The Zozo demon is commonly referred to as “the Ouija Board demon”. Because of some paranormal groups’ preference for using a Ouija board on investigations, Zozo has been a frequent…and frightening…guest on many videos. But who–or what–is Zozo, exactly? The historic and arcane history of the entity is fairly difficult to track and impossible to document. That is, until the internet’s explosion in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
But what’s really terrifying is how impossible the entity is to combat. If Zozo is taken at face value, it’s a demonic entity that can’t be fought using the tools and methods that have expunged the demonic since Christ exorcised demons and sent them into the bodies of pigs. Two millennia of demonic warfare doesn’t get rid of Zozo, and we want to know why.
In this two-part article, we’ll break down the roots and history of the so-called “Ouija Board Demon”, its growing visibility in modern society, what the diabolical agent seems to really be, and why exorcisms do not and cannot work. That’s why my usual warning regarding the diabolical is appearing twice. TRYING TO CONTACT ZOZO IF YOU AREN’T A PROFESSIONAL RESEARCHER/INVESTIGATOR IS THE SPIRITUAL EQUIVALENT OF PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Do NOT try any of this at home.
History Of Zozo
The first mention of any entity named Zozo occurred in an 1818 reference guide written by Jacques Collin de Plancy, a self-proclaimed occultist and author, in his Dictionnaire Infernal. The story as related in the Dictionnaire’s entry under the word POSSÉDÉS (Possession, in English) goes as follows:
In 1816, an unmarried girl from a town called Teilly in the Picardy region of France found out she was pregnant. She promptly announced that she was possessed by three “imps”—one named Mimi, one named Crapoulet, and the third Zozo. The girl would walk around the town on all fours or on her hands, and acted as if she was possessed. A Jesuit priest from Spain performed an exorcism on the girl, which was described in the text: Mimi went quietly; Zozo was more tenacious and broke a window of the church when he tried to escape through the roof. As for Crapoulet, he was pursued in vain, even with the blessed tool (I think this tool is a holy item such as an aspergillum) he could not be removed, and eventually took a position in the genitals of the girl, only leaving at the Jesuit’s insistence. Eventually, the town leaders put the pregnant girl in the hospital and the Jesuit was told that if he did any more exorcisms, he’d be arrested as a fraud.
Nineteenth century France in the wake of the revolution and the ascendance of Napoleon, prided itself on its science and logic and fought against old “superstitions” like exorcism or demonic possession.
That being said, this incident is related in a book written by an author with no particular expertise in research and there’s no way to verify anything he wrote in that book either. In fact, Collin du Plancy was nothing more than a pulp fiction writer, capitalizing on the rise of the spiritual movement to sell more books. And it worked! The only positive thing the Dictionnaire Infernal actually did was to publish probably the greatest collection of early nineteenth century engravings and illustrations of the occult and demonic. That’s about it.
There are absolutely no references to a demon named Zozo prior to the Dictionnaire Infernal. And despite multiple claims to the contrary, there are no references to a demonic entity named Zozo at any point of history before the publication of that one particular book. Specifically, there are no documented “medieval manuscripts” that list Zozo in the lexicon of known demons, in arcane
knowledge or grimoires, and not even in Church documents which is absolutely where you’d find such a reference. Regardless, one self-proclaimed Zozo-ologist told me personally that not only was there a history of Zozo the demon stretching back to medieval manuscripts in the twelfth century (1300) but that he personally has a copy/has seen a copy of that manuscript.
Here’s the thing: if Zozo was even a minor demon on the fringes of some obscure diabolical lexicon, I am pretty sure I would have found it by now. That’s why I’m a researcher–I know how to research things. Right? Instead of being provided a medieval manuscript or a link to a scan of it (because obviously, a 700-year old manuscript would require expensive protective storage and restoration), however, I found a story which I find fascinating. That story begins with this:
There is a history of “zoso” stretching back (at least) to the sixteenth century in this form, but it’s not used in a book or document as a name for a demon and has nothing to do with what we call Zozo today. Zoso is a sigil, an illustration used to represent the Greco-Roman god Saturn who governs the house of Capricorn in the zodiac–essentially a drawing that can be used as a magical implement. It allegedly possesses arcane power. That’s why self-confessed Thelemist Jimmy Page used the sigil on Led Zeppelin’s unnamed fourth album—because he’s a Capricorn, not because there is a demon named Zozo.
The earliest verified use I’ve found of the Zoso sigil is the 1521 (some references list the publication date as 1511, making the 1521 book a second edition) grimoire entitled Le Veritable Dragon Rouge–a book about necromancy that you can download if you really want to. The first well-documented use of the sigil appears in Gerolamo Cardano’s 1557 book Ars Magica Arteficii, which translates roughly to “The Art of Magic” or “The Magical Arts”. Cardano was a mathematician and physician, and in the sixteenth century astrology was an important part of both sciences. So the sigil, at least, appears some five hundred years ago.
But this history, while fascinating, has nothing to do with Zozo, demonology, or spirit boards. The sigil was used in astrology because most people couldn’t read. Most likely, this gentleman researched the sigil after seeing it on the Led Zeppelin album sleeve, found a link online for the sigil, and without comprehending what that actually meant assumed this was a direct reference to the entity. I don’t think it was an intentional thing.
I do think that misinformation, especially regarding the demonic, can be dangerous.
So, the only real history for the name is linguistic as opposed to historic or religious.You can read more about the Zoso sigil, its meaning, and how it got tangled up with Led Zeppelin and demonology in modern culture on www.zososymbol.com, which is an outstanding resource and links to all the pertinent books, articles, and websites.
Zozo Etymology and the Power of A Diabolical Name
The linguistic roots for Zozo are combined in both French-based and African tongues. In Haitian Creole, the word ‘zozo’ means bone (also slang for penis). In Louisiana French Creole, ‘zozo’ means blackbird or raven—a word which survived from the medieval Basque language of southern France/northern Spain. During the early twentieth century, French travel guides in Greece referred to
Zozo as an alternate name for the demon Pazuzu, but there is nothing else to support that claim. In Zulu, the word ‘uzozo’ means a wound that never heals, and the word moved into modern slang when the small huts crafted of tin in the poor areas of African cities were known as ‘izozo’ or today’s ‘zozo huts’. In current French slang, ‘zozo’ means nitwit or dude.
However, the linguistic roots of the name do give us a clue about something disturbing.
Every demonologist and exorcist will tell you that demons do not willingly give up their names to anyone, which is why the Catholic Rite of Exorcism is specifically designed to force the demon to name itself. Knowledge of an entity’s name gives the exorcist power over it. That’s why any search for a legitimate historical trail involving the entity is pretty much a waste of time, regardless of how many people try to create a history for Zozo.
Zozo creates a paradox.
Zozo identifies itself by name and claims to be a demonic entity, but demons just don’t blurt out their real names to a teenager with a Ouija board.
Demons reveal their names only after long spiritual battles, like exorcisms. So right from the outset, there’s something suspicious about this entity. Zozo is either not a demon at all, or Zozo is just a bluff—an alias behind which one or multiple demons can approach the users in a spirit board session without endangering itself. And no matter what imaginary medieval manuscripts say, there’s only one surefire link to Zozo.
The Ouija board.
Ouija, Spirit, and Talking Boards and Zozo
The first patent issued for a device used for contacting the dead was in the mid-nineteenth century, not for a talking board but a gadget that could be used in automatic writing. The first mention of spirit boards was in 1886 by the Associated Press, when they were touted as the newest and most accurate communication device used in Ohio spiritualist camps.
The Ouija board as we know it today was invented in 1890 and patented (the planchette was the reason the board could be patented considering that handmade spirit boards were already in common use at the time) by Charles Kennard in 1891. So many people were desperate to communicate with their loved ones following the Civil War and then three decades later for World War I that the Ouija board became an essential part of the grieving process as well as a drawing room’s entertainment option. That is…until disturbing coincidences began to pop up in Ouija board communication. Zozo is perhaps the best-known of these today, having earned the nickname of “the Ouija board demon” in the past twenty-five years.
Encounters with the entity that called itself Zozo reportedly began to occur on the Ouija board in the second half of the twentieth century. In the 1960s and 70s, the Ouija board was marketed as a toy, thereby ensuring that most users of the board were under twenty-five. Ouija use had an upsurge in the eighties. As the internet was developed in subsequent decades and became more accessible, Zozo encounters gradually rose and victims began to compare notes. Darren Evans’s website publication in 2008 gave those victims a forum. Once video streaming equipment improved, Zozo videos increased at an exponential rate—particularly in the last four years.
Of course, the reason for that is easily explained.More people are looking for Zozo.
There are non-paranormal explanations for Zozo as well. Zozo could be the result of a tulpa—an entity or phenomenon created through mental discipline, like the Philip experiment in Toronto, Ontario allegedly managed to do in the early 1970s. For that matter, what people take as communication on a Ouija board could actually be the result of ideomotor movements–involuntary twitches of the hands that propel the planchette across the spirit board in a predictable and repeated manner.
With escalating visibility on platforms like YouTube, the unsuspecting, or the thrill seekers who “play” Ouija are a rich pool of potential prey for the demonic realm to feed upon.
That doesn’t mean Zozo is fake. Tulpas are alleged to exist and take on personalities and agendas of their own. At the present moment, Zozo is a dangerous reality, whether it’s hung around for centuries or was created by the subconscious minds of people popping LSD-laced sugar cubes in 1975. The Zozo entity is not only real, but it’s growing stronger and being fed by the resulting craze around it.
And oh, how it’s grown. Zozo has exploded on a global level, as has the number of people claiming to have had experiences with the entity. The 2012 movie I Am Zozo undoubtedly had a great deal to do with that, as did the 2014 major motion picture Ouija and investigations conducted by the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures show at about the same time. In fact, during the 2014 Christmas season, Ouija board sales were up 300% from the year before.
Currently (August, 2019), there are 36.5 million hits on Google when searching for Zozo. That’s a lot of people focusing their energy on the same entity or tulpa…a lot of fuel. If Zozo didn’t exist before the Dictionnaire Infernal in 1818, it certainly does now.
Items associated with Zozo: Blackbirds, Louisiana, slavery, Voodoo and other French/African religious blends, the number 28, French/Basque and African etymology, sex or sexual assault, possession of humans, possession of animals, Ouija or spirit boards, death and/or suicide, and haunted locations.
Behavioral habits: When the entity first presents itself, it’s usually pretending to be a dead friend or family member so it can make a connection with the person it’s targeting on the board. Once the relationship between the Ouija user and the entity is established, Zozo announces its presence on the Ouija board when it appears. The planchette either begins to move rapidly from side to side in an arc between the letters Z and O, or it starts an escalating series of figure 8 movements in the center of the board.
But once the bond is established between Zozo and a board user, the entity departs from “normal” demonic behavior. The Zozo entity names itself at the beginning of each interaction. Zozo, Zaza, Zizi, Oz, Ozoz, Mama, and Abacus are all known aliases of the Zozo entity. The entity frequently refers to “paradise” and uses the word “abracadabra” as well, which has a disputed etymological history dating back to ancient times.
The first known mention of the word was in the second century AD in a book called Liber Medicinalis by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who in chapter 51 prescribed that malaria sufferers wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of a triangle. “Abracadabra” has also been attributed to Gnostics, Greeks, and Sumerians, but is almost certainly Hebrew/Aramaic in origin.
Perhaps the most ominous behavior of the entity is the countdown. The board counts down from ten to one, and that usually prefaces extremely negative paranormal activity.
The most terrifying behavior is its knowledge of things it shouldn’t know, like something that happened in a board user’s childhood and none of their current friends knows about *or* something as totally invasive as knowing what color a person’s underwear is.
And through it all, Zozo is acknowledged as a demonic entity. I absolutely think Zozo is demonic in nature. So do many paranormal researchers, investigators, and scholars…not to mention clergy.
So why, then, haven’t attempted exorcisms of the Zozo entity worked? In 2017, LiveSciFi founder Tim Wood and I conducted a month-long experiment, trying to learn as much about this puzzling entity as we cold without endangering ourselves, each other, or any of the half a million subscribers on YouTube who showed up nightly to witness our live-streamed investigation. I believe our conclusions from the Zozo experiment explain why this isn’t just a demon, but an evolution of something entirely different.
The Zozo Experiment and Subsequent Conclusions
The Zozo demon can’t be exorcised for one very simple reason—Zozo isn’t a demon.We believe Zozo is something entirely different—an alias used by multiple demonic entities in order to gain access to potential victims.
You can’t exorcise Zozo because it’s not a demon. It’s a gateway. Some kid can ‘play’ with the Ouija board one time and he’s opened the gate and invited whatever’s close by and looking for a victim to come on in.
You’ve heard of demons or psychics or demonologists talking about Legion, right? Zozo is the revolving door of Legion, and you never know if you just invited the ghost of a pissed-off librarian to haunt your house *or* if you invited Beelzebub to possess your body and feast on your soul.
That’s why exorcisms of the Zozo entity don’t work. Victims of Zozo are actually being tormented by multiple demons who are using the name as an alias. Legitimate exorcisms that are conducted by the clergy of the Catholic church take weeks, months, or even years before the name of the demon is forced from the unwilling adversary. Many oppressions/possessions pit the exorcist against a number of demonic foes. With a Zozo attachment, this proves even worse than usual.
If the person has only the beginnings of an attachment to Zozo, then you just sever the person’s use of the name. Don’t say Zozo anymore or acknowledge it. But if a person has an actual attachment (a demonic infestation, oppression, or possession) then they have to discover the name of the actual demon attacking them and sever their attachment to the name of Zozo and the board. Only then can they have a clearing or deliverance done.
And that exorcism needs to be performed by a legitimate member of the clergy and not someone who started his own “church”, maybe claiming it was an Old Catholic church that broke away from the Vatican because they disagreed with the canon of Papal infallibility in something called the Utrecht schism. Yes, there are legitimate Old Catholic churches out there that did follow the bishop of Utrecht, but those churches have actual congregations.
Most of the paranormal clergy advertising their services online aren’t legitimately Old Catholic. Their entire church consists of several bishops under the dominion of a self-proclaimed archbishop and a deacon or two. No congregations. No physical churches. No parishioners despite naming these bishops as the head of parishes. Best way to tell is easy: Google maps. Put in their physical address and look up the location on street view. If it comes up as an apartment building, a house, a strip mall, or a church that’s a completely different denomination? It’s not a real church and therefore the archbishops and bishops and deacons aren’t legitimate clergy.
Did I mention the next article I do is about paranormal parasites like these? Okay, good. We’ll break down the Utrecht schism and how that works in legit Old Catholic churches in that article.
But in the meantime–and pay attention, folks. The best and easiest way to not have to deal with Zozo is not to go looking. Regardless of how it’s marketed, the Ouija board is not a game. It’s a form of conjuration, and opens the door to any kind of interaction with the spiritual world imaginable. But you can’t trust what any entity says on the talking board. Not a word, and especially if that entity self-identifies as Zozo.
By communicating with Zozo, you have invited the diabolical into your life. Once that door is open, it’s almost impossible to close–and then I’ll get an email or a phone call from a paranormal group trying to help you but that can’t. That’s the end result of most Zozo-created infestations, and unless there’s a legitimate exorcist involved there’s no way to know what demonic entities have come through that board.
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.
AND DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME.
More About ZoZo the Ouija Demon
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