*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a family member, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
I don't even feel comfortable writing this.
Despite having had a Ouija board myself when I was a teen, I don't like to talk about them now or even acknowledge their existence.
They're creepy with their wooden boards and plastic planchettes, and their secrets. If I never see one again, it will be too soon, but this isn't about me. This is about an experience my mother and my aunt had as young women when they used a Ouija board to win a horse race.
My mother's younger sister bought a Ouija board on a lark and asked my mother to help her use it. The two women sat across from each other with their fingers resting lightly upon the planchette that sat on the board.
They asked a few questions and squealed with a mixture of delight and horror as the planchette moved all around the board.
"We came up with a plan to see if the board was the real deal," my mother told me. "So we decided to ask for the name of the winner in an upcoming horse race. Then we bet all our money on that horse."
My mother and my aunt didn't know diddly squat about horse races. They didn't even know the names of the horses that were in the race. When the board spelled out a name quickly and without hesitation, they looked at each other. And they wrote it down.
They placed their bets on the horse and waited.
"It was a creepy shock when the horse won," my mother told me. "We collected our winnings the very next day."
After winning money thanks to the Ouija board, my aunt wanted the thing out of her house. She barely wanted the money she had won from it, but she kept the cash anyway. The board had to go.
My mother wasn't nearly as terrified of the board as my aunt. She figured anything that put money in her pocket wasn't all bad. She brought it home and stashed it in the basement of the house she shared with my father before I was born.
My mother tried to convince my aunt to use the board one last time, just to multiply their winnings, but my aunt refused.
"We won a lot of money but we never used it again," my mother told me. "I don't know whatever became of it after I put it in the closet," she said. "Maybe it's still there."
My parents have moved several times since then. If my aunt's old Ouija board is still in that basement closet, maybe some lucky person will find it someday. They might get a fright or they might win a horse race. You never know with these things.
Do you believe in Ouija boards? If you do, what's stopping you from using one to bet on horse races and Super Bowls? Comments are welcome.
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