Zozo is believed to be a demon who is particularly associated with ouija boards and is said to often pretend to be a friendly or sympathetic spirit to gain the trust of the people communicating with him.
BACKGROUND, HISTORY AND LORE
Zozo, the ‘Ouija Board Demon’ is a malevolent entity which lies to and tricks people using a ouija or spirit board. He will often pretend to be a friendly spirit or even someone the person knows before revealing his true identity. Zozo has been known to terrorize and even possess those who encounter him through a ouija or spirit board. Saying his name too many times is also reported to be able to summon him or cause him to manifest.
Zozo has been known to disguise himself as, and even mimic, someone the person using the Ouija board will know and trust such as a relative or friend or someone they would otherwise be sympathetic to such as a scared child. It is also thought to be important to not use a ouija board if you are afraid of encountering Zozo or any other demonic entity as they ‘end to prey on people’s fear’.
He is also reported to be particularly attracted to the female sex as well as people with suicidal tendencies, depression and other psychological disorders. Therefore anyone who might be considered more ‘fragile’ are at more risk and are of more interest to Zozo. Zozo has also been reported to be able to remain attached to victims for years or even attempt to drive a ouija board user insane sometimes though possessing them.
While Zozo is most often connected with a ouija board, it is also possible that he can be contacted through other means such as during hypnosis, automatic writing sessions, EVP and pendulums.
Zozo is first mentioned in an 1818 demonology book, Le Dictionnaire Infernal by Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy, which contained an account of a young village girl in Picardy who was terrorized by three demons, Mimi, Crapoulet and Zozo. However, according to one source, accurately translating Le Dictionnaire Infernal shows that this possession was faked.
“She rattled nonsense,” de Plancy wrote, adding that the girl had been publicly beaten years before for faking possession, and was eventually imprisoned for her fibs. He goes on to describe what he believed to be genuine cases of demonic activity, ending the Zozo extract with the sentence: “Nonetheless, there are real cases of possession.”https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/zozo-demon-history-ouija-board (Lindsey Romain, 2017)
The name Zoso, another name Zozo reportedly goes by, is mentioned as early as the 16th century in a text called De rerum varietate (On Natural Phenomena) by the Renaissance scholar Gerolamo Cardano. There is no demonic connection made to the word or the symbol and it’s meaning is astrological, relating Saturn.
In 1844 the symbol reportedly appears again but is this time a protective symbol in Le triple vocabulaire infernal: Manuel de démonologie ou les ruses de l’enfer dévoilées by Frinellan. The symbol would also later be copied by Led Zeppelin as the symbol for their guitarist Jimmy Page.
SIGNS YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ZOZO
Signs that you are speaking to Zozo include:
- the mood of the room suddenly shifting – you might suddenly feel uneasy or a sense of dread
- the planchette may continue to point to the letter ‘Z’
- the spirit you’re communicating with may call itself ‘Zaza’
- he may spell his name on the board over and over, often in an infinity or number 8 symbol between ‘O’ and ‘Z’
- he may simply announce himself by name (Zozo)
- the planchette may begin to move very rapidly, or if you are using a pendulum this may begin to swing at an increased speed
- mirrors or other glass may reportedly break
- scratches may appear on the body of anyone currently in the building the seance is being performed in even if they are not participating in the session
- you might see shadows moving or the room may get significantly darker
If you believe you may have made contact with Zozo it is important to not panic, evil spirits and entities are thought to feed off fear and negativity. It’s recommended that you immediately say goodbye and ‘close-out’/end the session by moving the planchette to ‘goodbye’.
You should reportedly avoid saying his name as some theorize this summons him and wipe down the board and then store the planchette and board separately. It’s also recommended that anyone who was involved in the session should not use a ouija board again in the near future to be safe from encountering Zozo again. If you can, it’s also best to leave the space you conducted the session in for a few days to let any energy Zozo might be drawn to dissipate.
If you still feel that Zozo is nearby, seek out help from a paranormal professional or a religious leader, such as a priest or rabbi and smudge the area, and anyone involved in the session or in the same area, with sage.
It’s also possible that Roland Doe, a victim of possession in 1951. Roland Doe is a pseudonym for a 14-year-old boy who reportedly went through an extremely violent and traumatic exorcism which actually became the inspiration for the novel and film The Exorcist. His aunt was reported to be a ‘regular user’ of a ouija board and used it with Roland on some occasions as well.
Zozo is also thought to be behind the 1997 Enfield poltergeist haunting as two of the young sisters living at the house reportedly played with a ouija board at a friend’s house. They reportedly claimed that they saw the face of a demon manifest during the session.
DARREN WAYNE EVANS
In a 2009 post on trueghosttales.com message board, Darren Wayne Evans wrote that on numerous occasions when he had been using a ouija board and that ‘one particular spirit always seemed compelled to make its presence known’.
“Too many times to count, it has at first pretended to be a nice spirit, or pretend to be whomever I was trying to contact. But eventually it showed it’s true self, cussing me, threatening me and others present in the room. Once it actually cussed me using what looked like Latin or Hebrew, and using biblical terminology.”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
Darren Wayne Evans wrote in 2009 that ‘it [Zozo] always wound up being very nasty’ and that the board would communicate that the entity wanted to possess Wayne’s girlfriend and take her to ‘paradise’ and that the board would spell out ‘HELL’. Zozo also reportedly threatened to possess his girlfriend and ‘eat her soul’.
He also reported that on one occasion when Zozo was ‘being extremely evil’ he walked into the families bathroom after a ouija board session and found his one-year-old daughter about to drown in the bath.
“Her mother had left her alone in the tub “just for a second” and somehow the water got turned on and was overflowing. Instinctively she had her face tilted up and was seconds from going under when I grabbed her from the water”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
Darren’s daughter was hospitalized following this event and was reportedly diagnosed with a ‘weird internal infection’ and was put in isolation for two weeks as the doctors tried to more clearly diagnose her illness. Evans wrote that this was when he began to suspect a ‘demonic attack’. He also wrote that at this time his girlfriend ‘maintained a “trance-like” state’ and that her personality changed from a ‘very sweet person’ to someone who was ‘withdrawn and uncaring’.
Evans also reported that when he was recording for a rock music project he ‘jokingly’ asked a spirit board if it had an opinion on what he should name the band. The board reportedly returned the words ‘iron tongue’ and later his daughter again needed to visit the hospital as her tongue had swelled up ‘to the point of asphyxiation’. Evans claimed that his daughter’s tongue had become ‘rock hard’ and was swelling up to such a degree that it distorted her face and ‘hung grotesquely’ from her mouth.
Evans also wrote that when guests stayed the night in their house they would claim to have heard ‘frightening’ voices reportedly coming from inside the walls. Also reported were objects that would be thrown across the room, spiders seeming ‘to come from nowhere’, lights turning on and off by themselves, doors opening and unlocking by themselves and one complained of hearing conversations so loud that they were not able to sleep at all. When Evans’ girlfriend’s brother complained about these loud conversations he heard at night he reportedly claimed that they ‘felt demonic’.
Darren Wayne Evans also wrote in his True Ghost Tales post that one night when he and his girlfriend were in their bedroom they heard a disembodied ‘vicious laughter’ and that ‘to this day I [Darren] cannot explain the terror in that laughter’. One night he was also woken up by the feeling of hands-on his throat choking him, that he could not breathe, could not scream and after about thirty seconds the invisible force finally released him. Evans also wrote that the same thing had happened to his girlfriend the next night.
On another night, Darren and his girlfriend’s brother were reportedly standing on the back porch of the house, ‘just past’ the sliding glass door, ‘talking about a supposed curse of their family’ when Evans ‘abruptly exclaimed “I rebuke this curse in the name of Jesus Christ!”’. However, before he was able to finish saying these words there was a ‘deafening sound and a vibration struck the entire house with such an alarming “boom”’. Reportedly, it was so loud that the neighbours came over to ask Evans if he had ‘heard something strange’.
“I knew it wasn’t our imaginations, I got out the ladder to see what had landed on top of the house only to find nothing. Things settled down after that, and to this day I believe that whatever made that noise also caused the disturbance to go away… For awhile.”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
Darren Wayne Evans’ girlfriend broke him with him and he met someone from Michigan online and moved to be with her. Wayne wrote that his new girlfriend did not believe in spirits but that he had decided to try to change her mind with a ouija board session. He was not able to find in the shops of their small town so he downloaded and printed one from the internet.
“It said it came from “cyberspace”…and when I asked it where it lived it spelled “SKULL NECKLACE”… We didn’t think much of this until I asked it again where it was, this time spelling “MIRROR.” The was only one mirror in the bedroom where we were crouched on the floor, and I heard a scream coming from her 7 year old niece who was watching us with another young friend. We looked up at the mirror and saw the skull necklace swaying back and forth with glowing eyes looking down at us!”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
Following this event, Darren Wayne Evans’ new girlfriend drove 40 miles to purchase a glow-in-the-dark ouija Board and the next night after this session they held another ouija board session, without Evans participating, and Zozo reportedly appeared again.
“My girlfriends nieces were using the planchette and I would secretly write down a color onto a small piece of paper, then crumple it up where no one could see. I asked the young girls to ask the board if it knew which color I had written down, it quickly scooted to “YES!”…”BLUE!” – We then tried the same thing with shapes, and words and every time the board knew.”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
Evans wrote that on another night they asked if the spirit they were communicating with through the board would show itself. The spirit replied ‘yes’ and told them to turn off the lights and take a picture of a skeleton necklace which was hanging above the board. Evans claimed that in the upper left-hand corner of the picture winged skeletons can be seen flying about. This picture was reportedly taken six years before his True Ghost Tales post.
“They are of the exact same weird shape of this “skateboarders” skeleton necklace. Towards the middle you can make out hideous faces, I have seen at least 4 evil faces in this picture. – I have sent this picture to several “experts” and they have all said they cannot explain the images inside.”https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/zozo-the-ouija-demon/ (Darren Wayne Evans, 2009)
In 2014, Darren Wayne Evans appeared on an episode of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures in which they visited him and his family at their home in Oklahoma which they claimed was being haunted by Zozo. During interviews for the show, Evans reportedly added new details to his story including Zozo apparently causing his daughter to go temporarily blind.
OTHER REPORTED ENCOUNTERS
In 2010 a video titled Scariest Ouija Board Demon ZOZO Possessed Girl was uploaded to YouTube and appears to show a group contacting Zozo in a ouija board session before one girl in the group appears to become possessed by Zozo.
According to one report, in which Zozo first asked a series of questions about players’ families through a spirit board, a candle was then mysteriously extinguished and a streak of nasty luck followed for the witness and her friend. Someone else who claimed to contact Zozo through a spirit board said that she and a friend talking spent some time talking to a spirit which called itself Zozo until her friend began experiencing ‘strange symptoms that started with a headache and culminated with her inexplicable disappearance from the house in the middle of the night’.
You can watch the documentary I Am Zozo online here.
Zozo’s name does not appear anywhere in the bible or in any other official religious texts or literature. However, Zozo is thought to be another name for the ancient Mesopotamian god Pazuzu, believed to be a demon, who has been known for almost three thousand years. Pazuzu has the head and body of a man and a scorpion’s tail and appeared in The Exorcist.
“If ghosts exist and we can truly speak to them, there’s nothing preventing them from using the name Zozo to scare us. In fact, there might not even be a Zozo – the trademark bizarre planchette movements and negative feelings associated with Zozo could easily be produced subconsciously by anyone familiar with the nasty rumors surrounding its name.”https://m.ranker.com/list/zozo-facts/maggie-clendenin?utm_expid=16418821-422.YCKQfHaMR0ipXC49DMJtsQ.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F (Ranker)
Darren Wayne, in his True Ghost Stories post, writes that Zozo is supposedly a three-headed demon dog, with a tattoo on its forehead of Zoso, which guards the gates of hell. He also wrote that Zozo is a term which ‘Aleister Crowley’ claimed meant ‘666’ the ‘number of the beast’.
Rock group Led Zeppelin also used Zoso as a symbol on their Zeppelin 4 album.
It’s also possible that Zozo is just an internet urban legend or a story made up by Darren Wayne Evans and that his True Ghost Stories post started a viral phenomenon.
“where a really good story (real or imagined) creates a kind of hysteria. People go on to have their own “real” experiences with the character in question because the story is fresh in their subconscious. This is especially truth with something as suggestible as the movements of a ouija board planchette where a group of people can unknowingly see and interpret movements according to what they want to see.”https://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2018/06/zozo-ouija-board-demon/ (Chrissy Stockton, 2018)
Darren Wayne Evans co-authored a book on Zozo in 2016 titled The Zozo Phenomenon with Rosemary Ellen Guiley, a leading paranormal expert. In this book, Evans added further new details to his story claiming that he first came into contact with Zozo in 1982 after finding a ouija board in the basement of his girlfriend at the time. The word ‘Zozo’ was reportedly engraved into the back of the board.
However, earlier in 2016, Evans reportedly claimed in a phone interview with a New Jersey newspaper that ‘Zozo’ was on the front of the ouija board he found in his girlfriend’s basement, in place of where ‘Ouija’ would normally be on the board.
Another fact, pointed out by The Paranormal Scholar, is that Zoso is also an ancient glyph representing Saturn, as we mentioned earlier, and Darren Wayne Evans is a Capricorn which is a star sign ruled by Saturn.
Evans has also stated that he is a ‘mega-fan’ of Led Zeppelin and his own Zozo website has in the past reportedly been linked to the official Led Zeppelin website. These facts may be a coincidence but they can also support the theory that Darren Wayne Evans made up the events he wrote about and the Zozo demon. He has attempted to counter some of these claims that his stories and encounters were made up.
“He claims the root word “Zo” — appearing in both Zozo and Zoso — has some sort of “magical power,” which he believes explains its recurring nature. In a blog post from earlier this year, he posted more historical “proof” of Zozo’s existence, once again citing Le Dictionnaire Infernal and a Nigerian paranormal website, Nairaland, where in 2005 a user named Makaveli wrote of a friend’s encounter with a demon called “Zo-Zo.” (Curiously, in the Nigerian languages Hausa and Igbo, “Zozo” translates to “come up.”) He found mention of a demon named Zozo in a 1966 play by Jacques Audiberti, and in an 1876 issue of the Catholic Review, where Saint Bernardino of Siena mentions a “Mass of Zozo,” some sort of Satanic ritual.”https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/zozo-demon-history-ouija-board (Lindsey Romain, 2017)
There is however another explanation for the ‘Zozo phenomenon’. In 1972 psychologists tested whether people can ‘communicate with the paranormal through only persuasion or human will in what’s known as The Philip Experiment’’. For the study, the researchers made up a fictional deceased person named Philip Aylesford and instructed a group of people, unaware that he was fictional, to hold a seance and attempt to summon or communicate with his ghost or spirit.
The group claimed that they could feel Philip’s presence and heard knocking sounds coming from the table, claimed to feel the table vibrate and even reportedly saw the table tilt up on two of its legs. The group was sure that they had spoken to the ghost of Philip Aylesford and that he had answered the questions they had asked the spirit. As a result, the researchers concluded that the human mind was capable of creating spirits and see and hear interactions with said spirits through suggestion and ‘persuasion and imagination’.
“The Ouija board, consequently, is designed to play tricks against us by working off of a principle called the “Ideometer Effect”. Our muscles make small, subconscious movements without our realizing them, and when we see those movements shift the light piece of plastic on the board, we become convinced that it’s happening supernaturally. All this amounts to us being able to scare ourselves into believing the paranormal.”https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/zozo-demon-history-ouija-board (Lindsey Romain, 2017)
ALSO KNOWN AS
- Pazuzu (possibly)
- And That’s Why We Drink Episode 24 – A Ouija Board PSA and Lessons on Limes