What the Ouija Wrought

Creature from the Board


Suzanne Mallette
Date | October 1981, around 3:30 pm
Location | North Bay, Ontario, Canada


It was a Friday in October of 1981, and I (then 13 years old) was walking home from Junior High. We lived in this small Northern city in Ontario. Partway there, I met up with my younger siblings (brother and sister) who got dropped off by the bus at the end of our street. The three of us walked the two blocks down to our house, happy it was the weekend, and we had a few days off to do what we wanted. My siblings ran up to the screened porch and into the house. I was a little slower. I took one step onto our property, and I froze. The hair on my arms stood up, I felt a heaviness in my chest that made breathing difficult.

When I forced my steps, it was like wading through water, so deep that I was panting as I forced the six steps to the porch and inside the house. It never really eased, and I was getting scared. It felt like it had taken a half hour to get inside and towards the kitchen at the back of the house, but it was only seconds. I stopped at the hall closet to put my jacket away, but as I reached for the handle, I snatched my hand back in fear. I recoiled from it and dumped my jacket on my school bag beside the kitchen door. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t touch that handle. I couldn’t open that closet door. It felt wrong. It felt dark. It felt… evil. Since I had stepped onto our property, I’d known something was not right.

I went into the kitchen where my mother was sitting with a cup of coffee. She didn’t notice I was quiet and pale, trembling.

Did you see what I got today? Go look in the closet!” It was Friday, she would be going out with my aunt and uncle to a bar. She usually bribed us with a few trivial things to occupy us on the Fridays she went out.

My brother and sister ran to see what it was. I stayed near the back door. It felt safer near the door. They came back with this box, and my mom took out a Ouija board and planchette. I had no idea what it was, I had never seen one or heard of one before. All I knew was that I couldn’t look at it. I wanted to go as far away from it as I could. I wouldn’t try it out, said I had a headache and went to my room while they played with it.

That night, my two cousins (both girls) were dropped off when my aunt and uncle picked up my mom. The Ouija was back in the closet. One of my cousins was my age. The five of us watched TV, had some snacks, and my sister and younger cousin went into the kitchen to sit at the table. The rest of us decided it would be fun to sneak outside and go around to the back of the house and knock on the windows to scare them. 

It was dark out now, the streetlight was at the corner, and didn’t light up where our house was, we were in the middle of the block. We snuck out the front door and were making our way around the side of the house where the driveway was that led to the garage. The garage was more this big wooden shed with barn-like doors. As we got halfway around, we saw this shadow in front of the garage doors. It was tall, solid black, blacker than the dark around it, and the abnormally long arms were at its sides. It looked partially hunched, ready to lunge. 

We froze. 

It lunged. 

We screamed as we turned and fled, racing for the front of the house. We ran into the screened-in porch and tried the door. It was locked. We pounded, we cried, we begged for others to let us in. We didn’t look back, too terrified to see what could be there. The door opened and we fell inside, one big tangle. 

Scrambling up, we slammed the door shut and locked it, went to all the windows and doors, and locked or shut them, slamming curtains closed, and ran upstairs. The other two laughed at us, not believing us when we told them what we’d seen. They’d overheard us planning to scare them and had locked us out. 

But a knocking at the windows and on the walls downstairs convinced them we had not been pretending. The rattle of the porch door made us huddle together. Even if we would have known which bar our parents had gone to, no one wanted to go downstairs to look up the number and call because the only phone was in the kitchen, on the wall. 

It stopped, as suddenly as it had started. After a while we went downstairs. We sat there, quiet, waiting for our parents to show up, afraid to look outside. Our parents, of course, did not believe us. It was October, they said. People went around scaring others because Halloween was coming. We considered it. Maybe they had been right. We laughed with relief. 

They were wrong.

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