While going to a haunted house sounds like an exciting night out, living in a haunted house can be far less fun. After all, unlike new hardwoods or a renovated bathroom, haunted isn’t exactly a feature most real estate brokers will highlight on a listing. It’s also fair to say that most buyers would like to know if their new home is haunted prior to closing.
Cultural obsession with ghosts is at an all-time high. From the resurrection of horror movies, to zombies, and what feels like the entire schedule on the Travel Channel, paranormal has become the new normal.
This is exactly why real estate platform Bungalo launched paranormal inspection reports for every new home on their website for the month of October. They even hired professional paranormal investigators–including Becky Vickers of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Hunters–to investigate homes in Charlotte, Tampa and Dallas.
But what are you supposed to do if you discover the home you’re living in is already haunted? I spoke with several psychics and experts in this field to identify the signs of a potentially haunted house and what to do next.
Signs You Live In A Haunted House
According to psychic medium Chris Medina, if you think your home is haunted, you probably shouldn’t second-guess yourself. “Whether it’s physical or intuitive, you’ll definitely be able to know,” he says.
The physical signs include movement of objects, wisps of air or blurs close by or in the periphery, shadows and noises such as knocking and tapping. Medina also shares that unexplainable smells and voices can also be an indication.
But not every ghost will make their presence known in such an obvious way. Medina says that “sensing a presence in the room with you, feeling off (a change in emotion) when you step into a room, strange dreams or feeling something trying to communicate with you psychically can also be signs.”
It’s also important to observe the behavior of domesticated animals. “Pets are pretty good detectors. Watch for strange behavior in certain areas of the house or barking at stuff you can’t see,” he says.
How To Get Rid Of A Ghost
Getting a spirit to leave a home or property can be far more challenging than identifying one. After all, they were there before you were. Medina suggests the first defense is asking them to leave, but many ghosts just aren’t cooperative. “They can become very territorial. If demanding they leave doesn’t work, that’s where I and/or any respectable, experienced medium comes in,” he says. “We will go in to assess the home and entity to determine what needs to be done. From a simple sage or incense cleansing to a full-blown ceremonial cleansing, it can be a process. A cleansing/clearing can last anywhere from a few minutes to days. It all depends on how much of an attachment the presence has to the home and the people living in it.”
Keidi Pushi, who is a psychic, healer and executive coach shares the key to getting spirits to leave is to come from a place of strength. “I make sure I feel grounded and strong in myself. Standing in one area or walking around the house, I point a finger around the physical space I am declaring to clear,” she says. “I say my name and my right to claim the space as pure and my own. I ask the physical infrastructure of the house to hold only loving spirits.”
Heather Hannan has made a business out of being a real-life ghostbuster. She calls herself an Anam Cara. “Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and Cara is the word for friend. In Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a spiritual guide.”
Based in Toronto, Hannan and her business partner, Catherine Varga, work on approximately 75 homes per year. “We clear homes for real estate agents, people who lease homes to renters, people selling homes or who have just purchased a new home and want its energy buffed and polished for when they move in. We also have clients that just don’t feel comfortable in their homes because they or their children are seeing or hearing things moving around.”
The women clear the space using a vibrational sound healing technique they developed called Sound Reiki. “We discovered that with this technique we could move energy for healing and clearing homes and properties with much faster and more effective results.”
They are also able to practice this technique from a distance. “We have the ability to see any ghosts or spirits on a property, and clear these energies, anywhere we have the address.”
How To Peacefully Coexist
Sometimes, despite the best efforts, a ghost will simply refuse to leave. If vacating the property isn’t an option, the only choice left is to peacefully coexist with the spirit. Medina suggests setting boundaries, which is good advice when dealing with any kind of roommate or guest. “Make sure you stay on your side and they stay on theirs.”
He also notes that not all spirits are here to haunt. “Some just want to keep doing what they were doing before, taking care of people,” Medina explains. “I had a woman who would sleep in my kids’ room while they were sleeping. I would see her in passing as I would walk to get water in the middle of the night. A couple of times I caught her off guard and woke her up. She was going to leave and I told her I didn’t mind her being there. I understood she was watching the kids and protecting them and that I was happy to have her.”
One night, the spirit saved Medina’s son from very real danger. “I was asleep and woke up to her tapping my foot in bed to wake me up. She told me to go check on my son. I immediately ran into his room and saw that the sheet was wrapped around his neck and he was almost falling off the bed. I was trying not to panic and felt the woman try to comfort me. I unwrapped the sheet and positioned him back into bed. I thanked her and told her to make herself at home!”
When It Isn’t Paranormal Activity
When many of us see or enter a space for the first time, there can be an intangible feeling of positivity or negativity. For example, entering a happy home often feels different than visiting someone angry or going through a difficult time.
Unlike many of her colleagues, psychic Melissa White doesn’t believe in haunted houses. Rather, she interprets the source of these experiences as leftover energy, as opposed to a ghoul. “I think that if something awful and horrific happens in a place, then it can leave energetic imprints in a home or on a property,” she says. “But most of the time—it’s actually built-up negative energy from human stuff that’s gone on there.”