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First marketed to the public back in 1891, the Ouija board has captivated our attention for generations. While some shrug it off as nothing more than games, lies, and manipulation, others truly believe and even fear the board’s power.

Whether you believe in the power of the Ouija board yourself or not, you have to admit that there is something somewhat ‘creepy’ about its presence. While it is often marketed as a children’s toy, the planchette has come to be a symbol of anything but – said to possess the power to channel the spirits that move among us. For this reason, stories of first-hand experiences are highly entertaining. Are they merely examples of the imagination at work, influenced by the stigma of the board, or do the boards really work?

Interested in hearing stories of Ouija boards at work, the BuzzFeed community asked its users to share their own personal experiences. Their stories certainly didn’t disappoint!

Check out these 22 frightening first-hand Ouija board experiences, and you’ll think twice before you try screwing with the dead:

#1 – “My mom told me that when she was a kid, she and her sisters were messing with a Ouija Board in her room and my grandma caught them and told them to throw it out. She said they DID get rid of it by throwing it in the garbage outside but, the next morning, my mom went into her closet and found the board was somehow back inside.” – olivero23

#2 – “At my friend’s birthday party, someone decided to try a Ouija board. My friend’s protective mother was next door at her parents’ house, not anywhere in hearing distance. Suddenly, as several kids went into the bathroom to sneakily use the board, my friend’s mother came running in the front door and shouted that those who intended on using the board had to leave immediately. She actually felt from a distance what they were about to do! It creeps me out to this day.” – kresstina

#3 – “I was 13 years old and staying at a friend’s house overnight. She had somehow managed to sneak a Ouija board past her super-religious mom and, after her parents went to bed, we used it. We asked the board some typical 13-year-old girl questions, nothing happened, and we went to bed.

But that night, her mom’s new kitten started acting WEIRD. He was wailing and running head first into walls. We woke up to it sitting in the middle of her kitchen twitching and staring off into space. That week they took it to the vet, who said the kitten had a neurological problem and had to put it down immediately. To this day my friend and I are convinced that the kitten was possessed.” – nicolew41884116b

#4 – “My soccer team had a sleepover at our gym and we played with a Ouija board. Nothing too eventful happened until the board spelled out “T-H-I-R-S-T,” “F-I-R-E,” and “H-E-L-P.” We closed out the board. When we went back to school a few days later, we asked the athletic director (whose office was in the gym) if he knew the history of the gym. He told us that the gym burned down once a long time ago and one man died in the fire.” – gailf481cd33b0

#5 – “I was an editor for our school’s newspaper and, for our Halloween issue, we decided to use a Ouija board design in our center section. One evening, my friend and I stayed late to finish up the paper before it needed to be sent out for printing and, as soon as we opened the Ouija board spread to check it, the computer we were using shut down, along with the other thirty in the room. For the rest of the night we experienced computer problems whenever we were working on that specific section.” – ijenna

#6 – “My cousin was heading to a party with a Ouija board in the trunk of her car for all of us to use. On the way to the party, she got into a car wreck. She was fine, but her car was totaled. So, obviously, instead of going to the party she went back home. When she opened her closet to get ready for bed, the board was somehow back in the closet. She burned it after that.” – amaralashay

#7 – “I was 17 and we had just bought one of those newer Ouija boards that glow in the dark. My mom told me to wait until the next day to open and play with it, and I should have listened. You’re not supposed to use a board alone, and our house was known for being haunted, so I wanted to ask if anyone was there. The freakin’ planchette shot OUT OF MY HANDS across the room! I actually cried.” – sarahjayr

#8 – “My best friend and I bought a Ouija board and took it to her house. We asked a few questions to no answer. We finally outright asked, “Is there anyone here who would like to talk to us?” The planchette slowly moved over to the letters “N-O.” We were freaked out, because there was obviously a spirit there, so we tried again. “What’s your name?” The planchette moved to “S-H” over and over again spelling out “S-H S-H S-H,” so we said “GOODBYE” and closed up the board. We seemed to have bothered someone who wanted to be left alone.” – khunter

#9 – “When I was in junior high, a friend and I sat on her grandparents’ grave to mess around with a Ouija board. Five minutes after we started playing with it, the ground began to sink underneath us. We ran out of there very quickly, and I haven’t messed with one since.” – rachaelschwartze

#10 – “My friend and I were playing with a Ouija board in her mom’s closet. We were sitting on the floor talking to some spirit when my friend asked the spirit if she “liked” me. Right as my friend asked this, a basked fell off of the shelf above me and knocked me upside the head. Coincidence? I think not.” – jeremiahh4e2ed761c

#11 – “In 10th grade at a Halloween party, four of us were playing with one. The planchette suddenly lifted straight off of the board and raised all of our hands at least a foot into the air, then dropped. We all jumped out of our chairs and ran away, screaming.” – dashashe

#12 – “I wouldn’t say it was spooky, but a really creepy coincidence. I was in the school play in middle school. I was in the chorus section and between scenes, the chorus kids passed their time in the band room waiting to go on. Some one brought a Ouija board to play. Some girl was freaking out saying how evil they were and warned us not to play with it. To prove her wrong, a friend of mind and I played it. The planchette did not move the entire time we played. I asked really outlandish questions too. We put the board away proving that there’s nothing to it. What we didn’t know was that all hell was breaking loose on stage. Dolly (Hello Dolly) could not get out of her ballgown from the Harmonia Gardens scene. The zipper was stuck. They tried and tried. They had to cut the zipper out of the dress. All while the next day scene played on and the kids were forced to ad lib without Dolly for 10 minutes. Finally Dolly came out in the same dress (partially ripped and safety pinned back together) and finished the play in that dress. We didn’t’ realize til after the lights went up that what occurred on stage was the exact time we were playing with the board. Years later, my son did that same play at that same middle school and heard about the infamous Dolly dress scene. I filled him in on the Ouija board story.” – jenb418c4e573

#13 – “My buddy and I found a Ouija board at my girlfriend’s house. We were really bored, so we went to this graveyard by my house to see if it would actually work. As suspected, nothing happened. We brought the board back to my house and didn’t think anything of it.

The next day, strange things began happening. Out of nowhere my friend started having sleep paralysis every time he spent the night at my house, despite never having it before. The first time he saw a tall woman with long black hair standing in the corner of the room facing the wall. The next time he was asleep on the couch and he saw the same woman standing at my open door looking directly into my room.” – jakep43dc97648

#14 – “I once played with a Ouija board at a sleepover. We weren’t asking it anything weird, just silly questions like “Who am I going to marry?” I asked it to give me the initials of someone I will date in the future, and it gave me an “N” and a “B.” Sure enough, I’ve dated someone with the initials “N.B.” for five years now.” – laurels4b390862a

#15 – “In middle school we always used the Ouija board at sleepovers. One random afternoon when we got out from school, my friend and I decided to play with it, just the two of us. It told us it was going to burn the house down. We freaked out, buried it in the backyard, and I’ve never touched one since.” – Sarhines

#16 – “A friend of mine had one when I was young, but I was very skeptical of it. I thought she was moving it whenever we asked a question. So, I asked questions she wouldn’t know the answer to. I tried to contact my uncle who passed away. I asked him how hew as doing and the board started to spell his wife’s name, Xiomara, which there is no way my friend would’ve known about, never mind known how to spell.” – justwannasleep

#17 – “My friend and I took chemistry together sophomore year. We finished our lab about an hour early and to make a long story short we made a Ouija board. I was joking around and was wondering if it worked and after some research I realized it could, so my friend and I decided to start a session and I would be the medium. Well we got it started and we found out we had attracted one good spirit named Jonny who is 21. I sensed some sadness so I decided to ask how he died (I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to ask this). He started telling us when someone came over and interrupted the session. I could feel the anger and resentment he was feeling towards us and he left before we could close the session. Around 4 hours later we had to evacuate the school and as we were leaving, I could’ve sworn I saw a man hanging from a tree (like hanging from a noose) for a split second, but I brushed it off and kept going. About 10 minutes later I found out the reason we had to evacuate was because a young man hung himself from a tree right outside of the neighborhood next to my school. Jonny ended up staying with me since and now whenever you turn off the lights in my room you can see him standing in the corner…” – emilyj4001d7118

#18 – “My friends and I were playing with one in my backyard. When we contacted someone, one of my friends made fun of the spirit’s name. My fence immediately started to rattle. My friends decided they wanted to go inside, so we all headed for the door, but my dog stopped us at the bottom of the porch (which was TOTALLY unlike him) and he started snarling at the empty darkness behind us.” – anthony586

#19 – “When I was 16, my grandparents were moving out of there house and my brother and I were going through the attic and digging through old chests to try and decide what was staying and what was going with my grandparents. My brother and I dug out an old Ouija board and we dared each other to play. We asked a few questions, ‘is there something there? Yes. What’s your name? A,L,K,F.’ My brother and I weren’t scared, in fact we were holding back smiles, even when my brother threw out, “do you wish to harm us, o’ great spirit?” The piece didn’t move for a while, and my brother and I exchanged glances. Then the piece moved. ‘Yes.’ It wasn’t anything even that big, but someone breathing on my neck. I let go of the piece and spun around but nothing was there. When I looked at my brother I saw that his face was white and his hands were shaking but he was still holding the piece. I asked him about it now and he told me he felt like he couldn’t let go. He remembers it vividly, too. Because the moment I let go of the piece there was this huge ‘wham.’ The door to the attic had swung shut. My brother and I scrambled to our feet and began pounding on the attic door, screaming bloody murder. My grandma came and opened the door after a minute of us pounding, and by then I was on the verge of tears and my brother looked like he was about to throw up (he did, actually, when my grandma let us out. Sprinted to the bathroom). We didn’t go back in the attic again.” – FnchDarcy

#20 – “A few months ago my friend brought over her Ouija board. There were about five of us at this sleepover and, when we began using the board, we met “Joe.” After an hour of speaking with Joe, one girl asked, “Joe, are you a bad spirit?” Joe spelled “N-O,” then spelled out “H-I-M.” We asked what he was talking about and he spelled, “H-E-S C-O-M-I-N-G,” then began to spell out “Z-O-Z-O.”

The next morning we tried again, this time speaking to someone claiming to be Joe’s wife. We asked her, “Is Joe a bad spirit?” She quickly responded “Y-E-S.” – tumblrandnetflix

#21 – “I went to religious school growing up and asked a lot of personal information about teachers that I got correct. When they asked me how I knew, I said I learned it from the Ouiji board and was told that it was evil and not to mess with it. I tried to throw it away but it disappeared on it’s own and to this day, I have never found it despite moving house.” – d4a343629c

#22 – “When I was younger, my two older cousins, my older brother, and I were playing with a Ouija board, but all it spelled out was “M-A-M-A.” Later that night when my brother asked our mom if she had ever played with a Ouija board, she said she had once, but all it spelled out was “M-A-M-A.” Then, a few years later, I was really bored and got a ghost-detecting app on my iPod (I was really into ghost adventures at the time) and the very first thing the app said was “Mama.’” – g450b190c6

Still need a little more convincing to steer clear? Check out this video of the scariest Ouija board videos Youtubers caught on tape:

Image via the Occult Museum