The chief inventor of the Ouija Board, Charles Kennard, consulted the board to come up with its own name.
The spirits spelled out “o-u-I-J-A,” explaining that it was the Egyptian word for “good luck.” That turned out to be wrong, but no matter: Ouija it was.
Later, the spirits from Beyond played an even worse trick on poor Kennard: Despite his frequent use of the board, they neglected to warn him that his company was about to be taken away from him.
His partners suddenly forced him out and turned the company over to his shop foreman, William Fuld.
Fuld immediately began rewriting the history of the Ouija, representing himself as the inventor and claiming that the name actually came from the French and German words for “yes”: oui and ja.
It’s a myth that still appears in print.
Fuld ran the company for 35 years, until he was struck by his own unforeseen tragedy: while supervising the replacement of a flagpole at the top of his headquarters, he fell several stories and died.
Fuld’s heirs ran the company until 1966, when they sold out to Parker Brothers. Sales continue to hold steady today.
The boards sell especially well during times of crisis, such as wars.