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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Vaughan, Dr Alan - Experiments with a Ouija board, possessed by Nada



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Patterns of Prophecy – Alan Vaughan

This book started as a compulsion. I had to find out if prophecy was a reality or if I was losing my mind.

The compulsion was triggered by events that began in 1965 when I was a twenty-eight-year-old science editor for a college textbook firm. I was a sceptic about psychic phenomena. I had never been aware of ever having a psychic experience. The scientific facts and theories of my textbooks fit neatly together, a tidy universe of knowledge that did not allow for the unexplainable. But the unexplainable seemed to seek me out.

It began on November 7, 1965, when I was trying out a newly purchased Ouija board to amuse a friend convalescing from an operation. Neither of us knew much about Ouijas except the notion that information spelled out on the board must come from our unconscious.

Or so we thought.

It told us that New York, where we were living, would be flooded in 1973. That seemed ridiculous. Then a radio newscast interrupted with the news that the columnist Dorothy Kilgallen had died of a heart attack. We asked the Ouija if this was true. No, it said, she had died by poison. Ten days later it was revealed by the newspapers that she had indeed died of poisoning-a combination of alcohol and barbiturates.

At that point I became fascinated with the possibilities offered by the Oujia and began experimenting with it with a number of friends. "Spirits" began to appear on the board.

One, who called him- self "Z," answered our questions accurately and with a peculiarly old-fashioned vocabulary.   Later, I began to experiment alone with the Oujia and soon found myself "possessed" by a rather neurotic personality who called herself "Nada."

"She" said on the board that she had lived in Nantucket and had a daughter, living, named Caxton (which I presumed was a married surname). But then, both to my fascination and fear, "Nada" got inside my head. I could hear her voice repeating the same phrases over and over again. "She" seemed to be jealous that I was living while she was only a "spirit."

I took my Ouija to visit a friend to investigate further what was happening. I felt the presence of "Z" and across the room my friend announced that the pointer was starting to move. It went to "Z" and then spelled out a message:

"Awful consequences-possession."

At that point I became alarmed, for it had not occurred to me that having a strange voice in one's head was tantamount to possession.

We went then to see another friend to work the board in hopes of finding out how I could become "dispossessed."

The board spelled out only gibberish, and I became increasingly frustrated. Suddenly, in addition to "Nada" in my head, I felt again the presence of "Z," who made me write out a message by hand:

"Each of us has a spirit while living. Do not meddle with the spirits of the dead."

As I wrote out this message, I began to feel an energy rising up within my body and entering my brain. It pushed out both "Nada" and "Z."

My friends noted that my face, which had been white and pinched, suddenly flooded with colour. I felt a tremendous sense of elation and physical well- being. The energy grew stronger and seemed to extend beyond my body. My mind seemed to race in some extended dimension that knew no confines of time or space. For the first time, I began to sense what was going on in other people's minds and-to my astonishment-I began to sense the future through some kind of extended awareness.

My first act in this strange but exciting state was to throw the Ouija board down an incinerator chute. Thus ended my investigation of the Ouija. The immediate effect of that whole bizarre experience was the most extreme fright I had ever felt in my life.

The source of the experience

Vaughan, Dr Alan

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Ouija board

Activities and commonsteps



Inherited genes