Great answer Steve, I would just like to add a few things that might help calm things down for the questioner and others who might genuinely get disturbed by the board.
It was patented in 1892 as a toy, and that's all it is, there are only two things that can move the planchette, the first is the subconscious movement of the participants called the ideomotor effect, and the second is one or more of the participants moving it on purpose as some sort of prank.
This is extremely easy to prove by blindfolding all the participants as detailed in my link, any 'messages' are complete gibberish
I've carried out this experiment many times to help people like yourself who genuinely believe that they are contacting demons, spirits or dead people and get very disturbed by them, this i why so many people say not to play with them.
As an added control, after blindfolding all the participants, I veryquietlyy and without telling them, turn the board around 180 degrees, apart from the letters being in the wrong place, the YES and NO panels are now at a different end of the board.
I ask the normal questions and some which can only be answered with a 'yes' or a 'no', the planchette ALWAYS goes to the wrong end of the board because that's where the participants think it is.
Once the participants realise what has been going on, they first of all kick themselves for being so gullible, then thank me for ridding them of their imaginary demons.
Here's Penn and Teller demonstrating it in an amusing but nevertheless informative way.
· 8 years ago