Cindy is a paranormal enthusiast and author of over twenty books on the subject of true supernatural phenomena.
First Things First
Before diving into the dos and don'ts, you must first determine if the activity you're experiencing is paranormal in nature. For those who are wondering, here are a few scenarios that could indicate that you have a problem that defies convention.
If something otherworldly has laid claim to the premises, you might observe one or more of the following: objects being moved around without explanation or coming up missing without cause, a sudden onslaught of noises such as banging and pounding with no obvious source, the recurring odor of rotten eggs that comes on quickly and disappears in much the same way, independently moving shadows that flit in and out of your peripheral vision, a sudden spate of nightmares that seem oddly realistic, and nervous or aggressive behavior in pets who were previously docile.
If you've noticed any of these events taking place under your roof, while there could very well be a logical explanation for the occurrences, it is also possible that you are playing the role of unwitting host to a presence that no longer has a place in this realm. If this is indeed the case, the following are a few things you should never do unless you want to risk making a bad situation worse.
1. Challenge Their Right to be There
Some occupants of dwellings that show the tell-tale signs of being haunted immediately go on the offensive. This rarely has the desired results for various reasons, one of the most obvious being that these supernatural entities always have the upper hand.
How these interlopers react to attempts at being forced out depends largely on whether they are disembodied souls or beings that have never walked the earth in human form. In the case of the latter, the odds are slim to none that you will get rid of them by any means. Worse still, since they don't normally attach to places, even if you relocate, they will often tag along. If you suspect that a demonic presence has invaded your space, recruiting help from someone experienced in the rites of exorcism is your only hope. Be forewarned however that even this extreme measure is not always successful.
Fortunately, odds are in your favor that the party that has taken up residence in your home was once human, which puts you in a much better position. While these intrusive specters may be a nuisance, they pose no threat to the living. They can be disruptive, as they were in my family's case, but their reach only goes so far. Even if they want to do harm, they simply aren't equipped to follow through.
To put my experience in a nutshell, my family moved into a rental property in 2001 unaware of the fact that two elderly men had died in the upstairs bedroom. After our daughter was born a year later, we were plagued by mysterious phenomena that included appliances flying off the kitchen countertops, shadows moving up and down the stairs, as well as a foreboding presence in the basement that sent several panes of glass hurtling to the floor one afternoon in an alarming show of temper.
On top of all that, our cats had such an aversion to the room we had converted into a nursery that they wouldn't set foot in it under any circumstances. Our baby daughter also apparently sensed that something was wrong, as evidenced by the night terrors she suffered on the rare occasions when we put her down to sleep in her crib. The experience was so traumatizing for her that she would wake up drenched in perspiration and screaming at the top of her lungs.
After spending several years putting up with these disturbances, not to mention the added bonuses of having our electronics constantly going on the fritz, lightbulbs exploding out of the sockets, and our toddler telling us that two men were shaking her bed at night, we took the coward's way out and moved.
Later on, when I shared the full story publicly, a retired police officer messaged me to say that he had been called to our former residence one night by a distraught woman who claimed that strange voices were coming from her landline, which was not in use at the time.
When he arrived on the scene, he found a thoroughly shaken family, all of whom had heard the disembodied voices. Although he wasn't able to help them, he was convinced by their overall demeanor that they were telling the truth. After reading my account, he had put the locations together and realized that they were one and the same.
For those who prefer to stand their ground, know that ordering the invasive spirits out is a waste of breath. We tried that tactic many times without success. If anything, it served only to anger them. It seemed that whenever we put our foot down, they went out of their way to show us that this was a fight we couldn't win.
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As it turned out, they were right. After settling into our new home, we learned through the grapevine that a man and his father-in-law had passed away in our old house a decade or so before we moved in. We understood then why they had wanted us out. Simply put, as far as they were concerned, we were trespassing on their territory, not the other way around.
If you're determined to sit tight or are unable to relocate for personal reasons, you can attempt to coax stubborn spirits to vacate by performing a sage cleansing, which can be effective if done right. Just be sure to purchase authentic sage bundles for the ritual. It is also important to smoke around the windowsills, door jambs, and nooks and crannies. If a single spot is overlooked, you'll find yourself back at square one.
You can also have a member of the clergy bless the house. Surprisingly, most clerics are more than willing to perform this service if asked. Though not required, a small donation to the church is always appreciated as a way of saying thank you.
Of course, you can attempt to bless the premises yourself, but I've never heard of this being effective. Whether this is due to the residents of the home being too close to the situation or the assumption that they aren't as devout as a person of the cloth, is unknown. The bottom line is that if you've reached the point where such steps are necessary, it's probably time to call in a professional.
2. Enlist the Help of Charlatans
While people who find themselves in despair can be easily duped, spirits have no such weaknesses. It is for this reason that enlisting the aid of charlatans should be avoided at all costs. To bring someone who isn't what they portray themselves to be into an already volatile situation can be perilous not only for them, but for whoever introduced them into the mix.
Although it isn't the norm, entities that remain bound to a dwelling have been known to latch onto those who enter their domain and attempt to outsmart them. While this act is usually only temporary, it can be a terrifying experience for the would-be medium who, in most cases, was only trying to help.
When an amateur clairvoyant who is clearly in over their head is brought into the equation, resident spirits who choose to make their presence known can, and will, drive them away in short order. Since most of these ill-prepared enthusiasts don't realize what they have gotten themselves into until it's too late, they usually retreat at the first sign that a being they cannot begin to understand has settled on the property.
As has been suggested previously, it is usually best to look to the clergy for guidance in these instances. While some may turn you away, if you are diligent, you will eventually find someone who is willing to take up the cause. Although this might not be ideal for everyone, it is the only way to ensure that you're enlisting the help of someone who has a clear understanding of what they are up against.
3. Wait Them Out
While many people who find themselves in this predicament choose to walk away, there are those who refuse to budge, come what may. What they don't know is that the only thing more stubborn than a territorial homeowner is a spirit who claims squatter's rights.
Dozens of stories have come my way over the years in which occupants of haunted dwellings decided to stay put in the hopes that whatever had invaded their space would eventually move on of its own accord. Though this might seem like a solid plan in theory, it seldom works in practice. This is mainly due to the belief that time is not a concept recognized by those who have transcended death.
Whereas months, or even years, of putting up with disturbances in your home may seem interminable, to the ones responsible, it is the blink of an eye. No longer bound by the constraints of time, they have no specific place to go and an eternity to get there.
As the ordeal drags on, it isn't uncommon for the stress to begin to seep into every aspect of the victims' lives. For those who don't mind the constant upheaval, not to mention the anxiety of wondering when, or if, it will end, the waiting game might work. If, however, you've tried everything to no avail, don't waste any more of your precious time anticipating a release that will probably never come.
Even though it is often easier said than done, for your own peace of mind, relocation is a much better option than hosting a presence that will continue to infringe on all that is yours until there's nothing left. It's important to keep in mind that even the most benevolent specter will leave you emotionally and spiritually destitute if time allows.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.