When I was 14 my best friend and I decided we wanted to try an Ouija board. Yeah I know, “Don’t mess with things you can’t surely understand.” Well, when you’re 15 years old you don’t give a s**t about common sense and things of that nature. I didn’t believe in that sort of stuff anyways, and it was my best friend’s money that was purchasing the Hasbro doorway to the land of the undead, not mine. My money was spent on a cassette copy of AC/DCs ’74 Jailbreak. So we got home from the mall and went straight to his bedroom for some occult fun. It was dark by then and we shut the door as to not annoy his hag of a stepmom(believe me folks, she was a hag in the worst way.) She was in the living room drinking wine till she was nearly passed out, so she probably wouldn’t have known what we were doing anyways. So we lay this thing out and read the instructions written out by some Hasbro executive 40 years ago on how to converse with the spirits. We start up and my friend says “We want to speak with Randy Rhoads. Is Randy Rhoads available?” First off, why Randy Rhoads? Well, he was someone famous that was dead that we both liked. And “is he available?” Like we’re calling him at his parent’s house. I don’t know. So he asks again, “Is Randy Rhoads here with us?” Pretty soon the planchette moves over to “No.” Hmm. Now I can say without a doubt I wasn’t moving the planchette, I just assumed my friend was(yeah, he may have…but wait.) So then he starts asking to speak with the spirit of a girl that had passed away a couple years before. Someone I knew threw a relative, and I’d told my friend about her. She was our age and had killed herself. It was a very sad and tragic thing, and yet my friend felt the need to exploit it for our little game. “Can we speak to Jane Smith*?” I protested the use of this girl in our stupid little parlour game, but he just said it louder, “Can we speak to Jane Smith!?!?! We want to speak with Jane Smith!! Is she here?!?!” The planchette moved curiously to “Yes”, and that’s when I felt this chill come over me. Was it fear? Was it an overwhelming feeling of guilt for allowing this to go on? No, it was his ceiling fan. It was on the highest speed, but it still kind of freaked me out. Before I could tell my best friend to shut his face, he blurts out “Show us you’re here, Jane!! Show us you’re in the room with us….”, which was when the electricity went out in the house. We both screamed like little girls(no offense to little girls)and clumsily made a b-line to his bedroom door, which wouldn’t open. We could only see from the light from the neighbor’s porch light that shined in through his bedroom window, so it was just kind of a splotchy view of grays, blacks, and a vague outline of two pasty white teens in over their heads. We both struggled with the door but it wouldn’t open. The handle wouldn’t even turn(you’re thinking it was locked…it wasn’t.) Pretty soon out of nowhere the door opens and we come pouring out of that bedroom like a couple idiots that thought they saw a ghost. We run out to the living room and his stepmom was on the couch watching TV as if nothing just happened, like the electricity going out. “Dammit, Ty! What the hell are you two doing?” “The electricity just went out! We were..umm..the electricity went out!” my best friend frantically spit out. “No it didn’t! You two better keep it down or I’m telling your dad!” We looked at each other and slowly made our way back to his room, stunned and silent. “What the hell just happened? Was she really here?” I said to my friend, who still looked as if he was still in shock. He looked down and pointed at something. It was the Ouija board. It sat, facing up, with the planchette directly above the word,
The Ouija board was promptly put away, never to be looked at again. For at least a couple months. After that little incident, I took charge from that point on. Two things: I don’t know if my friend was screwing with me that night, but I wasn’t going to let him do it again in case he was; and two, if it wasn’t him I wasn’t going to let whatever it was get another chance to do so. So when he’d want to get the Ouija board out from its perch in his bedroom closet tucked underneath a stack of Prince LPs and an electric blanket, I’d play the part**. I’d answer the questions, and I’d tell my best friend to do stupid things. You know, just to keep him on his toes. Once, he’d sprained his knee in gym class and was using a crutch. Well, I didn’t think he hurt himself that bad so I, or I should say “the spirit” told him that if he didn’t start walking on his own the next day at school that his girlfriend would be hurt. That next day he was hobbling around school without the crutches. I think he was in a lot of pain, and I sort of felt bad about that, but he needed to learn a lesson. Don’t mess with things that you don’t understand, and don’t ever mess with Randy Rhoads. Never.
I can’t explain what happened on that July night in 1987. I don’t have a clue. All of those things could be explained quite easily by those Ghosthunters guys I’m sure, or an electrician. And two 14 year old boys that were either talking about girls, music, or horror movies(and not in that particular order)most of the time they were awake that summer, what their imaginations could conjure up would make Stephen King curl up into the fetal position. But man, three little letters stamped on a Hasbro board game were enough to make me think twice about messing around with things better left to horror novelists, crazy guys on the street corner, and Catholic priests.
* Jane Smith is a made up name. I didn’t use her actual name out of respect for the deceased.
** Years later, my best friend and I talked about this incident and the ones after. I admitted to being the “ghost”, at least after our initial unexplained encounter. We laughed, we cried, we shared a few beers, and he punched me.