Monday, March 30, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in
Unexplained Mysteries is always on the look out for new article writers and contributors. If you've written articles, reviews, news stories or other material that you would like published for free on the site then we want to hear from you - Click here for details.
  Columnist: Matt Forde

Image credit:


Posted on Saturday, 28 February, 2015 | 9 comments
Columnist: Matt Forde

This is a story that I heard about only recently. A reader of one of my articles on another site got in touch asking for a little help with the research of a particular series of events, all of which seemed to be linked. It appeared as though more and more independent Ouija board sessions were becoming associated with an entity calling itself Zozo. This was the first I knew about it all but, as I looked into it, it quickly became apparent that it was an interesting enough story to warrant sharing here—certainly; it would be great to read more thoughts on the Zozo ‘phenomenon’ so please leave a comment below. In fact, this is a pretty creepy topic in places.

Despite my ignorance of the Zozo phenomenon, it turned out that a lot of people knew about it already and reports of contacts with the thing are growing in frequency. These reports often correlate in certain ways and, if true, many of them contain rather alarming phenomena, with:
  • the ouija board’s pointer or glass moving in a figure-of-eight pattern
  • the letter Z found scratched into things nearby
  • violent urges overcoming some board users
  • communication in what seems to be Latin or Hebrew
  • people feeling strangled and attacked in other ways
  • spiders “coming from nowhere”
  • assaults of a sexual nature
  • even people being picked up and losing their sight

Here’s one example of a Ouija board session that supposedly contacted the demon in question:

Some people have even reported that quite rare thing in the paranormal world: being followed home by the alleged weirdness, with phenomena continuing even after the ouija board session had ended. This has included hearing ‘conversations’—voices that seemed to emanate from within walls and the letter Z appearing out of nowhere:

“Two nights later I heard my dogs growling in the bedroom where I sleep and they were staring at the door. I got up to see what they were upset at, and when I turned on the lights in the adjoining family room, I saw the table. The glass was scratched/etched with something sharp from underneath…and there was no mistaking the letter Z in that etching.”

Zozo doesn’t seem to be a new idea. The first recorded mention of it seems to be in the 1818 book Dictionairre Infernal by the verbosely-named Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy.

My English translation runs something like this (apologies for any misinterpretations—French is not my forté):

“In 1816, Picardy has been the scene of a scandalous case of possession.

“In the small town of Teilly, three leagues from Amiens, a young girl became pregnant, and to cover this accident, she imagined [or ‘began to proclaim’] that she was possessed by three imps, who were called Mimi, Zozo and Crapoulet. As for the latter, it might conceivably be the culprit because it is considered a womaniser. Anyway, Bet the girl was going about the streets, sometimes on all-fours, sometimes forwards and sometimes backwards; sometimes she walked on her hands, feet in the air. Mimi, she said, pushed her forward; Zozo dragged backwards; and malignant Crapoulet was amused to keep her legs in the air.

“An old man of Loyola [a Basque village in Spain], on the lookout for adventures, recognized the devil’s work and took the possessed girl to exorcise her. 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. There was gossip and unrest in Amiens because of these events, and so the authorities decided to put a stop to the scandal. A man of great intelligence learned of the possessed girl, that she was in fact pregnant, and admitted her to hospital. The Jesuit was forbidden from carrying out exorcisms in the future, under pain of being brought to the police as a fraud.”
The passage above was echoed in a similar text written by historian Jules Garinet who wrote that the Dictionairre Infernal “comes recommended by the purity of the views and the extensive researches of the writer.” Not everyone was as supportive of Collin de Plancy’s work, though, and I’ve found at least one quote that illustrates this:

Sir John Murray—“[the book contains] a great deal of spurious lore which is sadly calculated to deceived the student of the occult sciences.”

Jury’s out in regards to the veracity of this source, then.

So what is Zozo, anyway?

If you believe the reports, Zozo has revealed itself as many things: a vague animal entity, a dog with three heads, Lucifer’s daughter, an immortal spirit, a demon, and even Lucifer himself. The notorious Aleister Crowley claimed that Zozo was actually a term meaning ‘666’.

Certainly, whatever it is seems to keep coming back, never quite dying off, and some researchers on the subject claim to receive many reports from people who come into contact with it and seem to be seeking help.

But perhaps Zozo is not supernatural whatsoever: it is important to remain rational and consider the fact that it might merely be a kind of viral phenomenon in which readers of the subject unconsciously create their own encounters when they use Ouija boards. It might even be an out-and-out fabrication, with people adding their own made-up stories to create a confusing faux-paranormal tapestry. Afterall, people have reported real-life encounters with ‘Slenderman’—an entirely fictional character.

I’ve written an introductory ebook about the ideomotor theory, so I’m rather sceptical when it comes to the supernatural powers that some say Ouija boards tap into. Certainly, the latent, complex power of the human mind cannot ever be discounted when it comes to entering into rational investigations of such matters, and I think it is telling that pink Ouija boards are still sold and marketed to children, even in the US—a country where Kinder Eggs are banned. However, subjective ‘evidence’ abounds.

There was a recent episode of the US show Ghost Adventures that looked into a house affected by Zozo after a Ouija board session went wrong. It makes for interesting watching no matter which side of the fence you sit on—and I think that’s the fascinating thing about this case and much of the paranormal gamut as a whole: whether it’s real or not it’s really darned interesting.



Article Copyright© Matt Forde - reproduced with permission.

Matt has also written two e-books:

Eerie Britain and Eerie Britain 2

  Other articles by Matt Forde

The trouble with the Jersey Devil
Columnist: Matt Forde | Posted on 10-20-2015 | 0 comments
I’m fascinated by the Pine Barrens and have been since that X-Files episode in the early 1990s. This huge expanse of US forest smothers a large chunk of souther...

The MacKenzie Poltergeist
Columnist: Matt Forde | Posted on 1-13-2012 | 11 comments
In December of 1998, a homeless man wandered through Edinburgh’s storm-lashed streets. Seeking shelter from the night’s downpour he staggered into Greyfriars Ki...

The island of the dolls
Columnist: Matt Forde | Posted on 8-26-2010 | 12 comments
The winding canals of Mexico City’s ancient Xochimilco district harbour a disturbing and exceptional locale. Within the meandering waterways of the quiet wetlan...

The zombie of Gladwish Wood
Columnist: Matt Forde | Posted on 7-6-2010 | 9 comments
Nestling amid the beautiful countryside of the Sussex Weald there is a little village called Burwash, where listed buildings flank the neat, meandering high str...

The camera never lies ?
Columnist: Matt Forde | Posted on 5-31-2010 | 16 comments
A regular entry of ‘top 10 ghost photographs’ lists, the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall remains a perennial favourite among students of the paranormal. For those th...

   View: More articles from this columnist ( 9 total )

Last updated forum topics
Forum icon 
Articles by other columnists
Fate: A lesson in how to lose control, gracefully
Posted 3-8-2020
Kathleen Meadows on fate and destiny.
UFOs and deja vu
Posted 2-8-2020
When the unexplained happens over and over again.
Our mysterious moon
Posted 1-14-2020
Is the moon an artificial construct created by intelligent beings ?
Lessons from the other side
Posted 12-21-2019
William B Stoecker talks about his own near-death experience.
Repeating clock numbers
Posted 12-6-2019
Ever found that every time you look at the clock its 1:11, 2:22, 3:33... ?
Panspermia revisited
Posted 11-27-2019
William B Stoecker on the possibility that life travels between worlds.
Witchcraft, UFOs and Rock'n Roll
Posted 11-13-2019
A look back at David Bowie's encounter with witch Walli Elmlark.
Posted 11-8-2019
Kathleen Meadows explores the nature and meaning of nightmares.
UFO perspectives
Posted 8-19-2019
From the world's top experts (from Maccabee to Friedman).
The planets that never were
Posted 6-15-2019
William B Stoecker looks at the habitability of our solar system.
Gef the talking mongoose
Posted 3-3-2019
Sean Casteel recounts the very strange case of a rather bizarre creature.
The Paranormalist
Posted 1-25-2019
David Lange takes a look at the work of paranormal investigator Christopher Chacon.
Tesla's secret space program
Posted 12-11-2018
A look in to the world of Nikola Tesla conspiracy theories.

 View: View more column articles
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ