Tag Archives: ghosts

A Few Thoughts on Samhain and Halloween

It is October, the wonderful month of color and spooky events. Winter is coming and we are getting ready for our long cold months by insulating the house, covering windows, getting our cars serviced, etc. Samhain is coming, too.  Most people call it Halloween and celebrate by buying candy and costumes and going to bars and parties.

I loved Halloween as a child; what kid doesn’t? I would agonize over my costume and wonder how much candy I was going to get and be annoyed when my brothers made me go home after a couple of hours of raiding the neighborhood for goodies. C’mon, there are lots of houses we haven’t hit yet!

When I got older I envied the little kids who still got to go Trick-or-treating. It didn’t seem fair that they could do it and I couldn’t just because I was taller than they were. To add to my dissatisfaction, I was a tall kid; I got my growth spurt early and it never let up. It may have saved my teeth from all that sugar, but it definitely messed with my morale.

To soothe my angst, I started to look into All Hallows Eve. I learned the history. I studied the myths and the social meanings and the religious significance of the holiday. I discovered the thrill of ghost stories and a love of low-budget horror movies. OK, I watched them from behind the couch because it was past my bedtime, but Vincent Price was my favorite actor almost until puberty was over.

I loved the idea that Samhain or Halloween was when the veil between the worlds thinned and the spirits could visit again, if only for a little while. The idea that those who loved us might pay a visit made me happy, it made me feel that someone was keeping an eye on me in a good way. I felt connected to family who had passed long before I was born. The Celtic custom of leaving food out for the ‘visitors’ made perfect sense to me. You should always offer your guests refreshment; that is what a good hostess does, after all. My mother didn’t agree and I had to settle for hiding cookies on the porch with a note. The cookies were always gone in the morning, though and I hoped that they understood.

Ghost stories always got my full attention. After a while, though, I realized that all too often the people who got hurt in those stories generally brought it on themselves. If you know an old building has a history of strange and bizarre events, why would you deliberately go there? Doesn’t that seem as if you are giving the disembodied occupants permission to hurt you? If there is an old asylum where people died and investigators have been injured, it seems pretty stupid to hold an all-night party there. So I tend not to watch those cheesy teen horror movies any more—after all, most of them don’t have much of a plot these days and they do seem to be what Stephen King called ‘torture porn’. Yuck.

But I still love Samhain. This Halloween I will light candles and pray for those who have passed on. I will make dinner and leave flowers and food out on the porch for them, even though I know that the food will be eaten by stray animals and the flowers will freeze. I will give candy to the little monsters and Disney characters that come to my door and I will decorate with pumpkins and spider webs and severed plastic body parts.  I will love every minute of it.

Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita

Am I really being haunted?

Saturday was our bimonthly ministry meeting, and summer seems to make it very slow. Anyway, we were waiting for people to show up, and were talking with L’Aura’s assistant (for lack of better word) about ghosts, hauntings, spirits, and her experiences. Then the subject changed to the number of people who came into the store looking for help with a place that is haunted and scaring those that live there.

Before I get into the practical side of figuring out if you have a haunting or not, let me just say that most haunted places are very safe. I would say that in spite of being a bit freaked out over noises that seem to come from nowhere, that if you live in a haunted house, you are 99% of the time perfectly safe. Most ghosts aren’t even conscious that you are there, so have no reason to “reach out and touch” you in any way shape or form. They are just there doing what they have always done. And even in the cases where the ghost is aware of you, they don’t have some sort of vendetta against the living. They were living at some point and just haven’t crossed over for some reason.

I could go on and on about various things that we have observed about spirits and ghosts and their behavior, but this is not really about that. It is about determining if you are haunted or not. And the first rule about hauntings is to look at the mundane before you start looking at the paranormal.

Most of the people that I know, live in older homes. Yes, older homes have a higher percentage rate of being haunted, but they also have a higher percentage rate of other problems. So be sure that what you are hearing and/or feeling isn’t just one of the other problems that comes with living in an older residence. Even if the place you live in is brand new, have these areas double checked just in case someone missed something somewhere.

1. If you are hearing noises, there are several mundane areas they can come from.

a. Check your plumbing, loose or old plumbing is responsible for a myriad of noises. And, yes those noises can sound like footsteps and can even sound like those footsteps are crossing the floor.
b. Check your wiring. We are living in an era that has power in every building, and some of those buildings have old wiring which is not shielded properly. This can lead to EMF (electromagnetic fields) interfering with the one you make naturally and creating some very unusual side effects in your mind and body (and yes we know that several of those reality shows talk about these and make up cure names for them. Other than the cute names, the advice given about them is accurate.) Have a qualified electrician check out wiring and fix any issues.
c. Check your flooring structure. If a place is new, it is possible that a nail or screw worked its way loose and is causing a squeaking or rubbing sound as the house settles or shifts, if the place is old, it has probably settled in just fine, but the wood maybe dry, leading to expanding and contracting as the humidity levels in the air rises and falls.

2. If you are feeling a draft, even in a new home, most likely is from a leaky window or a heating/air conditioning vent. Have a heating and air conditioning professional come in and test for leaks and fix them. This will also help you save on your energy bill.

3. If you are having issues with objects moving, falling off the walls, or other such actions, check your surrounding area and actions that happen there.

a. Do you live near a train? I lived in a house that always had picture frames off kilter because we lived several blocks from a train track. Those vibrations can travel quite a ways through the earth. You may not feel them but suspended objects like picture frame might.
b. Do you live near a major highway? Truck traffic is almost as bad for vibrations as train traffic. So living a few blocks away from a major highway can give you similar vibrations and cause objects to move from where you put them.
c. Do you live in an apartment where the closing of other people’s doors could cause your stuff to shift.
d. Do you live in an area that could cause the foundation to shift, creating tension in the structure and stuff to shift?

4. Are you seeing things that can’t be explained. Again, those darned EMFs can cause you to see things that are not there. Have a qualified electrician check out your wiring, since EMFs can do all sorts of things to you from visual and auditory hallucinations to skin rashes to feeling paranoid  and so on.

5. If you are feeling scared and uneasy all the time, talk to your doctor. We live in a high stress time and it is compounded by the economy and the number of people that are searching for jobs and if you have a job the fear that it may not be there tomorrow and so on. It is really easy to have some sort of temporary anxiety disorder and not realize it. Speaking to your doctor can clear up the difference between a haunting and anxiety fairly quickly.

Now, if you have ruled out all the mundane reasons for what is going on in your home and in your body, then you are probably experiencing some sort of paranormal activity in your home and experts should be called in. You can contact us, and we would be happy to try and help you, or there are a few paranormal investigation groups in the area. My personal favorite, although I have not worked with them, is the Wausau Paranormal Research Society . I love that they are TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society, yup those guys from “Ghost Hunters” on the SciFi Channel.) affiliated, which tells me that they are doing their best to rule out mundane reasons for what is happening. There are also other groups available to help you, just Google paranormal investigation and your location and start sorting through the listings.

I really hope this helps out people who are living in fear of their own homes, and if you need to speak to someone, email us your contact information at info@heartfeltministries.net and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Demonic, Non Demonic, Human and Non Human Spirits.

I am just going to say upfront that this blog post has quite the back story to it, so bare with me….or is that bear with me? I can never remember, but you get the point.

Last night, I was listening to my friend Wayne’s show called Paranormal Explorer on Blog Talk Radio (the link takes you to his page on BTR and the archives…and on Friday night that will be a new show and I believe it starts at 10 pm CST for the live version plug is done, sort of). Most of the time, Wayne’s show is about Wayne and what he can do, and I will say that Wayne is a very talented medium, but most of us are there to learn more, but I keep listening because Wayne is my friend and I love him, and sometimes I learn an interesting nugget or two from him and sometimes I just get to make fun of him. Sometimes he has awesome guests like Beckah the Psychic (I loved her shows, very interesting to listen to), Mike who heads up some sort of paranormal investigation group down in Iowa, and this Bishop with the Catholic Church who goes out demon hunting (I don’t remember his name or I would send you to his site as well).

Most of the time, I lurk in the chat room and make funny comments on what Wayne is talking about, and the rest chat with the other people there. In the chat room, I met a person (I am assuming a woman based on the email address I was given) who is either researching to get involved in a paranormal investigation group or is just starting in one. She understood that demons could be a threat to her, and that most of the non corporal persons she met would be of the human variety. What surprised me was that she did not know that there are many other non-human spirits or ghosts out there that are helpful, not just harmful as in demonic….although not all harmful spirits are demonic in nature either.

During this talk with her, I was asked for a good book that would help explain and identify all this for her. Which would be great, except I don’t know of only one book. All the knowledge that I have on non-corporal entities comes from a wide variety of sources including old stand-by’s like The Tibetan Book of the Dead to myths and fables (remember that myths and fables are only the losing religions of olde) where you gain a small chunk of insight, to collections that deal with how to work with faerie folk and other elementals.

So, I guess first…Does anyone know of a complete guide to non-corporal entities? Does one even exist? And is there a simpler way than sorting through many stories to come to that kernel of truth to learn how to work with and defend against our elemental and wee folk friends that are not always so friendly? Any advice is appreciated.

Find your truth….