My mother told me at a young age not to fuck with Ouija boards and as a result, I never have. I have, however, watched plenty of movies that feature the spirit board and I figured that since I haven’t seen an all-inclusive list online that I’d start one. If I missed any, please inform me!
Currently owned by Hasbro, Ouija is also known as a spirit board or talking board. It comes with a flat game board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0–9 and the words yes, no, hello and goodbye. A heart-shaped piece of plastic is used in the game, which some Spiritualists claim is the real danger of the commercial Ouija, as plastic cannot confine spirits while wood can; this reminds me of my abortive attempt to play competitive Scrabble, which taught me that they play with plastic pieces that are smooth and unmarked to limit cheating.
It’s based on the types of boards that Spiritualists — one of the largest churches for Spiritualism is located right down the street from our old house — used to use in camps within Ohio. In fact, one of the first ads for the game showed up in the Pittsburgh Dispatch in February 1891.
But where did it come from? In an article in the Smithsonian, even researcher and the consultant for several Ouija-based movies Robert Murch, who has been studying the game for 28 years, says “For such an iconic thing that strikes both fear and wonder in American culture, how can no one know where it came from?”
At one point, communicating with the dead was just something that people did for fun. It wasn’t seen as Satanic or dabbling with the unknown. But now we have streaming services to entertain us, so we see these things as dangerous. The jury is out on whether or not they truly are.
In 1890, Charles Kennard, Elijah Bond and Col. Washington Bowie started the Kennard Novelty Company to exclusively make and market what they called Ouija boards. The name came from actually using the board, as a spirit told Bond’s sister-in-law, Helen Peters, to use it and that it meant “good luck.” They even got a patent, which needed as proof that the game worked. A patent officer asked for them to learn his name through the board. When it did, he signed off.
Up until 1973, people saw the game as just that. A game. Sure, there were rumors of murders and all manner of authors — James Merrill even won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his Ouija-assisted poem The Changing Light at Sandover — but nobody was afraid of it. In fact, science even explained it away as the ideometer effect, something that I’ve seen The Amazing Keskin do in person by moving tables around the room with people unaware of how they’re doing it.
Then came The Exorcist. And no scientific explanation would do, as religious groups began denouncing the demon boards and burning them on bonfires. Way to go, Regan.
The Exorcist (1973): How does a nice girl like Regan end up masturbating with a holy object and spitting pea spot in a priest’s face? Blame Ouija. Playing with the game, she learns that she can ask questions of Captain Howdy, who we all know better by his dream name, Pazuzu. As for writer Peter Blatty, he claimed in an interview that the game itself spooked him: “Well, I don’t want to sound like a nut but as I was writing the last chapter and the epilogue I did have a series of bizarre experiences. For the first time in my life I got hung up on a Ouija board for 10 days.
I’d never done it before but I found I couldn’t leave it alone. And I had the most definite feeling that I was communicating with the dead. Yes, I agree an awful lot of it could be auto-suggestion, and I knew all about how Ouija boards worked because I’d researched it so much for the book, but there were certain things which are not susceptible to explanation by the subconscious mind.
I thought it was my father communicating with me, and I got someone in to help validate the experience. She was a girl who could put herself into a self-imposed hypnotic trance and who would operate the planchette on the Ouija board. I didn’t touch it at all, and asked the questions in Arabic, which she didn’t understand a word of, and I got precisely the right answers.
But then I thought well maybe subconsciously I was formulating the answers in English and she was picking them up from me telepathically.
But then there were poltergeist experiences. Doing revision of the book at a friend’s house, the telephone rang and suddenly the receiver leapt off the hook. It happened to him first and then to me. So I asked a friend who did the acoustics for the Kennedy Center what the possibilities were electrically and he said it was impossible. Then telephone engineers in two states confirmed that it was impossible. But we both saw it happen. That was the culmination of several incidents, but it was the one that in no way could be explained.
An electric typewriter wrote a line of gibberish, but what do I know about electricity. Maybe there was a short circuit somewhere. That was possible.”
The Ouija is so tied to The Exorcist that a board even shows up in the 1990 parody Repossessed.
Here’s the rest…
13 Ghosts(1960): This William Castle film has a house packed with ghosts, a family trying to stay and find the fortune hidden there and even the Ghost Viewer gimmick, special glasses that allowed audiences to find hidden spirits. It was remade as Th13teen Ghosts, one of the silliest titles ever (and I blame Se7en for this).
5 A.M. (2016): You have to love the conversational nature of this sales copy: “People say that nobody dares to play it. There’s a game played 5 minutes before midnight, and suddenly something comes up.” That something is the supernatural and that game is, you guessed it, Ouija.
Aleister (2015): Trust me, moving into a new home is scary. Moving into one that had a Satanic cult as its past residents — leaving behind a Ouija board — well, that’s worse.
Alison’s Birthday (1981): Of all the movies on this list, perhaps this one is the most disquieting and well-made. Australian folk horror, outright occult energy and a Ouija-filled start that ends with the death of a teen? You want all of this. It’s on Tubi.
American Ouija (2011): Also known as 19 Doors, this movie finds a screenwriter heading to an abandoned hotel to write her next movie and finding a spirit board. It’s on Tubi.
Amityville 3-D(1983): It’s bad enough that Lori Laughlin and Meg Ryan find themselves in the Amityville house, much less in 3D, when they decide to grab a Ouija board down out of the attic and play with it. They may as well have done drugs and had sex in the woods while they were making mistakes like that. PS: We have watched way too many Amityville movies.
And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird (1991): In this kid-friendly movie, Josh and Max Carson spend their free time building a Newman, a robot that gets their father’s spirit thanks to Josh’s witchy new girlfriend. Is it on Tubi? You know it.
Anomaly (2016): This is not a true story. I kind of admire that someone tried to sell it as one, but you know, “A ripoff of other movies that are maybe based on true stories” is not a great tagline. There is Ouija in it, at least.
Black Devil Doll (2007): I mean this is literally the sales copy from this movie: “What started as a simple child’s game has now become a fight for her life! What is this evil that she has summoned from beyond? And why does it have a fro? What kind of horrific acts will she be subjected to? And what price will her super-hot, half-nude friends have to pay?”
Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009):Danielle Harris plays Alissa, a girl obsessed with — and perhaps possessed by — the urban legend of a woman who killed an entire insane asylum and beheaded her rapist. If that’s the secret story of your hometown, maybe don’t use a spirit board on her grave.
Charlie Chan’s Secret(1936): The tenth Charlie Chan features two seances, including one that gives away the killer. Yay Ouija!
Deadly Messages (1985): This made-for-TV movie starts with a spirit board revealing a murder and leading TV movie queen Kathleen Beller dealing with murder, unbelieving cops and the ghost of a murdered young man. It’s directed by Jack Bender, who also made another great made-for-TV horror movie, The Midnight Hour.
Death Ouija (2014): In this Yi Wang-directed movie, a group of young people gather together at a deserted old building and, you know it, a spirit board kicks off the shenanigans. Guess what? The same thing happens in the 2017 sequel, Death Ouija 2.
Demon Legacy (2014): As a teenager, I never realized that most sleepovers involve using Ouija to invoke dangerous demons. I thought it was mainly icing bras and talking about boys. Even better, the filmmakers claimed that after burning the prop Ouji board, a series of catastrophic events was unleashed, including a blizzard, a fire, a flood, sets being destroyed, loss of funding and loss of cast members. The producers actually had two spiritual advisers come in to fix everything.
The Devil’s Footprints: It’s a Wrap (2022): A group of friends decides to become members of a Satanic Brotherhood called the Underground Inferno and get hunted by the evil goth Moe. Why am I writing about this at 6 AM?
Don’t Look Under the Bed (2010): In this short film, a Halloween night leads a teenager to a Ouija board and have you figured out the rest yet?
Don’t Move (2013): In this short, a games night unleashes a demon that slices people — and their friendships — apart.
Don’t Panic(1988): Also known A Maldição de Ouija, this movie has a hero who always wears dinosaur pajamas confronting an Ouija board-based villain on his eighteenth birthday. It’s a mix of Saved by the Bell and slasher films; it’s also either the worst or best movie you’ve ever seen. I err on the latter side of that question.
Drive Thru (2009): Horny the Clown speaks in all languages: murder, Magic 8 Ball and, for the needs of this list, the Ouija board.
Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers (2006): Based on one of the true incidents that inspired The Exorcist — yeah right — a psychiatrist decides that science and medicine can no longer save his possessed daughter. This is on Tubi.
Exorcist: The Fallen (2014): A young girl and her family go through a horrifying reality while she becomes possessed by demonic forces. That description, I realize, could have been about any of these movies.
Ghost Team One (2013): Never underestimate just how badly men want laid, even if they must convince a gorgeous woman that their house is haunted.
Greetings (2007): It’s Cathy’s party — not her curse — but sboys have found a Ouija board and are out for some harmless fun. Stop me, stop me, stop me, stop me, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Haunted Tales (1980): A Shaw Brothers anthology of ghost stories seems like the perfect place to have a Ouija board show up. Why haven’t I seen this before?
Haunter(2013):I have to hunt down this one, in which Abigail Breslin plays a ghost stuck with her family reliving the day that they were all murdered while trying to communicate with other realities.
Holy Terror (2002): Encouraged to experiment with an Ouija board by their sinister landlord, a couple and their guests inadvertently unleash the murderous spirit of a demonic nun whose evil is so powerful that it cannot be contained. Watch it on Tubi.
I Am ZoZo(2012): Released as Are You There?in the UK, this is all about five kids at a Halloween party who end up releasing a demon named ZoZo, who you may better know as Pazuzu. You can check this out on Tubi.
Inherent Vice(2014):The Ouija board does not always have to have horrific scenes built around it. Witness this Paul Thomas Anderson — son of horror host Ghoulardi — film!
Insomnium(2017): How many times do we need to explain the rules of Ouija? You really only need one rule and that’s never play it alone. Add a cocktail of weed and booze to this and you have absolute lunacy.
Is Anybody There?(2002): The film sets up three rules as its players use a spirit board: Rule #1: Never ask a spirit how he or she died. Rule #2: Never ask a spirit how you are going to die. Rule #3: Never stop playing without saying goodbye.
Island of Lost Souls(2007): A young girl dreams of a more magical world while dealing with the darkness inside her new home and the possession of her little brother.
Ju-on: White Ghost (2009): One of the characters in this movie plays Kokkuri — see Ouija Japan— which is a similar spirit divination game.
La trajinera del terror (2005): Yes, between this and Don’t Panic, the spirit board has found its way to Mexico. Two girls use one and then go all slasher all over their friends on an island vacation.
Left In Darkness(2006): A young woman, whose mother died giving birth to her, is facing eternal life in either Heaven or Hell. Turn to that good old spirit board for the answers.
Long Time Dead (2002):Bad idea: a group of college students decide to try their hands at a seance by using a homemade Ouija board. As I will say on and on in this list, in every country — even Britain — this is a bad idea.
Malefic (2003): It’s bad enough when ransomers try to make money off a dead girl. They probably should have left the Ouija alone after that.
Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders(1996): This movie features cursed objects and we can’t think of too many other things that get as bad of a name as the Ouija board. Except monkeys with cymbals. One of them is in this as well.
Mortal Ouija (2019): Seven days after you play Ouija, it goes all Ringu on you. I never heard of that rule before. Also, the theme song to this movie is not the Mortal Kombat song with Ouija substituted.
Mother’s Day (1980): Amongst all the other horrifying behavior in this movie, you may have missed the spirit board. Well, its there.
Necromentia (2009): It’s one thing to own a spirit board. It’s an even bigger commitment to have one tattooed on your back. Also: a movie that theorizes that ketamine use allows you to meet demons.
Only You (1994): Yes, sometimes romcoms also have Ouija boards in them. This time around, one of them inspires Marisa Tomei to keep looking for romantic love. Shout out to my buddy Hoss who was one of the students in Tomei’s classroom when he was but a teen.
Ouija (2014): Hasbro goes Blumhouse, bringing along the writers of The Possession and getting Lin Shaye to show up as teenagers get out of control with a spirit board. Nothing in this movie would sell you on the toy company’s product, which amazes me that they ever let this happen.
Ouija: Deadly Reunion (2021):Also known as Ouija Warehouse, this has that old move that starts so many a spirit board movie: well, we found one at a party and starting using it and…
Ouija: Game Never Ends (2015): I’ve been writing this list for nearly a year and trust me, this title is triggering. A Kannada supernatural horror film shot in Malaysia and Bangalore, this one has a unique concept: some software writers decide to make a movie and make the mistake of having it be about Ouija.
Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016): The sequel to the official Ouija movie was written and directed by Dr. Sleep‘s Mike Flanagan. It’s a definite improvement over the first one, telling the story of a family that has a fake seance business that attracts a real spirit.
Ouija: The Awakening (2013): You have to admire the balls of the makers of this film, who made sure to
Ouija: The Awakening of Evil (2017): Man, awakening and Ouija go together like Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill. This time, a group of teenagers play with a Ouija board and awaken something truly evil and unstoppable. I bet it’s the horrible poster art!
Ouija Blood Ritual (2020): How insidious! A combination of the found footage and Ouija film? Oh man — that poster is making me, coercing me to find and watch this! I’m possessed.
Ouija Board (2004): Also known as Bunshinsaba, this movie finds a group of teen outcasts using their spirit board to curse the popular kids. Man, you can do that? What was I doing in high school?
Ouija Craft (2020): After a member of their coven dies, a group of witches bring her back with the Ouija which is the worst idea amongst the many bad ideas on this list. You can watch this on Tubi.
Ouija Death Trap (2014): A teen reunites with her former school friends and has them visit her haunted job and bring a Ouija board. The poster is bold enough to say, “Based on the chilling urban legend.”
Ouija House (2018): A graduate project leads to a Ouija-board nightmare. You can watch this on, you guessed it, Tubi. They should just call that streaming service Ouija TV.
Ouija Mummy (2019): What a title! Well, that’s what happens when you play Ouija with your friends. You get possessed by an Egyptian goddess. Hey! It’s on Tubi!
Ouija Possession (2015): After finding a vintage spirit board in their parents’ basement, a group of teens conjure an undead relative, who stalks them from beyond the grave. We get to watch on Tubi.
Ouija Room (2019): This one has an interesting hook: What if an agoraphobic woman with autism needs friends when her caretaker is working during the say, so she starts using a Ouija board? You don’t have to ask the board if this is on Tubi.
Ouija Seance: The Final Game (2000): If you get the opportunity to spend a weekend in a haunted house, maybe don’t play Ouija. That will put you many steps closer to success than anyone else on this list. You can watch this on Tubi.
Ouija 3: The Charlie Charlie Challenge (2016): An eccentric haunted house owner invites a group of hapless teens over to play the terrifying game known as Charlie Charlie. Guess what? This isn’t a sequel just a retitled movie called Charlie Charlie. Based on the terrifying urban legend and playing on the ad-filled Tubi.
Ouija 4 (2018): Man, the Italians would have loved all these Ouija movies that keep moving country of origin and play fast and loose with the numbers. They’d also have loved Tubi, right?
Paranormal Activity (2009) and Paranormal Activity 2 (2010): I think everyone that reads this site knows how I feel about found footage movies, so I’ll reserve my usual bile and just stick to the facts. This one has a major Ouija scene, where a board catches on fire after reaching whatever is causing all of the hijinks in this movie. If you’re really bored, there’s also a 2013 softcore parody movie called Paranormal Whacktivity.
Prison of the Dead (2000): This David DeCoteau-directed film — which also shows up in the Full Moon portmanteau Horrific— is about a group of post-teens playing with an Ouija board in an abandoned witches’ prison. This raises the executioners from the dead and it gets all Shakespearian — everyone pretty much dies.
Repossessed (1990): My vow to never play Ouija can only be broken by one person: Linda Blair. I will scream her dream name at the top of my lungs whenever you want.
Revival of Evil (1980): As a school child in the midst of the Satanic Panic, I was forced to watch movies like this. Decades later, I’m in the middle of writing an article about Ouija boards and can quote Anton Lavey any time you’d like. Maybe all that Dungeons and Dragons was a good thing.
Satan’s Blood (1978): This movie promises Satan, sin and sex and it delivers. I mean, it starts with a bunch of hooded worshippers all over a girl before they stab her with a big ceremonial blade. Some prints even start with a professor warning viewers of the dangers of Satanism! And yes, a Ouija board has to be involved after that.
Satanic (2006):Angus Scrimm and Jeffrey Combs are both in this story of a girl who wakes up from a car accident with no memory of what happened and — even worse — everyone around her dying.
Séance (2006): As five students remain behind at a university over Thanksgiving, they try to use an Ouija board to release the ghost of a girl that haunts them and end up bringing her killer back as well.
Seance: The Summoning (2011): Some friends break into a morgue — a morgue, I tell you! — to play Ouija and are shocked when things go wrong. Hell yeah it’s on Tubi.
Seytan (1974): If you’re going to make a movie that’s the Turkish Exorcist, you need “Tubular Bells” and a Ouija board. That’s the union rules. Thanks for playing along.
Simon Says(2019): After cleaning up from their Halloween party, some friends decide to play Ouija and things work out just as you’d expect. What you may not expect is that this was a 48 hour film made for the Detroit 48 Hour Film Project.
Sinister Circle(2016): A skeptical psychologist was part of a tragedy in the past wager several teens died after playing Ouija. Now, she goes back home and we all know, in a horror movie, you should never go home again.
Sorority House Massacre 2: Nighty Nightmare (1990): You knew that sooner or later, a Jim Wynorski sequel slasher would end up on this list. The sorority sisters in this movie have no excuse for what happens to them after they contact the killer Hockstatter — who is kinda sorta the loose sequel same character as the killer in Sorority House Massacre— and bring him back to reality.
Spirits of the Glass (2004): You know, I hate vacations. I would absolutely scream at you if you started playing Ouija on my hated vacation in this movie and its sequel Spirit of the Glass 2: The Hunted.
Spirit Trap(2005): Nobody ever listens, but if you get the chance to move into a crumbling mansion with a spirit clock inside the walls, just don’t.
Spookies (1984): Oh my most loved movie, Spookies you don’t let us down with your Ouija scene that sets everything off on the path to baffling heck. I mean, a demon girl is running the board. That should tell you all you need to know. If you haven’t seen this movie, your life has been a failure.
Stupid Teenagers Must Die! (2006): At last, a movie that understands that if you go to a haunted house and have a Ouija board, you deserve whatever is coming next.
Tape 13 (2014): More found footage, more dumb explorers into the unknown. You know what happens when you screw with the unknown? Your story ends up on Amazon Prime. But not Tubi. Somehow, this is not on Tubi and that’s the most unsettling fact on this list.
Terror Toons (2002): Much like Evil Toons, this movie has adult stars — former Extreme girl Lizzie Borden and Beverly Lynn (who only acted in non-porn softer films) — playing Strip Ouija, which is a thing.
The Bat Whispers(1930): A Ouija board shows up in this film that was the direct inspiration for the creation of Batman.
The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond(2009): Robert Patrick and Danielle Harris — battling Ouija again — are the names that get you to rent this movie about a house where a family finds the Ouija board that brings out the worst in all of themselves. Directed by Gabriel Bologna, my, my, my, woo, my bologna!
The Blood Stained Shadow(1978): A town full of sinners, a fake medium with a spirit board, a Goblin soundtrack and murders in the tall grass? Yeah, this might be the best Ouija film on this list.
The Chill Factor (1993): If you get snowed in to a deserted summer camp — and you find a Ouija board — don’t play it. That’s my advice.
The Conjuring 2 (2016):Somehow, this movie is at once an Ouija movie, a possession movie, an Amityville movie and a movie about situations based on the real-life event Enfield Poltergeist…and a Christmas movie!
The Exorcism of Emily Rose(2005): Based on the story of Anneliese Michel, this tells the story of a priest accused of murder after a possession ends up costing the life of a possessed girl. Of course a spirit board figures in. German director Hans-Christian Schmid made a similar movie called Requiemand there’s another film called Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapesthat you can find on Tubi.
The Ouija Board (1920): As you can see, Ouija boards have been frightening people on film for over a hundred years. This one has animator Max Fleischer drawing his famous Koko character and a haunted house while another animator and a janitor get in Ouija hijinks.
The Ouija Exorcism (2013): Look, if you’re a famous exorcist and capture a demon in a spirit board, maybe keep it away from your kids. Somehow, the artwork in all of these films are so similar I worry at times if I am possessed and just watch them all in a drone-like state waiting to be filled with a demonic spirit myself.
The Ouija Experiment (2013): The title doesn’t lie. A bunch of friends film an experiment with a spirit board. If things went well, we wouldn’t have the sequel The Ouija Experiment 2: Theater of Death, which is also known as The Ouija Resurrection.
The Ouija Summoning (2015): Also known as You Will Kill, this has a woman getting possessed by her board. If you want to make your own Ouija movie, you can use that very same sentence as your pitch.
The Pact (2012): Director Nicholas McCarthy struggled for nearly a decade to break into movies before this success, which features a homemade board that is the catalyst for all Hell breaking loose late in the film.
The Possession Experiment(2016): Movies where people are possessed after using the spirit board are all over this list. This one may be the only movie where the person wants to be taken.
The Power (1984): Four teens research a cursed Aztec idol in a graveyard with the Ouija and wouldn’t you know it, everything goes bad?
The Spirit Board (2016): A seance gone wrong, you say? Who has heard of such a thing!
The Uninvited (1944): 29 years before The Exorcist, this Lewis Allen film became one of the first movies to depict ghosts as legitimate entities rather than illusions or misunderstandings played for comedy. As such, it has a seance scene that features the Ouija board.
The Unleashed (2011): The poster literally says “Space for a quote up here.” That’s how much care when into this tale of…say it with me…a seance gone wrong and a girl with a dark past being possessed. Hey, Caroline Williams is in it!
The White Cat (1950): In this Swedish movie, a man comes to Stockholm and all he knows is his phone number. A waitress tries to help him, which seems like the perfect use for a spirit board.
Twixt (2011): How is no one discussing that Francis Ford Coppola wrote and directed a horror film about how dreams impact our existence and bring us ideas? Beyond the Ouija board, this movie also has a machine that puts stakes into the hearts of vampires and is narrated by Tom Waits.
Two Witches (2021): In this two-part tale of modern witches, the spirit board figures into the first tale of a woman given the evil eye.
Veronica(2017): Based on the 1991 Vallecas case where Estefanía Gutiérrez Lázaro died mysteriously after she used the game, this Spanish film was sold as “the most frightening movie on Netflix.”
You have to love that so many of these movies are sold with that kind of hype. Or say, from one of the producers. Or someone that worked on. These movies are the 2021 versions of the video rental store is closing and you need to grab a movie before you get thrown out, so you look for anything to get your attention.
Ways to Live Forever(2010): Sam loves facts. I mean, not me, but he kid in this movie who is obsessed by all sorts of weird things like horror movies, UFOs and Ouija boards. Hey wait a second…
Weedjies: Halloweed Night(2019): “When a midnight scavenger hunt for a rare bud of weed known as the Golden Nug brings a group of party-hungry stoners to a haunted hotel, it seems like it’ll be the greatest night ever. But when the enigmatic owner, Madam Haze, introduces them to the Weed-G-Board, they open a portal beyond our world, and unleash The Weedjies.” Full Moon, I wish I could quit you.
What Lies Beneath (2000): Along with being one of the few — SPOILER WARNING FOR A TWENTY-YEAR-OLD MOVIE — films that I can think of where Harrison Ford plays the bad guy, there’s a scene where heroine Claire Spencer (Michelle Pfeiffer) and psychic best friend Jody (Diana Scarwid, Christina in Mommie Dearest) uses an Ouija board.
Witchboard(1986): Starting with the Tawny Kitaen-starring original and going across two more films, 1993’s Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorwayand 1995’s Witchboard III: The Possession, the board that sees all and knows all causes all manner of possessed events to befall its characters. If you’re going to watch these, I’d advise sticking with the first one, which is on Tubi.
Yes, No, Goodbye (2018): A group of filmmakers embark on the road trip of a lifetime to explore the occult, the Bible Belt and all things Ouija.
There are tons of Ouija movies, as you can see above, so if you have one that we didn’t find, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list!
You can check our Letterboxd list out and comment there as well.