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You hear heavy footsteps in the middle of the night, knocks on the walls, voices coming from the kitchen when you’re the only one there, objects moving mysteriously, or your child sees a shadow man in their bedroom.
So you think your house is haunted?
I am a paranormal case manager and researcher and I help people and families in this situation all the time. Many are freaked out and scared, which is normal. Some are angry while others are just curious – and depending on your spiritual beliefs some may think it’s the “Devil” while others your Aunt Martha.
So what should you do?
First, keep a journal or diary of the activity. Write down dates, times, where it happened (what room), and what happened. Be SPECIFIC! Instead of saying, “My son John saw a shadow”, say – “My 10 y.o. son John saw the shadow of a 6ft tall man wearing a hat who was standing in the door on the north wall of his bedroom around 2AM.”. The more details you write down the better we’ll be able to help you. Also write down a history – did you have experiences as a child? Have you lived in houses you considered haunted before? Do the same weird things happen from place to place? Did you ever play with an Ouija Board when you were a kid? Have you had psychic experiences?
Second – make sure to ask everyone in the house what they’ve been experiencing. You would be surprised how many people in a family do not talk and are surprised when they hear someone else has seen or heard the same thing. It is important to get everyone’s story – even if someone hasn’t experienced anything. If you have young children it can be more productive to ask them to make a drawing of what they’ve seen. When you do this do not be fearful or judgmental – it’s best to keep it positive and look for information – there are no wrong answers.
Third, there are many normal things which can be taken for something paranormal. So, being skeptical is good! That knocking on the wall can be a tree branch outside, or a rodent or animal in the wall, attic, or basement. Flickering lights or other electronic anomaly can be caused by everything from power surges, bad switches, or a short, or even a heater/ac cycling on. A glass bowl or glass that shatters by itself can simply be the normal event of inherent stresses in the crystals in the glass reacting to temperature, vibration, or micro-cracks – or maybe it’s just time for it to fail.
Fourth, yes some activity can not be explained and often will form patterns which indicate something paranormal may be going on. Paranormal experiences can be scary! You might feel a heaviness, deep bone-chilling cold, goosebumps, and deep fear with the urge to scream or run. This is common and perfectly normal. When we encounter a spiritual energy our nervous systems can automatically react with a burst of fear and adrenaline with the fight-or-flight syndrome. So being scared is understandable and normal. You need to work on you and your family staying calm. Nothing is going to hurt you. I like to tell people that the vast majority of spirits are people you just can’t see – who are usually trying to be seen and heard, to get your attention, and they have no intention to hurt anyone.
Fifth – while it is fine to say to any spirits who may be around to “please not do that”, you should not investigate or record or take photos in your own home or attempt spirit communication (Ouija Boards, Pendulums, etc.) as that can make activity explode. Do not get angry, provoke, or pick a fight with things you cannot see. Be calm and respectful and strong. Contact a good paranormal team or expert to come in to investigate and document what may be going on in your home.
Finally – please realize and accept that unlike the movies, no one is going to save you. We’ll help you. You have to want and ask for help. You have to be willing to involve yourself and your family in following suggestions and doing things to help yourselves. You are the most powerful “tool” in resolving what is going on. Staying strong and calm, positive, with a sense of humor really really helps! For many people we work with it can be a deeply life-changing experience.
© 2013 by David Harvey
Use of the Ouija falls into the long and ancient practice of mediumistic spirit writing. Ouija had a predecessor in medieval China (1100 AD) with practice of Fuji or “planchette writing” using a planchette to communicate with spirits of the Dead – this practice was later a forbidden. The Ouija Board was first introduced as a commercial product by Elijah Bond in 1890 as a parlor game. Years later a young child, Peral Curran, used a Spirit Board and made contact with a Spirit who called herself “Patience Worth”. She subsequently became the subject of several best-selling books and later was a famous Spiritulist-Medium -this widely popularized the Ouija Board’s use during the era of World War I and the American Spiritualist movment. The Ouija Board became very popular in America from the 1920’s – 1960’s when it was widely marketed as a toy as it still is today.