When we first began researching planchettes for this post, we were under the impression that we’d have to read through hundreds and hundreds of years of history, with stories from around the globe. In fact, planchettes are quite a modern invention, and were first created just 150 years ago.
Over the years, we’ve seen planchettes in movies, and for some reason we imagined that there must be some sort of rich and detailed history behind them. In essence planchettes are no different to any other mass-produced product or toy. Upon making this discovery, we couldn’t help but feel a little disheartened; nonetheless, the history of the planchette is still quite interesting.
Planchettes came to prominence in the Victorian era where people involved in the Spiritualism movement would try their hand at communicating with those in the afterlife. For many decades the planchette was actually a writing implement, constructed with two small wheels and pencil holders. The concept was that when people made contact the spirits would guide the planchette and produce mysterious written messages.
The 1890s saw the commercial introduction of the Ouija board which was patented and even touted as the new planchette. The advertising and promotion of this new product drew huge demands, and the success was the reason that the original planchettes were eventually phased out.
Through books and movies we’ve had it ingrained in us to fear the evil spirits one may release when using a planchette and Ouija board. The device was never inherently evil, although celebrity mediums in the 19th century likely gave people false hope and made money from their pain. This device provided hope for people, and something to grasp onto in the hopes that they could communicate with loved ones who had passed away.
Over 150 years since the initial planchette craze they’ve now found their place within the current tattoo craze. There’s thousands of images online, most of which I searched through to compile this top 50 post.
The various shapes and designs of planchette tattoos is reminiscent of the wide variety of planchettes available for purchase during the height of their popularity. With so many planchette tattoos already in existence (even the images tagged #ouijatattoo are predominantly planchette tattoos) the idea is a popular one. However, you can really make it your own with particular decorative elements or by adding a theme to it – allow your tattoo artist’s imagination to run wild for something truly unique.
A planchette can fit in nicely with your collection no matter your preferred tattoo style. Unlike the Ouija board which would just look like a rectangle with the alphabet on it, the planchette has a shape that can work with your body or your existing tattoos. We’re sure someone out there has managed to create an inventive Ouija board tattoo, but we prefer just the planchettes themselves.
The reasons for getting a planchette tattoo may be simple or more convoluted, but just like with any piece, the reason and meaning (if any) should matter only to you.
Would you get a planchette tattoo? Which of these is your favourite? Have a scroll through them and be sure to check out the Halloween category for more creepy content this month.