Creepy-angel-flickr-Nimish-GogriWhen my friend told me that ouija boards were going to be this Christmas’ sell-out item my initial reaction was that this was another “urban myth” best treated with a healthy dose of skepticism. Who, in an age of the Internet, online gaming, Facebook and 3-D televisions would want to move a pointer around on a board in the hope of getting messages from the spirit world? The astonishing answer is, quite a lot of people! The story turns out to be true. Promoted by an apparently truly dreadful film (sponsored by Hasbro, the toy firm that holds the rights to ouija boards), sales of the £20+ boards have gone through the roof. And it’s not just me who is mystified. As Simon Osborne wrote in the Independent, “What better time to talk to dead people for fun than the festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus?” Three observations. First, this is yet another phenomenon reminding us that, for all the bold claims of the new atheism that the world is moving into an age of rational thought in which every form of the supernatural is rejected, the reality “on the ground” is very different. The hunger for the supernatural, the paranormal and the mystical remains intense and almost universal. Indeed, it seems as if the more a “universe without God” is talked up, the more people flock to the supernatural. If atheism is true, then it’s very odd that no one seems to follow it. More