The Magic 8 Ball, one of our favorite toys, was invented by Albert Carter to be used for fortune telling or for people to seek advice. It was invented in the 1940’s but did not hit the stores until 1950. A spirit writer devise used by Carters mother, a Cincinnati clairvoyant, inspired the invention. Mary Carter’s best séance stunt was one she called the Psycho-Slate, consisting of a chalkboard inside a box, with a lid covering it. When a client asked a question, Carter would close the lid, and after a short interval of muffled chalkboard scratching, she would dramatically flip open the lid to reveal the spirit world's answer, written with chalk in a ghostly scrawl. How she performed this stunt has remained a mystery.
Once the invention hit the early market it was sold as “The Syco-Seer”. And in 1948 they renamed it to “crystal ball.” Using those names, the invention was not successful. It caught the attention of the Chicago’s Brunswick Billiards in 1950, and they had a vision to make it in the form of the traditional black and white ball and called it the Magic 8 Ball.
There are 20 possible answers—all general responses on a Magic 8 Ball. Ten answers agreeing, five answers for uncertainly, and five digressing answers. People started to believe that the magic eight ball had the answers to all the questions they had. People asked basic “yes and no” questions, therefore it made people believe the magic eight ball actually had the power to tell the future.
This can be considered as an “analog” style device, but operating on the same principle as the Ovilus. The Magic 8 Ball has fixed “answers” similar to the 512-word dictionary of the Ovilus.
When you think about it, the magic 8 ball—along with the Ouija Board, and Tarot Cards, has almost the same purpose—to communicate with the dead. If it has the same forces, and worked the same way, could the Magic 8 Ball be in fact as dangerous as the Ouija and tarot cards? After all, you ask it a question and it gives you an answer.
Does the Magic 8 Ball work as an under appreciated oracle that operates on the same principal as Tarot Runes, Pendulums or dowsing rods? The great thing about the Magic 8 Ball is nothing is hidden. Everyone can see and understand what is going on. There is no illusion but there is evidence of a force outside of normal reality. You ask your Magic 8 Ball and it shoots back a ‘random’ answer right? Far from it! The randomness is the key. It connects with your conscious and unconscious minds—just like a good majority of the ghost hunting tools we use today.
Although it's more for entertainment purposes, it is still possible for a spirit to communicate in that way. So, don’t rule anything out. “Signs point to YES”
Be sure to have a giggle or two with the slideshow comic clips!
Haunted Places Examiner: Debe Branning firstname.lastname@example.org