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November 21st 1939
The Baltimore News-Post
THE passing of Isaac Fuld, the man who popularized the Ouija board, recalls the amazing vogue of that device.
Only a few years back the Ouija figured prominently in a murder case.
The Ouija board was invented by Isaac Fuld and his brother, William. The latter told me ten years ago that he and his brother, Isaac, had been playing with the board for years before they decided to patent it and place it on the market.
Just about the time of the World War of 25 years ago, the Ouija board attained a wonderful popularity. The brothers built a factory in East Baltimore, which is still operated as a toy manufactory, and both became independently wealthy.
The Ouija board craze swept from one end of the country to the other and back again. In ten years, it is said, three million boards were sold. The Ouija board in the hands of a skilled operator, is a device which answers questions. William Fuld, a devout Presbyterian, always ridiculed the idea of anything supernatural about the board, but thousands of persons believed — and some of them still do — that the Ouija board had occult powers.
In 1933 Ernest J. Turley, a retired naval officer, died in California from gunshot wounds alleged to have been inflicted by his daughter. The daughter testified in court that she had been told by the Ouija board to kill her father. The girl’s mother, who was operating the Ouija board at the time, was convicted and served two years in prison.
I recall another story from Buffalo, N. Y., in 1930, which told that an Indian woman had used a Ouija board to incite an aged Indian to kill his wife.
As an ex-Ouija board fan, I can testify that it helped a lot to enliven a party before the gin invasion of the home.