My niece and her family moved into a home recently and it is haunted by spirits. They have seen a gray “little boy” who looked around age 8 or 9 and a “shadowy” old man. Things have been knocked over, such as their Christmas tree and mirrors. It hasn’t been mean or bothersome other than knocking things over. The kids are aware of the beings and are skittish but otherwise living with it. What can be done to make it go away without provoking them to anger?
I’m not sure how the Catholic Church handles this type of problem except, for Bodily Possession with Exorcism…I will tell you, being part American/Mexican Indian, that I would smudge the house, smudge every room and all corners, hallways, kitchen, basement, with the herb Sage. Open all the windows first. Smudging is the burning of Sage, smoking and incensing, a bundle of Sage. The Catholic Church and most other religions, use incense also within their gathering places prior to services. If you cannot find Sage I would use Frankencense. You should be able to find Sage for smudging where herbs are sold or possibly a Smoke Shop. Call around…also speak to them softly and ask them to go into the Light (Tunnel)…let them know they are dead and they must go into the Light…
That’s superstition. Don’t do that, Sckd. There is no such thing as ghosts, as the moment we die we do not wander the world. God doesn’t ever ‘miss’ some of us and forget to put us where we belong. If something, besides just being spooked, is really happening, it could be that the house is demonically possessed. I would have a priest bless it and have holy water sprinkled in every room.
With nothing but sincerest respect for LayingHands, I’m afraid his/her well-intentioned advice is contrary to Christian teaching.
I recommend that you consult a Catholic priest; the Church through the authority over fallen spirits with which she has been imbued by Christ is your proper recourse in this matter.
Some information you may find helpful:
House Cleansing and Blessing (PDF file)
This house blessing/exorcism can be done by a priest, deacon, or lay person following the wording for laity.
Help with Violent Hauntings
Special considerations to review when experiencing violent hauntings
Help with Non-violent Hauntings
Special considerations to review when experiencing non-violent hauntings
Seven Steps to Self Deliverance
Currently the original 7 steps page is down; this is an alternative to use until the links on the “help with hauntings” pages are corrected.
Yes, I definitely want my advice to my niece to be Christian-based, but I am not sure what to tell her. I will check out those links.
Some may not believe in ghosts, but I myself have seen a ghost (or spirit or demon or whatever you want to call them) myself before (not at my niece’s house). I don’t know *what *they are or *why *they are on Earth, but I do know that something was there and I just call them ghosts for lack of better word.
I sympathise with your plight, and gotta agree with others in this thread - if there is something there, we Orthodox also believe it will not be a human “ghost”, but will be demonic and thus inhuman entity.
My Church teaches that these things vary greatly in rank and in potential for harm. But they are there to deceive and harm nevertheless.
In our Church, before we go down the priestly blessing or exorcism route, we try other remedies first - and see how they go.
We often install holy icons (blessed) in the house - those featuring Saint Michael The Archangel, Christ Descent into Hell and anything to do with Christs Resurrection are particularly powerful for demonic infestation. These are placed in the corners of rooms in most cases.
Prayers to Archangel Michael for intercession are often used by the family.
We often burn a perpetual holy light before the icons (obtained from Church at easter time), and often Church incense is used throughout the house. Sometimes communion bread obtained from the Schu Table in church is brought into the house - and kept rather than eaten immediately. This is very powerful against demonic power.
If a priestly blessing is required - we use holy water, and holy oil on all walls, doors and windows.
Good luck with this problem. You will know if the minimalist approach isn’t going to be effective, because the disturbances usually intensify in response to insufficient measures.
Sometimes, a Priestly intervention, and various church based rituals are the only thing that will do the job.
I’d suggest that they ask a priest to bless the house if they would be open to doing this. Even if they aren’t Catholic, a local priest would probably be willing to bless the house.
The family should pray together every day, at least the Our Father and the prayer to St. Michael the archangel (which should be acceptable to any Christian). They should ask their guardian angels daily to pray for them and protect them. It would also be a good idea to put a crucifix or cross blessed by the priest in every room, especially in the children’s bedrooms. And show them how to make the sign of the cross to begin and end their prayers. Since parents are permitted to bless their children, suggest that the parents make the sign of the cross on their children’s foreheads every morning and evening.
It might be safer for the family not to attempt anything themselves to ‘make it go away’ or to speak to whatever is there. At the most, when they ‘see’ something, they might pray aloud something like “May our Lord Jesus Christ protect us and may He deal with this spirit according to God’s holy will”. They should specifically say ‘Jesus Christ’, not just ‘Jesus’.
This is what I would do if they were my relatives and were not Catholic.
If they were Catholic, I would also suggest frequent Confession and Communion, use of holy water and other sacramentals, wearing blessed Miraculous medals or St. Benedict medals, and possibly asking a priest who is very experienced in this area to pray in the house.
All the advice g ven here, with the exception of smudging with sage, is good and I have nothing to add. But I do want to emphasize under no circumstance to attempt any communication with these apparitions.
Offer up Masses for their souls, and have the house blessed by a priest.
I certainly sympathize with this family’s problem. I grew up in “haunted houses” so I know that this stuff is real and frightening.
Anyways, here’s what worked for me (well give or take a few “disturbances” which occur maybe once a year now):
I never set out to “get rid” of the “thing”, it just happened. After I converted to Catholicism, I quickly began assembling a large collection of crucifixes, icons, rosaries, etc. I was just so excited to move from a more “barren” Protestantism (which really discouraged any imagery of holy things) to Catholicism, where one is overwhelmed by such beautiful, holy things. I got each item blessed as I either made use of it or hung it up on the wall to make them sacramentals.
“Coincidentally” the disturbances went away very quickly after that. I would agree with Andrew Phillip. Holy images and sacramentals, when blessed and shown proper reverence in a home, can go a long way.
Maybe you could go to a Catholic bookstore and pick up some inexpensive but nice crucifixes, holy water fonts or something in that vein, have them blessed, and maybe make a gift of them to your relatives?
Has the problem ended?
have the house blessed …and perhaps seek an exorcist (catholic priest) – the head of human life international is an exorcist fr Etenhour (spelled wrong)
and pray for the souls of any who may be appearing (if they are not demonic)
and yes holy water and blessed sacramentals
sckcd… first there is nothing to fear -if they are lower level entities fear feeds them so lose the fear…say a prayer of protection and say out loud that you only accept what comes through God’s Love and Light- In Jesus’Name-anything else must leave…they must leave when told to do so in this manner-then have a Priest bless the house room to room…ghosts are simply disembodied people who have not moved on yet…spirits are those who have already crossed over and visit through God’s love to comfort…demonic activity is much more sinister and insidious than knocking things over-that’s just wanting someone to know they are there…visualize God’s Love and Light waiting for them and then say the prayer- they will leave…keep us posted…God Bless
Ask a priest to have the house blessed and sprinkle holy water on it, and buy some sacramentals. Have them blessed and put them around the house. I bet the problem will disappear if you do this.
I hope the family have taken the good advice of blessing, prayer and perhaps exorcism.
An important point of difference between us (Eastern Orthodox) and the Roman Catholic traditions, is the advice that these disturbances may be caused by human spirits who have returned to the earthly plane to this home from “purgatory”.
The RCC teaches that this may take place because of a desire of the human spirit in this stae to communicate something, or elicit something from the living.
We EO adherents do not teach this. We assign such activity to the demonic. We do not accept that apparitions of deceased people are genuine, understanding that demons manifest as such to deceive the living. We do not accept that supposedly “minor” disturbances like overturning objects in the home, indicate human spirits. We acknowledge that demonic activity can vary from the innocuous to the intelligent and severe.
A priestly intervention should be sought if the efforts of the family are unsuccessful.
God bless and good luck.
Superstition…hummmm…I would like to remind everyone that the Roman Catholic Church censes ( waves a smoking/incense censer!) throughout the ALTAR of the CHURCH BEFORE PERFORMING every MASS! This is done to clear all the bad/negative and or evil emanations, from around the altar, PURIFYING the AIR and area before MASS and the HOST is offered to the DEVOTED…notice also that this action is concentrated to the FOUR CARDINAL POINTS…interesting also…EXORCISUM and its practice also CENSES INCENSE for the same reason…
The use of the incense is to symbolize the prayers of the faithful rising to heaven, not to cleanse the area of any ‘negative energy’. That would be a new age belief.
Actually, the censing of temples and or churches are not New Age, at all…this was a practice of the very oldest times, the ancient times…practiced by most religions of the WORLD. See Alexandria, the Colleges and multitude of Temples/Castes of Priesthood…incense cleansing and purification had been actively practiced during the Ancient Times, see Eqyptian, Buddism, Chaldean, Nazarites, Essenes, Kabalists…we incorporated this practice from the Judaisim religion…it is hard to research, but, those who seek the true answers, will find them…Jesu Christos said to prove all things to yourself. I will agree that the burning of incense carries messages through the Powers of the Air and the Angel Host…directly to GOD also…remember the 3 Wise Men?..the Magi at the manger during the Divine Birth of Christ?..they brought gifts…including incense of Frankincense and Myhrr???
If your family members are weak in faith of GOD, and unable to withstand the faith to follow the advice of all these loved ones…it may be best to move…weakness in faith to GOD sometimes allows elementaries to attach themselves to unbelievers…may GOD, his Son and the Holy Ghost, our Mother GOD…protect thee…