Have you ever experienced a ghost or come into contact with an evil spirit? I sure have, from the ghost who walked up the back staircase of my aunt’s house in the middle of the night, to a spirit who was in my attic for several months, I have definitely experienced many bizarre and ghostly encounters over the course of my life.
During the COVID quarantine, I found myself listening to ghost podcasts while getting things done around the house, and realized that many people have also seen ghosts or have come into contact with something unexplainable and perhaps paranormal. After listening to months of said podcasts, I found myself pondering the following questions:
- Do ghosts exist and if so, what are they?
- How do you get them to leave your house (or your life)?
- And what about malevolent entities (I call them evil spirits or demons); how do you deal with them?
- Can ghosts/spirits attach themselves to items you may bring into your home?
- Can ghosts/evil spirits attach themselves to animals?
- Where does our spirit go after we die, and why is this important?
I cannot tell you the number of stories I heard where people’s lives were disrupted or destroyed because they were experiencing something ghostly or malevolent in their lives or homes, with little to no recourse.
This post is my attempt to help people get rid of things that go bump in the night so they can stay in their own homes and restore some peace and sanity back into their lives.
So let’s gather around the proverbial campfire and start telling some spooky stories, and after that we will get into the weeds.
The first story of the night comes from my friend Kristen, and it involves antique children’s furniture (which I have learned is a big no-no as many people have bad experiences with this, FYI).
Ghost Boy (Kristen’s ghost story) and the Haunted Staircase (my story):
One day my friend Kristen went to an estate sale and bought some antique children’s furniture, but after cleaning the furniture and bringing it into her home, “Stranger Things” started to happen.
The first night, she woke up to what she thought was her young daughter sitting on her legs on her bed. She then felt the child stand up. Kristin sat up in bed and reached for her child, only to find nobody there. The next morning she contacted two mutual friends who had purchased items at the same sale; one said she was also experiencing weird things in her home, and the other had a disturbing nightmare, where children were being tortured and murdered.
The next day, Kristen’s young daughter approached her and told her a little boy named Jameson had been “talking to her heart” and that he had something happen to him that was “really bad.” Her daughter proceeded to put her hands on her own throat to denote strangulation. “Mommy,” she said, “Jameson told me there were chains, choking, and laughter – the bad kind of laughter.” Kristen was alarmed but stubborn; she didn’t want to believe there was a connection to the cool antique furniture she had just purchased and the ghost boy who was communicating with her daughter. The next day she experienced the last straw: Kristen’s daughter started having screaming nightmares from which she could not awake. She then reached out for help.
Kristen asked her father-in-law (a pastor) to come to the house to pray through it. She also contacted me and my friend and we also came through the home and prayed that God would remove the evil spirits/ghosts. Finally, feeling like that just wasn’t enough, she removed all the items from her home and her husband burned everything in a bonfire. Her husband, previously skeptical, commented to her that “whatever was attached to the furniture made the biggest, strangest fire I have ever seen.”
After the great burning of the furniture, and the prayers of everyone who came through the house, all was back to normal and peaceful again for Kristen and her family.
I (Heather) also have a quick ghost story that I will share with you. A number of years ago I stayed with my aunt and uncle who live in Massachusetts and who claim they are haunted by what they believe is a friendly ghost. One night their baby son started to cry and I heard what I thought was my aunt coming up the back staircase to comfort her crying son. After hearing several footsteps up and down the very loud and creaky staircase, I was surprised that the baby was still crying. It gradually dawned on me that I had experienced my first encounter with the ghost! Although I was very afraid, I got up to comfort the baby and prayed over him and his room and he promptly went back to sleep.
I will always remember the way the baby laid down, tucked his little hands underneath his chin, and closed his eyes immediately after my prayer was finished.
Evil in the Attic and the Haunted Hotel (my two evil spirit stories):
Another time, many years ago, as Erik (my husband) and I were trying to fall asleep, we would hear what sounded like many squirrels scurrying around in the attic. The sounds were consistent and annoying, but we were lazy and tired so we let it go on for many months. One day, Erik’s brother Ed came for a visit and Erik and Ed did some work up in the attic. While they were up there, I asked them to look for any evidence of squirrels and report back. They came down later and said: “nothing – no squirrels. And no sign of anything else.”
That night as we were in bed trying to fall asleep, the racket started up again. I looked at Erik and said: “those stupid squirrels!” Right then a thought popped into my head: ‘those are not squirrels.’
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: could that possibly be a demon, messing around up in the attic? Then another thought flashed through my mind: I never anointed the attic.
Let me briefly explain. Upon moving into the home, I walked around and prayed over every doorway and window in our home – as well as our property line – and touched some olive oil to the tops of all the doors and windows. I prayed for God’s protection in our home and for all evil spirits to leave, in Jesus’s name. However, I had failed to anoint the attic because I didn’t realize we even had one at the time.
I then looked up toward the attic and prayed the following prayer: “Lord, I don’t know if those are squirrels up in the attic, but if they are not squirrels, can you please make whatever it is go in Jesus’s name?”
Immediately there was a very loud bang that filled up our entire bedroom!! It was so loud that Erik and I jumped up in our bed in alarm! We both looked at each other for reassurance and said: “you heard that, right?” After that huge boom there was complete and utter silence.
The attic was as quiet as a mouse for the next nine years we lived there. The next day I promptly anointed the attic.
My last demon (or ghosts, I’m not sure which) story took place just a few years ago as I was staying in Florida during a weekend getaway. It was around 7 pm and I was watching TV in my hotel room alone. All of a sudden I heard a commotion coming from the closet in my room. The closet was about ten feet away from my bed, near the front door to the room. I heard loud noises coming from the closet and could see several hangers moving back and forth violently on their own. This went on for a few moments and then died down. Of course I got up to investigate and found nothing in the closet (and the room next door was empty). Although I wasn’t sure what was going on and what made the hangers move on their own, I commanded the spirit to leave in Jesus’s name nonetheless. All was peaceful after that.
I have had many other demonic issues in my home over the years – from sleep paralysis, to strange noises in my bedroom, to a “black bat” that my daughter would see in the corner of her room, to the watcher at the top of my landing that my daughter and my cat would see – all of these incidents were dealt with the same way; by making the evil spirits leave in Jesus’s name, or just by asking God (through prayer) to protect our family and make the spirits leave our home.
Evil attached to animals: Haunted Horses (Dave Appleby’s story)
Dave is my friend who helps people be set free from demonic oppression. He always has great stories! (You can learn about his ministry here http://www.spiritualinterventions.org/, and read a fascinating interview with him here: https://permission2speakfreely.com/2017/08/24/confessions-of-an-exorcist/)
From Dave: several years ago, I was asked to do a “horse cleaning.” Somehow a woman got my name and contacted me about coming over and praying over her horse barn and horses. Her brand new, expensive cutting horses (horses that work with calves) were terrified to be in the horse barn. They would stand with their heads facing outside through the Dutch doors all the time. When the doors were open, they would run to the far corner of the paddock and would not return to their stalls unless they were dragged. They would not eat and were obviously terrified in the barn.
The woman told me that one of her friends had seen some dark figures moving between the stalls in the barn. While I had never worked with horses before, I decided to give it a try. My colleague and I drove over to her ranch, met her, and was given a tour of the horse barn. Like she said, both horses stood with their heads facing out into the paddock. It was a rare brutally cold windy day in February. After warming up after our tour we started to work our way through the barn, stopping at every stall and commanding in the name of Jesus that any demon/evil spirit that was in the stall leave. We then asked the Holy Spirit to come and bring His peace.
After cleansing four or five stalls we came to where the first horse was standing, head turned away from us. I said the same thing that I had said over each of the other stalls. When I did, the horse turned completely around, put his head up to be caressed, and then started to eat. The owner said in shock, “His eyes are different.” The second horse, meanwhile, was still standing in the next stall with his head out the window. I did the same thing with exactly the same results. The horse turned around, put his head up so it could be stroked, and then started to eat. Whatever had been tormenting these two beautiful creatures was gone. The owner reported a few days later that the horses seemed a bit disoriented the next day (a common experience among people and, apparently horses as well) but were absolutely normal in the following days.
So as these stories and many others illustrate, there are many people, homes, and even animals that experience unwanted entities. And yes! Many people experience a haunting that moves around with them! In other words, an entity that stays with them no matter where they go in life (I heard many stories to this effect).
But before I give my perspective on what to do, we need to figure out what we are dealing with. And please bear in mind that this is only my perspective; feel free to take it or leave it.
What are ghosts?
After months of listening to ghost podcasts (Real Ghost Stories online and Paranormal Mysteries among others), searching the internet, watching ghost hunter-like shows on TV, reading Nancy Drew books :), and reading the Bible (yes, the Bible has one legit ghost story), I have come to the following conclusions about ghosts:
- Yes, many are evil spirits or demons – some are demons purporting to be a departed human spirit but are really not, and in some cases, they are an evil spirit that was previously attached to the person who has died. Sometimes it’s not a ghost at all but just an actual evil spirit who is attached to you, your property, or your possessions. And yes! Demons can be attached to objects and enter your home that way. The Bible says that demons prefer to attach themselves to something or someone and do not like to just wander the earth. There is even one story where Jesus himself says that demons will return back to their same house with “seven spirits more wicked than themselves” (Matthew Ch. 12). And while we are on the topic, Jesus was the first legit exorcist and constantly removed evil spirits from people’s lives in order to both help people who were tormented, and also to prove that he was the actual Messiah.
- There are some that are actual ghosts, but I would refer to them as departed human spirits sent down from heaven in order to help or encourage someone, or in the case of the one story in the Bible (I Samuel ch. 28), to give a warning or a rebuke. I heard several stories where immediately after someone died, someone saw the spirit of that person or dreamed of him or her. I don’t have a huge problem with this scenario if it doesn’t lead to a long-term haunting and it does not cause fear or dread. And just to be fair, I heard stories where people had ghosts in their homes that did not seem to scare or bother them. I just know that I, personally, would not want anything in my home unless it was sent from Heaven above.
- I heard a few stories about astral projection, where a living person used the powers of the occult (Satanism) to separate their spirit body from their physical body and terrorize someone without the other person knowing that it was an astral projected spirit.
- Finally, some stories are not the result of ghosts or demons, but have a logical explanation. It just might take time to figure out what is really going on. And some stories do not fit into a neat category and are simply labeled “unexplained.”
Before we can get to the “how to deal with spirits” part of this post, we need to figure out what happens to a person’s spirit after they die.
What happens to a person’s spirit after they die?
I would say this depends on what you believe. I believe in the Bible, which says that, after a person dies, they stand before the Lord and give an account of their life. If that person has received forgiveness of their sins and knows and loves Jesus Christ and has allowed Jesus to be their Savior and Lord, they will enter heaven for all eternity. If they have not, then they will not be able to enter heaven and will either cease to exist (not standard Christian theology but leaving room for this possibility) or will enter hell for eternity.
The Bible does not say that departed human spirits come back to the earth and haunt people, places, houses, or animals.
However, if you don’t believe that the Bible is true, then consider the words and stories of those who have actually died and come back from the dead. I recently finished an amazing book called Imagine Heaven by John Burke, who interviewed over 100 people who experienced a near death experience, or NDE. Here is a short blurb about the book on Amazon:
For decades, Burke has been studying accounts of survivors brought back from near death who lived to tell of both heavenly and hellish experiences. While not every detail of individual NDEs correlate with Scripture, Burke shows how the common experiences shared by thousands of survivors–including doctors, college professors, bank presidents, people of all ages and cultures, and even blind people–point to the exhilarating picture of Heaven promised in the Bible.
(for more information on this book, or to order, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Imagine-Heaven-Near-Death-Experiences-Exhilarating/dp/080101526X/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3D2IK5IECIR20&dchild=1&keywords=imagine+heaven&qid=1596059181&sprefix=Imag%2Caps%2C194&sr=8-2)
Bottom line according to the NDE-ers: departed human spirits do not seem to float around down here on earth – haunting, helping, or harassing people who are still alive (from all of the testimonies I read). The NDE-ers who head in an upward direction report either seeing loved ones who have already passed, Jesus himself coming towards them with great love oozing out of his eyes, colors they have never seen before, amazing music playing in the background, etc. OR conversely, going down down down to complete and utter darkness, with demon spirits mocking them, scaring them, and doing very bad things to them, etc. I did not read testimonies of people who were able to wander the earth for a period of time without heading in one direction or another. Just sayin’.
Please feel free to check out the stories themselves for further information (link above).
How do you get unwanted spirits to leave you alone?
Option one: you can ask them to leave:
If you are not a follower of Jesus Christ (Christian), here is an option for you that I would not believe had I not heard several stories that affirmed this approach. Many people sense a ghost and actually say something like this in the direction they believe the ghost is lurking: “Hey, I know you are here. But you are really scaring me, and you need to leave. So please leave.” For whatever reason known to man, this method can actually work. Many people have reported a peaceful home after asking a spirit to leave. In my humble opinion, this method works better if the ghost does not seem to be malevolent. You can also try getting help from a pastor, deliverance minister, or by cleansing your home (more on this in a moment).
Option two: you can command them to leave (in Jesus Name):
I must qualify this and say that this method will only be effective for followers of Jesus Christ (Christians). I do not recommend this method unless you are a sincere follower of Jesus.
If you are already a believer in Jesus Christ, God gives you the authority to command the demons to leave you in Jesus’s name. Luke 10:19 says this: “I give unto you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you.”
You can cast the demon out of your home in Jesus’s name, and it will go away, because it must obey the name of Jesus. You can say something like this: “Whatever is bothering me at night doing this and that (fill in the blank), or whatever is attached to me, or whatever came into my home or is attached to this or that (fill in the blank), I rebuke you and command you to leave me and my home in Jesus’s name.” The spirit will/should leave you in Jesus’s name. However, if the spirit doesn’t go that easily, try this….
Option three: you can cleanse your house or ask for help:
Again, if you are believer and follower of Jesus, I would recommend anointing your house with olive oil (the tops of the windows and all of the doors, and then the four corners of your property line) and commanding all evil spirits to leave in Jesus’s name. Pray that God would seal your home with his Holy Spirit and not allow bad spirits to enter. Then pray that God’s peace and the Holy Spirit would fill your home. You can also call your clergy person or a deliverance minister and have them go through your house to cleanse it of ghosts and evil spirits as well. And to be fair, even if you are not a follower of Jesus, many people have cleansed their homes with some success (there are many methods I learned). You would have to google these options for yourself.
I will leave you with one final thought and one last story before you go:
Final thought: you never have to stay in a scary situation – there are things you can do. That ghost that you are experiencing might be a demon, and God may be using this experience to open your eyes and draw you closer to Himself. Remember – God loves you! And He wants to help you, you just need to ask.
Final story: my daughter Claire kept complaining about the “large black bat” that was in the corner of her bedroom that scared her. I let it go for a few days, thinking it was her imagination. But after a week or so with no relief, I waited until she was fast asleep and crept into her room and looked right at the corner in her room where she said the “black bat” was lurking, and told the demon to get the hell out of my house, in Jesus’s name!
Later, I asked Claire about the bat and she said simply, “Oh, it flew away mom!”
Of course it did.
And finally, Kristen’s own words, as she reflected on bringing the haunted furniture into her home:
Although what happened to me was probably one of the scariest times in my entire life, I am overall grateful for this experience as it has taught me that demons really do exist, that there is power in the name of Jesus, and that when I was in that fearful situation, God sent people to help me. Also, this experience was a real turning point for me in my own walk with God and I can now look back and see how it was used for my good and the good of my family.