23 min read

1920s Ouijamania (Ouija Boards Part 7)

1920s Ouijamania (Ouija Boards Part 7)

We take a look at “Ouijamania” in the 1920s, relating the panic over Ouija boards to big movements in the year 1920, including womens suffrage, prohibition, and, unfortunately, eugenics.

Ouijamania is the phenomenon where people, usually women, supposedly went crazy because of their Ouija board use, usually resulting in their institutionalization.

Highlights include:
• Occult rituals
• 1920s insane asylums
• Burning money
• The dark side of 1920s feminism

 

Episode Script for 1920s Ouijamania (Ouija Boards Part 7)

DISCLAIMER: I’m providing this version of the script for accessibility purposes. It hasn’t been proofread, so please excuse typos. There are also some things that may differ between the final episode and this draft script. Please treat the episode audio as the final product. 

“Idleness is the sole reason for the existence of this craze. Idle women are the devil’s own specialty. When he contrived the ouija board he certainly knew his business.”

-From an article called “Dementia Ouija,” written by a doctor and published in The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Oct 14, 1920

 

  • Sidenote, I’m now at the point where I’m mostly trying to draw from either primary sources, or resources created by experts like Robert Murch, because MANY articles written by non-expert journalists are riddled with errors. I’m not going to go into it, but I was reading an article from a publication that I don’t particularly like, and probably every few paragraphs there was a glaring error.
  • We’re finally at the Ouijamania episode!! Today, we’ll be looking at Ouijamania stories from 1920 only, with a focus on women and sexism and the Ouija board. There are an unbelievable number of articles about the Ouija board from 1920 alone, which is why we’re focusing on this year.
  • Also, I just want to note that this episode has some discussion of eugenics.
  • I’ve been talking about Ouijamania, but I wanted to actually define it. As far as I can tell, Ouijamania is the phenomenon where people, usually women, go crazy because of their Ouija board use, usually resulting in institutionalization.
  • I found a bunch of articles talking about ouija boards driving women insane.
  • One EXTREMELY OBVIOUS thing that I didn’t really think about until I was basically finishing up my research for this episode is that there was a big, major thing that happened in 1920 that I think informs everything we’re about to talk about here.
  • Do you have any guesses?
  • So we talked a lot about the impact of World War I on ouija. WWI also had some big societal impacts, including forcing women to step up and basically run things while the men were away at war.
  • So women’s suffrage became a huge issue in many countries, some of which allowed women to vote as a recognition of their sacrifices during the war. The US was one of those countries.
  • In May 1919, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution,  which would grant women the right to vote, was passed by the house. And then it had to be ratified by 36 state legislatures before it would actually be law.
  • For the next year, the amendment went through a ratification process in individual states. By March 1920, 35 states had ratified the amendment, but it wasn’t until August 1920 that  Tennessee ratified the amendment, officially making women’s suffrage the law of the land.
  • It was ratified just in time for women to vote for the first time in the 1920 presidential election.
  • So I can only imagine how heated this debate was for the year and change while the individual states were fighting over whether they should ratify.
  • I think you’re really going to see that underpinning these articles; I ended up reading so many that sympathize with husbands whose wives have just gone crazy because of ouija. But what does crazy mean in this context? They rarely go into detail, and I’m sure that the push for more rights for women must have changed some household interactions. So is it that people think their wives have been seduced by Satan through the Ouija board, or do they just think have anxiety about women becoming harder to control as the battle rages for their right to vote?

 

So I wanted to talk a little about what it was like to be in insane asylum in 1920, and a little bit about insane asylums and women:

  • I think that most people know that in the 19th century, unruly women–wives and daughters who weren’t obedient to their husbands and fathers–were often institutionalized. Women who violated gender norms were also often declared insane.
    • I’ve also read that it as easier to get divorced if you had your wife declared insane.
  • With the prohibition of alcohol, speakeasies were popular in the 1920s, and alcoholism actually increased among women. Kinda ironic.
    • Because people didn’t know what to do with female alcoholics, they institutionalized them. And apparently the State Lunacy Commission in California committed tons of women, whether or not their was any kind of solid evidence of them having actual mental health issues. 
  • From what I’ve read, the 1920s were kinda the edge of a turning point for psychiatric care.
    • Asylums were still very bad, but a lot of “scientific advances” started happening around the 1920s. So, you know doctors were finding new ways to torture and degrade their patients.
  • There’s a really good reddit thread mental health treatment in the 1920s that I’ve linked in the shownotes, and a lot of this info is coming from that.
    • In the US in the 1920s, the state hospital system was still pretty new and there were no national standards for treatment.
      • In California, it sounds like care varied greatly between state hospitals; a redditor describes the hospitals as “fiefdoms” that were totally controlled by the director, which didn’t change until the 1950s.
      • Between 1909 and the early 1950s, the state of California sterilized over 20,000 people in government institutions. This was part of a huge eugenics movement that was popular in the early 20th century, which we’ll talk about later.
      •  There was one hospital where people were sterilized because the director of the hospital though that sterilization cured mental illness. There was another hospital where people were sterilized because the director was a eugenicist. There was another state hospital where the director used hydrotherapy and psychoanalysis, because he was a fan of Freud.
    • One popular 1920s psychiatric treatment was fever therapy.
      • Viennese psychiatrist Julius Wagner-Jauregg found that his patients had improved mental health after getting sick with things like tuberculosis.
      • He felt that high fevers were causing that recovery, so when a soldier who’d gotten malaria during WWI came into his care for shell shock, Dr. Wagner-Jauregg got access to malaria and started infecting his patients with it.
      • The first study was in 1917, and for some reason people seemed to think was a success. 9 patients were given malaria, and six of them recovered enough to get back to work, though four of the six later had relapses.
      • Throughout the 1920s, fever therapy gained a lot of popularity, and though fever therapy had been invented to treat a type of mental illness caused by advanced syphilis, doctors started using it for other mental health issues too.
      • Wagner-Jauregg got the Nobel Prize in 1927. However, by the 1930s, enough patients were dying of malaria (2-13%), that hospitals started to think of other options, like fever therapy machines to heat up patients. Fever therapy was used until around 1940.
    • Some treatments that weren’t yet in use in the 1920s were electroshock, insulin shock, or lobotomy, though they were all used starting in the 1930s.
    • I read that apparently conditions in asylums were especially brutal for schizophrenic patients, and we know that some of the people with “ouijamania” were sent to asylums for schizophrenia.

 

“Ouija Craze Has Struck Wichita. Mystic Boards and Works on Psychic World Are Much Sought in City.” The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) · Sun, Jan 4, 1920 · Page 32

  • The article begins:
    • Ranging from the typical flapper to the most profound scientist are those persons who are quickening the interest in the psychic, which has been sweeping Wichita for several months. This information is revealed through the sale of ouija boards and books on spiritism. Sales have increased immeasurably.
  • They talk to the buyer for a local store who says that it was very popular in the Christmas season, and that sales had increased by several hundred percent in the last few months. So this is interesting to me, this idea that it was a fad during the 1919 Christmas season that continued on through the new year.
  • This reminds me a bit of an 1892 article that we looked at a few weeks ago, which bemoaned how Ouija was supposed to just be a Christmas craze in 1891, the first year it was released, but its popularity had continued through to when that article was published in July.
  • To read a bit more from this January 1920 article:
    • The loss of relatives in the war has moved many to seek to get messages from them, another buyer says.
  • The article also mentions how both men and women have been turning to the Ouija board for information, which many people seemed to take as truth.

 

Ouija Boards All the Rage in Akron Thousands Bought. Akron Evening Times (Akron, Ohio) · Sun, Feb 15, 1920 · Page 35

  • This article begins:
    • “You’d better be pretty careful,” gloomed the clerk, “what you say about ouija boards, because everybody buys them now, and they don’t all by them in order to poke fun at them either”
  • The article goes on to say that the clerk works at a store where thousands of ouija boards have been sold from. It references how one local store sold 288 boards in 2 weeks, and mentions that many stores in town are totally sold out. It also remarks that people buy the boards year round, not just at Christmas, which is something many articles mention.
  • The article is very scornful of people buying ouija boards, saying:
    • Ouija is classed as a game for sick people to while away their time with as they would with solitaire. It is regarded by same as a real means of getting in touch with “spirits” and again as one of the laughable frauds to be tolerated until the fad dies away.

 

“Kiss Ouija Goodbye or Become a Moron: Dr. Hickson is Ready for All Who Trust in Board and Spirits, Are Primarily Praecox.” Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) · Thu, Feb 12, 1920 · Page 3

  • For anyone wondering, “praecox” refers to an old medical diagnosis called “dementia praecox.”  The term’s since been replaced with “schizophrenia.”
  • I think a lot of people know this, but “moron” is an old medical term for people with “mild intellectual disabilities.”
    • It’s a word that came from the eugenics movement, which happened to be a popular social movement in the 1920s.
    • Most people probably know what eugenics mean, but I wanted to give a quick definition just in case: Basically, eugenics is a ideology that says that some people are inferior and should be removed from the genetics of the human population. And, of course, some people are considered superior. It’s strongly associated with white supremacy.
    • And in 1927, a Supreme Court case called Buck v. Bell ruled that it was legal for states to permit compulsory sterilization of those who were deemed “unfit,” for the supposed protection and health of the state. Many states had eugenics laws, starting in the very beginning of the 20th century, and fading in popularity by the 1960s. The Supreme Court has never overturned this eugenicist ruling. So think about that, anyone worshipping the Supreme Court.
    • The ruling kicked eugenics in the US into full gear. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail here, but basically, it was a racist and ableist movement that the Nazis used as inspiration for their own much more famous eugenics programs during WWII, such as their mass murder and mass sterilization programs. The Nazis specifically admired California’s eugenics program as a success story and an inspiration for them when they set up their own sterilization programs. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors cited Buck v. Bell in their defense. They  said that there wasn’t much difference between the US eugenics program and the Nazi program.
    • So just as we talked about the rise of the KKK in the 1920s, other racist ideas like eugenics were very popular, and in eugenics case, strongly advocated for by many scientists.
    • I know that I probably come off as fairly anti-science at times, but I think that things like eugenics and other disproven sciences remind us that science is often tied to ideology,  and the ideologies of people in power are often tied to hurting marginalized people and consolidating wealth and power among the elite.
    • Also, one more thing I wanted to mention, eugenic feminism was a thing in the United States. As in, there was a movement of suffragists in the US (and Canada) who advocated for eugenics. The eugenic feminism movement lasted from around the 1890s-1930s.
      • To quote from wikipedia, eugenic feminists:
        • Argued that if women were provided with more rights and equality, the deteriorating characteristics of a race could be avoided. Feminists desired gender equality, and pushed for eugenic law and science to compromise and meet their views in order to breed a superior race.
      • You know, the idea was basically that women were too important to the reproductive process not to include in the fight for better . . . Racial hygiene, mental hygiene, etc.
      • This was a thing in the UK as well, where, a woman named Marie Stopes founded the first birth control center in 1921. Stopes was an ardent eugenicist who sent a book of her poetry called “Love Songs for Young Lovers” to Hitler in 1939, along with a fawning letter saying that she hopes he enjoys the poetry. Literally, the letter opens “Herr Hitler, love is the greatest thing in the world.”
      • And in the US, there was Margaret Sanger, a famous birth control advocate and sex educator who opened the first birth control center in the US, which went on to become Planned Parenthood.
        • She was also pro-eugenics, and she seemed to toe a line where she didn’t say a lot of racist stuff herself, but she looked the other way when the work of racists supported her goals.
        •  She gave a speech in 1921 called “The Morality of Birth Control” where she said that there are “educated and informed people” and “irresponsible and reckless people.” Of the reckless group, she said, and this is unfortunately a quote: “There is no doubt in the minds of all thinking people that the procreation of this group should be stopped.”
        • So many of the articles about ouija from this period sound so much like how eugenicists talked about people, saying that those who are interested in ouija boards are weak-minded, mentally ill, not intelligent, etc. And sometimes the articles talk wonderingly about why the best sort of people seem to be into ouija boards too.
      • I guess that many white, feminist, female authors in the early twentieth century  were strongly pro-eugenic. Those include Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the author of a famous short story called “The Yellow Wallpaper.”
        • She also wrote a number of eugenicist novels and said a lot of horrible things, some of which I considered quoting here, but decided against. But just know that she was extremely racist, in particular, she was very anti-black. Though she also didn’t like immigrants.
      • So I’m obviously pro-birth control and reproductive rights, and I want to be able to feel good about early women writers and early feminists.
        • But I’m bringing up eugenic feminism because it’s a fusion of so many of the things we’re looking at today: women can be both victims and villains, and bad people can sometimes create good legacies, like Sanger’s legacy of accessible birth control, etc.
        • What I don’t want to do today is paint some kind of story where women, especially white women–and let’s be honest, probably most if not all of the women these articles about ouijamania talk about are likely white–look like a group of uniformly flawless people.
        • History is complicated and thorny and at times, extremely unpleasant.
        • And to be honest, there’s been a big resurgence in eugenics over the last few decades years. I don’t really want to go into it, but I do think it’s important to be aware of the evils in history, especially so you can more easily recognize evil in our own time.
    • And I know I’ve said this a few times, but I’m holding back a lot of information because of how unimaginably awful the history of eugenics in America is. But my sources are linked on buriedsecretspodcast.com so if you do want to know more, they’re a place to start.
  • So to get into the article about ouija making people into “morons.” It starts, like many other articles from the 1920s, with a sentence that makes no sense to me:
    • “You’d better tie a can to your ouija board and kiss your favorite spirit control good-by–unless you want to end up in the psychopathic laboratory struggling desperately to pass the moron test.”
  • What does it mean to tie a can to your ouija board? Idk.
  • But the article features a Dr. Hickson, who’s supposedly the leading psychopatologist in the US. He tells the reporter:
    • “We’ve been getting dozens of spiritualists in here, as well as ouija board fans and séance habitues. They are, of course, praecox cases to begin with before they go in for listening to the ghost rattle the tamboirine and watching him spell out the messages from the other world on the ouija board. If they weren’t they wouldn’t go in for such imbecilities.”
  • Sidenote, “imbecile” is another eugenicist term; it’s the word for someone with an IQ between a “moron” IQ and a “idiot” IQ.
  • The doctor goes on to say a lot of awful things about his patients. And the article closes with:
    • According to the general estimate hundreds of Chicagoans are daily losing their rationality if not their reason over the ouija board and spook craze.
  • So to me, I feel like this article is about dehumanizing people with mental health problems, and demonizing and discrediting Spiritualists and everyone else who gets lumped into them (like housewives who play with Ouija boards, for examples).

 

I found an article called “Ouijamania stirs inhabitants of El Cerrito.” Pasadena Evening Post (Pasadena, California) · Fri, Mar 5, 1920 · Page 6

  • In March, things started to get a little weird in the Bay Area suburb of El Cerrito:
    • “Ouijamania” has frightened the town of El Cerrito to the point where the finger of suspicion is being pointed at every one of its 1200 inhabitants.
    • Following a meeting in the town hall last night, plans were laid whereby alienists will examine whether “ouijamania” has affected their minds.
    • The ouija board will be barred as pernicious.
    • These developments followed the arrest of seven persons and the finding of a sanity inquiriy that four of them were insane. It was established that the ouija board’s mystic influence had tainted the minds of four women. The men were released. The women were committed to insane asylums.
    • At the hearing the mere mention of the Ouija board set the women to talking wildly.
  • This article just hints at what supposedly happened, but I found a report from May 1920 that elaborates more:

 

“Ouija Driving Women Mad: New Mania Due to Occult Overindulgence Claims Many Victims.” The Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) · Sun, May 16, 1920 · Page 22

  • Quote:

○ Town authorities have given instructions for a general probe by specialists of what amounts to an epidemic of weird psychic parties.

  • According to the newspaper, four women were arrested and put into the state hospital. The article claims that “police had broken in barred doors, found the occupants in a state of trance and gibbering about dictates from the “unseen” which they had followed out through strange rites. Day and night the women had hovered over the Ouija board. On two occasions, at least, twenty-four hour sittings had been held.”
  • Apparently, five children were found in the home (the youngest were two years old); their heads had been shaved to “drive away evil spirits.” Neighbors claimed that their children had been lured into the house.
  • To read a little more from the article:

○ Adeline Battini, a handsome girl of 15, seemed to have acted as high priestess in the spiritual orgies. It was she who profressed to have received most of the messages after she had introduced the Ouija to her family and friends. When the officers arrived and sought entrance, they were told that a “passion play” was in progress, and that the dead husband of one of the women was present and would kill any intruder. . . . Over $700 in bills had been burned . . . To appease the malicious spirits, and for the same reason most of the women’s clothing has been destroyed.

  • So for reference, $700 in 1920 is almost $9,000 today.
  • So the article continues:

○ Following these arrests, other cases quickly came to light. The Ouija and Planchette boards, twin implements in the recently greatly accelerated movement to penetrate the beyond, have sold in great number in El Cerrito. As in other American communities so took its ‘messages’ in a spirit of fun, but an unusual number accepted them seriously. They featured the backyard and parlor gossip of the town, especially among Italians.

  • Then it talks about how a cop in Oakland had been sent to the hospital with Ouijamania.
  • It also had a quote from the California Lunacy commission:

○ “We have had many commitments to state asylums during the past few months on account of the Ouija board. These persons who have been adjudged insane by the commission might have shown insanity by other means, but the Ouija board at present occupies a prime place in demonstrating insanity.

○ “It is a fact that since the war the people generally have gone into spiritualistic things and certain individuals have become demented on this account.”

  • Hey, do we think that people became demented because of the Ouija board, or because of the extremely traumatic war and then the epidemic that had followed?
    • I read in a different article that the husband and daughter of one of the women had been killed a few weeks before in a car accident, and they’d started using the ouija board because she wanted to talk to them
  • This case is really interesting to me, because it makes me think of the 1980s Satanic Panic, which also involved weird rituals with young children, but which of course was completely made up. It makes me wonder how much of this was made up.

 

 

  •  An article in the San Francisco Examiner called “Ouija Board Burned; Victims in Asylums,” talks about the case of the women in El Cerrito.  The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Sat, Mar 6, 1920 · Page 13
  • It says that the ouija board has been burned by a man named Carlo Soldavini. It turns out that the women involved in that case had been his wife, her mother and sister, and niece.
  • All of the women were committed to asylums, though the men who’d been involved–Carlo Soldavini and Luigi and Vico Ferraro–were all released.
  • Two of the women were committed to Stockton, one of the hospitals that apparently sterilized all people of childbearing age upon their release, and then two of the women were committed to Napa Hospital, which apparently sterilized about one patient per week.
  • To quote from the article:
    • The State Hospital authorities diagnose their cases as hysteria and say they will eventually recover.

 

 

On Mar 16, 1920, the Santa Ana Register publishes an article called “Plans to Stop Ouija Board Sales Here” elaborates on the actions that the government is taking in response to this story.

  • It begins:
    • Discovery of many cases of “ouijamania” in the town of EL Cerrito near here, may result in barring the ouija board from the entire state of California.
    • State Senator Will R. Sharkey has announced he will sponsor a bill in the next session of the legislature to prohibit sale of ouija boards in the state, just as many states prohibit punch boards.
  • And I know you’re wondering: what’s a punch board?
    • It’s basically a single-use game board that was used for gambling.
    • They were kind of like lottery tickets. (They sound kinda like scratch-off lottery tickets to me.)
    • Apparently between 1910 and 1915, about 30 million punchboards were sold, though during punchboards’ peak in 1939, 50 million were sold. So they were very popular, but their popularity declined after WWII.
  • So, back to the ouijamania article: Senator Sharkey said that the ouija board craze was “as bad as the drug habit. The state legislatures or congress should act before the craze becomes worse. The bets thing to do would be to step in and prohibit the sale of ouija boards altogether.”
  • This senator was the publisher of a local newspaper, the Martinez Standard, and had a lot to say about the extreme case in El Cerrito:
    • “These women offered up $700 in currency as a sacrifice to the evil spirits of the ouija board. . . They burned this money, together with curls clipped from the heads of children who had been enticed into their house.”
  • There’s this part of me that wonders if he’s more offended by the burned money than the allegedly kidnapped children.

The Santa Ana Register ran another article called “Is Santa Ana a Devotee of the Ouija Board?”

  • This article appears above the fold on the front page.
  • It talks about how 500-600 ouija boards had been sold by local stores over the past 6-8 months, and one local store has been selling 3-4 boards a day for months.
  • And on top of that, the library, was getting tons of requests for books about spiritualism and psychic communication.
  • It mentions the previous Ouija board craze, which it claims was about 14 years before, though it seemed to me that it was a little earlier than that. But at any rate, it credits the war with starting
  • It mentions how some people buy the boards thinking they may be real ways to communicate with the departed, and others buy it as a fun game.
  • They quote a local merchant who says:
    • “Nearly everybody who buys a ouija board . . . Says that it is ‘just for the fun of it,’ but most of them say it with just about the same air that a dad uses in saying he went to the circus to take the kids. Occasionally some one buys and says that it is for the purpose of investigation, and occasionally some one expressed great faith in it.”
  • But he also hastens to say:
    • “The very best people in the country [are buying it] . . . The buyers are not the poorly educated people of the city at all.”
  • There was also a fun bit of the article that talked about how to say Ouija:
    • The ouija board, according to the dictionary, is a form of the planchette, and the orthodox way to pronounce the word is “wee-ja.” There are experts in its use, however, who call it the weejer, and even the wee-jee.
  • The article continues on the next page, where it’s accompanied by the one about banning the board, which we talked about, and one called “Highly Dangerous as well as very interesting.” It’s a really weird article because it’s basically just a plagiarized reprint of an editorial in the SF chronicle. But to read the opening, which is my favorite bit.
    • The study of radium is interesting, but highly dangerous to anyone not scientifically equipped for that pursuit. So, too, is the study of psychics. Fortunately, the cost of radium prevents the ignorant from fooling with it. But unfortunately anyone can buy a ouija board.

 

Sources consulted in researching 1920s Ouijamania

Websites consulted RE: 1920s Ouijamania

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lady
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aftermath_of_World_War_I#Germany
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation_in_the_Weimar_Republic
  • https://mashable.com/2016/07/27/german-hyperinflation/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dementia_praecox
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moron_(psychology)
  • https://www.nature.com/scitable/forums/genetics-generation/america-s-hidden-history-the-eugenics-movement-123919444/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbecile
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_of_Endor
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punchboard
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_suffrage_in_the_United_States
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_suffrage_in_the_United_States#Nineteenth_Amendment
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition_in_the_United_States#Start_of_national_prohibition_(January_1920)
  • https://thehill.com/changing-america/enrichment/arts-culture/471058-why-ouija-boards-creep-us-out
  • https://williamfuld.com/ouija_letters_05081920.html
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/1s3w3w/im_a_patient_at_a_psychiatric_institution_in_the/
  • https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/19th-and-20th-century-psychiatry-22-rare-photos/21/
  • https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.08081271
  • https://www.sciencefriday.com/articles/from-fever-cure-to-coma-therapy-psychiatric-treatments-through-time/
  • http://alexwellerstein.com/publications/?pdf=wellerstein_statesofeugenics.pdf
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenic_feminism
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/11/rockhaven-sanitarium-womens-mental-health/417264/
  • https://www.ibtimes.com/marie-stopes-womens-rights-activist-or-nazi-eugenicist-848457
  • http://dangerouswomenproject.org/2017/02/28/eugenics-and-feminism/
  • https://www-jstor-org.i.ezproxy.nypl.org/stable/30041957?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Sanger#Eugenics
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_sleep_therapy
  • https://www.bustle.com/p/women-who-defied-gender-roles-were-once-imprisoned-in-asylums-55320
  • https://comstockhousehistory.blogspot.com/2008/11/sonoma-county-and-eugenics.html
  • https://comstockhousehistory.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-asylums-next-door.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_culture_in_San_Francisco#20th_century
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_discharge
  • https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/in-the-early-20th-century-america-was-awash-in-incredible-queer-nightlife

Historical articles and advertisements RE: 1920s Ouijamania

  • “Blames Ouija Board and Bridge for Insanity Among Women.” Santa Ana Register (Santa Ana, California) · Fri, Oct 29, 1920 · Page 12
  • “Committed to Warm Springs.” The Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) · Sat, Apr 3, 1920 · Page 5
  • “Health Talks by William Brady, M.D., Noted Physician and Author. Dementia Ouija.” The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Indiana) · Thu, Oct 14, 1920 · Page 4
  • “Do the Dead Communicate With the Living?” The Journal (Logan, Utah) · Tue, Mar 30, 1920 · Page 6
  • “Doctor Tells Ouija Board Secret Works.” Escanaba Morning Press (Escanaba, Michigan) · Wed, Jun 23, 1920 · Page 2
  • “Give these Ghosts a Job.” The Salina Evening Journal (Salina, Kansas) · Tue, Mar 23, 1920 · Page 8
  • “Hats off to Ouija Board.” University Daily Kansan (Lawrence, Kansas) · Mon, Apr 26, 1920 · Page 2
  • “Kiss Ouija Goodbye or Become a Moron: Dr. Hickson is Ready for All Who Trust in Board and Spirits, Are Primarily Praecox.” Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) · Thu, Feb 12, 1920 · Page 3
  • “Madam Ouija is Declared Fraud by Dr O’Shea: Is Adventuress in World of Psychology and Makes People Self Deceived.” The Fort Collins Courier (Fort Collins, Colorado) · Fri, Jun 25, 1920 · Page 5
  • “Calls Ouija Board ‘Agency of Devil’: W. B. Fowler Also Assails the “Boarders”: Tells Bible Students Satan Is Still Working Largely Through Women.” The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) · Mon, Mar 8, 1920 · Page 8
  • “Ouija Is Servant Of Subconcious Mind of Operator.” The Oregon Daily Journal (Portland, Oregon) · Mon, May 31, 1920 · Page 1, Page 22
  • “Ouija Driving Women Mad: New Mania Due to Occult Overindulgence Claims Many Victims.” The Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) · Sun, May 16, 1920 · Page 22
  • “Ouija Boards as Oracles.” Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Arizona) · Tue, Jan 27, 1920 · Page 4
  • “Ouija Boards to Be In Equipment.” The Whittier News (Whittier, California) · Tue, Mar 23, 1920 · Page 1
  • “Ouija Craze Has Struck Wichita. Mystic Boards and WOrks on Psychic World Are Much Sought in City.” The Wichita Daily Eagle (Wichita, Kansas) · Sun, Jan 4, 1920 · Page 32
  • “Ouijamania stirs inhabitants of El Cerrito.” Pasadena Evening Post (Pasadena, California) · Fri, Mar 5, 1920 · Page 6
  • “Psychic Cults and Systems: Why Mediums Have Control.” Buffalo Courier (Buffalo, New York) · Sun, Jun 6, 1920 · Page 34
  • “Sir Oliver Lodge Talks Here With ‘Spirit’ Via Ouija Board: 20-year-old Winnipeg Girl is Medium Used for Unique Experiment.”The Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) · Thu, Apr 29, 1920 · Page 1
  • “Spook Stuff.” The Chattanooga News (Chattanooga, Tennessee) · Mon, Mar 15, 1920 · Page 4
  • “Sure, Ouija Board KNows a Lot, Says ALeko at Pantages.” The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Thu, Apr 22, 1920 · Page 9
  • “The Case Against Spiritualism.” Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) · Sun, Jan 18, 1920 · Page 18
  • “Weakness and Ouijas.” Hanford Morning Journal (Hanford, California) · Sat, Sep 11, 1920 · Page 2
  • “Whole California City Ouija Crazy to be Examined.” Press-Courier (Oxnard, California) · Fri, Mar 5, 1920 · Page 1
  • “Why ‘Ouija,’ Is Jastrow Query: ‘Yes, Yes,’ Board Doesn’t Prevent Spooks from Saying ‘No.” Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, Wisconsin) · Wed, Apr 7, 1920 · Page 8
  • “Would Stop Sale of Ouija Boards in California.” The Whittier News (Whittier, California) · Sat, Mar 20, 1920 · Page 7
  • Ouija Boards All the Rage in Akron Thousands Bought. Akron Evening Times (Akron, Ohio) · Sun, Feb 15, 1920 · Page 35
  • About that Ouija Board. The Stockton Review (Stockton, Kansas) · Thu, Jan 1, 1920 · Page 1
  • Is Santa Ana a Devotee of the Ouija Board? Santa Ana Register (Santa Ana, California) · Tue, Mar 16, 1920 · Page 7
  • “They don’t do it in the very best spirit circles.” The Winfield Daily Free Press (Winfield, Kansas) · Mon, Nov 15, 1920 · Page 6
  • “Weird Ouija Board Rites Are Fertile Source of Mania.” The Billings Gazette (Billings, Montana) · Mon, Mar 29, 1920 · Page 1
  • “Ouija to be Banned from Sacramento.” The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Tue, Mar 9, 1920 · Page 4
  • “Ouija Board Blamed for Mental Trouble.” The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Sat, Mar 20, 1920 · Page 7
  • “Ouija Board Drives Policeman to Street Naked.” The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) · Sat, Mar 6, 1920 · Page 13

Check out the shownotes for the rest of the series to see all of the sources used.

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