The History of the Planchette and Ouija

By Lisa Frania — / Lifestyle

How the Planchette Inspired Our Dark Spirits Line 

Back from the dead and better than ever, an old favorite has returned in a whole new way. Formerly known as Barrel Brand, our specialty barrel-aged bold brew has been resurrected. Reborn from the ashes in an all-new look, Dark Spirits serves the same Chocolate Rum Ball flavor you’ve been longing for since 2019—just a little sexier. 

Since we’ve conjured up a new and even better-flavored rum ball whole bean coffee for you, we also created a brand-new package design—featuring the planchette—to awaken your necromantic curiosities. Here’s why it’s a spooky and supernaturally sexy addition to our Dark Spirits Barrel-Aged Chocolate Rum Ball bag design. 

What Is a Planchette?

Simply put, a planchette is a small, heart- or teardrop-shaped tool used in a type of board game called a Ouija board. Many people out there believe that a planchette (along with the Ouija board) is a device used in “spirit writing”—a paranormal route to seek advice from the other side and even invite ghosts to haunt your home. For that reason, some refuse to even get near one. The word “planchette” comes from French (meaning “little planks”) and is made of wood, plastic or even glass, typically with a hole in the middle or a kind of pointer. Planchettes can also come in any size. 

The Mysterious Evolution of the Planchette 

It makes perfect sense that the origin of the planchette is clouded in mystery just like the tool itself. It appears the planchette—and Ouija board too—emerged at a time when America was obsessed with spiritualism, a belief that the dead can communicate with the living. Holding a séance on a Saturday night and heading to church the next day was totally normal—despite sounding bizarre, creepy and supernaturally spooky to us today. 

At the height of spiritualism in the mid-1800s, the Fox sisters—in upstate New York, of course—claimed to receive messages and began to channel spirits in parlors all over New York State. Their popularity hit celebrity status and brought millions of occult fanatics with them who engaged in supernatural parlor games: seances, table-turning and experimenting with mediums.  

Mediums (like the Fox sisters) quickly began to feel like their monopoly on the spirit world was being threatened by novices and amateurs desperate to try to imitate their craft, so they worked against that by suggesting amateur experimentation was dangerous. Despite their efforts, fascination only grew, and people soon felt the methods to converse with the spirit world weren’t effective or fast enough. Table turning, for example, took too long for questions to be answered so people grew bored. Likewise, the original form of the planchette and “talking boards” produced writings that were too hard to figure out, so new methods were designed.  

And just like that, those who believed in communicating with these dark spirits found easier (and faster) ways to accomplish the task. Pointing to letters on alphabet cards, automatic writing and more direct channeling became all the rage. In the 1880s businesses and investors began to make and produce Ouija boards that offered a standard board marked with letters and numbers, along with a planchette to point to them.  

How Do You Use a Planchette? 

On a flat surface, two or more people place their fingertips on the planchette and move it around when you want something supernatural to happen in the room or if you are trying to get a spirit’s attention. If trying to communicate with a dead spirit or ghost—or any otherworldly being—is a desire of yours, then a planchette is one of the most popular tools to use. Ask the question, and the answer could be revealed by the movement of the device.

The rest, you’d say, is history over 100 years later. Without a doubt, the planchette—and Ouija board—are a weird part of American culture, appealing to people of all ages, professions, education levels and interests. Movies like “The Exorcist” pushed the planchette into pop culture lore when the 12-year-old character was allegedly possessed by a demon after playing with a Ouija board by herself. The “game” is now sold in board game aisles across the country today.

Dark Spirits Barrel-Aged Chocolate Rum Ball  

Whether you believe the planchette is mystical with powers to connect to those beyond, or simply entertainment for make-believe hocus pocus, it’s time to start getting into the holiday “spirit.” Aged in oak rum barrels and cast into flames to awaken the spirit within: Meet Barrel-Aged Chocolate Rum Ball. This medium-roasted coffee possesses the power to transport terrestrial beings into an otherworldly realm filled with flavors of smooth rum, sweet vanilla and chocolate. Do you dare? 

Get Dark Spirits Barrel-Aged Chocolate Rum Ball for yourself or someone else this holiday season for a limited time.

RELATED: Dark Spirits Barrel-Aged Chocolate Rum Ball Coffee Toffee Recipe
 

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