It's like the Ouija board made by Hasbro, but updated for the 21st century A.D. Because those who died in the 20th and 21st centuries are likely to be familiar with typewriters and computer keyboards, I arranged the letters and numbers in QWERTY, as they would appear on such a keyboard. (Joanna Ryde agrees, as does webcomic artist Dave McElfatrick.) Yes and No now overlap the Y and N spaces, which are colored Green or Red. And the GOOD-BYE space is close to where Escape would be on a PC keyboard.
If you don't have a talking board handy, but you do have a PC, use its mouse as the planchette. Place the mouse on a wooden table, open the computer's on-screen keyboard, and have two to three participants place a hand on a side of the mouse. The participants look at the monitor because the spirit sees through their eyes. The spirit will cause the participants to move the mouse pointer to a letter; when it stops, click. You don't even need to click if you're using an on-screen keyboard that supports hover-click.
But this doesn't actually work. Once someone dies, his thoughts cease, and his spirit goes out in the same way a flame goes out. Any message produced with a talking board like this is probably an ideomotor movement from one of the participants, as a Cracked article explains, though it cites a Penn and Teller exposé that mucked up the experiment by introducing a blindfold. (Compare another spirit sighting that turned out to be a camera strap.) But in a few cases, it might be from a demon impersonating a deceased person.
- Dave McElfatrick. "#3877". Cyanide & Happiness, 2015-03-27. Accessed 2016-05-17.
- Paul K Pickett and M. Asher Cantrell. "6 Scary Tricks That Amazed Us as Kids (Explained by Science)". Cracked. 2011-10-26. Accessed 2012-03-13.
- "Just Point And Spook". Not Always Right, July 2012. Accessed 2012-08-04.