Have you been experiencing the feeling of being watched? When you walk around your room, do you sense hot and cold spots? Do objects move by themselves? Are there things that go bump at night? Do you hear strange moans?
Congratulations, you probably are living in a haunted house! (Or a dorm. Those, uh, moans probably aren’t supernatural…)
Haunted houses are as old as Plato. The first account of of a spirit-infested abode came from Greek times, when a philosopher rented a haunted villa in Athens and encountered a headless spectre. Since then, ghost houses have been the source of books, TV shows, movies and campfire stories galore.
While you might be perfectly fine with a wailing nun making her rounds in your sitting room, your housemates might not appreciate an unwanted tenant living (dying?) rent-free. Of course, many haunted house phenomena can be explained by science, but sometimes, you need a little spiritual peace of mind to help you get to sleep at night. So, here are historically tested (though the jury is still out on the truth of them) ghost-busting methods!
Disclaimer: I am not a ghostbuster. I am someone who simply has a lot of free time and access to Google. I have no official certification in ghost hunting, banishments, spiritual cleansings, etc. Then again, neither do any of the other self-proclaimed “experts.” I take no responsibility for angry ghosts, carpet burns, demonic possessions, giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men ravaging New York City, etc. Please traverse into the vengeful spiritual realm responsibly.
Appeasing the ghost
Ghosts often reportedly appear when they have something that’s keeping them in the world of the living. Sometimes it’s a lost item. Sometimes they’re concerned for a loved one. Sometimes it’s because they were brutally murdered and their body was tossed in a shallow grave in your basement by their killer and want bloody, bloody revenge. Sometimes they think they left the stove on or something.
Ask the ghost what it wants. Find that locket that fell behind the dresser. Assure them that their granddaughter will do just fine with a liberal arts degree, and yes, she finally broke up with that douchebag Steve. Ask your landlord for permission to demolish the walls for human remains. It’s simple, really!
Besides being great for seasoning chicken, sage is a traditional cleansing herb used by many spiritualists to clear away negative energy and banish unwanted spectres. Many occult shops sell sage in bundles for this purpose.
To use, simply light the sage and march through the house with a confident air, suppressing your urge to cough as the herbal smoke wafts about. Eventually, one of your housemates will walk in and see you carrying a smoking bunch of green stuff with a relieved expression on your face. They may ask you for some.
Note: If you live in a dorm and cannot light things on fire, you can simply play songs by the Croatian heavy metal band Sage on loop at full volume until the spirits leave or you get a noise complaint.
There are a few ways to go about this. If you live at UConn, you most likely will have already tracked in a bunch of sidewalk melter from the winter, and therefore infused the carpets with it already. If you vacuum regularly, then go ahead and buy a shaker full of Morton. Spread it around the area of haunting like you’re Salt Bae while reading aloud articles about why high amounts of sodium can lead to a number of health problems, both physical and cognitive. If the ghost is not health-conscious and does not immediately leave, then start ranting about Flavortown until it does.
Crucifixes, Stars of David, Hindu statues, saint candles and other religious symbols are all helpful in scaring off some of the nastier ghosts. Simply wear them and place them strategically around the house, and the ghosts will soon be gone!
Of course, you may be freaked out by portraits of Jesus eyeballing you wherever you go. If you aren’t religiously inclined, there is still a solution—simply convince the ghost that you are a part of a religion where watching Netflix, surfing the internet, eating entire bags of M&M’s and other student activities are in fact holy sacraments. Simply look venerable and solemn every now and then and say “Ah, yes, as the holy texts so dictate” while doing so.
If you’re having trouble convincing your spectre of your sacred rituals, then add in a healthy dollop of...
Nothing makes a situation more believable and holy than a Latin chant or two! Feel free to shout these out while burning your sage, performing your “blessed sacraments” or if you feel bored.
ASPERGES DEUM (“Be cleaned by Holiness”)
CAECILIUS EST IN STUDIO (A very old and traditional chant for beginners)
AYE HAMVEH RI GUL LEEBUL (A greatly effective one. Say it quickly and repeat it often!)
Telling the ghost to f*** off
At the end of the day, sometimes you’re too tired to buy sage, sprinkle salt on all your belongings or go digging around for hypothetical skeletons. If that’s the case, then giving the ghost a good telling-off can be just as effective.
Be firm. Say, in a loud voice, “Ghost, you have to leave now. There is nothing more for you here. You are bothering the living. Move forward to the afterlife.” Repeat yourself if necessary.
If needed, tell the ghost to go towards the light or whatever, before finishing off with the confirmation that wherever it goes, it’s sure as heck better than a $550-a-month party house in Mansfield.
Chances are, the ghost will leave, never to return.
Then again, it might just be back the next time, except it is now very, very angry because it is covered in salt, tired of Latin chanting and similarly creeped out by all the Jesus pictures. Happy hunting, folks!
Marlese Lessing is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @marlese_lessing.