect may be collective – that is, each of the participants contributes, creating the illusion that the planchette is moving independently.

Second, this may be due with our sense of free will. This feeling refers to our subjective ability to control actions that affect external events. For example, if you decide to raise a table, it will make it move.

Studies on Ouija boards have shown that our sense of freedom can be easily manipulated, as if a third party, i.e. “spirits”, are moving the Ouija board. This is hypothesized to be related to the way our brains work – if the actual result doesn't match our expectations, then our sense of free will decreases and we may attribute the movement of the planchette to a third source, such as an otherworldly one.

Thirdly, the movement of the tablet can be attributed to the so-called emotional contagion. For example, during a séance with others, the highly charged environment and our experiences can help us empathize with those around us. As a result, participants in the session will pick up on the fear or anxiety of others and be more likely to believe that the planchette is actually moving on its own.

Researchers do not negate the fact that all three factors may play equal roles in how Ouija works and why to a group of people the planchette appears to be moving on its own and transmitting messages from the spirits.