Belief and custom surrounding the Ouija board

Myrick, Jean M. (1999) Belief and custom surrounding the Ouija board. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This thesis presents an analysis of the Ouija board from a point of view that has not been published by any other folklorist, to date. That is, it looks at the actual beliefs that people have about the Ouija board phenomenon and the rationale by which they maintain this belief. Most scholars in the past have studied the Ouija board in terms of its "use" and in doing so, have focused on trying to convince believers that what they believe is false. It is not the intention of this thesis to show who is right or wrong, but simply to report the beliefs, the rationale behind the beliefs, and the consequential customs that surround the Ouija board phenomenon. -- The nature of the Ouija board phenomenon is directly tied to the way in which people believe. What a person believes or does not believe is largely dependent upon previously established belief systems. A person who has no logical basis to believe in life after death, may not believe that spirit communication is possible. On the other hand, those who believe that survival is possible after death do have a logical standpoint by which they can connect a new belief-such as the powers of the Ouija board. -- Anyone studying supernatural beliefs is well aware, however, that the opinions of our informants are not so black and white. If anything, when it comes to the Ouija board a lot of people simply cannot conclude, definitively, what they believe. At the time of an experience with a board they may have had absolute belief but in retrospect, begin to doubt and question that belief. As a folkloristic study, therefore, this thesis utilizes the concepts of traditions of belief and traditions of disbelief in order to show how adherents of both traditions logically explain their opinions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5511
Item ID: 5511
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 205-220.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1999
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Ouija board--Folklore

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