Science explains how strange ‘ideomotor effect’ is the secret to Ouija boards

Ouija boards are often talked about in scary films or horror stories – but paranormal investigators have warned that they can do real damage.

The ‘frightening’ boards are purported to be able to act as a way of communicating with spirits from beyond the grave.

Poundland was recently slammed by ghost hunters and spiritualists for selling a £1 board.

Free Presbyterian minister Rev David McIlveen told News Letter: "The young person doesn’t control the board, the board controls them and that is frightening in every sense of the word."

The supposed channel into the afterlife is based around a board that a group sits around with their hands placed lightly on a triangular pointer called a planchette.

The planchette rests on the board, which has the words yes, no and the alphabet in the centre.

It also has the word 'goodbye' written at the bottom.

The idea is to summon a spirit which will move the planchette around the board to answer your questions.

Despite the long history of Ouija boards critics claim they don’t actually put you in touch with demons or spirits.

According to Vox, the board relies on your body to move the planchette, and it’s actually a strange, unconscious effect that causes you to move.

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The mysterious mechanism that powers the Ouija board is actually called the ideomotor effect, and is an involuntary movement that we experience when we concentrate on not moving.

Your body responds to your brain without you consciously “telling” it, causing your muscles to move the pointer to the answers that you unconsciously want to see.

Jerking awake from a night's sleep is a more extreme example of the ideomotor effect, which many believe explain the Ouija phenomenon.

The boards date back to 1890 when they were patented and they have been the subject of much debate ever since.

Some fear the conversations with spirits can unleash dark forces.

Paul Marsters, a member of True Paranormal Events UK, told the Mirror earlier this month: "Ouija boards are most certainly not a toy and should not be available for kids to buy in pound shops for Halloween mind adults that are not trained in how to use them."

Poundland said the boards were marketed for adults and had sold out before being pulled.

But Rev Mcllveen added: “I think they are an introduction to a world that is very satanic and takes control of a person’s mind, and once the mind is taken control of then it takes control of actions as well.”

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