The good old-fashioned Ouija board has experienced a revival lately thanks to a series of low-budget horror films about the supernatural tool. And one of Hollywood’s most popular actresses has attested to its power, too. Here’s how an impromptu Ouija session back in the 1980s spooked Goldie Hawn for life.
Born in Washington, D.C.. in 1945, Goldie Hawn initially pursued a career as a professional dancer before switching to acting in the late 1960s. She achieved her breakthrough as a regular on sketch show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. And with her vivacious personality and beauty, she also became one of the decade’s ultimate It girls.
But Hawn proved there was much more to her talents with an Oscar-winning performance in her first major film role. The star picked up Best Supporting Actress for her turn in 1969’s Cactus Flower. She also impressed in the likes of The Girl from Petrovka, The Sugarland Express and Shampoo.
Private Benjamin, Wildcats and Overboard were just some of her many 1980s successes. And she continued to be a box-office draw into the early 1990s with the likes of Bird on a Wire, Death Becomes Her and Housesitter. But at the height of her success, she took a four-year absence to care for her sick mother.
Hawn eventually returned to the big screen in 1996 hit comedy The First Wives Club. She then appeared in Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You, before working with long-time pal Steve Martin on The Out-of-Towners. And in 1999 Harvard University crowned Hawn the Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year.
Hawn’s acting workload slowed down considerably in the 2000s, however. After 2002’s The Banger Sisters, in fact, it would be 15 years before she made another live-action movie. She only recently resumed her film career with the role of Amy Schumer’s mother in the big-screen comedy Snatched.
But Hawn hadn’t been idly sitting at home. In 2003 she founded an eponymous foundation, which runs programs to help young people to achieve better academic results. “I never looked back, I never wished to be acting again. I was so engaged,” Hawn subsequently told Vanity Fair. She also published an autobiography, A Lotus Grows in the Mud, in 2005.
Hawn’s personal life has also been of great interest to the public over the years. She married her first husband, West Side Story actor Gus Trikonis, in 1969 but the couple went their separate ways four years later. Hawn then had relationships with Swedish film star Bruno Wintzell, stuntman Ted Grossman and musician Bill Hudson.
She eventually went on to marry Hudson in the summer of 1976. The pair had two children together, future acting talents Oliver and Kate, but divorced in 1982. And just a year later, Hawn entered into what would prove to be her longest-lasting relationship by far – with fellow Hollywood star Kurt Russell.
Hawn had first met Russell way back in 1968 when they worked together on The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. But they only became romantically involved when they shared the screen again 15 years later in Swing Shift. The pair have remained together ever since, although they’ve never actually walked down the aisle.
Hawn subsequently became an unofficial stepmother to Russell’s son Boston. And in 1986 the couple welcomed their only child together, another future actor, Wyatt. And as you’re about to discover, Wyatt was central to his parents’ Ouija board experience.
The story begins in the mid-1980s, when Goldie and Kurt happened upon their two kids’ old Ouija board. Before throwing it out, the couple and a friend decided to give the board one last try. And what happened next continued to give Hawn chills for years to come.
Hawn discussed the incident while appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1987. “I was taking the letters down,” she said. “Kurt was blindfolded on one end and our nanny… was on the other end and they could not see where this was going.”
Hawn began the Ouija session by asking, “Who is with us now?” The board subsequently spelled out “N-E-W B-A-B-Y R-U-S-S-E-L-L.” The actress wasn’t pregnant at the time – but that wasn’t the only shock in store.
Indeed, after asking who was willing the baby in, the board replied, “O-L-I-V-E-R,” the name of Hawn’s son with previous husband Bill Hudson. Soon afterwards, Oliver ran downstairs telling his mother that he was scared. Hawn recalled, “He had some weird thing happen to him when he was sleeping.”
After putting Oliver back to bed, Hawn decided to ask the board one more question: “Do you know that you’re coming to me?” “Y-E-S. B-Y-E B-Y-E M-O-M-M-Y” was the reply. And in the summer of 1986 Hawn and Russell welcomed their first child together, Wyatt.
Hawn proudly related to Oprah the moment when an excited young Oliver first picked up baby Wyatt and laid down on the bed with him. “He said, ‘Mom, I can’t believe he’s here and he’s mine.’ It’s an enormous connection,” Hawn revealed.
The Ouija board incident isn’t Hawn’s only experience with the supernatural, however. Daughter Kate Hudson once claimed that she and her mother possess the power to see dead people. “It is not really seeing, it is feeling a spirit,” Kate told U.K. chat-show host Alan Carr. “A fifth energy. I believe in energy. I believe our brains can manifest into visual things.”
Kate added that she was once creeped out after seeing a woman with no face. But thankfully she has a tried and tested method of summoning away unwanted spirits. “When you see something, you are supposed to tell the energy what year it is and that they don’t belong there,” she said.
Kate also referred to her own Ouija board experiences while promoting supernatural horror The Skeleton Key in 2005. The star admitted that she and her family regularly played the spooky game when she was growing up. “The one who’s really good at the Ouija board is Kurt,” Kate told Female First. “He, for some reason, gets a lot of action. He’s a good conduit.”