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(LifeSiteNews) — The New York Post published on Wednesday an article titled “How to use a Ouija board — your guide to communing with the dead safely this Halloween,” raising concerns that dangerous contact with preternatural forces could be encouraged.

While Ouija boards are purportedly designed to communicate with the dead, exorcists have warned that using them opens the door to communication with evil spirits.

Kyle Clement, a case facilitator and administrator for Fr. Chad Ripperger, an exorcist who has worked with him during solemn sessions of exorcism, explained to LifeSiteNews how Ouija board use can open the door to diabolical influence and even possession.

“We often want to say things modernly like ‘dabbling’ in witchcraft or ‘dabbling’ in the occult. One doesn’t dabble with a Ouija board, or for that matter any inanimate object that is used as a planchette or a medium of communication with the diabolical. It offers a method to go from zero to 60, if you will,” Clement said. 

The exorcist’s assistant went on to share that he and Fr. Ripperger have seen “multiple cases of possession where a Ouija board was a primary factor as a method of contact.”

“Inviting a spirit to animate [a] planchette through your hands” is a “pretty significant vulnerability or opening for the diabolical to exploit,” Clement shared.

Asked by LifeSiteNews whether possession or diabolical influence can affect a Ouija board user even if they don’t intend to communicate with demons, Clement explained that “there is no human activity where the consequences are mitigated by the intent.”

“That’s a general principle. It applies to everything from trying to talk your way out of a speeding ticket to when you burn or ruin a dinner … intent is independent of the consequences,” Clement said. 

“There are things that have spiritual consequences that are dire, and this is one of them. And so one’s innocence or naivete … is not important here,” he added.

Clement further explained that those who respond with positive curiosity while using a Ouija board are generally susceptible to diabolical influence.

“People will have one of two reactions when they deal with a Ouija board,” Clement said. They will either be “repulsed” and frightened by it, or they will be drawn to through curiosity or the desire for occult knowledge. 

The person who is attracted to the board’s effects “is very susceptible to working their way up through [diabolical] obsession, and through habituation they will become possessed,” Clement shared, clarifying that people can experience degrees of diabolical influence that increase in severity from oppression to obsession to possession.

However, only one use of the Ouija board “will allow the demon to be present to the person in a very intimate way.”

The Post article’s idea that Ouija boards need to be used “safely” suggests the author understands there is a potential danger in attempting necromancy.

Reda Wigle noted that over 68% of Americans believe the boards “possess supernatural abilities,” with a third of respondents saying they would never attempt to play. A quarter of those who have played say they would avoid doing so in the future.

Earlier this year, nearly 30 children in Colombia were taken to the hospital for “anxiety” after playing with Ouija boards at school.

Clement said that these reports are consistent with those regarding an incident in San Antonio, Texas a few years ago, when several schoolchildren began to play a game called “Charlie, Charlie,” in which a No. 2 pencil was placed on a piece of paper, and several of the children put their hands on pencil as it drew certain images. 

“And so, the pencil being the planchette here, the inanimate object is animated through the desire to contact a spirit,” Clement explained.

“The anxiety is a secondary effect of having come into contact with the diabolical. Depending on what the psychological or spiritual state of the child is, the demon may or may not have an effect on the child,” he said.

The response to the New York Post article has been overwhelmingly negative, with many commenters warning that the use of Ouija boards is dangerous and some advising that there is “no safe way” to play with it.

Ouija boards are considered a form of “divination,” something explicitly forbidden in Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Clement told LifeSiteNews that the seeking of occult knowledge and communication with the dead is not only “strictly prohibited” but is de facto a mortal sin, meaning it is grave matter by its nature. 

The New York Post is known as a “conservative” tabloid news outlet and is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.