Part II. Ciprian Zaharie’s Child’s Spirit Board

Before directing his attention to reuniting heartbroken parents with their deceased children, Ciprian Zaharie specialized in traditional séances. It was not until losing his only daughter to cholera, that Ciprian Zaharie saw the need to assist heartbroken parents in reuniting with their departed: this became his sole and personal mission. While Ciprian Zaharie’s Christening Doll proved to be successful in helping bereaved parents reunite with the spirits of their deceased children, the method appeared to be too lengthy and narrow for the average spiritualist to adopt. Given that not every grieving parent was fortunate enough or wealthy enough to receive a Ciprian Zaharie Christening Doll, Mr. Zaharie looked for easier methods that provided a broader scope which anyone could employ.

Keeping in mind that children were dying at an alarming rate before they could read or write, the traditional talking boards was useless in communicating with child spirits. Mr. Zaharie knew he needed to create a spirit board which required no vocabulary. He created a new spirit board which had the image of a crying cherub for “No” and a smiling cherub for “Yes”. At first, this spirit board had a small planchette that was, at times, too heavy for some child spirits to move. After a few prototypes, he settled on the light and ethereal sound of a small brass bell.

Having just come out of the Victorian Era, Edwardian society continued to be increasingly fascinated with anything spiritual that could spell or talk, leaving the Zaharie child board behind. Zaharie was a private spiritualist and was unable to compete with the more established talking board manufacturers such as Haskelite, Fuld, and Kennard. The mass production and popularity of their talking boards soon doused any hope of Zaharie’s small operation gaining any impetus. His unusual board never gained the fame of more traditional talking boards. Zaharie tried one last time with a small rapping doll hand board which also failed to catch any momentum. All three of his inventions resulted in being used solely by him and a few select mediums which he took as apprentices.

Ciprian Zaharie died alone and penniless in 1921.