Jason Ethier crouched over a Ouija board in his darkened basement, lit a candle, and tried to summon the spirit of recently murdered Florida rapper XXXTentacion.
“I’m sure X is a good spirit, guys, like, he was an awesome person,” said Ethier, a Canadian YouTube creator whose more than 2 million subscribers know him by the handle “ImJayStation.”
Ethier didn’t have much luck contacting XXXTentacion’s spirit at first, though, so he pulled up a picture of the slain rapper on his phone and began playing an instrumental version of one of his songs. That prompted a brief freestyle rap session with his camera crew.
After that was over, the Ouija board’s planchette began to move—and Ethier began to worry that an evil spirit might be posing as XXXTentacion.
“I feel like demons would honestly try to make it seem like it’s him just to fuck with us,” warned Ethier’s cameraman.
“That might be true, demons are deceivers,” Ethier agreed.
The resulting video—“XXXTENTACION OUIJA BOARD CHALLENGE AT 3AM!! (GONE WRONG)”—doesn’t include much insight into XXXTentacion’s June 18 murder. But tune in for the next video, when Ethier promises to open a box decorated with demonic images that he claims appeared in his house during the seance.
“Smash the ‘like’ button for XXXTentacion, we actually communicated with him,” Ethier says in closing the video.
The Ouija board video hasn’t been without backlash for Ethier. But the seance has already netted him hundreds of thousands of views since it was posted Tuesday—a major win for a garden-variety YouTube prankster previously best known for filming himself trespassing at a Dairy Queen after-hours to gorge on ice cream.
The murder of the 20-year-old XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, has sparked both grief among his many young fans and complicated questions about how to react to the death of a man who allegedly terrorized and beat his ex-girlfriend.
But XXXTentacion’s death has also proven to be content gold for YouTube personalities who make videos in which they claim to reach him in the afterlife.
Steve Huff, a self-described “paranormal researcher” who operates the “Huff Paranormal” channel on YouTube, said he wasn’t familiar with XXXTentacion before his death. After the murder, though, Huff says he was deluged with thousands of requests from XXXTentacion fans who wanted him to attempt to reach the rapper from beyond the grave.
In the video, Huff operates a device that he’s dubbed the “SoulSpeaker”—essentially a speaker covered in a crystal, a rosary, and other mystical accoutrements that Huff claims offer eight different kinds of energies for spirits to use.
The speaker randomly flips through internet radio stations, creating an otherworldly, unintelligible noise full of static and clipped speech noises—sounds believers claim can be manipulated by spirits to get their messages through. In Huff’s video, for example, he interprets a garbled sound coming from the speaker as XXXTentacion’s spirit saying the afterlife “is awesome.”
Huff’s video has received nearly 2 million views since he put it up last week.
“I’ve never seen a reaction like this to any video that I’ve done,” said Huff.
Other “spirit boxes,” which rapidly cycle through AM and FM radio stations to produce their ghostly noises and are available for less than $100 on Amazon, figure prominently in similar videos about XXXTentacion.
For the rapper’s fans, they’re a chance to see his spirit quizzed on the details of his life and death. And, conveniently for the YouTubers creating the video, the sounds are open to interpretation.
“Did you have beef with Drake and the Migos?” YouTuber and “paranormal hunter” Jody Dean asks XXXTentacion’s ghost in one video.
A staticky sound emerged from the speaker, which Dean, a self-described warlock, interpreted as XXXTentacion saying, “You bet.”
“Dude!” Dean said.