Supernatural

Zozo: A Terrifying Ouija Board Phenomenon

In every reported encounter with the entity known as Zozo, there is a single common thread: darkness. To communicate with Zozo via a Ouija board is said to invite an unrelenting demonic force into your life.

But what is Zozo, and why has it terrorized thousands of people around the world? This, I’m afraid, is not an easy question to answer.

The first reported appearance of this entity occurred in 1816, when a young girl in Picardy, France fell victim to a severe demonic possession (this according to the Dictionnaire Infernal, published in 1818 by Jacques Collin de Plancy). She became the vessel for a number of demons, one of which was our mysterious Zozo.

Later, when Ouija boards entered popular culture in the 20th Century, stories of Zozo began to rise, with numerous tales told of the Ouija spirit, the one who devours souls and changes lives.

A Planchette of Stories

Zozo is a complicated entity, or so it would seem. In most stories, it’s initially friendly, sometimes using a different name. Occasionally, it will appear in the middle of a conversation with another spirit and interrupt the communication.

The planchette performs strange figure eights or “inverted Zs,” and answers become repetitive. But it does not take long for an encounter with Zozo to turn frighteningly negative.

Omens of the Demon

There is seemingly no end to the number of bizarre stories shared online about Zozo. They even tend to have certain elements in common, as mentioned above.

For example, an encounter with Zozo while using a Ouija board usually involves one of the following events (though this list is not exhaustive):

  • the planchette draws figure 8s or Zs on the board
  • the planchette repetitively spells out Z-O-Z-O, Z-A-Z-A, or even M-A-M-A, moving in a rapid left-to-right or right-to-left fashion (it’s unclear what relation “MAMA” may have to the Zozo demon)
  • a conversation with one spirit is interrupted by another entity, which becomes increasingly antagonistic
  • the entity often claims to be a deceased loved one

It’s difficult to tell which stories about Zozo are authentic and which are nothing more than urban legends. Some tell of murders and suicides, while others involve possession, physical ailments, abuse, curses, and other phenomena commonly associated with demonic forces.

Some have even claimed that Zozo attached to them or their family, like a parasitic demon.

The following are a handful of stories about Zozo that have appeared throughout the Internet. Perhaps they’ll give you a better idea of what it’s like to summon the ouija demon into your life. Follow their links to read more.

“We called him Oz.”

Image: John Silliman/Unsplash

In 2012, a user at Ghost-Space.com (now inaccessible, but may be found here) shared the story of a confrontation with a suspicious Ouija spirit. Her friend had been asking the spirit board questions about her recently-deceased father, which it answered correctly.

Then, the board unexpectedly turned its attention to her mother.

Again, the board seemed to have a supernatural knowledge of their parents. “We were both in tears,” she wrote. Then, the active spirit seemed to “switch” again. They asked who it was, this time, and the reply was haunting: “The pointer went O Z O Z O Z O Z O. We called him Oz. We asked him to blow out a candle to prove himself and before we completed the sentence the candle was out.”

The strange spirit also knew the exact time, when asked. However, it would later reveal a haunting truth – he had been there the whole time, posing as her friend’s father and her mother, answering questions correctly by reading their minds.

“…that’s how he gave us the answers to our questions, he was in our heads.”

The two of them immediately put the Ouija board away when the spirit began to curse. They wanted nothing more to do with this “Oz.” Unfortunately, when they returned to it a few weeks later, thinking the worst had passed, they again met Oz. “He was nasty, cursing at us, saying dark things,” she remembered. From then on, they seemed to experience nothing but bad luck.

It wasn’t until they finally researched their plight on the Internet that they learned of the infamous Ouija demon. Was “Oz” actually the malevolent Zozo?

Tales Of Possession

Another Internet-goer, this one found while perusing the always-reliable Yahoo Answers, shared her own experience with the mischievous demon. She had been using a Ouija board with a friend one cold Saturday evening, under the glow of red candlelight, when the spirit they were talking to said it was called Zozo. At that exact moment, her friend began to complain of a terrible headache.

Things would only get worse from there.

“That night, she slept-walked…into my sister’s room,” she said. Her friend then “started talking some gibberish, screamed ‘RED!’ and…then left the room and could not be found in the house for a good half hour.” She had seemingly disappeared.

They searched and searched for her. Every room of the house. When the poster finally gave up and checked her own room one last time, mysteriously, her friend was there. Had Zozo been playing a terrible trick, or worse – had he possessed this person?

Losing Control

A tale at Your Ghost Stories, published in 2012, shares yet another haunting experience. The poster, named April, had read stories about Zozo, herself, but didn’t believe them.

This, as you’ll see, would change.

She’d recently moved in with her sister, and to celebrate they’d had a few friends over. After a while, they decided to have some fun with a Ouija board, to ask it some questions about the afterlife and perhaps learn about the future. Nothing had ever gone wrong before. It was just a game.

They placed the board on the table, and placed their hands on the planchette. “Is there anyone there?” April asked. The board replied Yes. When they asked it to reveal its name, the planchette glided over to the Z, then the O. Just as we’ve seen before, ack and forth, Z O Z O Z O Z O. They asked the spirit what it wanted.

It replied, “Her.”

When they asked what it meant by that, it spelled out the name of one of her friends – “I was freaked,” recalled April – then returned to spelling its own name. Z O Z O. One of her other friends then became annoyed by the repetitive answers, and decided to provoke the spirit by cursing at it. “That’s when things got bad,” April said.

The planchette “began feeling hot” under their fingers. The spirit then began to spell out another word. M A M A. They felt a presence in the room. The air was heavy. Something was wrong. “I didn’t feel like myself,” April recalled, “I felt as if something was inside me.”

She felt nothing but hatred and anger, and began laughing and crying at the same time. It was at that moment they decided to end the Ouija session, though the strange feelings seemed to linger on.

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Opening Doors

A man named Darren from Tulsa, Oklahoma shared his story on March 24, 2009 at the website True Ghost Tales. He’d long been fascinated with the occult, particularly Ouija boards, and had experienced many strange phenomena. He was also shocked, he said, “by how many times ZOZO showed up even in many different states and many different Ouija boards.”

Zozo, it would seem, can be found everywhere.

Darren recalled one particular encounter with Zozo as being “extremely evil.” He had entered his bathroom only to find his one-year-old daughter nearly drowned. She’d been left alone briefly in the tub by her mother, and “somehow the water got turned on and was overflowing.” No one had physically touched the faucet.

The following day, she was “hospitalized for some weird internal infection” and put into isolation. “We almost lost her,” recalled Darren, “And that was when I began to suspect a demonic attack.” Could Darren’s constant encounters with the demon Zozo have put his daughter’s life in danger? Or is using the Ouija board alone, a portal to doors that should remain unopened, enough to bring about such a terrible fate?

Zozo’s Deception

This final excerpt appears on the blog of paranormal researcher Darren Evans — yes, the very same Darren from the above story — who has spent several years researching the Zozo phenomenon after his own horrifying experience. If you’d like to read more Zozo experiences, I’d recommend giving it a look.

“There was a spirit that claimed to be that of a little boy. We also talked to a few other spirits on the board until one time this spirit came across and said his name Oz. I figured initials because I don’t recall any spirits giving there names, just initials.

Anyway, he was no fun and just plain mean. Everytime we would try to talk to one of the other friendly spirits, Oz always came back like he was much stronger than the others. When you would ask a question and he got angry, the eye would move frantically in a figure 8. He was just mean. Well, one night we got pretty trashed and asked some real mean things and acted mean back. It was funny at first, but it got serious in a hurry.

We started arguing with one another because some were getting spooked. We then came to our senses and said, “let’s get rid of this darn thing. We threw it away and nothing strange happened afterwards. Not sure I beleive in them or if they really even work. But it was a freaky experience. Although I talked a lot of smack that night, I was sort of fearful for a few days. I can’t remember to this day what Oz said, heck its been 20yrs ago. But, it wasn’t good at all!”

The Demonic Trickery Of Zozo

Image: ryan/Flickr via CC by 2.0

Is Zozo a demon? Well, I suppose your first question would be, “Is Zozo even real?” But for now I’d rather concentrate on the stories as told and leave the skepticism to others.

At any rate, not everyone believes Zozo is a demon.

Instead, there is a theory that Zozo is in fact nothing more than an evil spirit pretending to be a demon. After all, there’s no reason to believe that ghosts and other strange entities must tell the truth. They don’t have to play by any rules.

And that is a curious thing — in most communications with Zozo, the planchette on the Ouija board makes a repetitive movement through the alphabet, from Z to O and back again, over and over, as shared in the experience quoted above. But this could be a problem for those using the Ouija board.

You see, it is said that you shouldn’t go backwards in the alphabet (or in the numbers) on a Ouija board. Why? Because doing so is a method that demons and evil spirits use to open portals into our world and break through from the other side. Could the name ‘Zozo’ actually be a trick?

Zozo in Popular Media

Like Annabelle the Doll and other demons usually known for possession, in recent years Zozo has entered into popular culture. There’s even been at least one movie dedicated to the Ouija demon.

Taking inspiration from the strange stories of Zozo, a horror film titled I Am Zozo was released in 2012. The film was shot entirely on Super 8, but unfortunately its reception, according to Wikipedia, was “overwhelmingly negative.”

The film was, as you’d expect, about the terrifying events that follow after a group of friends use a Ouija board on Halloween.

Movies aside, while reading about Zozo I couldn’t help but think of a final possibility: Could Zozo be a tulpa, a shared experience? Like the Philip Experiment on a much grander scale, or the countless stories (and real life delusions) shared about the Slender Man, Zozo could be our own creation.

But does that make it any less real?

So, I ask: Have you ever used a Ouija board? Ever encountered the entity known as Zozo? I’ve personally never used one; I have an old keychain Ouija board that I doubt would perform particularly well as a conduit for spirits, much less a demon.

I’m not sure I believe. Do you?

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Rob Schwarz

Rob Schwarz is a writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

40 Comments

  1. I looked for the stories on the internet, so scary! I played with the ouija board once, fortunately I did not encounter with this “being”, but something strange did happened. The “spirit” or whatever we talked said its name while being human was Christian, I was working on a library at that time and a few weeks later a boy went to look for me, said was an old friend of mine and his name was Christian, I wasn’t there at the moment, so he just said he would come back later. Yeah I never met any person named Christian and less friend of mine; it was really, really weird. Thankfully that was it and I never played again.

  2. My research continues. With the success of Hasbos Ouija film, google is reporting a huge increase in searches this holiday season. I predicted years ago that when this film was released a new spirit wave would send people in droves looking to have their own experience.

    As a self proclaimed Zozologist, these trends and a large influx of Zozo encounters, I have launched a new website at ZozoDemon.com. This new site will feature new startling information and research into what has become known worldwide as The Zozo Phenomena. I will also be speaking of the dangers of all places the OuijaCon event in Baltimore Maryland. Excellent article, thanks for sharing!

  3. I’ve only used a Oijia board once and it was home made during a sleep over when I was a teenager. We used it outside in the yard at my house. We talked a lot with it but ended our session very abruptly, as we were seemingly surrounded by what seriously sounded like a whole pack of invisible coyotes…in the middle of town. I’ve had a lot of experiences I can’t explain away easily and most of them took place in that same house. Most after that. I don’t know if we opened up something or what but I definately had something happen to me that I can’t just shrug off.

  4. I reallyy hope you figure out quick that this is unhealthy behavior nd no one should support it. Get rid of Zozo. Im not trolling here ppl. I feel as though behavior like this nd thinking a possible demon is good isn’t stable. Thank you for sharing this nd i dont want to come off as belittling you or your story but this is dangerous nd upsetting to me.

  5. I watched Ghost Adventures last night and I sat straight up in bed when they talked about a demon named Zozo. It was about 30 years ago when this happened to me. A friend of mine and myself were using a Ouija board and we seemed to have picked up a child spirit. He said he was 8 years old and was from Boston. He had played with matches and started his family house on fire when he died. After we started talking for quite a while all of a sudden it started spelling out ouch. ahahah. ouch. help me. we asked if there was someone there with him and then spelled out zozozozozozo..we asked if it was demonic and it said yes. We were done right then and there and never touched it again. I was about 17 at the time and I am almost 50. I couldn’t believe it when that name came up on that tv show. We were so certain we had contacted something truly evil. We even went to the library to see if we could find anything with that name. All we came up with was Zoso an ancient sun god I believe it was. Anyhow Don’t mess with this!! I TRULY believe its evil at its core! I am so creeped out right now!

    1. Wow! that is friggen creepy! I have only heard story’s and I am conviced it is real.

  6. Ive been playing with the ouija board consistenty over the past 13 years now. Ive interacted with many ghosts and old relatives over the years with zero problems. In fact warnings and predictions have always came true.

    After reading this i just realized that months ago i was talking to the board a lot. It would always say zoo, that something would happen at the zoo or just zoo randomly – many times. Ive never even heard of zozo before now. So this is good insight to know about in the future.

  7. A couple of friends and I played with a Ouija board when we were in high school. It moved all over the place and scared all of us. None of us ever touched one again.

  8. I have met up with this demon/spirit. Yesterday he contacted me on a paper made Ouija…it was terrifying. He evn knew my favorite color, and my friend’s last name.

  9. My brother and I tried it and met a 2 year old girl she was fun. She said she lived in my closet and I didn’t care. We asked her what her fav color was she said brown, because she had a friend with a cat that was brown. I told her i could put one of my brown stuffed dogs in my closet for her she said yeah. I told her we would leave and be back. we said good bye and got stuffed animal and put it in closet. At one time she asked us how life was REAL life. I felt bad for her, knowing she is dead. I asked her if she wanted to tell us anything. She said ZoZo was coming, I knew who ZoZo is and got a little freaked. I asked if she was messing/teasing she said no, I asked her is she was serious she said yes I asked her if we should say good bye Now! She said yes very quickly so i did. I hope i wasnt talking to ZoZo the whole time!

  10. I had a frightening experience playing with an Ouija board as a child. I was about 9 years old when this experience occurred. Me and some neighborhood friends were having a nice time playing with the Ouija on the front lawn. We were all asking silly questions about neighborhood boys and crushes and clearly pushing the planchette ourselves. Everything was very light-hearted and fun at this point. Then, I decided to ask the Ouija a question I knew none of my friends knew the answer to. I asked ” what is my grandpa’s name?” The planchette spelled out S-A-L. To my horror, the board was correct , my grandpa’s name is Sal. I was clearly alarmed and interrogated my friends. Everyone swore up and down that they weren’t pushing the planchette. I then told my playmates that the answer was correct and that my grandpa had died two years earlier. We all started crying and ran home to our mothers. The Ouija was thrown out after that. It isn’t a toy at all. I don’t know why it is marketed as such.

  11. One night several years ago my brother, me, and one or to other members of our family used a ouija board, and me and my brother asked for our mother. Something came through,claiming to be her, and accurately answering several questions. Then I got an intense feeling in the back of my head, and the planchette moved, spelling out “he’s coming, behind the field” and then it’s spelled out zoo. We immedietly burned the plastic cover on the planchette, and later we went to bed. That night I woke up late, and I heard my brother say in his sleep : “help me” and “death”. I heard a thump outside the door, I stayed awake until I passed out. In the present, I have recently been asked about small scratches on my back, seem to just be scanning up. I am never able to explain them, and never have done anything recently to acquire them. I have also seen things In the night, I moved into the house, and room we played the ouija board in, and I heard the thump 2 nights ago

  12. Zozo is REAL. The Ouija board used to be fun when it didn’t really work. But recently I had a very spiritual coworker and we decided to do the Ouija board just so I could finally see that it worked. Well every time we would do it, we would talk to Zozo. He wasn’t really violent at all with us, kind of like he was just as intrigued as we were with him. He would always pretend that he was another spirit though. He could read our thoughts, and lie about the future. A good way to KNOW that you’re talking to the spirit that it claims to be, is ask it a question that you don’t know, but you could find out later. I did that constantly, and then he would say that it was him because he did not know the answer. My house was EXTREMELY unsettling afterwards, things would move, lights would constantly blow afterwards, and I would wake up at 3am every night. I don’t think that he is a demon, I believe he’s a lost spirit and enjoys messing with human beings. If you ever get in contact with him, DO NOT TALK TO HIM. He WILL become attached to you and scare the crap out of you just for giggles.

  13. last night i did some reserch about Zozo and when i said her name my iphone Siri went on the i started to freak out this morning i had my glow lamp in a good steady spot and it fell

    this week on Friday i did the ouija board with my nana and i asked “are you an Angel ,Sun or a Demon moon. it went to moon i started to freak so my nana asked is the Demons a sir. it went to no. so i asked what was her name it first went to z i knew that it was Zozo so then it went to Zozo i freaked then i asked if she hated anyone it went to yes i asked who do you hate it went to U so i said goodbye? and whats odd id it only went to bye

  14. i am very surprised to see this, 27 yrs ago i too had an experience with OZ. never knowing that it was a world wide ancient phenomenon. this has confirmed an a real life encounter that i have had with this entity but only leaves me wondering more about this entity that has never left my life as well as a close family member.

  15. My friend played on the ouija board two days ago and zozo was the same of who they encountered

  16. I will be releasing a book called The Zozo Phenomenon in June that will include the latest research on this mystery. Dozens of cases and true encounters sent to me the last decade will also be featured. Book will be available at ZozoPhenomenonBook.com

  17. What people don’t seem to understand or want to believe is that every thing that you encounter on a Ouija Board or via other occult devices are all demons. These things lie and will PRETEND to be dead people or aliens or even angels. It is not just Zozo, it is all of them that are dark. You cannot encounter “good” spirits. They will all have a negative effect on your life in some way, even if you think otherwise. There is no way to protect yourself before using a Ouija board. Prayers won’t help, because what you are about to do is forbidden in the Old Testament. Having a positive attitude doesn’t help either. Demons, are liars. They will trick you. They may tell you what you want to hear. They may tell jokes, give what seems like good advice, be friendly and funny, etc. They may even write poetry, BUT, they are demons and they ultimately want to destroy you. They want your soul. Never partake of the occult in any way, not even by reading your, “Daily Horoscope.” It’s all a lie and will ultimately effect your life negatively whether you even realize it or not.

  18. Yeah, it happened to me and my boyfriend and friends. We were contacted by this entity and it moved the planchet in figure 8s. It kept coming back when we tried it again hours later. We got rid of the board. Im still pretty creeped out years later.

  19. A lot of my friends did ouija quite often. It became a daily thing. At first there were 5 spirits. Then there was Zozo. (We didn’t know what he was until after). We found he was evil since another good spirit had tried to scare us by pretending to be Zozo. The same spirit had also said it was a common name evil spirits used to sound friendly. After a few weeks we knew hundreds of spirits.
    One time me a friend and her sister were on the board. No matter who we switched to the spirit seemed angry at the sister and wanted her to say goodbye. All the while there were good spirits SHOUTING in the sister’s head, saying it wasn’t true. It turned out Zozo was pretending to be all those spirits and we gave him energy when we played. He wanted to kill the sister because she had rejec5ed him in a past life.

  20. My friend wrote in my notebook she borrowed, and that she said Zozo 5 times and been’s hearing noices around her house ever since- particularly bells and banging on her back door. She said that she would hear 3 bell rings and then 3 bangs on her back door. Every single time. I was so idiotic to do this and now I hear noices too. I said zozo 5 times in my dining room then went to the bathroom to wash my hands since I was helping my father cook and as i was closing the door, I heard a bang on the wall.

    I thought someone was outside, so I looked out the bathroom window- but noone was there. After I was finished cooking, I went to lay down. I then heard another bang on my wall and it sounded like someone was scribbling on paper!

    Now i’m laying in my bed writing this and just a few minutes ago, it sounded like someone was hitting my kitchen table with a wooden stick! I couldn’t even count how many times it happened, but it was a lot. i suggest you guys DO NOT say zozo 5 times, unless you want to get haunted.. anyway bye.
    And if you do decide to do this, I only want to say this- Good luck.

  21. When I tried the Ouija board I contacted zozo. Ever since then my house hasn’t been the same. I got locked in my garage and pushed to the floor. One night at 4:00 I heard a knock on my door and I look out it and there is a peice of paper saying leave. Last night I kept hearing noises downstairs and then I played the ougia board and I said leave me alone tonight and it said ok but you don’t want to know what’s coming for you toomarow. That’s some of my experiences with zozo! Or maybe some other spirits here and there!

  22. my mum use to live across from a cemetery and she once contacted zozo. every now and then while im in bed i hear a male voice whisper to me and i see some of my stuff floating. could this be his work?

  23. I played ouija yesterday with a bunch of friends. It was super weird and I spoke to my dead grandad. (I know it was him) then we played for another time and the spirit called itself zozo. From then on it just kept typing weird letters over and over again. Like tgtgtgtgt. Then it would try and do a figure of 8. We asked it were it lived and it spells out my friends name. We asked it what it wanted and it said nothing. Then it tried to escape really quickly then left. After that, we played once more and I felt a really strong urge to let the spirit out or play on my own. I even asked the spirit if I should play on my own with it. Then I had to walk home and I got a tune stuck in my head that I had never heard and had no idea where it came from.

  24. From eveything I’ve read about demons and learned recently of ZoZo, he’s a demon of fate and not of the best kind out there. So if you or if your with friends and your playing with the ouija board and you get him to awnser, or if it starts to count numbers backwards quickly say goodbye, another is if it’s making a sideway 8 you should quickly say goodbye. But if things are going bad and you dint say goodbye a method to make it all stop is to have the people with you that was playing the game along with a priest and stand there untill the entire board is ash.

  25. I have been followed by a “demon” named aj who always says his name is zozo not to much later after asking questions. I don’t know if they really have any relation and can’t find anything on the internet about aj, if anyone has any info on aj please please me know: (

  26. I communicated with this thing for many many years but I thought he was spelling out azazal the fallen angel.. wrecked havoc and tried my children to, it don’t let them now because “ mom no no” I’m assuming that means because I said leave my children the hell alone?? Took me forever to come up with that name.. kinda upset I was wrong lol no really I’m not but.. once I yelled and asked what it wanted it said my face and every single light in my moms house burnt out.. yeah stay away from that.. figure 8, tries to slide off the side, back and forth… actually real irritating loland evil.. straight evil!

  27. I have a ouija board story that I share whenever these topics come up amongst friends. I was about 15 or 16 and borrowed a friend’s board to play with another group of friends. We used it 4 or 5 times over a few days. I ended up burning it (the friend who owned wasnt very pleased with me). My experience started with friendly spirit/spirits correctly answering questions and giving charming details of past lives. We were amazed and interested. At some point a spirit indentified himself as zozos (the name i use in my tale these past 30 years). After that things got creepier. Strange movements of the planchette, cryptic morbid answers to our questions, and the spelling of one of my friends name. The next 2 or 3 usages the same name and board behavior occurred. You could feel that something was wrong or evil about this spirit. My father burned the board, and I said some prayers. This happened in 1989 or 1990. I am astonished to see a name from my own “ouija board story” is well known as ouija demon.

  28. I’ve spoken with the zozo. It was not pleasant and i would not recommend trying. My girlfriend and i thought the idea of it was intriguing. We had her board out talked to some kinda weaker spirts one nice one. My girlfriend digs up some demonic prayer meant to summon zozo, once she said that the eye piece moved with much more speed and at a higher rate. It knew both our names and said it was zozo. I started to feel alot of negative energy so i took my hand off and it stopped moving. I’m glad we did not go further as negative dreams and just over all bad vibes followed for weeks after at my girlfriends house. I have no clue if its demonic, but the prayer she said definitely ended in a “hail satan” and you bet zozo ****ing came. Its still one of the only things that can insight fear in me. Reading above gave me chills and i swear i can sense him from time to time when trying to learn more. I usally combat with love towards myself at it.