In a report recently released by the search engine giant Google, online searches for Ouija boards—occult boards used to communicate with the dead—have risen 300 percent in the past few months, raising concerns with Christians over those who may engage in the Bible’s forbidden practice of necromancy.
“Certain retro toys are making a comeback this season,” Google wrote in its Black Friday article on the most popular searches for gifts online. “Thanks to the new movie ‘Ouija,’ searches for ‘Ouija boards’ are up 300% since October.”
The LA Times reported just before the opening of the film this fall that Hasbro Studios President Stephen Davis, the head of the company that creates the “Ouija Board Game,” had posted on his wall a “framed New Yorker cartoon in which a child with a Ouija board says, ‘It’s like texting, but for dead people.'” The “Ouija Board Game” is available in the toy section of retail stores such as Walmart, Target and Toys R Us.
Although the film based on the occultist board was spurned by critics, “Ouija” was successful at the box office, raking in over $20 million on its opening weekend and showing in over 2,000 theaters nationwide. It grossed over $50 million total in the USA alone.
“A girl is mysteriously killed after recording herself playing with an ancient Ouija Board, which leads to a close group of friends to investigate this board,” a description of the horror film reads. The friends hold a seance to try to communicate with the deceased girl and find themselves getting in touch with other spirits, unraveling a murder mystery.
By the end of the film, the youth “find out that some things aren’t meant to be played with, especially the ‘other side.'”
But despite the film’s conclusion that “some things aren’t meant to be played with,” the movie has reportedly piqued the interest of many of its viewers as Google saw a significant spike in searches for Ouija boards online.
Some state that this raises concern over those who may now become entrenched in the occult by experimenting with necromancy, a practice forbidden in the Scriptures.
“The fact that people’s intention is to contact the spiritual realm outside the blessings and parameters that God has set out could lead to them to connect with the evil spiritual realm,” Darren Gallagher, a spokesman for Ellel Ministries, told Christian Today. “Therefore such things as Ouija boards are not just harmless fun, but could potentially be spiritually dangerous for those who take part in such things.”
He noted that in the book of Acts, the people “gathered together their occultic objects and burnt them because they knew that these practices were not compatible with their new life in Christ.”
Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) likewise stated that Ouija boards should not be considered innocent or harmless.
“Ultimately, it’s never a simple and harmless thing to use any method to contact the dead and/or the spirit realm,” he wrote in an article entitled “Can a Christian Use an Ouija Board?” “As someone who has experience in the occult, though I never used a Ouija board, I can tell you that participation in such practices invariably leads to deception and further involvement. It was only by the grace of God that I escaped from getting more heavily involved.”