Saturday, October 10, 2009


     Our fingers rested as lightly as we could on the teardrop shaped message reader as we concentrated our thoughts on the question we posed to the spirits who would answer us.   We sat opposite each other with the Ouija board between us,  one of us looking at it upside down and the other seeing the board spread before us.  Ever so slightly the message reader would start to slide.   As though testing the board or us into our belief that what it would say would be true.   With a sweep of movement the reader began to glide like an ice skater across the board swinging left and then right.  Our hearts would race and our excitement made us giggle nervously to see where the reader would stop as it would begin to spell out the answer.    The clear viewer allowed us to read the letter it would hesitantly hover over till it swooped to the next letter.  We would yell out the letter to whoever was not doing the board and they would write them down on a piece of paper as it spelled out the word or sentence.  It always told, that Ouija Board.

     This was a ritual that my friend Susan, her sister Pam and I would do often after we watched Dark Shadows on their TV many afternoons after school.   I can honestly say I must have spent most every weekday at their house waiting for our favorite show to come on at 3:30 during a time that we were loyal fans.  Susan's mom worked and Pam was in charge of  Susan, her brother David as well as me when I came over.    Pam was as good a friend to me as her sister was.   We loved Dark Shadows!   I think more so on a cloudy dark day, or a rainy one as it heightened our thrill for that half hour it was on.   The moment the show began with the eerie theme song we were glued to the TV.   Barnabas Collins, the Vampire looking to avenge the curse of Angelique for setting a bat on him which created his own personal hell of never dying.   Our crush on Quentin Collins and David Collins who was closer in age to us, the haunting music,  the dark gothic house, secrets, a cast of many that we eagerly felt we knew so well.  Then the music!  I painstakingly wrote the music out on paper of Josette's Theme so I could play it on the piano.  We would pretend try to talk like some of the characters and felt certain that the show was real.   The Ouija Board became our question and answer of what would happen in the next episode.  We put a lot of faith in it.   This became my beginning into the thrill of ghosts, vampires and all that could scare or raise the hair on the back of my neck.  We were quite upset when it went off the air.  The Ouija Board came out of my closet for sleepovers after that but it never felt like the days of Dark Shadows.   The belief in it had faded.

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