While "ritualistic" murders and satanic child abuse gripped the nation, the Ouija board was on the periphery of the pop-culture psyche throughout the 1980s. Movies used the Ouija board to commune with evil spirits -- the most profitable example being the Witchboard franchise, whose first installment, released in 1986, makes an overt Exorcist reference: One of the main characters sees her roommate, Linda, retrieve a board and exclaims, "So what you're telling me is... that I'm living with Linda Blair?"
Amazingly, no Christian organizations called for official boycotts of the board during this period. Since the odds of actual demonic possession by way of Ouija board was deemed highly unlikely, parents often played with the idea. Children kept the Ouija board afloat because it could be dangerous, which helped transition the toy into the sleepover freakout machine it is today.