Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How To Live With Ghosts From Someone Who Grew Up With Ghosts

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I began "Ghost Hunting Theories" to try and find others who were open-minded and receptive to examining ghosts in the context of "we can't prove that they exist, and we certainly can't prove how they work," so let's start expanding the possibilities, look for instigators, repeatability, and factors involved. Why is one home haunted and another not? I went on to perform investigations in the field, read about it, write about it, and even developed my own haunted formula based on commonalities between haunted locations.

It all began in 1963 when my family moved into an estate in Fairfax, Virginia. Aspen Grove was built in the mid 1700s as a fort against Indians. In the 1800s, it was taken over by the North to be used as a field hospital and during the war, wrestled back as the same thing for the South. Both sides of the war agonized and died in that home. In fact, the wood floors were still stained with their blood, and the earth littered with bullets, guns, bayonets and the like.


(The Sagar Family that fled during Civil War, this pic was take in the 1860s when they reclaimed the estate after the war)

My parents bought the house for us five kids with the best of intentions. Dad worked in DC and mom stayed home, teaching art classes in the beautiful window-lined art room (a latter addition to the home from the original construction). We kids enjoyed lots of acreage, barn, stables, orchards, creek, two cottages, and two of the largest English boxwood mazes in the country.


I was a baby when we moved in, but my siblings were much older, old enough to know the house was doing things other houses didn't, i.e. it was haunted. 

My parents had a great attitude. They sat us down and said, "You know, kids, lots of soldiers put up a fight to stay alive in this home and some lost that fight. They didn't get home to their families. If you hear them stomping the stairs, catch a glimpse of them in the hallway, hear them talking in the bedroom, just know that these soldiers are proud to watch over you five children. And, who better to protect you than soldiers?" 

I remember being surprised to hear my parents speak of ghosts. At my young age, ghosts were "Casper" from the cartoons in a white sheet. What I had seen, felt, heard, and smelled since I was a baby was an unquestionable force of nature.

swing and me

When you are baby growing up in a haunted home, the physics of it are no different than gravity, sunrise, or magnetism - just a part of nature.

I was never taught anything could harm us or meant us ill. What I did know was that I couldn't predict what, where or when, though I developed good senses for it over time. One thing about living in a house with the "others" is that you develop some keen psychic senses. In fact, today I am a top scoring psychic on PSI testing and a psychometrist (touches objects to read their past and those who handled them). I grew up digging up relics and using a metal detector, filling the display case with all kinds of items. I handled them and read them. I didn't know that wasn't a normal part of the sense of touch until I was well into my 20s.

There are some amazing benefits to growing up in a home and skills acquired, from deductive reasoning, to handling surprise and the unknown, to asking question of the universe, appreciating history, and having a deep compassion for those who have passed, but that all depends on handling these three influences:

Past religious training
Parental explanations and anxiety
Cultural influences like TV and movies


Religions, parents, and TV/movies teach us by example and if they tell us it's possible to be hurt, killed or possessed, that there are forces that are evil, that unexpected sounds or having your hair touched are signs of an Evil influence, then we are susceptible to that influential dogma/explanatory style.

I remind people living in active homes to keep things in perspective - was anyone actually physically hurt? If they were, are you certain that wasn't simply someone tripping and blaming it on the unseen or even rushing away in fear and being hurt by their own internal terror? If things are of a startling nature, like seeing a figure, a shadow, something moving on its own, a door opening and closing, a voice, a smell, those are things that aren't hurting us.

Differentiate personal threat from being startled or surprised.

There are no two given ways to feel when something happens. Feelings are the result of how we explain events. Three people can have a flat tire. One person might think "My boss is going to be so mad I'm late," and he will feel anxious. Another person might think, "why does this always happen to me?" And he feels angry. Yet another person might think "this is not a good part of town for this." And he may be scared. (I highly suggest the book "The Feeling Good Handbook" by David Burns for more on how to have healthy cognitive hygiene).

And, so it is with living in an active home - depending on your explanatory style (how you explain things to yourself), you will have many different feelings about the activity.

While I lived in the house, we experienced shadow people, disembodied voices, banging, smoke with no scent, footsteps, doors opening and closing, electrical issues, full-body apparitions, objects moving on their own, and feelings of being watched or touched. At no time did we experience any threat to our person except any terror we built up in our own minds about what ghosts could do.

This is simple - if ghosts could really hurt us, we would all be in great trouble. It would be like a scene out of the ending of "Ghostbusters," total chaos.

Instead, they are a murky phantom that comes and goes, often does not see us there, does not interact (or we don't notice when they do), and are fleeting activity, at best. Anyone that lives in an active home knows that the minute someone moves in or out, changes are made, someone is physically sick or mentally unwell, things act up or quiet down. Just know that is perfectly normal and to be expected. The very emotional milieu of the living affects activity!

If you still have questions, I would advise my books "Growing Up With Ghosts" (Kindle and paperback) about my family's experience, "Vacationing With Ghosts," (Kindle and paperback) about my childhood experiences and observances as a psychic child at our summer home, and "Was That a Ghost?" a Kindle book I wrote to help people find examples of whether they are having haunting issues or not.

00fav face of a 52 year old

This post also shows up on my team's blog on our helpful website  - Arizona Paranormal Investigators

Expect future posts about methods used for handling these situations, from feng shui and energy centers, to blessings and ultimatums.

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