5 terrifying real-life Ouija Board stories

Credit: Getty
Credit: Getty

This week sees the release of chill-inducing horror ‘Ouija: Origin Of Evil’, sequel to the spooky 2014 movie. If you’ve ever played with a Ouija Board yourself, you know just how dangerous they can be, as illustrated by these five terrifying true-life tales…

The tragic case of Carol Sue Elvaker
Oklahoma resident Carol Sue Elvaker had no criminal record and no history of mental health problems, but one dark night in February 2001, she killed her son-in-law Brian Roach. Elvaker claims she had used a Ouija board, which she says sent her a message from the beyond that her daughter’s husband was possessed by an evil spirit and must be murdered. After stabbing him to death in his sleep, Elvaker turned on her own blood: she bundled her own daughter and granddaughter into her car in an attempt to kill them all in a crash. Thankfully no one died, but Elvaker suffered two broken ankles, which didn’t stop her from stripping naked and running into the woods – she claimed the evil spirit that was in Brian had possessed her instead. She was later ruled to be insane in what quickly became known as the Oklahoma Ouija Board Murder.

“It knows who you are”

(Credit: Business Insider)
(Credit: Business Insider)

Gary Gilmore was sentenced to death after he confessed to the murder of two men in Utah in 1977. His excuse was more unique than most. He claims his mother, Bessie, made contact one night with a demon via a Ouija Board, which had cursed his entire family with misfortune. Gary’s aunt was seriously paralysed; another aunt was killed; Bessie’s mother-in-law Fay held a séance to get to the bottom of the supernatural shenanigans and wound up half-crazy. Bessie claimed that later that same night, she woke up with “an otherworldly thing” beside her in bed, at which point Fay entered the room and screamed “It knows who you are.” Gary’s nightmares started at a young age and he levels all of his murderous behaviour at the family demon. He was executed by firing squad in 1977.

Driven to kill Daddy
Toying with Ouija Boards is not a modern phenomenon – invented in 1890, curious players have been attempting to contact the beyond for over 100 years. In 1933, Dorothea Turley and her 15-year-old daughter Mattie took a board for a spin. A spirit dutifully contacted them and told them via the board to kill Dorothea’s husband, Ernest. However, it wasn’t enough that Ernest had to die – it had to be Mattie that killed her father. Telling her that “the board cannot be denied”, Dorothea ordered her daughter to shoot her father with a shotgun; he died in hospital from his wounds. Mattie was sent to reform school until she was 18, but there are no records of her after that. The Turley case became known as the first ever ‘Murder by Ouija Board’.

All Ouija Board stories start with a goof, then quickly become horribly, deadly serious. On a Reddit thread asking for scary paranormal encounters, user Jake Nichols recounted how he, his cousin and their family were using a Ouija Board at home. Before they started, they removed a large creepy porcelain doll from the same basement and took it to another room, placing it face down. Then the board listed a string of numbers that Jake’s cousin recognised as his social security number, which no one else at the table knew. The spirit was asked to prove itself, and the board spelled the word ‘D-O-L-L’. Suitably freaked, Jake and friends rushed next door only to see the doll standing upright in the middle of the room. Naturally, they burned the Ouija Board – and hopefully the doll too.

The Durham Dog Murder
County Durham resident Paul Carroll thought nothing of using a Ouija Board on Christmas Eve in 2014, using it to try to contact the dead – and it worked. Carroll says an evil spirit subsequently entered the family dog Molly, so he drowned it, chopped it up and dumped it in the drain. Carroll, who has learning difficulties, was discovered and was eventually arrested, charged and given a suspended sentence, but the story doesn’t end there. Just one week after Paul’s guilty plea, his wife Margaret and her daughter Katrina used the same Ouija Board. This time, the board told them they were going to die. The following day, both mother and daughter took an overdose of prescription drugs and set their house on fire. Surviving the blaze, Margaret and Katrina were jailed for four years each for arson, despite their claims the Ouija Board made them do it.

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