Living with Ghosts

Young woman, anxious.Are you living with ghosts? Most people who’ve lived in older homes, or stayed in a vintage hotel or inn, have encountered a ghost or two.

For many of us, the ghost becomes a companion or — after a while — seems like a member of the family. The ghost leaves the family alone, and they leave him or her alone. Except for the occasional fleeting glimpse of the ghost, or something slightly odd reminding you that the ghost is there, living with a ghost becomes “normal.”

As long as the ghost isn’t territorial or malicious, or prankish (waking people up at night), you can probably share your home with him or her, comfortably.

Personally, I talk out loud to the ghosts. They’ll usually respond favorably to requests that are made in a normal tone of voice, talking to them as if they’re a friend who’s visiting your home and needs to know the “house rules.”

Before doing anything else, talk to your ghosts. You may have to remind them of the rules more than once. But, most spirits respond to polite (but firm) requests.

After awhile, you’ll probably forget that your home is haunted.

If that’s not enough – short-term help for hauntings

Some places are too haunted to live in. The Myrtles Plantation is one of them.

Set your shoes, heel to toe.

On a recent visit, the only way that I could document The Myrtles’ hauntings without interruptions, was to put my shoes side by side, pointing in opposite directions. (See photo at right)

That successfully paused the manifestations for a few minutes, so that I could jot a few notes about what was happening.

(I have no idea why such a silly folk remedy works, but it does.)

That can solve a short-term problem at an inn or hotel.

But, if you want to continue living in a house that’s “too haunted,” that may not be enough.

Download my free Is Your House Haunted? checklist.

As long as you’re not living in fear, space clearing may help.  There are many ways to accomplish this.

Spiritual approaches to space clearing

If you are religious, any minister from your church or faith-based group can probably bless your home for you.  A small donation ($35 or so) is routine for this kind of visit, but not usually required.

That’s one kind of “space clearing.”

For a New Age approach, you might try incense, a singing bowl, or other simple space clearing remedy.

In a pinch, you could vacuum clean (hoover) your entire home. Be sure to vacuum every corner, especially near the ceilings, whether they’re dusty or not.

According to space clearing experts, the noise plus the electrical energy seem to banish ghosts.

Likewise, any incense can work, as long as it gets into every corner in every haunted room.

If you’re afraid of ghosts

Generally, ghosts don’t hurt people. Poltergeists can cause mischief. They may throw things at you, or push you when you’re walking.

As far as I know, there is no real evidence of a ghost killing someone.

But, if you are truly frightened, don’t waste your time with space clearing and don’t stay in the house. Visit friends or family, or check in to a local hotel for a couple of days.

(After a few good nights’ sleep, the situation may look much better.)

If none of these remedies help, I recommend John Zaffis, author of “Shadows of the Dark.” He’s had years of experience with frightening hauntings, and he knows how to work with malicious spirits such as demons.

(I get nothing for referring people to John Zaffis, and he generally doesn’t charge anything to help people.  He’s a friend, and I’d trust him if I had problems beyond my expertise.)

Other trusted experts include Peter Haviland of Lone Star Spirits and the Johnson brothers of NEAR.

Or, if you’ve recently moved into a house that’s too haunted, you may have legal options. See my article, Buying or selling a haunted house – When to see a lawyer.

Please share your encounter with a ghost.

If you have lived in a haunted house, or if you’ve encountered a ghost at a restaurant or hotel, or on a ghost tour, I’d like to hear from you. Leave a comment, below.

3 thoughts on “Living with Ghosts”

  1. I’ve had several encounter with ghosts. I have never told anyone for the fear of being ridiculed. I have told my niece Samantha recently.

    My very fist encounter was when I rented a three story home from my aunt (who bought it but never looked at it) She lives in California and the house is in Washington. I just turned 17. After a week after moving in, on a nice summer day I went down to the basement where I had my band equipment set up. There were two rooms I have never been in. there doors were closed and wasn’t that curious yet. anyway, I noticed tiny wet footprints trailing from the outside door to one of the rooms. Now, my curiosity hit it’s peak. Why would a child be in my house. I went to the door and listened through the wood of the door. Nothing. I then quickly swung the door open. I said loudly, “Who’s in here?” With no response, I flicked my lighter looking for a light switch. After locating a switch I found the light had no bulb. The room was pretty small with nothing in it, not even a child. I looked at the concrete floor where I first saw the footprints. They were still visible but evaperating quickly. I checked the outside door and found it was locked from the inside. I have never been outside that door let alone the overgrown back yard.
    Evreything was quiet and saw nothing else like that for a couple days. Then when I came home from working as a dishwasher at a caf’e, I noticed my T.V. was on. I checked the house and noone was there, nothing was taken so I didn’t report it to the police. That night while sleeping, I was awoke by the beating on my drums in the basement. As I approched the basement door off the kitchen Someone was definatly beating on my drum set. I quietly opened the door and creaped down the stairs. The stairs were walled so I couldn’t see anything until I got to the bottom and around the corner. Once I reached the bottom step, the drums stopped beating. I looked everywhere and noone was there.

    I’ve talked to a few people about the past people that lived in that house. Never about a ghost ar anything like that. Someone told me that the last people that owned the house lost there 7 year old daughter to a drowning in the pool that was in the back yard. and moved out a few months later and sold it years later.

    I didn’t even know there was a pool in the back yard. It was so overgrown I didn’t really see anything.

    Ok…Now I know there was a ghost of a child named “Katline” in my house. Now when something happened that I didn’t do, I’d tell Katline to knock it off. or something like that. Not everything she did. If beating on the drums wasn’t bothering me I’d just let her have a blast. Or let her watch TV of whatever she changed the channel to.

    The ghost never hurt noone or anything. I didn’t see any reason to excerise my home or have a priest bless it. Living alone would be pretty lonely toward the evenings, so I’d talk to her as if she was right there and as a living person. “Katline, how was your day?” I’d tell her about my day. Maybe tell her some corny joke I heard that day.

    Anyway, that was my first Ghost encounter.


  2. My husband and I have moved every year for the first 5 yrs of being married. We have just moved back to Minooka, IL this past summer and just like when we lived here a couple years back, odd things began to happen. We have lived in other nearby cities and had no issues. The first time living out here our little ones magnetic letters would fall off of the fridge when no one was near the kitchen. And I (just once-which was enough) woke up to my bed sheet being gently pulled off of me. I actually saw it happening after waking up. Creepy. We then moved to a nearby city for a yr and had no incidents. We just bought a home back here in Minooka and many things have happened since painting, floor installation and moving in. When we first set foot in the house after being owners, our cat upon entering the home began to freak out and make a shrieking meow that we had never heard from her before, while looking at a blank wall. It has been 8mo’s of living here now. A few months ago I was completely startled out of my sleep by a noise similar to two garbage cans being slammed into each other right by my ear, or it was as if a train was going through our bedroom. It was so loud that I jumped out of my covers and sat upright. I saw a milky white, kind of wavy figure standing at our bedroom door. I jumped into my husband next to me and asked if he heard that sound or saw what I was looking at. He did not. It happened two more times in the night right around midnight….like around 12:23am I believe. It was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me. I have always been intrigued by the supernatural, but this was down right scary. I prayed in my bedroom & out loud (to the ghost or whatever it is) claimed ownership of this home. My sister also prayed in our bedroom for our safety. Since this happened I told my brother about it and we went to visit him in his home. He said after we left he and his dog saw a black figure of a man walking through his home while he was letting the dog out. And no one was in their home. He believes that something may be “following,” me.

    Nothing too scary has happened since. Though many small incidents have occurred. Such as something falling and hitting the floor upstairs when we are downstairs. And vice versa. This is when we are all downstairs including the cat. Recently I found my sons picture that is in a Christmas frame laying face down after hearing a bang in the other room. While we were all in the back room together, including the cat.

    The biggest thing that had occurred since was when my sister came back and was visiting with me downstairs. We were chatting in the living room as my husband, our son and my nephew were playing video games downstairs in the back family room. A door that clearly came from upstairs slammed shut. My sister and I both looked at the stairs at the same time and both said “that was from upstairs.” We both went up to investigate and there were no closed doors. Just a small hallway closet door which we always keep closed. No one or no “thing,” were in sight. When I watch movies alone at night downstairs after everyone has gone to bed, I often feel like I see something move swiftly in my peripheral.

    Just last night my husband was fast asleep and snoring next to me and I was falling asleep when all of the sudden our bedroom light turned on. Once my eyes focused I looked around to see the cat passed out on our bed and our sons bedroom door still closed. I got up and turned off the light and went downstairs since I was awake now. I text my sister to tell her what happened. It isn’t just one occurrence, there are many. And honestly as long as no one is harmed or too freaked out I don’t care. But when I found my sons picture frame face down that ticked me off. I am not sure really what to make of it all. Like I said I can coexist as long as my son is not bothered and no one is scared by it. Crazy, right?? Our home was built in 2003 I believe so it isn’t an “old,” home by any means.

    I am beginning to wonder if something has in fact attached itself to me or if there is something on the grounds in Minooka. I have tried researching online but not sure where to go to find info. on the grounds of Minooka or the area in which I live. A neighbor told me that no one to their knowledge had died in our home.

    1. Hi,

      You’re describing so many different kinds of phenomena, I’d look into non-paranormal explanations, first. Either you’ve managed to find extraordinarily haunted houses (possible, but the odds are unlikely), or at least one normal issue is involved.

      For starters, I’d have checked that refrigerator — several times over multiple days and at different hours — to see if an electric short might have been involved. A spike in EMF could explain the letters falling off, if they were jostled enough by dramatic EMF variations.

      Where you are now, I think it’s important to check every room, every outlet, every electronic device, and every pipe (water, heating, etc.) for elevated EMF, and check it several times over several days.

      If any factories are nearby, check to see if they turn on equipment at the times of day (or night) when you experience odd phenomena. They may be running some kind of ventilation system or… well, anything is possible; it might cause infrasound or EMF surges that no one thinks about, especially if the factory is empty and the equipment runs on a timer.

      I’d also check for infrasound, especially if you’re anywhere near I-80, Rte. 6, or the railroad tracks. Also, that part of Illinois has a lot of underground water, so have a conversation with your local reference librarian (ask about maps of underground streams) and the County Extension Office, and see if you can get geological survey maps.

      (Most infrasound is outside the range of normal human hearing, and it comes from highways, bridges, trains, and underground water sources.)

      If nothing else explains what’s going on, visit the local historical society and find out what that land had been used for in the past.

      And, of course, have a pest control specialist check your home for critters in the walls or attic. Their noises may not wake anyone up (or even be heard, clearly), but they can make sounds and otherwise vibrate things that cause disruptions in the home.

      I’m betting most or all of your issues are from something like infrasound or elevated EMF. If you were experiencing just one thing, ghostly energy might explain it.

      As many issues as you’re talking about…? If the house was that haunted, you’d have heard rumors and the neighbor would know about it, too. So, try not to worry.

      Most — not all — of what’s happening could be explained by infrasound or subtle vibrations from any highway or major road (especially one that trucks travel on) within 1/4 mile. The rest could be a minor EMF issue, but it’s still something that should be addressed by an electrician.

      I hope that’s helpful.


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