The Movie

One of the first, and most important things I learned from watching Witchboard is regarding the bizarre habits of long deceased evil spirits after possessing a young woman. Apparently, after going through the difficult task of finding someone weak minded enough to possess, breaking down their will, and taking control of their body, the first thing you do with your new body is play dress up.

You tease your hair out 80’s style like you belong in a Whitesnake video or something. Then, you put on a suit and bunch of makeup, so you can look really, really, really, really good before you unload an evil can of whoop-ass on everybody.

Witchboard is the ‘be all, end all’ of Ouija board films. Unlike most horror films of the 80’s, it isn’t in the traditional hack-n-slash style. It’s character driven story of a woman who finds herself addicted to using a Ouija board. Her ex-boyfriend, and her current boyfriend, who were at one time best friends, must reconcile their differences in order to save her. It’s a pretty simple plot with a very low body count, and very little gore. Yet, the camera angles, and the suspenseful timing, along with the character development made it a must see for horror fans. (Not to mention seeing Tawny naked)


Resident Evil?

One of the points that this film brought up is the idea that a spirit will attach itself to a particular board. In theory, it will become the ‘resident spirit’ of the board, and more often than not, will be the only entity to come forth when that particular board is used.

Notice that I used the word’s ‘more often than not’. In my experience, the above statement is true, but there will be other entities that will sometimes ‘take a turn’ on the board for one reason or another. The real reasons for any of these ‘visitors’ are unknown, and can theoretically be different for every entity, and board in existence. Taking that into consideration, if your board does have a ‘resident spirit’, you will most often contact the resident.


Progressive Entrapment

So, Tawny played with the Ouija board alone. So What? There are people that would swear up and down that you should NEVER play alone! There are others who say that you should avoid the board entirely, so, who knows? According to the film, using the board alone will lead you down the path of ‘progressive entrapment’.

What is progressive entrapment? Well, I suppose the best way to describe it is an addiction to the board which is caused by an entity. It can happen a number of ways, but the bottom line is the user can’t stop playing.

The movie breaks it down like this. It starts off simple. The user plays, and gets comfortable with using the board, and speaking with the ‘resident spirit’. Slowly, a stronger bond is built between the user and the entity. The spirit will often give ‘gifts’ to the user by giving him or her good advice on common things. It simulates being helpful. In the film, the spirit told Tawny where she could find her ring.

After the ‘gifts’ the user has a stronger sense of trust for the entity. It’s like friendship. And like any new friend, it becomes easier and easier to talk to. The user begins to spend more time on the board than would generally be considered healthy. It’s kinda like a kid with a video game.

The obsession with the board continues until the person can no longer function normally without consulting the entity. They become irritable and often have a hard time sleeping. After that there’s nothing left but full possession.


Does all that stuff really happen?

Well, if you hadn’t noticed, Witchboard is a movie. This is what a lot of people don’t seem to understand. In 1974 Parker Brothers lost a buttload of money due to people being afraid of the board because Linda Blair used one in a movie. People are stupid, and many don’t understand the difference between reality and fiction.

I have no evidence that progressive entrapment is a real thing. On the other hand, I’m not saying that progressive entrapment isn’t possible. As a matter of fact, I DO believe that the theory is valid. I have experience with the board. There was a time in my life when I used the board on a daily basis. It was fun, and I enjoyed it.

The board started my interest in the paranormal.

Was I addicted? Yeah, I think I was, or at least almost.

Was it ‘progressive entrapment’?

No. I can’t believe that it was. Sometimes you have nothing better to do when you’re young, different, and broke. It was just like the kids today getting addicted to Playstation.

With that said, I don’t want you to get me wrong. I’m not saying it’s just a game. It’s definitely not. During the time I was using the board, I felt like I was stepping into a larger world. I learned that there is more out there than most of us can possibly understand, and I NEVER want to stop learning.


If the subject of the Ouija Board interests you, you may want to check out our Ouija & Talking Boards section of The Beyond, there’s a lot more information there!


Witchboard is the property of Paragon Arts International. All rights reserved.