Peruvian School Closes After Ouija Board Session Summons Spirits
Ouija boards can be pretty divisive – some consider them a toy, while others vehemently believe they can invoke spirits from the other side. But even if you fall within the former belief, some bizarre news out of Peru has locals believing in demonic possession from the use of a Ouija board and a book of black magic at a remote university.
The San José de Saramuro school, a local college in a jungle town three hours outside of Iquitos, shut down after 27 students became hysteric from Ouija spiritism, according to Peruvian news organization RPP Noticias. The occult grimoire was brought into school by one teacher’s daughter for the unexpectedly dark show and tell.
According to reports, teachers heard screams from the classroom before finding students writhing around on the floor, unable to form coherent sentences. Word spread around school that students were possessed by a demonic force. Parents brought their kids to churches until they calmed down and their possession subsided, and the school decided to close its doors for a week.
Now, let’s give these kids the benefit of the doubt, but is there a possibility this may have been a concerted effort to get out of school for a week? Or maybe something along the lines of a senior prank?
This is especially plausible when you consider the fact that a similar event occurred just two years ago at another school in Peru, in a near-identical situation; girl brings Ouija board to school, tries to contact dead spirits thought to be buried in a mass grave below school, mass hysteria ensues, demonic possession blamed.
But in this 2016 case, students reported hallucinations of a “tall man in black with a beard” chasing them and, in some cases, strangling them. In videos aired on a Peruvian news channel, one can see students convulsing, crying, and screaming en masse, as first responders and fellow students try to calm them. According to reports, the school brought in doctors, priests, holy men, and anyone with a modicum of expertise in these situations to quell the chaos, while parents, again, took their children to churches until they calmed down.
And while this too could be the product of collusion amongst a group of teens wanting to play hooky, there is also a paranormal phenomenon in which people report seeing shadow people, or a Black Hat Man, who attempts to strangle them. Could there be a connection?
This same shadowy apparition was reportedly seen in a Malaysian school, shortly after it was the Peruvian incident in 2016. In this case, not only were students privy to sightings of the terrifying entity, but even teachers corroborated their sightings, saying they felt a “heavy” or “supernatural” presence.
Cases like these are often labelled as instances of mass hysteria – a collective behavior in which one person’s hallucinations, real or contrived, can make others believe they are seeing or feeling the same thing without there actually being any physical or real stimulus. This sets off a chain reaction in which some part of our brain makes us go along with the crowd and become panicked without any realistic foundation.
Could this be a case of mass hysteria or is there a supernatural phenomenon at play haunting these students through a Ouija medium?
For more on the spiritism surrounding Ouija boards watch this episode of Beyond Belief with expert Karen A. Dahlman:
Virginia Town Challenges Free Tarot Reading at New Age Store
When Mark Mullins thought to attract customers by offering free tarot readings at his new age store in rural Virginia, the city quickly informed him he was violating zoning laws. Now, Mullins finds himself embroiled in a battle with the city, accusing the council of pandering to religious zealots and impinging on his first amendment right of protected speech.
Mullins and his partner, Jerome VanDyke, own Mountain Magic and Tarot in downtown Richlands, Virginia. A six-year resident of the community, Mullins became interested in tarot as a teenager, saying his love for heavy metal sparked an interest in mysticism and the occult.
“I just wanted to read anything I could find on magic,” Mullins told Gaia in a recent interview. “It was the first thing I became obsessed with and it’s lasted 30 years.”
Mullins and VanDyke are the first openly gay couple to open a business in the rural, and overwhelmingly Christian town, admitting they sometimes face discrimination. But the two don’t seem phased by the occasional bigotry; instead they say local residents take greater issue with misconceptions surrounding the nature of their trade.
Richlands is a small, quiet community in the southwestern corner of the state, with a population of just over 4,000 residents. Prominently displayed on the town’s website is its motto, “The center of a friendly circle.” It touts itself as being one of the most peaceful towns in the state, and promotes its annual “Freedom Festival.”