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Sheet music, c. 1920. From Duke University Special Collections Library.

Esopus 7 (Fall 2006)
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By Mitch Horowitz

“In the ’60s and ’70s, Ouija circles sprang up in college dormitories, and the board emerged as a fad among adolescents, for whom its ritual of secret messages and intimate communications became a form of rebellion. One youthful experimenter recalls an enticing atmosphere of danger and intrigue—‘like shoplifting or taking drugs’—that allowed her and a girlfriend to bond together over Ouija sessions.”—Mitch Horowitz 

In this examination of the American anomaly of the Ouija board—a unique mixture of occultist’s tool and best-selling family pastime—Mitch Horowitz assesses its impact on American life—and art.

Mitch Horowitz is Editor-in-Chief of publishing house Tarcher/Penguin. Based in New York City, he writes and lectures frequently on spiritual themes and is the author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (Bantam, 2010).