Tuesday, October 25, 2016

You ain't afraid of no Ghosts: Things to consider before deciding your house is haunted.

A conversation I had with a friend the other day made me think of writing this post.  He lives in an old house that his housekeeper thinks is haunted but he doesn't.

I should mention my friend isn't much of a muggle, and would probably notice if the house was haunted.   She hasn't seen or heard anything, it's just a feeling.   A feeling he doesn't get and neither does his wife.   I suggested he look for high EMF (electro magnetic fields if you've been under a rock since before Ghosthunters was on the air) in the basement.   The wiring in old houses in combination with the plumbing can make for interesting EMF levels.   I don't think he's brought in the meter yet, but I thought I should write a "list".

Disclaimer:  I absolutely believe in ghosts and paranormal stuff.   I've seen some freaky stuff.    Having said that though, I also believe in treating it with stone cold logic, even when you are dealing with an actual ghost or demon.   Nothing good can come of running screaming out of a building like a scared little kid shrieking your head off.   Unless something is chasing you, then run.   Run and pray at the same time.  

1)  Eliminate the quirks of your house first.   I had a flaky little drunk lady who used to rent this very bedroom I'm writing this in tell me once that the door opened on its own in this room.   Being a weird little mystic myself I was puzzled because my house isn't haunted.   When I reacted by asking her when or why this had happened, she proceeded to tell me that the ghost lady had touched her foot.  When I asked what she looked like she told me something crazier that didn't make any sense and when I pressed for more detail she tried to gaslight me for some reason into thinking that she was seeing something right then.    I think me basically MAKING her pray Compline with me sent her over the edge.   She got freaked out and scared so she wanted ME to get freaked out and scared, and when I didn't, she lost it a little.

So I wrote it off as a psychotic episode and didn't think about it much until after she "moved out" (I changed the locks after she sent me 150 texts telling me I needed to kill myself because I wouldn't let her pay her rent 20 days late.).  I was sitting in here using the computer and I half way shut the door.   It popped open slowly and dramatically.   I shut it again just to see if it would do it again.  It did.  I'd lived here six years before I noticed that.   I imagine if I was a drunk lady, sleeping in this room with a crazy liberal I hated in the next room, I might think the house was haunted too.   She also mentioned hearing voices outside her window.   I had  noticed that and I have learned over the years that the sound from the house across the street carries and sounds like it's right outside my house.   

Moral:   Experiment.  If you hear something in your house that you think shouldn't be happening, look around.   Try and pin point the sound.  Does noise come in from outside?  Does the sound carry strangely?   What do the acoustics of your home do to sound?   Have someone help you and rule this out!   Does that door open on its own?  It could be the way the house has settled over the years, or maybe it's perched on a hill like mine and that's just what happens when you don't latch the door.   It's probably not just your imagination, but that doesn't mean it's paranormal.  

2. Were you drunk or high when it happened?   This one is fairly obvious but some people don't believe drinking or drugs effects their perception as much as it does.    For the record, things that can impair your perception include:

  1. Sleeping pills.
  2. Allergy medicine you use to knock you out. 
  3. Prescription pain killers.  This includes Tramadol. Do not let it being non narcotic fool you. 
  4. Opioids.  Codeine, heroin, Oxycontin, Percocet, Lortabs, and Vicodin.   They will make you hallucinate, or more like exaggerate something you actually see and distort your memory of it.  Do not worry about it unless you see it sober.   Also, mention it to your doctor, considering seeing things isn't a common side effect of these drugs. (Mostly being a little dizzy, sleepy, and having no brain to mouth filter.) 
  5. Booze. Are you stupid drunk?  Are you stammering drunk?  Did you black out?  Probably lay off the booze and wait until you see it sober. 
  6. I've never used it, but I'm going in to include Marijuana in here just for fun.  
  7. Meth.   (I've never used it either, but I have it on good authority people see some freaky shit on Meth.)
3.  Are you sick?  Feverish?  Wishing you were dead from a norovirus? Probably write it off until you feel better. Illness can make you see things.

4.  Eliminated all three?  Check under the bed.  Your dog might snore.  He might talk in his sleep in English.  This happened to me once.  
Adorable asshole who talks in his sleep

4. On a related note, do you have cats or children?  They make weird noises.  Cats especially are known for running through the house like a maniac at three am. 
and he demands you pet him for it
6.  Eliminated all of this?  Ask yourself this question: Do you think it wants to hurt you?  No?  Tell them to shut up so you can sleep.  Then pray.   Yes?  Pray.  Ask God to make it go away.  Order it to go away in the name of the Trinity.  If that doesn't work, contact your clergy or someone who knows about things like this and go from there.  (You can even send me an email.) 

Not a comprehensive list, of course, but I thought it would be fun. 

Happy Halloween!!!

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