The Ouija Board first appeared in 1891 in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania novelty shop. The game was advertised as a magic board that answered questions about the past, present, and future with amazing and spooky accuracy. The board was constructed with letters, numbers, and the words yes, no, and goodbye, and came with a planchette for players to place their hands on. The object of the game was for players to ask the magic board questions and wait for the planchette to spell out the answer. Original price of a Ouija Board was $1.50. (Smithsonian.com) The work “Ouija” originates from ancient Egypt and translates to “good luck.”
Since the Civil War, when so many Americans lost loved ones, spiritualism has gained popularity as desperate people longed for a way to contact their deceased loved ones. At the time of its invention, séances and “table turning parties” were common place and attempting to contact the dead was a form of entertainment among some social circles. According to Ouija Board historian, Robert Murch, “Communicating with the dead was common, it wasn’t seen as bizarre or weird.”
Now, in modern day, some people believe the Ouija Board is a doorway to other dimensions, realms, or even evil spirits and would never touch the game, even for entertainment purposes. Christians have a firm belief that the Ouija Board is akin to a séance, witchcraft, or a tool of the devil. Others feel it is harmless entertainment and one or more players is intentionally moving the planchette to watch reactions of the most gullible players.
As for reselling a used Ouija Board on eBay, prices can go as high as $200 depending on the age and condition of the game. Obviously, the older the board, the more it will be worth. But many sellers won’t even touch a Ouija Board or bring it into their home. Depending on their spiritual beliefs, some feel that the board may bring a negative energy with it and not knowing the history of the board or what it has been asked or exposed to, they don’t want to open a dark portal in their home.
Other sellers consider a Ouija Board game as just that – a board game with no spiritual significance, especially if the item is vintage. Some sellers have a good time with a Ouija Board and the listing description. For example, this listing reads:
“This game was found at an estate sale in an attic, relatives said lights flickered on and off when used, was stored up and away, out of sight and mind! No returns, possible negative energy attached to it, don't want it back!”