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The Science Behind Our Favorite Scary Games

As Halloween draws nearer, I thought I’d share with all of you an article I found the other day explaining the science of scary games we used to play at sleepovers or just for fun with friends.  It explains six tricks that science played on us in games like “Bloody Mary”, “Light as a Feather, Thick as a Board”, and the use of Ouija boards.  The majority of these explanations surprised me, as I had no idea about some of the mentioned scientific laws that have been proven through experiments.

The one game that I had always argued with my friends about was the Ouija board.  While some of my friends have said that they are afraid of them and that they believe in the spirits that the board claims to summon, or that they think that people cheat at it, I have always maintained that the game plays with the human mind’s subconscious.  For those of you who have never used one, a Ouija board attempts to “contact the dead” through a board with letters and “yes” and “no” written on it.  The players place their fingers on a triangle board piece that has a circle of glass in the center.  Players ask the board questions about their future or the ghost’s life or anything they want really, and then they feel the triangle move to letters that spell out an answer to the question.  Friends who play often accuse the other players of moving the piece but everyone usually claims that they did not.  According to the article, players really aren’t willingly moving it, just like they say.  Instead, their subconscious moves their muscles to the answer that they are thinking of, even though they may not be aware of that thought.  It explains that your body often moves on a sort of auto-pilot, moving without your express permission.

I was excited to see that what I have always thought was correct, and interested in learning the other sciences behind certain games.  I hope some of you were surprised as well, or if not, proven correct in your own assumptions about these games.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 29, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    I like how you have explained the ouija with a scientific approach. I had always wondered how it really works. As far as understanding, I never wanted to play and I really respected that sort of atmosphere. And, even though a lot of people have played it, I thought of it as something that you don’t want to mess with. It makes sense though, the explanation that the article gives about the unconscious self. I think I understand how the unconscious part of our brain works in this situation. It could be related to the saying: “believeing is seeing.” It would be interesting to find a matching article that proves how we can believe in something with such an intense power that we can actually see it. It’s the power of the human mind.

  2. October 30, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I followed the link to the article and I found that the science they discussed was both plausible and easy to comprehend. I am weird, I guess, because I believe in the supernatural, so Ouija boards and the game Bloody Mary were never really on my “to do list.” at parties.

    But putting aside the games. It’s interesting to see how the mind plays tricks on people,like seeing mentally created distortions by staring at objects or your subconscious triggering a muscular reaction to questions. It makes me wonder about other things like, “is deja vu a real occurrence or is it all in your head?” or “Does my subconscious influence how I react to certain stimuli (such as a person’s attitude or a particular situation)?”

    The mind is a crazy thing! It controls everything about our bodies. But whether the Boogie Man is all in our heads is still up in the air, but this article does debunk the myths of the party ghost games and shows just how freaky our minds really are.

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