Naturally, when October rolls around and pumpkin-spice-everything fills the air, you're gonna want to get a little scary. So when my film class (usually referred to as ET, as it was entertainment technology based) was tasked with the responsibility of creating an amazingly spooky episode of our school's news show, we were super excited.
We created a super great intro filled with scary props, and we went around asking students a bunch of fun, Halloween trivia. However, we needed one more segment to add in to really tie in the Halloween spirit.
Naturally, we decided to do a Ouija board session. Several, actually.
We dedicated an entire day to sitting in our studio and becoming ghost hosts. It was fun for a little while, asking the board dumb questions and freaking out over-dramatically whenever the planchette would move, though we expected it to be one of our classmates moving it.
Personally, I'm a firm believer in the paranormal. I'm also a firm believer in not provoking it for any reason. That being said, I was more than happy stand off to the side and help film the Ouija board session rather than get involved with summoning anything. I wasn't the only one who felt the need to take a precaution or two; a few of my friends stood away from the board with me, and one of my classmates even stood outside of the room, watching us from behind the glass window that separated the studio from our control room.
While I stood there for a bit, shouting into the void things such as "don't take your hands off the planchette!", "stop instigating it!", "you should really say goodbye now!", and "that's not how you correctly end the game!", my classmates were more than happy to ask spirits to prove themselves, and test them and their capabilities.
Eventually, we hit a bump in the road, and started exhausting our options of ghosts to talk to. We'd start a new session, ask if anyone was there, and get no response. We decided to give it one last try before we packed the board up and tried to figure out a different segment for our news show, as we hadn't caught anything remarkably interesting.
During one of our last sessions, we decided to be a tiny bit more assertive. We asked it more questions, pried a bit further into what it would tell us, and tested our boundaries. Unprompted, the planchette started to go to each corner of the board. Jasper, the student who had been in charge of the majority of the sessions, noticed this was typically a bad omen, so he ended the session immediately, before the spirit could finish dragging the planchette to each corner.
When asked what it meant when the planchette was led to each corner, Jasper yelled "it means it's evil!" We went along with it, trusting his instinct. Suddenly, things started to get a little weird.
One of our lights fell over and shattered right after Jasper exclaimed the spirit was evil. We blamed it on a clumsy classmate of ours at first, as it was the one logical explanation. However, when we reviewed the different angles of footage we had of the light falling over, we noticed that no one was near the light, nor was anyone by the cord or where it was plugged in from.
Spooked but undeterred, we continued on. This time, Jasper decided to film a session that was led by someone else. We noticed that the footage of the session he filmed was completely messed up. No settings had been change since the camera was used to film the session Jasper had led, however for some reason when filming the next session the footage was sped up, had no audio in it, and had a odd filter on it.
We were weirded out again, but chalked it up to being a possible malfunction, though we all agree now that there's no way that the footage could have looked like that without an extreme setting change, which never occurred.
Eventually, we packed the Ouija board away. We never wound up using our footage, as what we were aiming to be funny turned odd and unsettling very quickly.
While everyone seemed to move on from the experience relatively quickly, Jasper and I weren't so quick to stop caring about it. We still talk about it to this day, and Jasper was quick to take the Ouija board home and host a few sessions with his friends. I can't say the same for myself, but I supported him nonetheless on his spooky endeavors.
It became a running joke in our class that whenever something went wrong or we were having a bad day, we blamed it on the demon that may or may not have been living in our studio.
Looking back now, a whole year later, it still stand as the most iconic thing our class ever did. Most people in the ET classes prior to us made a name for themselves by being hilarious and super extroverted; and while we were hilarious, people knew us because we summoned ghosts. It was a unique label to have, that's for sure.
Another student, Fark, got a lot of entertainment out of our Ouija escapades both a year ago and today. "Listen, as a theatre major who was friends with a lot of ET, you guys were wild as all hell for summoning a demon, or for even bring the Ouija board in," they said, after being asked to recall how they felt about our endeavors at the time. "But honestly, the demon thing wasn’t even that out of place, and was on par with your seniors and the stories I heard about them."
It was a pretty big thing at the time within our grade, that ET had dome something so out-there.
It may have been a bit overwhelming for us at the time, but looking back now it's one of my favorite things we ever did as a class, and it brought us a lot of jokes and memories for months to come.
I still won't use Ouija boards though, even if I am 90% positive that we were just under the influence of the ideomotor effect and our imaginations.