History of Ouija, Haunted Houses, Ode to Diners, New 'Classic' Books & More: Endnotes 28 October

History of Ouija, Haunted Houses, Ode to Diners, New 'Classic' Books & More: Endnotes 28 October

Friday, 28 October, 2022

Every Friday, we celebrate the weekend — and all the reading and relaxing and daydreaming time ahead — with Melissa's favorite book- and travel-related links of the week. Why work when you can read fun stuff?!

This post is part of our Endnotes series.

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If you went to a slumber party as a teenager, odds are good that sometime during the night, you gathered around a ouija board to scare the (pajama) pants off each other. Also known as a spirit board or talking board, the ouija was introduced in 1891 in a toy shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dubbed ‘Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,’ it promised to answer questions ‘about the past, present, and future with marvelous accuracy.’ It had been ‘proven’ to work at the US Patent Office (patent number A63F9/181) and sold for just $1.50. Now you can buy a ‘classic’ cardboard ouija on Amazon for about $20 — or treat yourself to a handmade wooden board from a crafter on Etsy. Smithsonian magazine delved into the history of spirit boards, movies like 1973’s The Exorcist and Paranormal Activity (2009) pivot around a ouija board, and Sylvia Plath wrote a poem about them. (We also love the novel The Harrowing that tells the tale of a genuinely creepy Thanksgiving fueled by a ouija board.) Want to live vicariously through bolder, braver souls? The Indiana State University Folklore Archives pulled together accounts of spooky experiences with the ouija board, including steps from one Miss Stephanie B. Martin on how to get started and what NOT to do.

 

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New Episode of The Library of Lost Time

In each mini-podcast episode, we discuss two books at the top of our TBR, then share a fun book- or travel-related distraction. Get all the episodes and books galore here.

 photo of golden retriever sitting on a tree stump with a white title that reads crowdsourced emotional spoilers for movies, tv, books and more
Photo courtesy of Jamie Street/Unsplash.

In this episode, we get excited about two new books: Revenge of the Librarians by Tom Gauld and The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy by Moiya McTier. Then Dave talks about a website that provides ‘emotional spoilers’ for movies and TV. [transcript]

 

May all the candy bars in your trick-or-treat bag be full-sized.

Top image courtesy of Holly Ward/Unsplash.

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Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got a new Swedish audio thriller, an endless magical bookshop, great cities for architecture, Women Who Travel podcast, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got women in travel history, bookish bird art, a papercraft class, Scottish Storytelling Festival, great book podcasts, and more.
Every Friday, we share our favorite book- and travel-related links. This week, we've got Native American cuisine, Tom Gauld's library cartoons, Rod McKuen poetry, secret bookcase stairs, 1950s nostalgia, and more.

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