It’s Halloween season and a perfect time for the SFO Museum at San Francisco International Airport to host an exhibit of Ouija boards and other “talking boards” from the 1890s to the present.
These devices can be dated back to 1886, when news spread of Spiritualists in Ohio using a “talking board” with letters, numbers and a small wooden device, called a planchette, that pointed to the letters. With that set-up, the living could ‘simply’ hold their hands on the planchette and then spirits could move their hands to letters and words and spell out messages. (“Water the plants.” “Bring home milk” “You snore..” are some of the messages I imagine…)
Official “Ouija” boards began being produced in 1890 and a variety of knock-offs were issued with imagery that included Egyptian sphinxes, swamis, fortune tellers and witches.
Here are some images from the exhibition, The Mysterious Talking Board: Ouija and Beyond, which is on display at San Francisco International Airport through May 7, 2017, post-security in Terminal 2.
Can’t make it to Terminal 2 at SFO before next May, 2017? Here’s a link to the online version of the exhibition and here are links to an online Museum of Talking Boards and an online Oujia board you can use to communicate with a spirit of your choice.
All images courtesy SFO/ Eugene Orlando/Museum of Talking Boards