WARNING: If you don't want to know what happens in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
Mel was 13 when she and her family moved into a new house in Houston, Texas in the spring of 1988. Mel's parents were from El Salvador and had come to the United States for a better life; the house was old and relatively small (Mel had to share a bedroom with her older sister Maria and younger sister Jackie), but it was theirs.
One evening at the dinner table, Maria talks about a new game she wants to get in which you can ask it anything you want and it gives you answers. Their father is amused by the name of it: a Ouija board, and Mom agrees to pick one up for the girls.
The three sisters gather in their room to play with their new game, with Maria quickly dismissing the three rules that come with it: 1) Never play alone, 2) Always say goodbye when you're done playing, and 3) Never play in your own home. The girls get immediate results when they ask "Is anybody there?," as the planchette moves to YES … though Jackie's laughter soon after reveals that she was just playing around. The sisters quickly lose interest and push the Ouija board under Mel's bed.
Mel had been struggling in school, feeling like an outsider and terrified of a bully named Erica. Mel would return home after class feeling sad and lonely, feeling like she didn't have anyone to talk to about her situation …
… until one day she gets the idea that maybe she can talk to the Ouija board. Mel's greeting results in a HI, after which she asks whatever is there if it can help her get rid of Erica … and the planchette slides to YES.
Sure enough, Erica isn't in class the next day, with Mel's teacher announcing that she's been expelled. When Mel returned home, she asked the Ouija board if it helped her, to which it replied YES, followed by spelling out I AM YOUR FRIEND. Mel smiles, delighted ... though does anyone else think that she should really just incinerate that thing, like, right now?
That night, Mel's parents were out and Maria was babysitting her two sisters. Mel started hearing footsteps coming from the backyard; when she went to the window to investigate, the footsteps sounded like they were getting closer … and then they stopped.
And then a terrifying demonic figure appeared in the window!
Mel screamed and ran to tell Maria what happened. The three sisters ventured into the kitchen together, though before they could look out the window, they heard a bump and a creak coming from above them … as if someone was walking around upstairs. However, when the girls investigate, there's nothing there.
Just then, the sisters' parents get home, and the girls tell them about what happened. Suddenly, their father's eyes roll back and he angrily tells them to go to bed. What's up with that?
It gets to the point where all Mel really cares about is talking to her new friend via the Ouija board, much to the chagrin of Maria and her mother. Things take an even more sinister turn one night when Mel feels something grab her leg and begin to drag her under the bed.
Mel managed to pull herself onto Maria's bed just as her parents entered the room, wondering about all the ruckus. Mel's mother blames the Ouija board for all of her daughter's recent strange behavior and, along with her husband, takes it out to the dumpster.
A few days later, Mel came home from school missing her friend something fierce … so much that she decided to make her own Ouija board with cut-out letters and a drinking glass for a planchette. Soon, she's able to contact the mysterious spirit once again.
One night, Mel heard strange chanting in a language she didn't understand. She looked into the living room and saw her father standing rigid, as if under control of some force. Mel's mother was terrified by the sight, telling her daughter to pray for her father.
The next night, Maria and Jackie were in the living room when their father stormed in, looking like he wanted to start a fight. After briefly glaring at the girls in silence, he went upstairs, where he commenced with arguing with his wife. He was acting very bizarre and aggressive … so much that Mel asked her spirit friend if she can make her dad "go away."
Suddenly, Maria felt an intense heat and soon found herself removing a loaded gun from a desk outside her parents' bedroom … and threatening her father with it. Maria's mother grabs her arm and the gun goes off … though thankfully, the bullet hits the ceiling and not Maria's father. Maria seems to snap out of it, claiming she felt like something took over her mind and body.
Increasingly disturbed by her husband's aggressive behavior — and the sense that something "evil" was going on — Mel's mother decides it's best if she and her three daughters get out of the house. They move into a run-down apartment, where Mel feels completely disconnected with everything, finding solace only in her homemade Ouija board.
One afternoon, Mel decides to finally ask her mysterious friend where she's from. FROM HELL is the answer, which makes Mel freak out, gather all of the letters into the drinking glass and run from her bedroom.
Mel gets about halfway down the hall before a noise stops her. Returning to her room, she finds the letters floating about everywhere, violently shredded, shards of the shattered drinking glass on the floor. It looks like she's made her friend very upset!
And just then, Mel hears someone — or something — calling her name, guiding her to under the bed … where she finds the real Ouija board, the one her parents supposedly discarded in the dumpster!
One evening when they were getting ready for dinner, Mel got the feeling that something was watching her. Her mother told her to stop such nonsense, thinking she was trying to get out of helping prepare the meal. When Mel went to get the dinner plates, she saw a demonic creature in the living room, after which she was pushed by some invisible force onto the couch.
Mel started to feel short of breath and passed out … soon after which she suddenly bolted upright, her skin covered in purple rashes, eyes closed and gesturing with her arms wildly. Mel's mother watched in horror until her daughter eventually collapsed onto the couch again with no memory of the incident.
Mel's mother took her to a series of doctors but none were able to help her daughter who, at this point, was doing little more than sleeping and occasionally eating. Finally, a family friend recommended taking Mel to see Alice, a curandera, a witch doctor/shaman who uses traditional rituals and white magic to heal the body, soul and spirit. Alice quickly surmised that an evil spirit was breaking down Mel.
Mel tells Alice about her Ouija board, which confuses her mother as she thought she threw it away. Upon Alice's instructions, Mel's mother calls her estranged husband and tells him to go to the house, find the Ouija board and burn it immediately.
As Mel's father makes his way to the house, Alice commences with an exorcism, spraying holy water that, to Mel, feels like violent punches on her body. When Mel's father burns the Ouija board on the grill, Mel herself feels like she's on fire as the evil spirit fights to stay with her.
Finally, Mel collapses, seemingly free of the demon!
Mel and her mother return home, where they embrace Maria and Jackie. Mel claims she survived her ordeal because of her mother, who was strong enough to fight for her and her sisters.