Monday, July 30, 2012

How To Cope With Ghosts

Lots of ghosts shows have swept right over the part where the homeowners are left with the realization their home is haunted and now have to say goodbye to the team and live there alone again.

I have a set of steps I like to take a client through:

First, we determine if there are haunting features by seeing if any of the events are explainable and seeing if there seems to be unexpected input in the environment. 

If it seems there is something going on, we then determine personal threat. If we're talking about doors opening and closing, footfalls, voices, cold spots, feelings of being watched, there is no real threat, only the unexpected. We learn to cope with unexpected things every day from a rain shower we didn't see coming to a busted water pipe. Cognitively reframing the experience is significant in lowering stress levels.

The next step is a very simple one, the comforting feel of the home can be shifted by doing simple measures like opening a Bible and leaving it out, playing soft happy music, and most importantly letting in light and clearing the clutter--organizing. These simple Feng Shui principles help change the very tone and energy of a home. It also lays down tracks of positive feelings and helps to make energy better able to move on and move out rather than cul-de-sac in dark cluttered corners. Honestly, the very emotional content of the people within the home and their relationships can very much attract activity. A home that is without constant reminders of disorganization, darkness, dirtiness, and clutter, can help elevate the moods of the occupants and make the home a not so friendly hiding spot and help the individual members to handle things with empowerment.

Some teams will advise calling out and telling the spirits it's your house and they need to scram. That's a fantastic tool to use when a family feels the time is right, but one thing investigators often forget to tell families is that this may not work. It may not work because the haunting is residual. In that case, they need to learn to live with a bit of history replaying itself upon occasion from sounds and scents to apparitions. Sometimes, it's as if old houses have memories like people do and they replay them from time to time.

Did you notice so far that I haven't jumped right into saging and prayer? All of these efforts are done in steps. There is no need to run for the big guns when some pepper spray is enough to deter.

Eventually, the belief system of the clients can be taken into consideration when further steps need to be taken. The key here is to not have people jumping to conclusions that what is in their home is bad, is permanent, or is evil. Usually the first steps work and we never have to resort to these unless the investigation team has not done their job at calming down the occupants and helping them reframe the experience so it is not the threatening unknown, but the universally perplexing mystery that it often times is.

There are always exceptions including members being hurt and that is when the further steps can be instituted and the people empowered with mental skills that can help them feel in charge.

There is no one perfect answer for coping with ghosts, but it should go in degrees and it should be done with a great deal of reverence for the power of the occupants who are living and respect for those who have passed on. 


  1. I think the best way to cope with ghosts is to just be their friends and have them do ghostly errands for ya. lol.

  2. Sound advice. I try to avoid religion or spirituality when talking to people who claim to live in a haunted spot. Ghosts and hauntings happen across the globe without regard to religion. So, I don't think it would do any good (outside making the homeowner feel better) and it might run the risk of playing into fears of evil spirits and satan and the like. I just talk to people about their haunting in as boring way as possible. I find it helps to remove dramatic or sensational language from both you and the other person and gets them to focus on actual facts, which often can be quite boring. Even if it's a legit haunting, it mightn't be as spectacular as they've built it up to be. By stripping it of it's saturday afternoon horror movie veneer, you remove its power and fearfulness and give the "client" a sense of control and a cold dose of water in the face. Since people know that I write about these things (rather than investigating as a member of a team), my correspondence with such people has begun in e-mails and I rarely meet them. This makes it easier to remain detached, forcing the homeowner to face the home on their own. To take a moment and breathe, as it were. But I agree with you (even as I don't believe in Feng Shui) that decluttering or changing the psychic (as in dealing with the psyche) dynamic of a home can have a profound impact. Sometimes homes aren't haunted, people are (and here I'm being poetic).