Comments: And for heaven's sake, don't play your "Kilroy Was Here" LP backwards without first anointing yourself with holy water

The website for Cryptique is fascinating. I learned, for instance, that although "Cryptique® is a spirit board from Salem, Massachusetts" and "Cryptique was created in the setting of one of America's most infamous events, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692," that means only that the graphic design is meant to evoke the trials. The FAQ says that "Spirit or talking boards were introduced to America in the late 1800s as toys, games, or amusements," which means that the implication that this thing was somehow used in witch-trial-era Salem is completely fake.

On the other hand, it's apparently used in modern Salem: be sure to see the reviews, including the one from the High Priest of the Salem Witches.

I also learned that the thing isn't really a ripoff of a Ouija board. It's just a form of "spirit board," and the familiar Ouija board isn't really the only form of spirit board: it's just the form that Hasbro trademarked. (Indeed, Merriam-Webster lists "Ouija" as a trademark.) I spent a little too much time poking around the Museum of Talking Boards, as well.

Posted by Lance at February 11, 2004 11:49 AM

Not a Ouija ripoff? You gotta be kidding. Really? Huh. And here I liked my line that it shoulda been called "Dasi" or something.

I mean ... Cryptique? That sounds like a perfume for morticians, or something.

Posted by Trip at February 11, 2004 11:55 AM

I was aware that the Ouija board was not itself an original idea, but...honestly, how many board-and-planchette talking-to-the-dead games does one need?

Posted by Francis at February 11, 2004 12:08 PM