As the last post was rather self-righteous, this next post is much more easy going. The question was, what interesting videos on ouija boards and the ideomotor effect are there up on youtube?
FIrst off, it seems that youtube has been inundated with amateur-ish videos of people using ouijas and becoming possessed...
Usually the videos are either
A) At a slumber party (ha, of course)
B) At a haunted house
And usually the videos end with someone convulsing on the ground... like this one!
Im sorry if you sat through that whole video expecting something interesting to happen... I'll warn you next time if the video is boring.
For the less acting inclined among us then there is the alternative option of posting a testimonial, where rather then demonstrating how scary oujas are, they simply warn of of their 'powers.' This is a very professional example of one of these testimonials. Note: Its really not worth watching the whole thing.
While entertaining, these types of videos really aren't that informative, and feed the public impression of ouija boards as a comically dangerous tool to contact demons or whatever. While there is nothing wrong with entertainment of this kind, it does distract people from the really remarkable phenomenon of ouija movements, where players actually do trigger unconscious movements and somehow spell out meaningful messages unconsciously, and definitely do make it more difficult to approach ouija boards from a professional and scientific angle.
These videos are only the more coherent examples from a ouija search on youtube, equally often are the seemingly nonsense videos of people mumbling into night vision cameras or drawn out videos of people burning ouija boards. Here is one of the gems that caught my eye looking through the ouija search: apparently ouijas were a topic of pop songs in the 90's???
Well, that was entertaining.
I could go on complaining about the state of youtubes ouija video library, but once one modifies their search to include the term 'ideomotor' the search engine seems to clean up its act quite a bit, and provide more informative clips on what actually causes ouija movements. Here are a couple very well put together videos explaining the ideomotor effect and its role in ouija movements: this and this.
It's good to see that pop culture can be as interested in promoting false ideas as it is in disproving them... In any case the last video does a great job of visually demonstrating Faradays nineteenth century experiment to debunk the ouija game as a medium with spirits. But that was over a century ago and somehow today people still seem steadfast in their beliefs of ouijas as paranormal!
The first video above also broaches on the subject of facilitated communication, which was really a major modern reminder that the ideomotor effect needs to be studied more extensively. Unfortunately this was a lesson we learned only after wasting thousands of dollars in research into the phenomenon which could have easily been debunked by a greater familiarity with the ideomotor effect and deceptive ability to make our own movements seem like someone else's.
There have been several modern champions of research into this effect, and probably the most significant of them would be none other then the famous magician James Randi, who has dedicated a great deal of time and money into disproving deceptive business practices seeking to exploit peoples beliefs in ideomotor movements as paranormal. Randi has appeared on television and the news for his commendable efforts to debunk such expensive services as psychic hotlines and other pseudo-psychology frauds. Randi has focused allot on the practice of dowsing, which is another misunderstood phenomenon which plays on a persons misinterpretation of ideomotor movements. Here are some of his more interesting videos, including a TED talk he gave: this, and this.
Well, if you have stuck to this blog this far then you deserve a commendation! Below is probably the longest video on this blog, and it is a very entertaining segmend done by another pair of magicians seeking to shed some truth onto paranormal trades. Penn and Teller do a great job of investigating ouija boards and explaining the ideomotor effect in an entertaining way. Enjoy!
Well, if you are like me, your eyes and brain are probably exhaused by this much youtube content by now. Below we wrap up this post with some other interesting videos for you to check out if you are still interested in what content is already available on youtube. My favorite find was probably the Whitest Kids You Know skit below. Enjoy and stay tuned for our projects own videos on the ideomotor effect coming up soon!
And of course what blog post on ouija videos would be complete without a segment from the movie which started the modern ouija board craze: this is a segment from the classic movie "The Exorcist" which taught many of the youth in the 70's to fear the ouija game and misunderstand the ideomotor effect.