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12 April 2006

Don't laugh at me, but [More:]
I need to do a spiritual/psychic cleansing of my house. I have a ghost hanging around and really it feels like the saddest place in the world. I think having a ritual to remove it would help me. Anyone have any experiences with this?
You could move all the furniture around and repaint the walls...
posted by interrobang 12 April | 13:53
You can do a smudge with herbs, usually sage, Lakota-style.

Here's one link


I don't think I believe in the supernatural, but I do believe in ritual. Enacting some sort of meaningful ceremony almost always benefits the person who does it.
posted by Miko 12 April | 14:04
Keg party. Definitely.
posted by LarryC 12 April | 14:05
Burning sage sticks (bunches?) is traditional. You can probably find them at most New Age-y stores.

My lower-key alternative has been sandalwood incense, mainly because I like it.

There's something definitely soothing about seeing smoke swirl through the air of the house, like it's chasing off bad stuff.
posted by occhiblu 12 April | 14:05
Dearest pie,

Perhaps you need a ceremony. It helps to have someone who takes themselves seriously as a holder-of-ceremonies do this with you. Do you know anyone or have any connections in that area? Like writing things down that you want to let go of and burning the pieces of paper, but I don't know if it's a do-it-yourselfer. Maybe there is a book.
posted by rainbaby 12 April | 14:09
Miko's second link mentions the idea that church bells purify the air around (which is a great image, I think). If you want something less New Age-y than burning sage, maybe open all your windows wide (no matter what the weather, this always seems a good cleansing thing to me) and either ring some bells or just BLAST some of your favorite "good vibes" music? I think a thorough spring cleaning of the house during this could also help.

Or all of the above, really. After I've done a real house cleaning, with music blasting, is generally when I like to burn some incense and open windows and just chase out all the physical and emotional dirt hanging about.
posted by occhiblu 12 April | 14:12
There are people in my family who believe in ghosts, and have ghost stories (it's the Irish coming out). They've talked about having conversations with ghosts, on the theory that they are just trying to make some sort of point before they can go to their eternal rest. The strategy is apparently just sitting in the room where you think they are and saying (our loud) "I know you're there, and I know you want me to know it. But it's time for you to go now."

You could try that, I suppose.
posted by Miko 12 April | 14:15
I could do it.

Do you know a charismatic minister locally? They'd do it, for free.

Awhile back my daughter noticed a "presence" in the house, and it upset her. Her dad and I sat around the dinner table with her and coached her in running it off. She did and it left. Hubby has had similar experiences.

Yeah, seems weird but there is something to this stuff.
posted by bunnyfire 12 April | 14:18
Yes. After living In Israel on a kibbutz for several months, a friend and I moved from the volunteer barracks to the moshav housing, located on the side of a hill and built on top of the remains of a graveyard (yes, the kibbutz was built atop an Arab village; no, I won't talk politics in this thread).

The room we moved into was haunted. It had been empty for months. The last moshavnik (forgive my butchered Hebrew) to live there had left the country after waking up one night with an unseen force sitting on his chest and bouncing up and down.

The walls were always cold and damp (strange in an arid region with 90F+ temperatures and no A/C). The roof rattled, the door knocked, the place smelled of the grave. The water would turn on and off during the night. Neither of us slept well our first night.

The next day, we chose to do something about it. We figured our room was built on someone's grave, and though we couldn't demolish the room and build a monument to the ghost, we could do the next best thing which was to clean the space thoroughly, paint two of the walls pale blue (a calming color for ghosts as well as the living), and hang various valued or beautiful objects on the walls, a dreamcatcher in the window, and an orange studded with cloves over the door (dunno why; seemed like the right touch). By cleaning our room, we reasoned, we were tending the ghost's grave.

That night, my roommate and I had peculiarly similar dreams.

I was in Japan, in a little teahouse with tatami floors and paper walls, taking tea with a wizened old man in a formal kimono, with long white hair and a beard. He performed a tea ceremony, with the whisk and the turning of the bowl and all, and I drank until the tea was gone. Then, I performed the same for him; he drank deeply, smiled, bowed his head, and I awoke.

My roommate grew up in Northern Manitoba, the son of a minister who worked in the neighboring Indian reservation, and had been filled with Indian lore from his youth.

He dreamt of sitting by a fire with an old shaman, with long white hair and a beard, who packed fragrant herbs into a pipe and offered it to him. He puffed, and sat, and puffed again, finishing the pipe. Then he filled it with his own mixture, and offered it to the old man, who puffed and smiled. Then my roommate awoke.

The room lost its clamminess that morning as a slight breeze warmed the room and made it an ideal place to snooze or read. There was never again any knocking, or faucet problems, or rattling, or darkness.

A month later, my friend and I both picked up dysentary eating dodgy falafel in East Jerusalem; we both convalesced in the room and I'm sure the ghost and his breezes helped to make us comfortable.
posted by Hugh Janus 12 April | 14:21
Do they stll make Spiritualist-In-A-Drum?
posted by jonmc 12 April | 14:44
Aisle 3, right next to Prince Albert in a can.
posted by Miko 12 April | 15:03
Smoking Ceremony, mate.
posted by GeckoDundee 13 April | 08:57
Get your cameras out for Photo Friday . || The new wank-off