Question: "What are Ouija boards? Should a Christian play with Ouija boards?"

Answer: The modern Ouija board was created in the late 1800s as interest in spiritualism grew. A Ouija board, also called a spirit board or talking board, is simply a game board that has the alphabet, numerals, and “yes” and “no” printed on its face. A planchette, or pointer, is used to spell out words and answer simple questions. Supposedly, the Ouija board named itself—when asked what the makers should call it, the board spelled out “o-u-i-j-a,” which the board then interpreted to mean “good luck.”

Many people see Ouija boards as harmless entertainment. Others believe Ouija boards are magic tools, portals to other dimensions, or divining oracles that allow spirits of the dead to communicate with the living. They are often considered to be communication gateways to those who have “passed over,” and those who sit around a Ouija board are participating in a séance. Of course, this is based on the supposition that spirits, or ghosts, exist in the first place and that they can, or even want to, communicate with the world of the living.

The Bible does not mention Ouija boards specifically, but it does have a few things to say about divination and attempting to contact the dead:

Leviticus 19:31 – “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God.”

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 – “Let no one be found among you who . . . practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD.”

Isaiah 8:19 – “When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?”

Galatians 5:19–20 – “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft. . . . I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Occultists will insist that the Ouija boards work by allowing spirits to move the pointer in answer to queries. Scientists have yet to prove that the pointer is moved by anything other than the living people touching the pointer. In fact, spirits of the dead seem to get extremely confused when participants are blindfolded, at which point the Ouija board suddenly ceases to work correctly.

“Playing” with a Ouija board is engaging in occultism and definitely not an option for a Christian. Seeking wisdom apart from God, especially when it involves calling upon familiar spirits or the spirits of the departed, is clearly forbidden in the Bible. No matter how innocent Ouija boards may seem, playing with Ouija boards can be an opening for demons to invade our hearts and minds. Satan is a liar (John 8:44), and he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The enemy of our souls has fooled many people into thinking they are communicating with spirits of friends or family members, when in fact they are in contact with demons.

Playing with Ouija boards should be avoided as one should avoid a physical threat: “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The scriptural example for dealing with items that pertain to the occult (books, music, jewelry, occult games, Ouija boards, and other occult objects) is to confess involvement with them as sin and burn the items (see Acts 19:18–19).