In the first half, the world's foremost collector, historian, and expert on Ouija and Talking Boards, Bob Murch, revealed the rich history of the Ouija Board. He was joined by Rick Schreck, VP of the Talking Board Historical Society. Schreck, the owner of House of 1000 Tattoos in New Jersey, described his creation of OuijaZilla, the largest Ouija board in the world, which measured 72 x 44 feet and was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not, Mind Blown. Previously, he turned his 1989 hearse into a Ouija board. Used by the spiritualist community in the 19th century, talking boards preceded the use of the Ouija, Murch noted. An article published by the Associated Press in 1886 explained how to create your own board and brought global attention to them. It was the addition of the planchette to the talking board that further popularized the practice, Murch added.
In terms of how the Ouija Board moves, there have been several explanations, Murch detailed: a form of automatism, in which a person is subconsciously moving the planchette without beware aware of it; a type of telepathy where the users are tapping into each other's minds; or a kind of portal opening up that allows spirits to come through. The idea of marketing the Ouija board as a toy was particularly viable in the 1800s, because death was an ever-present factor, so much so that "talking to the dead was normal," said Murch. Schreck recounted 'Ouijastitions' or various superstitions associated with the board, including never use it in a graveyard; never ask about God; never burn the board; never ask when you're going to die; never leave the planchette on the board; and always say 'goodbye.'
A Catholic priest for almost 40 years, Archbishop Ron Feyl was trained by many exorcists who were his mentors and former bishops. In the latter half, he discussed cases of possession and the exorcism rituals he conducts as the Chief Exorcist for The Sacred Order of Saint Michael the Archangel. Of the cases that are presented to his Order, only about 6% represent genuine demonic activity, and full-possession cases are even rarer. There are a number of things that can mimic possession such as a chemical imbalance, he noted. In cases of true demonic possession, the afflicted person may demonstrate supernatural abilities, such as levitation, as well as telling you things about yourself that they would have no way of knowing. There can be bizarre or unexplained phenomena, such as the possessed person's eyes turning solid black, or they may regurgitate solid objects, he revealed.
Witnesses and participants during the exorcism can also have unexpected physical effects like nosebleeds and feeling things falling on them. In one instance, Feyl said maggots were falling down onto the participants as a way to distract the priest from performing the ritual. In 2013, he was conducting a ritual on a possessed person, and said he was struck three times on his left side, as though he was being hit "by an invisible 2 x 4." Later, tests determined that he inexplicably had a two-liter sack of blood wrapped around his heart, and he was hospitalized in the ICU for 30 days, and underwent three different medical procedures. Feyl said he considers demons to be fallen angels, who were thrown out of heaven when Lucifer was thrust out. When a possessed person undergoes an exorcism it can take anywhere from a week to a year to drive the demons out, he reported, and about 70-80% of cases are considered a success.
News segment guests: Lauren Weinstein, Steve Kates