Hauntings are apparently on the rise, yet the paranormal still struggles to be taken seriously.
Homeowners who experience activity are stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they go public, they could find themselves open to suspicion, distrust, and ridicule.
If they approach a paranormal group, they may strike lucky and find support, but could also end up with the wrong type of people, in it for entertainment or making a profit.
So what do you do and who do you trust?
Well, before you go public or invite a group into your home, you can always try these old school methods:
1. Try to communicate with the spirit yourself:
It seems like an obvious first step but if you’re experiencing a haunting, especially a hostile one, the last thing you’ll be thinking about is inviting spirits into your front room for a chat.
However, communication with a spirit doesn’t have to involve in person contact. TV and film make a big show of using seances, gadgets or spirit knocks for immediate answers to Q&As, but that’s because they’re trying to create fear and suspense for an audience. In reality, communication with a spirit will be on their terms, not yours.
The Paranormal Pilgrim method for communication doesn’t rely on devices or spiritual insight, and you don’t have to remain in the room. Try setting up the below near to the location of activity and close the area off if possible.
Letter tiles – Cheap to buy and available online, usually used for scrabble replacements. Buy a large variety, set them up on your activity table and leave easy instructions to encourage the spirit to move them into a word or sentence. Number tiles are also useful, especially if you leave specific questions for it to answer (i.e., year of birth/death).
Reception bell – Again, you can pick these up for next to nothing. Just requires a force to hit the top and it’ll make a loud sound. Can be used to get your attention or confirm questions once it has your attention. It gives the poor bastards something other than a wall to bang on and is easily identifiable as an intelligent response (wall bangs and equipment can be attributed to other sources or wiring issues. A reception bell ringing in your house can only be... a reception bell ringing in your house!).
Chalk and small board/pen and paper – Spirit writing is rare but not unheard of, so provide the equipment and make it an option.
Easy to understand instructions – We take it for granted that everyone can read nowadays, but if you’ve been dead for longer than 100 years, your reading and writing skills may be poor or non-existent. Words and sentence structure have also changed over the years (even words like Hi will be completely alien to our ancestors), so leave easy to understand instructions using visual aids if you can.
What to watch out for:
Ouija boards aren’t a reliable tool for communication, and I personally believe they are fake and overhyped (see my previous article on Ouija boards), so avoid falling into that cliché.
EMF readers to locate or confirm a response should also be avoided or left to an experienced professional.
EMF readers became popular through TV (mainly because it’s visually entertaining and brings back childhood memories of Ghostbusters) but they can easily mislead and confuse in the wrong hands. You need to run baseline tests at the property to identify explainable EMF hotspots and set a standard reading, ideally over several days before using it, otherwise you’ll misread normal/explainable readings, making it pretty much useless (without conducting baseline tests, you may as well be using a toy P.K.E meter).
Successful communication could resolve the issues there and then or at the very least, show a level of respect and cooperation to the entity that may be reciprocated.
Find out about the history of the property and its former residents. Has anything been reported before? If so, what?
Ask your neighbours, see what’s available in the archives regarding the property and land, use the internet, and contact the former owners for their feedback & experiences.
It won’t solve the problem, but understanding a bit more about the house and identifying the entity can put you on the right path. If the previous owners haven’t experienced anything before, what have you introduced or done differently?
3. Religious intervention:
Still popular in many countries, particularly amongst the Christian community. Requires you to contact a local religious representative to perform a blessing or cleansing of your home. It can be a difficult conversation to persuade them to help (remember that there are some religious groups that don’t believe in ghosts), so you may have to be tactful in your wording. However, the offer of a donation to their group or community should be enough to get them on board.
What to watch out for:
Religion only has power if the entity believed or feared it when they were alive, and even then it can be hit or miss – If the spirit was a God fearing Christian in life, they may take notice and follow the instructions of the priest…but they may have also lost faith during their decades trapped on Earth (they were only told about heaven & hell, not this lonely middle ground, so may feel lied to or abandoned by their old religion). Because Christianity only believes in one ghost (the holy one), the clergy tend to label anything paranormal as the devil or satanic work. If the spirit was once a Christian, they may not take too kindly to being called evil or satanic.
Finally, offense may be an issue. The spirit of a Muslim won’t necessarily respond in a positive way to directions and blessings from a Rabbi, a Christian won’t listen to a Wiccan…
You may need to look for clues and do some research into who the spirit may be before sending in the clergy.
4. Psychic Mediums:
Find and approach a clairvoyant in your area, explain your problem and ask for their assistance to contact the spirit. They can either guide it away from your home or come to an arrangement to reduce the level of activity.
Real/reputable psychics won’t ask for payment to do this but if they are travelling a distance to visit you, it’s courteous to offer payment for their travel costs (or at least make them a meal!).
What to watch out for:
Con artists and fraudsters make good money from false mediumship, and it’s been a big problem for generations (ever heard of the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951? Well, that was brought in to expand on the Witchcraft Act of 1735, both of which tried to stop fraud and financial gain from false psychic claims). Taking advantage of people is a nasty business, especially if they’re emotionally fragile after the death of a loved one, but these people don’t care. They find ways around the system and continue to deceive and exploit people, so be careful.
There are also people who think or claim that they’re gifted purely because they want to be different or seen as special, but they have no ability whatsoever and will cause havoc or make a mockery of the situation if involved in an investigation.
Mediumship is a risk, but if you do find a real psychic, they can help you more than anyone else on this list.
Don’t give away too much information to a medium, let them discover or expand on the details when they arrive. It’s also good practice to withhold the address/location until the last minute, it will avoid the temptation for them to research the property ahead of the visit.
5. Contact the scientific professionals:
If all else fails and you’re not getting anywhere with the above, call in a professional team to investigate. Now as much as I love them, I don’t mean ghost hunters and enthusiasts for this one, I’m talking about a specialist body, a University linked parapsychology unit to conduct a proper scientific investigation.
The reason that you need these guys for an active haunting is down to the credibility that their results and reports will bring to the wider world.
There are some really good paranormal groups out there but unfortunately, the paranormal community has been tarnished by fraudsters and evidence manipulators. Their sole focus is to make money or gain social media followers by falsifying information and proof, meaning that when we do capture real or unaltered evidence, it's never taken seriously by the general public.
A professional team of parapsychologists are unlikely to post their findings on YouTube or live stream their investigations, but they will assess the evidence scientifically and share via the academic route. This can lead to publications in respected journals, increase public interest and support and help to strengthen the credibility of our paranormal theories.
What’s your views and advice on this topic?
As always, debate is encouraged and feedback is appreciated, so please leave a comment, like this page or share with others on social media!