An Electronic Ouija Board by Matthew Fabian


I have been fascinated with the field of the supernatural for a number of years. This investigation was only the second one I was assigned to and it will remain with me for the rest of my life. In fact, the phenomena I witnessed and was subject to many investigators that dedicate a lifetime to this work may never have the opportunity to experience. For that I am grateful because the impression this case has made on me has had a life altering effect on my perception of religion, God and the world we live in.

The Assignment

The group of five investigators, including myself, left for an evening of psychic investigation. The basic information given to us was that a family was having “problems” in their home, was frightened and didn’t know who else to call for help. The only other information provided was that there was something strange occurring involving the cable converter box that was attached to the television in their living room. In fact, the group had left in such a rush that we didn’t have a name and address or phone number for the family, just a street and town. The lack of information did not pose a problem because the three cars being driven to the investigation seemed to be drawn to the house to the extent that we drove into the driveway and knew we were at the right house. As we walked up to the house, all at once, we looked at each other. It was unmistakable: This was the real thing. As I made my way up the front steps my legs became weak and I began to shake and found it difficult to walk. We entered the house and introduced ourselves to the family.

The Family The family consisted of the father, John SR, son, John JR, the wife, Lisa, daughter, Michelle and two small children who were in bed asleep at the time of our arrival. In fact, John Sr. had commented on how pleased he was that the children had gone to bed and, on their own, had said their prayers and had asked for angels to protect them. They had fallen asleep and remained undisturbed through the night.

The Investigation John SR took our group on a tour of the house through each room on each level. We do this to become familiar with the layout of the house but also so that we can attempt to “sense” anything unusual or of a psychic nature in a given location. We arrived at the room at the back left corner of the house, which was John JR’s room. The room had a “heavy” feeling when we entered it. Generally, this is a description that people with considerable psychic sensitivity often use but, in this case, it was so strong that I was able to sense it. It was difficult to breathe and, physically, extremely uncomfortable to remain in the room. One of the investigators, who reportedly has a fair amount of psychic ability, stated that she saw dark shadows and shapes moving around the room. Naturally, I could not see them; however, I had my share of experiences that evening.

The Phenomena

As the evening progressed each of the investigators was situated in a different part of the house. I was stationed on the second floor at the main hallway. At one point I found myself fixated on something at the end of the hall but as I strained to get a closer look the walls of the hall began to close in on me. At the same time it was becoming darker and darker to the point that it became difficult to see. I blinked and looked away several times but the phenomena continued to progress. I became increasingly uncomfortable and left the area. I made my way to the back of the house. There was a distinct haze visible throughout the rear bedroom as though there was a high level of humidity present. Again, the situation was not physically or mentally tolerable and I left that area of the house. I went down the stairs at the back of the house and entered the living room where John JR and his mother were having a conversation. It was becoming apparent that John Jr. did not want investigators in his family’s house. In fact, he was giving each of us a hateful stare every time he walked by us or we were present and he was quite verbal about this as well. A moment later, at 10:42p.m., all of the smoke detectors in the house went off at the same time. As the four other investigators entered the living room I perceived the presence of someone or something else in the far corner of the room. I immediately snapped a picture with my 35mm camera. One of the other investigators confirmed that she experienced the same sensation.

Electronic Divination

Now for the interesting stuff: the cable converter box. As stated above there was mention early on about this. It wasn’t until now that this was beginning to make sense. In John SR’s original complaint he stated that his son was using the device to do some “weird” things. The box was answering questions that John Jr. and his friends were asking it. Could it be that they were using the converter box as an Ouija board? I had never heard of anything similar to this but, of course, I had only been involved in this area of study for a short time. Apparently, after some prodding on the part of the senior researcher handling the investigation, this was the case. Recently, John JR had the notion that their house may be haunted and began to open himself up to what may have been dormant for some time in the house. The spirit saw an opening, a willing, curious teenager and made its move. This was accomplished by what is called the Law of Invitation where, in effect, the boy “invited” the spirit to enter his life. Unfortunately, it also entered the lives of his family and friends as well. There was an entertaining story shared later in the evening with our group about an incident involving a local law enforcement officer. Apparently, when the strange occurrences began the family had no idea whom to turn to so the logical thing to do was to contact the police department for help. When the officer arrived and was told what had been happening he became irate and almost left before he could be convinced that the complaint was legitimate. John SR led the officer into the living room and told him that the cable converter box could answer any question he wanted to ask it. This angered the policeman even more and again he attempted to leave the house. On a dare, he agreed to try. He withdrew his social security card from his wallet and directed the box to read the numbers. The red L.E.D. lighted numbers spelled out his number in just a couple of moments (A=1, B=2, etc.). As the story went, he turned and ran out of the house mumbling something not understandable by anyone present. Additional complaints to the police department went unanswered. The retelling of this story provided some much-needed levity that evening.

More Phenomena

John SR pointed to the box, which was placed on top of the television at the opposite end of the room. One by one we, the investigators, took a turn touching the box on the chance we might sense something of a psychic nature. The moment I touched it my eyes felt as though I could not keep them open. The sensation was similar to running down a street on a very cold morning and then stepping into a warm house: Extreme irritation and even some pain. Next, another investigator and I walked into the kitchen while two other investigators went into the hall at the back of the house. They ran back into the kitchen and stated that a closet door had opened on its own and then both indicated they witnessed a large ghost globule in John JR’s bedroom. No sooner had they finished their sentence when an old toaster that was placed at the opposite end of the counter I was leaning against came sliding toward me at a high rate of speed. As it came to rest within inches of my hand it popped up as though the toast was done and, of course, there was no bread in it! At this point, all of us decided that it would be a good idea to leave the kitchen, although, after the fact, we agreed that the incident was pretty amusing. The family had gone outside on the front lawn a few minutes earlier to get some much-needed fresh air. As our team began to reposition within the house, John SR entered the house and angrily told us to stop yelling and making so much noise, as the children would be woken up. We told him that we hadn’t made any noise, to our knowledge, and certainly were not yelling. The family had heard a loud voice, when they were outside, yelling from inside the house, telling them to “Come here!”. I decided to spend time in Dave JR’s bedroom. As I sat in the dark I saw a flash twice near the window, which may have been ghost lights, I couldn’t be sure. Beyond that, the room felt more peaceful than it did earlier in the evening. It was also much easier to breathe in the room. Next, I stayed in the daughter’s room. I took readings with my Gaussmeter, an instrument used to measure the presence of an electro-magnetic energy field often associated with the presence of spiritual activity. A high reading was recorded when the gauge was passed over a cross that was hanging on the wall. We were told that the cross was purchased at a tag sale by Lisa’s mother and given to her granddaughter, Michelle, as a gift. It was decided by the group that now would be the time to attempt having a conversation with John JR. We made our way back to the kitchen and took a place at the dinner table. As we began discussing a strategy to approach John JR the telephone rang. Lisa answered the call and told us that it was 911 responding to a distress call made from their address. None of us had used the phone at any time during the evening. It appeared that the call was a subtle attempt to distract the group from extracting important information from John JR. The senior investigator sat briefly with John JR and, after 5 minutes or so, realized that he was not about to answer any questions, much less cooperate with us in any way. It became evident that John JR was under oppression, as I had come to learn, and is often seen in situations similar to this one. I was fascinated with the phenomena I witnessed thus far and decided to go back to John JR’s room with one of the other investigators. It was unusually cold once again and even oppressive. As we stood in the dark room I extended my right hand to lean against the wall. I lost my balance almost immediately because the wall seemed to be moving away from me. As I regained my balance I made contact with the wall once again. It seemed to be breathing, distinctly moving in and out as when a person inhales and exhales. Next, I applied my body weight to the wall to confirm the sensation and to see if this would stop the “breathing”. As I looked down toward the floor the wall I was pushing against began moving back away from me and the room was actually getting bigger! Interestingly, the other researcher was not experiencing this nor did he see any physical changes in the room at all. I was ready to leave the room if not the house.

The Departure

As we made our way back to the living room to meet up with the rest of the group we passed John JR on the staircase. At first, I wasn’t even sure it was him we were walking past. The look of hate on his face was unmistakable. We found out that during the evening, several times, John JR and his mother had left the house several times. The daughter, Lisa, was not present that evening and was staying at a relative’s home until the situation was brought to a close. Overall, the house, and progressively the family were becoming very dark, depressed and foreboding. Unfortunately, to this day the family continues to be affected by the actions of the oldest son and, although, the father remains optimistic and faithful, there is still a long road to be traveled to bringing their situation to a close.

Final Comments

I would be less than honest if I stated that I was not frightened at times during the evening I spent in this house. It is one thing to read a good ghost story or a book that discusses psychic phenomena. It is another to witness activity that, until it happens before your eyes, is believed to be impossible. This was an experience that taught me a great deal, certainly more than I could ever have learned by reading a book on the subject. It has brought me to the decision that I am committed to expanding my experience and knowledge in this field of study.

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