“Paranormal Witness” loves to remind people that Ouija boards can cause some serious damage, but then put that with kids goofing round with it and you get something From HELL. We assume everyone around the world knows about the Ouija board, but as an FYI for our readers outside of the United States; if your kid asks you for a Ouija board, just say No.
Mel was 13 when she and her family moved into a new house in Houston, Texas in the spring of 1988. Mel’s parents were from El Salvador and had come to the United States for a better life; the house was old and relatively small (Mel had to share a bedroom with her older sister Maria and younger sister Jackie), but it was theirs.
One evening at the dinner table, Maria talks about a new game she wants to get, in which you can ask it anything you want, and it gives you answers. Their father is amused by the name of it: a Ouija board, and Mom agrees to pick one up for the girls.
The three sisters gather in their room to play with their new game, with Maria quickly dismissing the three rules that come with it: 1) Never play alone, 2)Always say goodbye when you’re done playing, and 3) Never play in your own home. The girls get immediate results when they ask “Is anybody there?,” as the planchette moves to YES … though Jackie’s laughter soon after reveals that she was just playing around. The sisters quickly lose interest and push the Ouija board under Mel’s bed.
Mel had been struggling in school, feeling like an outsider and terrified of a bully named Erica. Mel would return home after class feeling sad and lonely, feeling like she didn’t have anyone to talk to about her situation … until one day she gets the idea that maybe she can talk to the Ouija board. Mel’s greeting results in a ‘HI,’ after which she asks whatever is there if it can help her get rid of Erica … and the planchette slides to YES.
Sure enough, Erica isn’t in class the next day, with Mel’s teacher announcing that she’s been expelled. When Mel returned home, she asked the Ouija board if it helped her, to which it replied YES, followed by spelling out I AM YOUR FRIEND. Mel smiles, delighted (even though she really should’ve incinerated that thing right then and there).
That night, Mel’s parents were out, and Maria was babysitting her two sisters. When Mel went to the kitchen, she started hearing footsteps coming from the backyard; when she went to the window to investigate, the footsteps sounded like they were getting closer … and then they stopped. And then a terrifying demonic face appeared in the window! Mel screamed and ran to tell Maria what happened, after which the three sisters heard a bump and a creak coming from above them … as if someone were walking around upstairs. Taking high-heeled shoes as weapons, the girls head to their parents’ bedroom … though they find nothing there.
It gets to the point where all Mel really cares about is talking to her new friend via the Ouija board, much to the chagrin of Maria and her mother. Things got to be too much one night when Mel felt something grab her leg and begin to drag her under the bed. Mel managed to pull herself onto Maria’s bed just as her parents entered the room, wondering about all the ruckus. Mel’s mother blames the Ouija board for all of her daughter’s recent strange behavior and, along with her husband, takes it out to the dumpster.
A few days later, Mel came home from school missing her friend something fierce … so much that she decided to make her own Ouija board with cut-out letters and a drinking glass for a planchette. Soon, she’s able to contact the mysterious spirit once again.
One night, Mel heard strange chanting in a language she didn’t understand. She looked into the living room and saw her father standing rigid, as if under the control of some force. Mel’s mother was terrified by the sight, telling her daughter to pray for her father. The next day, Mel sensed that her father was now somehow a different man … and the rest of her family was in grave danger.
That night, Maria and Jackie were in the living room when their father stormed in, looking like he wanted to start a fight. After briefly glaring at the girls in silence, he went upstairs, where he commenced with arguing with his wife. He was acting very bizarre and aggressive … so much that Mel asked her spirit friend if she can make her dad “go away.”
Suddenly, Maria felt an intense heat and soon found herself removing a loaded gun from a desk outside her parents’ bedroom … and threatening her father with it. Everyone is shocked by this, with Maria’s father claiming that she doesn’t “have the guts” to pull the trigger. Maria’s mother grabs her arm, and the gun goes off … though, thankfully, the bullet hits the ceiling and not Maria’s father. Maria seems to snap out of it, claiming she felt like something took over her mind and body.
Increasingly disturbed by her husband’s aggressive behavior — and the sense that something “evil” was going on — Mel’s mother decides it’s best if she and her three daughters get out of the house. They move into a run-down apartment, where Mel feels completely disconnected with everything, finding solace only in her homemade Ouija board. One afternoon, Mel decides to finally ask her mysterious friend where she’s from. FROM HELL is the answer, which makes Mel freak out, gather all of the letters into the drinking glass and run from her bedroom.
Mel gets about halfway down the hall before a noise stops her. Returning to her room, she finds the letters floating about everywhere, violently shredded, shards of the shattered drinking glass on the floor. It looks like she’s made her friend very upset! And just then, Mel hears someone — or something — calling her name, guiding her to under the bed … where she finds the real Ouija board, the one her parents supposedly discarded in the dumpster!
One evening when they were getting ready for dinner, Mel got the feeling that something was watching her. Her mother told her to stop such nonsense, thinking she was trying to get out of helping prepare the meal. When Mel went to get the dinner plates, she saw a demonic creature in the living room, after which she was pushed by some invisible force onto the couch. Mel started to feel short of breath and passed out … and then suddenly bolted upright, her skin covered in purple rashes, eyes closed and gesturing with her arms wildly. Mel’s mother watched in horror until her daughter eventually collapsed onto the couch again with no memory of the incident.
Mel’s mother took her to a series of doctors, but none were able to help her daughter who, at this point, was doing little more than sleeping and occasionally eating. Finally, a family friend recommended taking Mel to see Alice, a curandera, a witch doctor/shaman who uses traditional rituals and white magic to heal the body, soul and spirit. Alice quickly surmised that an evil spirit was breaking down Mel and even saw the creature reflected in a mirror.
Mel tells Alice about her Ouija board, which confuses her mother as she thought she threw it away. Upon Alice’s instructions, Mel’s mother calls her estranged husband and tells him to go to the house, find the Ouija board and burn it immediately. As Mel’s father makes his way to the house, Alice commences with an exorcism, spraying holy water that, to Mel, feels like violent punches on her body. When Mel’s father burns the Ouija board on the grill, Mel herself feels like she’s on fire as the evil spirit fights to stay with her. Finally, Mel collapses, seemingly free of the demon.
Mel and her mother return home, where they embrace Maria and Jackie. Mel claims she survived her ordeal because of her mother, who was strong enough to fight for her and her sisters.
Paranormal Witness 503 From HELL: Whatever Happened To Meli Trejo
Never use it alone. Always say goodbye when you’re finished. And never use it in your own home.
These are the essential rules of the Ouija board, and if they aren’t followed, there are consequences. We spoke with Meli Trejo about the terrifying events depicted in Paranormal Witness Season 5, Episode 3: “From H.E.L.L.”
Before all this started happening, had you ever had a supernatural or paranormal experience?
Prior to the Ouija board I had never in my life experienced anything supernatural or paranormal. We were raised in a Catholic household, we went to church often and those topics were never discussed.
Do you remember where you first heard about Ouija boards?
The first time I ever heard of the Ouija board was when my sister Maria came home from school one day talking about a new board game. She made it sound fun and that’s why we all agreed to convince my mom to buy it for us.
The change that came over your father that led up to the incident with the gun – do you think the Ouija board was responsible?
I always felt that the reason my father was growing distant and angry towards everyone in the house was the work of the Ouija board. I think the board wanted the strongest person out of the way to give it more power over us. It caused so much chaos in our house that eventually it destroyed us as a family. My father was the protector of the house and without him we were even more afraid and vulnerable.
What are your feelings on Ouija boards now?
I stay away from Ouija boards. You don’t know what will come out of those things but it seems as if something evil is waiting to be released. I was warned to never get close to one or to touch a Ouija board again because I could very easily end up back in the same situation.
The ‘friend’ that seems to have come from the Ouija board. Can you describe the presence?
It was an older female with gray hair and I remember her face was very wrinkled. She wore a dress that looked more like a nightgown. She seemed to have a dark gray hue to her presence.
The moment with the seeming possession – can you describe that incident?
According to my family and from what I can remember there were many times that I would chant, mumble things in my sleep and my hands would move in a weird motion in mid-air. Other times I could be having a perfectly normal day until someone would upset me and that’s when I would start hyperventilating to the point that I would pass out and then the chanting and mumbling would start. The smell of sulfur would fill the room I was in and I knew then that something was about to happen to me. Eventually, I would black out and I have no memory as to what happened during my blackouts.
Did you ever look for non-paranormal explanations to what happened? What were they?
Honestly, looking back and knowing more about the paranormal and the Ouija board, I don’t think anything that happened to us back then could be explained as a coincidence. The things that happened to us were far too strange and evil for it to be something other than paranormal. I look back on things and just know the Ouija board was responsible for everything … it was feeding off of our fear and it was using me as a puppet since I was the weakest person in the house at the time.
The Witch Doctor that finally helped with the spirit, what was that experience like?
When we first visited the Witch Doctor I remember feeling so afraid and asking my mom for us not to go see her. All I can remember from the visit was when my mom saw the image of the old woman in a mirror instead of my own reflection. It scared us to the core. The ritual was also very eerie. We were in a dark room with candles lit everywhere and I was placed in the middle of the room for the Witch Doctor to start the cleansing. My memory is very vague about that … maybe I’m choosing to block it because it was too much for me and I don’t want to relive the moment again.
Has anyone ever expressed skepticism in the story? What do you tell them?
Absolutely. Many times. I don’t care what anyone says or thinks about what my family and I went through. We lived it, we were there, we lived in fear day and night and seeing is believing for all of us. Until something like this happens to you … you can remain a skeptic.
Did you ever experience any kind of paranormal activity after all of this happened?
No, everything was peaceful after the Witch Doctor and after the Ouija board was destroyed. We moved out of the apartment and we started living a normal life with no paranormal activity whatsoever.
What kind of advice would you give someone who finds themselves in a similar situation?
Don’t wait too long to seek help. Don’t allow this to take over your life because it will destroy you and cause harm to anyone around you. These things are nothing to play with even if it seems friendly and harmless at first … just stay away.
How is everything now?
Things are great now. We managed to pick ourselves back up and move on with our lives. We will never forget what we went through but we are at peace. The Ouija board is out of our lives.