The ouija (wee-jah, or wee-jee), also known as a spirit board or talking board is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0?9, the words "yes", "no", "hello" (occasionally), and "goodbye", along with various symbols and graphics. It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or plastic called a planchette. Participants place their fingers on the planchette, and it is moved about the board to spell out words. "Ouija" is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc.,  but is often used generically to refer to any talking board. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouija)
There are many shapes to Ouija boards or talking boards, they can be made of anything. People have made them out of pizza boxes. The name is said to come from 1) the combination of the words yes in French (oui) and no in German (ja), 2) an Egyptian word for good luck or 3) the board named itself in one of the first sessions.
In 1891 the original patent on the Ouija board was issued to Elijah Bond (U.S. Patent 446,054). William Flud, and employee of Bond?s took over production of the Ouija boards and in 1901 started to make his own on the side. His board was sold by Kennard Novelty Company. Flud recreated the history of the board stating that he had created it himself and that the board was named for the French word for yes and the German word for no.
The late 1890s and early 1900s was the time of the Spiritualist Movement in the United States. This movement believed that there was one God, the Christian God, however it suggested that spirits of the dearly departed could be communicated with by those trained in the arts of spirit communication. There were many channelers, spirit mediums, sooth sayers and palm readers who did what they could to help those who had lost loved ones.
In response to the wide spread belief in Spiritualism many con artists took up the moniker of spirit medium. As more people began to go to such people to find the answers they sought the Christian churches began to condemn the practices. They labeled the boards as being able to do everything from open the portals to the underworld, to possession causing devices, to pointing out the simple fact that the use of such boards and spiritualist services was against the Bible and all Church teachings (Deuteronomy 18:10).
Over time the Ouija board has been used in literature and movies as a prop for horror and thriller genres. It played a key role in the movie The Exorcist in which a young child was possessed after playing with one. The boards, along with Harry Potter books, were burned publicly as recently as 2003 in demonstrations aimed at destroying any and all vestiges of witchcraft. The Catholic Church has outlawed the use of the boards and it is believed by many in the Christian religion to be a sin to use or possess one.
Those who work within the occult have mixed reviews on the boards and what they can do if anything. Some of this belief is backed up with ?a friend of a friend had a horrible encounter? stories. Scientists have looked into the phenomenon that is Ouija and concluded in some studies that the participants in the use of the Ouija are in fact the ones moving the planchette unconsciously (ideomotor effect).
There are many youtube videos that will show you the dangers of using a Ouija, as well as those that show there is no danger at all in it. The ability to fabricate evidence being within the grasp of most people who use the computer makes me doubt the validity of such videos. Editing software is easy to come by and we all know the scary makes for better watching then the mundane does.
The myth of the Ouija board as the most dangerous of all tools is not likely to diminish anytime soon. Too many are afraid to use such an object out of fear of what might happen. Few are willing to examine the history of Ouija and other talking boards.