Exorcism and You
Removing a ghost from your home can be both harder and easier than you might think. It really depends on the type of haunting you’re experiencing. There are two primary types: Recurring and Resident. Recurring hauntings are simple reenactments of actions. These are the most common type of hauntings, and the ghosts involved aren’t really ghosts at all; they’re just impressions left on the psychic plane that recur like a CD player left on repeat. Resident hauntings are intelligent entities that can take individual actions. These are more dangerous hauntings, and are the type you might call “Hollywood hauntings”. There are other types of hauntings, including Entities, which are extremely dangerous to deal with and should only be dealt with by a professional. However, there are some common steps that can help with all hauntings.
First and foremost, you must rid yourself of the misconceptions placed in your mind by the media. On even the most “sincere” ghost hunting shows, often times when a ghost needs removed they use a religious ceremony. Let me tell you right now that unless the ghost you’re dealing with is a devout Catholic, an exorcism by a priest or psychic isn’t going to do anything but piss off the spirit (or make it laugh). Crosses, holy water, rosary beads and incense won’t drive a ghost away. They may put you in a better frame of mind, and in some cases that alone might push a ghost out of your house, but honestly trying to use religious means to exorcise a ghost is like trying to use a bandaid to patch a flat tire – it just isn’t likely to work.
Second, remember that most psychics don’t know what they’re actually doing and they, too, are just following a religion. Most psychics who aren’t frauds simply feel the atmosphere of the home. If you’re stressed out about a haunting, guess what the atmosphere of your home is going to feel like? It’s like trying to tune a radio near an electrical generator – you’re going to get so much static that you’re mostly just imagining hearing things.
Remember that both religious people and psychics often aren’t out to do you harm. They want to help and think they can do something. However, they’re more likely to make things worse instead of better. No matter how well meaning, poking a hornet’s nest with a stick isn’t a good way to get rid of the hornets!
So what do you do if you can’t find someone like me who actually knows how to deal with ghosts? Like I said, there are some general things you can do which should provide some relief:
Chalcedony – a very common mineral, chalcedony is a family of stones that includes agate, aventurine, carnelian and onyx to name a few varieties. It’s primarily made up of Silicon Dioxide (SiO2), which for reasons I won’t go into here (it’s pretty damned technical, and you’d be bored to tears to hear me talking about electrical valences and so forth) makes this stone a pretty potent anti-ghost charm. Wearing chalcedony can hold ghosts at bay or hurt them if you thrust it into their being. This is one of the reasons Catholic exorcisms sometimes seem to work – rosary beads are often made of agate, and if the priest gives a set to the people being haunted, it can, quite accidentally, help solve the haunting.
Along with chalcedony, another common mineral can disrupt ghosts: salt. Plain old sodium chloride can make ghosts run the other way. Sodium iodide doesn’t work, which is why “blessed salt” sometimes used in exorcisms can actually stop hauntings – it’s sea salt, pure NaCl. It’s the sodium that seems to be important, as calcium chloride (road salt) is also effective. Ever wonder why you don’t hear about as many “ghosts hitchhikers” in winter? It’s all the salt on the roads!
Salt can be poured in a line to make barriers that ghosts can’t easily cross. Note that they can cross the line, much as a dog with an “invisible fence” collar can cross it if it’s determined enough. However, unless the spirit is really angry, a line of salt should work. Pouring it into a complete circle around someone makes it even more potent, as then you’re moving into the realm of magic circles and creating a complete circuit. The old superstition of tossing salt over the shoulder also stems from this weakness and tossing handfuls of salt in the air when a ghost becomes belligerent can force them to retreat.
Some things to avoid when confronting a ghost: first, don’t taunt it. Don’t threaten it or act with false bravado. Be stern and strong willed, but don’t hide your fear behind a false front of anger. It doesn’t work, and it will only make the ghost stronger. Second, try not to panic. It’s hard to do when it’s dark and there are strange sounds and maybe doors slamming, but just like your should stay calm in a fire or tornado, doing so during a paranormal event is just as important. In fact, the same sort of safety tips you’d follow in a tornado or earthquake apply to a ghost attack: avoid windows and glass at all costs, find cover, stay low, and if possible, retreat to a safe place. That may mean a basement, which may seem like the worst place to go, but unless you’re dealing with someone buried under the house, being in a dark and spooky basement is just that – dark and spooky, but otherwise no different than anywhere else in your house. It’s probably safer as there won’t be as many things for a ghost to harm you with. If a ghost can harm you without using physical objects, you’re dealing with something much bigger than a regular haunting and need to contact a professional.
Remember always that a ghost reacts based on instinct. Don’t think of it as a person, think of it like a tiger on the prowl. It isn’t fully aware of the world around it, isn’t capable of understanding what it’s doing. It’s simply reacting instinctively. Ascribing greater intellect to it only puts you at a disadvantage. A ghost can be cunning and clever, but your average human being is more aware and more intelligent (again, unless you’re dealing with an entity, which is something far more dangerous). Most times a ghost can be pushed out of a house by people who are smart, don’t panic, and use the tools mentioned above to protect themselves.
I should mention that while there are ghosts looking to finish business in the real world, most are not. They’re bound to the world for reasons that can’t be resolved by finding their favorite lost teddy bear or discovering who really killed them. Most times they have deep psychological issues holding them to this world. However, as I said, they are cunning. If they think they can take advantage of you, they will. They’ll play on anything you pitch to them. They might even take on identities that are not their own. It’s a game to them, like a dog playing fetch. The dog doesn’t care if you throw a ball or a stick or a frisbee, they just know to go pick it up and bring it back. If you believe the ghost haunting you is your Aunt Millie trying to tell you where she hid her preserves recipe, then the ghost will act like it, even if they have nothing to do with Aunt Millie and her famous preserves.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with ghosts is that the second you cede control to them, the second you let the fear you feel control you instead of you controlling it, the ghost gains the power. Then it’s a lot harder to push them out.