At Halloween parties across this dreaded land tonight, people will set up Ouija boards and tarot decks for the traditional drunken fortune teller's table of occult items. At least a few people will freak out when the Ouija board spells out something maniacal like "KILL YOU FOREVER GOOD-BYE DADDY," and again we will wonder why we keep these apparent portals to Hell in our closet alongside Connect Four and Monopoly.

According to this Smithsonian Magazine history of the mysterious board game, it wasn't until The Exorcist terrified everybody in the 1970s that the Ouija became associated with Satanic possession, because the little girl in the movie is possessed by an ancient Iraqi goblin named "Pazuzu." For nearly a century before that 1973 movie, talking boards were a fun way to try to communicate with your dead relatives, in Heaven. (The ghosts would never admit to being tortured in Hell forever.)

American Christians apparently learn most of their theology from 1970s horror movies, because born-again types across this dumb land suddenly realized their harmless board game was actually a direct line to Old Scratch. And ever since, people have been terrified of the Ouija board, which is actually controlled by the players' own subconscious thoughts and knowledge. Watch these people name their pretend demon "ZOZO," which is what stoner kids call Led Zeppelin's fourth album, which is also forever associated with freaking out born-agains in the 1970s:

(Yes, we are aware that many people pronounce the sigils of Zeppelin IV as "Zoso," even though the symbols are not letters from the alphabet.)

Have fun with the Ouija board tonight, occultists! And remember that you have to do whatever the Oracle tells you, because the Oracle is actually your brain! Or the other person's brain. Anyway, just do what it says.

ALSO PLEASE: Share your terrifying Ouija board demon tales here, as the Oracle demands attention.

[Photo via Shutterstock.]