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OuijaCon 2015

In 2015, the Talking Board Historical Society hosted OuijaCon, a three-day conference and celebration of the Ouija board’s 125th birthday at the Baltimore Harbor Hotel. Organized and opened by Robert Murch, this first of its kind event included lectures from the TBHS and members of the paranormal community, including Robert Murch, Brandon Hodge, Calvin Von Crush, Karen Dalhman, Jeff Belanger, Chip Coffey, Dave Schrader, John Zaffis, Darren Evans, and Rosemary Ellen Guiley. Chip Coffey led an atmospheric evening séance for the group. A collector’s panel composed of TBHS members answered questions about collecting and gave their opinions on all things supernatural and what interested them most about talking boards. Marc Andersen, a Danish researcher in experimental psychology, conducted a series of Ouija Board experiments with special goggles that tracked the pupils of users to better understand the phenomenon behind the Ouija board experience.

Attendees came from around the country and were able to participate in Ouija board sessions with help from experts present. Tour guides led interested visitors around a large room showcasing historical and modern talking boards and answered questions about history and lore. Vendors lined the hallway outside the main auditorium to sell odd and unusual objects, books, and assorted paranormal items.

On Friday, April 24, 2015, representatives from the mayor’s office discussed the importance of the Ouija board to Baltimore’s historical heritage and proclaimed it “Ouija Day” during an on stage ceremony. Officials then unveiled a special Ouija plaque commemorating the naming of the Ouija board by Helen Peters Nosworthy the “strong medium” and sister-in-law of Elijah Bond, the original patentee. The plaque was later installed at its designated historical site, 529 North Charles Street, Baltimore.

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