Why the Ouija board became so famous

  • Published on:  9/17/2018
  • This is where Ouija boards came from. And it might surprise you.

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    In this episode of Overrated, Vox’s Phil Edwards explores what Ouija means, from a historical and cultural perspective.

    The Ouija game and Ouija movies permeate our culture. But their origin might be surprising. Before this board game was a staple, it emerged from the spiritualist movement in the United States in the mid-1800s and an aggressive entrepreneur who believed he could make a buck off of it.

    Ouija’s overrated — it’s not real and it’s just a piece of cardboard. But it's also a way for people from the past to speak to us (through history, at least).

    Overrated is a series that takes a look at the things we all know — the books, the trends, and the ideas that have become iconic — and answers the question: “Why is this so famous"?

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  • DeoGratias570 (Sep 17, 2018)

    "What's your name?"Ouija: Yes*Everyone panics and starts screaming!*

  • Gacha Katz (May 8, 2019)

    A Random Rock erm, k

  • A Random Rock (May 8, 2019)

    So terrifying! It is scarier than the moaning at night.

  • 如月.飛羽 (Sep 17, 2018)

    The spirit world went corporate. Classic USA.

  • Daniel R Goldman (4 days ago)


  • Diamantenvogel (Jan 28, 2019)

    except there's always been a market around religion and spirituality. like everywhere...

  • Mr. Doob  (Sep 17, 2018)

    I bought a Ouija board recently from a strange old man...I got it home, laid out the pieces and before I could even ask it a question the planchette started to move around, it eventually speltI'VE GOT A MESSAGE TO YOU'What is your message?' I asked.YOU SHOULD BE DANCINGFear started flushing over me, 'Why should I be dancing?'NIGHT FEVERI started to become more confused then frightened now, I needed to get to the bottom of this. 'You're talking gibberish' I shouted!JIVE TALKIN. HOW DEEP I...

  • Sniper Logic (3 days ago)

    Satan Alive. Lol.

  • I spit my wine out reading this.

  • Gale P (Sep 17, 2018)

    a luigi board?

  • Sniper Logic (3 days ago)

    Weegie board. You scrape ice off windshields with it. Gives u something to do while performing a boring task.

  • minkah (May 5, 2019)

    For vegans the veggieboard

  • Okay WhyNot (Sep 17, 2018)

    "Ouija" was Egyptian-sounding Me, an Egyptian: literally WHAT 😐

  • it's me (2 days ago)

    Lol (oui) means yes in french (ja) is yes in german

  • moro (Jan 2, 2019)

    i think they're talking about عويجة

  • CurtisTRY (Sep 17, 2018)

    Ouija Boards are for babies. Weegee boards are for the real men.

  • gn lilu (Jan 8, 2019)


  • the terminator (Oct 13, 2018)

    CurtisTRY waLuigi board

  • Reymund Alagos (Sep 17, 2018)

    Ouija board vs Soulja boy

  • Hamza Khan (Feb 28, 2019)


  • Gabbi Durham (Dec 26, 2018)

    Soulja Boy wins every time.

  • jayay (Sep 17, 2018)

    Vox should do a video on how they edit their videos

  • Ethan L (Sep 19, 2018)

    +Patrick darryl hi

  • TruelyJohn64 (Sep 17, 2018)

    Ouija boards are typically associated with paranormal things.You know who else is associated with paranormal things?Luigi 🤔🤔🤔🤔

  • raisin cookies (Sep 18, 2018)

    +TruelyJohn64 I'vе sp𝗲nt *5 dɑys, 8 hours and 6 m𝔦nut𝐞s* 0n YouTube s𝒊nce 28.6.2018! Ch𝐞ck yOur st𝖺ts: zupylct.viewr.stream

  • Wartu (Sep 18, 2018)

    +TruelyJohn64 I'vе sp𝗲nt *7 days, 15 hᴏurs ɑnd 44 m𝗶nut𝐞s* оn YоuTube s𝔦nc𝗲 24.6.2018! Ch𝗲ck yоur st𝖺ts: wsdm.viewr.stream

  • Jonathan Haas (Sep 17, 2018)

    Uh...."Oui" = "yes""Ja" = "yes"That's what I've always been told is the etymology.

  • VeKtorVacuum (Mar 27, 2019)

    I heard the souls answer to everything is yes due to the desire for experience to grow.

  • pompff - (Mar 27, 2019)

    I love playing the yesyes board