Before Friday night I didn’t realize I was capable of making a ouija board out of a manilla folder, a Sharpie, and a shotglass, but now that I’ve done it, I can’t imagine communicating with the dead any other way.
I don’t recall when or how contacting the spirit world became part of the evening’s agenda, but given the original plan — to help a friend pack her belongings for an upcoming move — I’m not surprised my companions and I embraced an alternative. With no “legit” board available from our collective closets or nearby retailers, we resorted to what could probably be called with a certain degree of authenticity “the college try:” we pooled what limited resources we had and faked it.
Apart from some poor spacing in the numerals row, I think the resulting “board” turned out pretty well, and it proved successful when put to use (though an obstacle created by the crease in the folder’s center manifested in something akin to spectral stammering). I won’t go into the narrative of what transpired or what details surfaced, but the experience was rewarding in a way I’m not sure I can replicate on something stamped with the Parker Brothers logo.
I know that the superiority of homemade products has become something of a cliche in the Etsy age; jewelry, apparel, beer — whatever the market, “craft” is king. But whether moved by something spiritual or simply humdrum human pride, I’m fully convinced the paper conduit around which my friends and I huddled by candlelight was charmed — not necessarily because we made contact, but because we made something.