Alameda Paranormal Researchers

San Francisco Bay and Beyond


On the Road - Tahoe Ouija Experience

Posted by Sommer on May 6, 2013 at 10:40 AM


This past weekend team APR with the help of guest investigators Ying and Brendan took a trip to Lake Tahoe. There we explored the ghost stories of the Cal Neva resort, the legend of the lake monster "Tessie," and the native legend of "water babies." Our conclusions at this point are that most of these claims and legends are simply stories. The Cal Neva has an incredible history and is a fun location to explore with its underground tunnels and casino. I recommend taking a visit, staying the night, and enjoying the nearby waters of the lake. If you are looking for the ghost of Marilyn Monroe you might want to try another location for that as she seems to be on hiatus from the Cal Neva. The claims at the Cal Neva rely heavily on orb theories and our experiences there did not prove much in terms of paranormal activity. The locations on the property that are orb infested are (not) surprisingly dust infested as well. We are not saying there is a complete lack of paranormal activity; it just didn't seem to be active any of the times we visited. Maybe we are just an unlucky bunch.

Additionally, we had an incredible time talking with the native Paiute people about the legend of Tahoe Tessie and water babies. Most of the people that spoke to us about them essentially said they were made up stories to scare children into being good. I think European cultures have similar stories. Do you remember being afraid of the Boogie man as a kid? Unfortunately, we were not witness to the creatures of either Lake Tahoe or Pyramid Lake but regardless it was a lot of fun trying.

Moreover, to wrap up our weekend in Tahoe we decided to do an experiment proving the Ouija board is nothing but a fuel for paranormal fantasy. It is common for people to sit around the Ouija board trying to communicate with the dead. By placing their hands on a planchette they are often excited by the movements of the marker that is seemingly controlled from the other side. So here are the questions we asked ourselves, first, if the Ouija is really a tool for communicating with the dead then it should work anywhere right? Second, what happens when you deprive the participants of their sight? Third, what happens when you deprive a participant of sight and sound? To prove that the Ouija is not just a tool to feed the flames of the ideomotor effect, (the ideomotor effect refers to the influence of suggestion or expectation on involuntary and unconscious motor behavior) we took away the two things that would provide the involuntary or voluntary (if your partners are untrustworthy) suggestive behavior, in this case, sight and sound. By removing sight from the equation the participants cannot know where to place the marker. My removing sound, the participants cannot hear the question to formulate an answer or know where to place the marker.

Here is the breakdown of our experiment:

1. One person was fully enveloped in the Ganzfeld effect (complete sensory deprivation). They were deprived of sight and sound while touching the marker of the Ouija board.

2. Two people were deprived of sight only while touching the marker so that they could ask the questions during the experiment.

3. Three people observed, monitored, and participated mentally in the experiment but did not touch the marker.

4. Our location has never been known to be haunted. This is our “control “in the experiment. If a place is already haunted how do you know if you brought in your dead Uncle to talk with you? Couldn’t it be another spirit “pretending?” Could it be a demon? Lets remove those unknowns in the equation (as best we can) and start with a blank slate.


Over the course of the evening the marker did not move other than when the participants shifted their bodies after holding their positions for long periods of time. There were no portals to hell opened; there were no strange occurrence’s, just silence and nothingness. Now, some might argue that the spirits were just not ready to speak with us. So for those that swear the Ouija is real, I recommend they conduct similar experiments where sight and sound are removed.

One final question for the believers out there, if the spirits or demons or whoever are controlling the marker then why do you need to even be touching it?

Categories: Tech Talk

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