THE chill of autumn has arrived, and it’s time to make your home cozy and snug. Replace those broken shingles, seal the window frames, start the water boiling and throw in some scented nutmegy things, or a rabbit if you’ve been disappointed in love.But what to do about that ghost that has been making such a racket, scaring the guests and making it impossible to sleep? Sure, you can kid yourself that it’s a squirrel on the roof or a rattling pipe or a fog that comes up from time to time. (On Narragansett Bay? Sure, pal, that’s credible.) But eventually, when guests and family members become truly frightened, something must be done.
Such was the case with Kathleen Whitehurst, an artist in Arnaudville, La., who scoured the countryside to salvage materials with which to build her home and guest house, the picturesque l’Esprit des Chenes. Visitors complained of creaking stairs, sounds in the night. Some fled in terror. Finally, Ms. Whitehurst called in a specialist.
“She came all the way from Arkansas,” Ms. Whitehurst said in a telephone conversation. “She sat on my couch, and within 30 minutes she says, ‘Yes, you do have a ghost in your house.’ She goes into a trance, she came back to her body, and said, ‘He’s a Baptist minister, wearing a white robe, and he’s roaming the house.’ ”The reason for this problem, incredible as it may seem, was recycling. Ms. Whitehurst had found three Gothic windows in a junk pile at a demolished church, and the ghost had come along with them. The specialist did what is often recommended in these cases, asking Ms. Whitehurst and two friends to make a circle with her around the lost spirit, and tell it, sympathetically but firmly, that it was time to move along.
“All of a sudden, you could feel the electrical energy moving — it was so intense that all the hair on the back of my neck and hands was standing up,” Ms. Whitehurst said. “And when she said the final words” — Go, go! — “we got that zapped feeling. And he went up, and he’s never been back since.”You don’t believe in ghosts? Then you are either tragically out of step with the times or possibly a slovenly spiritual housekeeper looking for an excuse to avoid tidying up. A recent Google Internet search for getting rid of ghosts yielded nearly two million hits. By comparison, a search for cleaning rain gutters yielded 191,000.
In a Harris poll last year of 2,000 adults, 41 percent said that they believed in ghosts. Although the National Association of Realtors says that it is not the legal obligation of a real estate agent to tell a prospective buyer about alleged haunting, many agents, like Diane Ragan of Keller Williams Realty in New Orleans, feel that if they hear of something that may distress a buyer, they have the duty to pass it on.“Just last week I got a call from a past client who was calling for a friend who’d leased a place and wasn’t happy because it was haunted,” she said. “He wanted his deposit back. I told him the best thing his friend could do was plead his case.”
Can These Stubborn Spiritual Stainbuckets Never Be Removed?Before attempting to cleanse a household of ghostlike sounds and scents, the homeowner must first determine whether such sounds and scents are actually of the other world. Happily, there is no shortage of instruction manuals on the subject. One, an e-book called “Is My House Haunted? A Practical Guide,” was written by Bonnie Vent, the medium who founded the San Diego Paranormal Research Project. Those who dismiss the paranormal may wish to check out her Web site, sdparanormal.com, and read the transcript of her conversation with the comic George Carlin, which occurred after his death. (Few were as skeptical of the afterlife as he.)
Ms. Vent’s guide, which costs $7.97, contains a paranormal activity log in which to record such things as electrical devices going on and off, unexplained noises and cold and hot spots. It lists common misconceptions, including the notion that “paying someone to spread lotions and potion all over the house” will make the spirits go away.“What does work? Communication!!!” writes Ms. Vent, who is one of those people who is paid; her cleansing services cost $125 an hour. “This does not necessarily mean that they will leave, but you should be able to work out a livable situation.”
She also offered a word of warning: “There are people who will take advantage of others by using holy water, burning sage and spreading salt around the perimeter of the house. Spirit people are people — these things have no effect in the long term. You really have to get to the root cause.”To read the rest of the article please click on the link at the top of the article.