Is it possible that the ouija board and dowsing work because of the same principle?

You know how I just read that it’s not the stick in dowsing that causes it to work…it comes from something in your hand…energy or something..maybe a magnetic force…..Maybe that’s how the ouija works too. OR ….maybe spirits are controlling BOTH. Hmmmmm. What do YOU think??

7 thoughts on “Is it possible that the ouija board and dowsing work because of the same principle?

  1. Well I think dowsing rods are just nothing, people unconsciously move them.

    I had a messed up experience with a Ouija Board when I was in 9th grade. I do not know if I subconsciously made the things come true that it told me or what. But F that, I believe that chit is evil. I am serious too.

  2. WIth Ouija, you are surrendering your will to an unseen force, which then uses your mind to control the pointer (ideomotor effect is a good explanation, but no explanation of why it actually occurs has been forwarded as to why new information seems to be able to be obtained, so it’s still not thoroughly debunked yet).

    With dowsing, you are focusing on feeling energies, and allowing your subconscious mind to subtly shift the rods into an “X” when there are certain kinds of electromagnetic phenomena (and with knowing by experience and my own collected data on the subject that some people are more sensitive to EMF’s than others, this seems more scientific). There is no surrender of willpower or “opening” of one’s self to the spirit realm. It’s just increasing your personal sensitivity, and I’ve done it as reliably as an EMF detector. Nothing really paranormal about that… I’m just very sensitive to strong electromagnetic fields.

    I haven’t seen a single “Y” rod work reliably for dowsing, so I’m not sure on the functionality of those. Can’t answer on it authoritatively, though I’ve heard plenty of theory on how it reacts to water and metals (both of which might have specific EMF frequencies or changes in field strength, and which may actually account for an explanation of how it works).

    They are, in point of practice, different things entirely.

  3. Ouija boards and dowsing work on spiritual laws and not physical ones… And the scientific commuity will never acknolwedge this fact because there are more atheists than there are believers in God. It is communication with spirits.. they are two conflicting parties of information. In science man believes that he can establish his own truth, while in religion, man believes that he must submit to a truth that exists beyond and outside of him.

  4. You’re not considering all the possibilities, Deenie. Also, you should be aware from your last question on the subject that magnetism physically does not make any sense here.

    But yes, it’s entirely possible that both do work on the same principle. In fact, it’s likely that the ideomotor effect is the reason why both seem to “work”. I put “work” in quotes because by that I mean the planchette moves or the dowsing rods cross, but both these things are far more likely due to the fact that the players are touching the planchette and the dowser can’t (or won’t) keep his fists holding the rods perfectly aligned with the direction of gravitational pull. In both circumstances, ideomotor effect cannot be ruled out and in fact is known to be very much active in such subconsciously guided movements. See the link on ideomotor effect below.

    Regarding the Ouija board, it doesn’t work when the participants are blindfolded. Why would this be, if spirits are controlling? We can manufacture some “facts” about spirits, e.g., they have to see through our eyes for some unexplained, mystical reason, to explain it. But what’s a better explanation, perhaps that the participants needs to see the letters because it is they who are moving the planchette, since they quite obviously are touching it already? See the 2nd link.

    Regarding dowsing, it has always failed under controlled testing. There is no scientific reason why a human carrying a stick or rods can detect water. Magnetism and EMF have been suggested but both make no sense based on physics. The reason why it seems to work in anecdotal cases is because groundwater is known to exist mainly in expansive underwater aquifers. In fact, it’s hard to find a place where you don’t find water underground. See the 3rd link for more info on underground water and dowsing.

  5. Yes, they probably both work (physically) based on the ideomotor effect.

    However, this does not mean that your subconscious is not influenced by information known to you or not known to you (ESP?) that causes your body to respond in a particular direction.


  6. I would argue that ouija boards and dowsing involve similar elements — to be specific, the ideomotor effect (as a few other answerers have mentioned). Interestingly, the term ideomotor effect was originally coined by psychologist William Benjamin Carpenter in the 1850s to explain the workings of ouija boards. Essentially, small, non-conscious muscle movements cause dowsing implements to move in the dowser’s hands, and also cause the planchette to move across the ouija board. Where I part company with skeptics is that I believe that there is evidence that the ideomotor movements in the case of dowsing (I don’t know enough about ouija boards to take a position about them) can come as a result of the impingement of ESP-derived stimuli in the dowser’s subconscious, at least in some instances.

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