Diagnosis: Ouija Madness

Inhabitants of California town, El Cerrito were diagnosed by numerous physicians as having a case of "Ouija Madness," in March of 1920.

What started in an Italian colony and involving four families in separate households using Ouija boards and spread to a case of mass hysteria of an entire town and resulting in, well...a lot of nakedness. A fifteen year old girl, who with three other women and three men were committed to an insane asylum after stripping naked to better communicate with the spirits. This was followed by a police officer, sans uniform or any other clothing for that matter, running through a local bank and numerous instances of town wide orgies - kind of like The Wicker Man, just without the singing.

This is when ministers and physicians "declare war" against Ouija boards with warnings to the public and government officials that "The Ouija produces hysteria and sometimes insanity," say the physicians and the psychologists. "It is an instrument of evil," say the ministers.

El Cerrito residents were forced to be examined by a team of physicians to determine if they were either insane or possessed, while lawmakers enacted a ban on Ouija Board use and possession in the town.

The reputation of Ouija boards opening portals, allowing demons and evil spirits a foothold on us and our world has perhaps been misinterpreted and a far more disturbing possibility has emerged. Consider that perhaps the door that you keep locked in the dark recesses of yourself can be opened. That the worst of yourself - all the dark and depraved things that evoke fear and hate and shame that lurk within are released and it is you that is unleashed on the world...

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