Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cruising Along and Paranormal Games

December 18, 2009

Before writing, about the paranormal, I want to share with all my readers that I was on vacation last week. My wife and I took a cruise on the Norwegian “Dawn” from Miami to Grand Cayman and Cozumel. A few weeks before our scheduled departure, I called and wrote to the executive staff at NCL (Norwegian Cruise Lines) and offered to give passengers aboard the “Dawn” a 60-90 minute lecture (based on my book “Explaining the Unexplained”). I offered to exchange this service to NCL for an upgrade to a better cabin than the one we had paid for. It would have been easy for any of the execs at NCL to simply write or e-mail me and say “yes” or “no”. But none…absolutely none of the NCL execs demonstrated the simple courtesy of even acknowledging any of my three telephone calls and two letters. It seems the execs at NCL just don’t care enough about their paying passengers to acknowledge their communications.

The above having been said, the cruise was an excellent one, and in fact, one of the best I’ve ever taken. My wife and I enjoyed it enormously. The ship was beautiful, the crew (especially a Garden CafĂ© maitre de named Fortunato Rebello) was friendly and helpful, the food was worthy of a professional gourmet, and the entertainment was magnificent. It’s unfortunate that the pompous asses in the NCL executive offices don’t learn something from the people they employ.
Last week I wrote about Astrology, Palmistry and Phrenology. I promised to follow this up with a look at Tarot Cards, Crystal Balls and Ouija Boards:

Tarot Cards and Crystal Balls have long been the trademarks of Gypsy Fortune Tellers: The theory behind the crystal ball is that, because of its clarity, the fortune teller can see into the future. In actuality, there has never been one single iota of truth attached to crystal ball fortune telling. Normally, the fortune teller is a good “cold-reader” and plays-off of the person whose fortune they are telling.

Similarly, Tarot cards are used in the same way: A good cold-reader uses the 78-card Tarot deck to build a story around the person whose fortune is being told. The Tarot deck was originally designed as a game-playing deck in the early 1500s much like the 52-card deck now in common usage. The Tarot has four suits corresponding to the suits of conventional playing cards. Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of fourteen cards. In addition, the Tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit. There is nothing paranormal about Tarot Cards.

Now let’s look at Ouija Boards: On the surface, there is no more to Ouija Boards than there is to Crystal Balls or Tarot Cards. Yet, I have spoken to and corresponded with numerous people who tell me of life-saving feats and terrible accidents that have been avoided resulting from the use of a Ouija Board.

The theory behind Ouija Boards is that two or three people, by combining their energy and concentrating on the spirit of a deceased friend or family member and placing their fingertips on a wooden marker, the spirit will guide the marker from letter to letter on the board and spell out an important message.

Virtually all ghost-hunting societies agree that spirits rarely talk or make discernable vocal sounds (except immediately after death), so there may be some substance to the concept that spirits try to communicate by guiding the lightly touched marker. Yet, I wonder if those using the Ouija aren’t unconsciously guiding the marker to where they want it to go, and sending themselves messages they want to hear.

People, whose status or reputation is too high to impugn, have told me that Ouija Boards have informed them of a child’s undiagnosed illness and that Ouija has forewarned of planned actions which, if taken, would have proven disastrous.

It’s difficult for me to accept that a marker and a game-board with letters on it can communicate with the spirit world, but those who use them swear by them with the kind of fervor that only comes from having seen the proof. Is it just coincidence? I’d like to hear from you about any experiences you may have had. If you’ve ever had some Ouija Board messages that proved meaningful, please share them with me at

Stephen Ellis

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