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Baltimore invention the Ouija board to be featured on Smithsonian Channel

There's a message coming through -- maybe the spirits are trying to communicate.

Oh, wait, that's Smithsonian Channel talking.

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At 8 p.m. June 14, the channel's eight-part series, "My Million Dollar Invention," kicks off with an episode focused on inventions that shocked the world, including Baltimore's very own Ouija board.

Though "talking boards" were popular in the years following the Civil War, it was Baltimore fertilizer salesman Charles Kennard and Baltimore businessman William Fuld who first mass marketed the Ouija board.

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Legend has it a planchette, the tool used by game players to communicate with the other side, spelled out the letters O-U-I-J-A when asked what the game should be titled. Call it an accident or ghostly intervention, but the name stuck and Baltimore's Ouija board spread across the country.

And if the episode is not enough Ouija for you, check out the board game gravestone of Elijah Bond, who patented the Ouija board in 1891, at Baltimore's Greenmount Cemetery.

It's enough to give you flashbacks to childhood slumber parties — and maybe send chills up your spine.

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