Though mankind has likely attempted contact with its passed ancestors since time began, no method of spirit communication has been as prolific or direct as the spirit board.
The development of this tool is likely traced back to the Victorian Era. At the time, Spiritualism had begun to take hold, first as a thing of parlor games and later growing into a philosophical movement.
By the 1860’s, when the harsh, short lives of the American population and the ravages of the Civil War lead to a fervent interest in contacting the deceased, the movement began growing in America, possibly due in part to popular stage mediums including Anna Eva Fay and the Fox Sisters, and high-profile adherents such as former First Couple Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The first patent for the spirit board design is credited to Elijah Jefferson Bond, a veteran of the Confederate Army and 1872 Maryland Law School graduate.

Before the advent of the spirit board, the foremost method of spiritual contact were Seances, Automatic Writing, Scrying and Table-Turning (a somewhat reversed version of the spirit board).
But the thought a simple and effective device for contacting spirits without the need of a Medium was appealing to many.
The launch of the spirit board into popular consciousness was precipitated by the atrocities of the first World War, with many Americans losing family members to the horrors brewing in Europe.
By the mid 1920’s, the spirit board was a household tool, and has only been growing in popularity throughout the world since.

However, as with all things metaphysical, misunderstandings and the occasional intentional obfuscation are known to permeate popular culture.
Hollywood depictions and tales of spirit boards leading to demonic possession are well known, and the relegation of the most common brands of board to toy store shelves has stirred the ire of many a moralist.
It must be kept in mind, however, that a board itself is merely a tool, and in and of itself has no more intrinsic power than a pen or hammer – the power all lies with the operator.
The way in which this power is manifested, however, continues to be subject of contention. The two presiding theories currently are:

1. Spirits.
Of course, most who experience the spirit board firsthand are given to attribute its phenomenal properties to the spirit world.
There is much validity to this statement – many messages relayed from the board are messages which either seem so cryptic or so specific that the operator would be unlikely to compose them, no matter how creative.

2. The Ideomotor Effect.
The Ideomotor Effect (also known as the Carpenter Effect, named for W. B. Carpenter who proposed the theory) is the scientific term for the operator unknowingly controlling the planchette.
Those exhibiting the Ideomotor Effect are theorized to be acting from subconscious and unintended muscle movements, thus exhibiting a response that the operator would want to see.
Though Carpenter intended the theory to debunk the popular theories of Spiritualist Phenomena, its validity in the Paranormal sphere can be interpreted towards more Clairvoyant abilities such as ESP.

No matter which theory is correct, we at Paranormal Supplies would never discourage spiritual and physical safety when using a spirit board.
If, as many purport, the phenomena is indeed enacted by spirits, one should of course take necessary precautions to protect oneself.
It must be kept in mind, however, that the spirit board is not dangerous in and of itself, and the ownership of one will almost certainly not open one up to hauntings.
The board is simply a gateway – no more an ambassador of the spirit world than your door is an ambassador of your house – but caution should always be exercised regarding whom you invite in for the evening.

On Fri. Oct. 13, 2017

Human society has long been known to ascribe significance to certain days.
We have holidays, for example. These include Christmas, Labor Day, Beer Can Appreciation Day (which also happens to be my birthday), and my personal favorite, Halloween.
Sometimes we hold anniversaries in high regard, birthdays, or even simply “a good day”, in which nothing particularly negative happens within a 24-hour span.
But there is one day that, to many (barring a few fans of a certain horror franchise), is regarded with a certain air of dread and avoidance.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia* – because everything has scientific name – is the complete and paralyzing fear of Friday the 13th.
Often, we attribute phobias to an innate and understandable fear. Spiders, snakes, heights, clowns… these are all phenomena that, though not everyone shares the fear of them, everyone can at least understand why they would be scary to some.
Spiders likely feasted on our primordial ancestors, and on top of that, just look terrifying. Especially the Maratus Personatus. Google if you dare.
Heights are inherently dangerous, and doubly intimidating if you’ve ever seen Vertigo.
Clowns are… well, needless to say, research has been done.
But why have we in the Western Hemisphere all agreed to be afraid of a single, seemingly random day out of the month?


Perhaps this superstition has its roots in numerology. Many cultures regard a certain number as cursed or unlucky.
In Japan, the number 4 is often regarded with a similar solemnity, as the word for 4 in Japanese (“Shi”) is a homophone for the word for death (also “Shi”).
But in America, it is known as a fearful number. Probably even the most dreadful, aside from possibly 666 (the numbah! of! the! beast!). But why?
“Death” and “thirteen” don’t bear much resemblance, I would argue that 79 is far more intimidating, and no-one can seem to trace the origins of exactly why it’s meant to be unlucky.
The ancient Turks are said to have absolutely loathed the number – avoiding its use in all but the most necessary situations – and the ancient Vikings and Indians associated it with death.
The Vikings may have associated it with bad luck due to the God Loki (of course), who crashed a dinner party of twelve gods and consequently conspired with the god Hod there to murder Baldur, who was killed by a lance of mistletoe puncturing his heart… Man, Norse mythology is brutal.
The Indians believed that the 13th member of any gathering was sure to die by the end of the year.
There were 13 disciples at the Last Supper, one of which betrayed Jesus and caused his death (which occurred on a Friday).
I would argue this example has less to do with the number of people at the table and more about Judas’ motivations, but I’ll move on before this gets all Andrew Lloyd-Weber.

Our fear of Friday, however, has more of a tangible basis.
Though I personally like Friday – weekends are nice – the day is regarded as an unlucky one in Christian cultures.
Evidently, Adam and Eve were ousted from the Garden on a Friday. Thus, it is the weekly anniversary of mankind falling from grace.
As was mentioned before, Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
In English, it is named after Frigg, the Norse Goddess of – you guessed it – death.
So, uh, T.G.I.F? I feel like such a wet blanket when I research this kind of thing.
By the way, the oldest tale I could track down based on the well known day was the aptly titled novel “Friday, the Thirteenth” which was released in 1907.
It’s about bank fraud, or something. So, you know, exactly like the film.

So, do you laugh in the face of fear? Shroud yourself in Superstition? Or perhaps you have some interesting anecdotes about the Unluckiest Day in the Western World. If you do, send us your story, we'd love to hear it!


*”Paraskevidekatriaphobia” was coined in the early 90’s by a Dr. Donald Dossey, 1934-2016.

What Is Automatic Writing?

Its Origins and History

In the 1800’s epidemics were prevalent throughout America. Cholera swept through towns, villages and cities, killing thousands. Modern medicine was in its earliest stages and often ran the risk of doing more harm than good for the patient. Tuberculosis was common and deadly. In the later decades of the era, the horrors of the Civil War saw many casualties on the battlefield. Out of this backdrop of sorrow there came a deep need for survivors to communicate one last time with loved ones. Automatic Writing was one method that became popular to facilitate this communication.

Automatic Writing is a form of communication with the supernatural or paranormal world, in a similar vein to scrying and spirit boards. It has existed in many ways for centuries, from the shamans and mystics of ancient times to the more modern Spiritualist and Surrealist movements. In this more recent method, participants must lightly hold onto the specialized planchette while asking questions, and the results are relayed to them through the writing instrument as it makes contact with the writing surface.

Used by writers, artists, and paranormal investigators alike, Automatic Writing has produced not only possible insight into the world beyond, but also beautiful stream-of-consciousness poetry and other artistic works.

Paranormal Supplies offers you the chance to investigate this method of divination and communication with the Paranormal Supplies Automatic Writing Planchette available on Amazon or on our site at Paranormal Supplies store

Have you ever attempted this form of divination? We would love to hear about your experiences with this tool, which is now available again in the form of the Paranormal Supplies Automatic Writing Planchette. Check it out