Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spark's Ghostly Tips

These tips are based on the shows "A Haunting" and "Ghost Hunters", and also some personal experience.

1. Never mess with a Ouija board. With your luck, you'll open a portal to the demon dimension that can't be closed without professional help. Those guys are just waiting by the border between the realms, hoping some fool will crack open a door so that they can bust in and bully everyone.

2. If you are shopping for a new home, and one house in particular seems to enchant you and draw you to it with a magnetic force, turn around and run the other way. Especially if it's a huge, gorgeous old house built at least 100 years ago, the prettiest one in the neighbourhood, and it's on the market for a suspiciously low price. Either there are serious problems with the foundation, or the place is possessed. Either way, you don't want it.

3. When a family experiences paranormal experiences in their home, it's invariably the dad that takes the longest to be convinced of the problem. He will find ways of dismissing everything experienced by his wife and children as overactive imagination or "the house settling". A coffee mug can spontaneously fly across the kitchen and smash against a wall, and the dad will sigh and go "It's just a draft. I'd better caulk that window." Finally a demon will grab him by the throat and lift him off his feet, and as his toes dangle above the rug he'll rub his chin and croak, "Honey, what was that you were saying about a demon?."

4. Never hire the inexperienced exorcist. He'll screw it up and then you'll be worse off than you were before. Nothing angers a demon like some dweeby guy standing inside a pentagram made of salt, trying to chant all the evil out of the house. Punishment will be swift and nasty. Do a little research, pay an extra few bucks, and get an exorcist who's been at it for at least 10 years. It's good value for your money.

5. Of course it's also possible to find "paranormal" occurrences where there are none. At around 3:00 am, when you're on a stakeout of a supposedly haunted house, every little thing starts to seem like "evidence". But that scary sound you heard in the master bedroom? That's actually just the homeowner's cat who's sleeping at the foot of the bed, snoring.

6. Disembodied spirits who are still hanging around on this plane are often desperate to be acknowledged. It's a bad idea to acknowledge them unless you're really sure that you want to interact. For example, Ken saw something in a hospital that looked like wavy lines of heat distortion. He whispered "I can see you", and it zipped right over to him. Scared the crap out of him. If you're not sure what it is, play dumb and pretend it's not there.

7. Not all energy phenomena are intelligent spirits. There are blobby things that are like the dust bunnies of the energy realm. They roll around like tumbleweeds, sometimes coming to rest for a while where you can see them (if you're Ken) or feel them (if you're me). They don't really do much, and can be shooed away without incident.

8. I've never seen a ghost, and I'm grateful for that. I personally know 3 people who claim to have seen ghosts. One of them is into Wicca etc. so I'm slightly skeptical of her story. She would want to see a ghost, and so might be swayed to embellish if her experience was ambiguous. The second is Ken. The third is Ken's dad, who is a practical man with no time for nonsense. (Rule #3 is not ironclad.) None of them got any pleasure from their ghostly experiences. All three claim were scared shitless.

9. If you live in a haunted house, the best possible outcome is that you get rid of the bad spirits and carry on with your normal life. The second best outcome is that you have to move, and can carry on your normal life once you settle into your new home. The worst outcome is that you move and the spirits move with you. That really sucks.

10. Watching "A Haunting" and "Ghost Hunters" late at night is not such a great idea, especially if you're alone in the house. They re-run them 12 hours later on Saturday morning. Watch then with the sun streaming through the window. Demon stories are less scary if you hear them while eating a bowl of cereal.


Leighann said...

HA! Great post Spark!

My oldest daughter has described "someone" walking through her bedroom at night. Her VERY DETAILED description worries me.

I've lived in a house with something and I don't think she liked me very much.

I really enjoy Ghost Hunters but always wonder.... if you're in a building in the middle of the night HOPING to find something, isn't it more possible that your mind is going to play tricks on you? I think accounts for most of their "personal experiences".

But I could be wrong.

nicole said...

Unless you know what you are doing one should never kid around with boards, pentacles, pendles (or whatever this is called in English) when one doesn't know what one's doing.
Speaking out of experience as well.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

I think Ouija boards are just a crazy game. With that said I never play with them just in case I'm wrong. With my luck I would piss off some major demon and live the rest of my days in fear. Plan for the worst and hope for the best is a good motto for that stuff.

jameil1922 said...

hilarious. one of the people i grew up with says he's seen ghosts lots of times. and where he grew up I BELIEVE HIM!! i'm straight on that one!

Tequila Mockingbird said...

ghost hunters makes me afraid to get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Nilsa S. said...

The question remains, did you sleep with the lights on?

Karen said...

Spark this is a great post. I love Ouija boards though!

Sparkling Red said...

Leighann: Thanks! That’s spooky. Kids tend to be more sensitive to spirits than grownup, so I’d be inclined to believe her.
I think you’re right about the Ghost Hunters. I’ve watched them freak themselves out late at night, and then there was a logical explanation after all.

Nicole: I’m very curious about your experience!

Ron: That’s a good approach. It’ll keep you out of trouble without causing you to be paranoid about every little creak in the night. :-)

Jameil: The more people I ask, the more claim to have seen ghosts. I’m a believer!

Tequila Mockingbird: For real! I tend to get dehydrated by 4:00 am, and it takes all my courage to sneak into the dark kitchen for a glass of water. I keep expecting something to grab my ankle.

Nilsa: I keep a nightlight on in my bathroom. The only time I ever slept with all the lights on was for a few nights after watching “The Ring”. That movie ruined me. I’ll never watch another horror movie as long as I live!

Karen: Thanks! I seem to recall a certain mischievous spirit in your home, filing your mail into the toaster slots and messing about with the bedroom doors. Could the Ouija board be to blame? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've never seen a ghost. Nor have I ever done drugs. Coincedence, or maybe I'm on to something. Think about that Jack.

Sparkling Red said...

Whatigotsofar: One day, you'll be one of those dads that I described in point #3. When the demons come to get you, don't say I didn't warn you.

San said...

Never watched these shows, but now you've got me intrigued, Red.

This is a hilarious post and I am a firm believer in #7. I only have to look at my country's current administration to see that one's a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...

I like things that go "hump" in the night!

Sparkling Red said...

San: I hear what you're saying. If only the politicians in question could be shooed away so easily! ;-)

Unsigned: That's creepy in a different way.

Keera Ann Fox said...

I've messed with the equivalent of a ouija board. Taught me to respect whatever's out there, it did. I can watch anything on TV except ghost stories. Those always scare me and then I find myself unable to leave my own couch.

Sparkling Red said...

Keera: I'm so curious! If you're inspired to post about that experience, I would love to know what happened.

Jenski said...

This all sounds like wonderful advice. A friend from college got into Ouija boards and black mirrors for a little while when taking a class. I didn't take the class because the professor was creepy.

Speaking of creepy - I had that feeling that something is behind you when you walk up stairs from a dark basement. It always makes me walk a little faster.

Aurora said...

I have never seen this show but it looks fun. Must check it out!

Sparkling Red said...

Jenski: How bizarre that there was a course on the subject! It's a neat idea, although I would also be put off by the creepy professor. When you're messing around with the paranormal, you want to make sure your colleagues are trustworthy.

Aurora: "A Haunting" has been on Discovery for years. "Ghost Hunters" is new to me, although I don't know if it's a new show. They're both good, and will thoroughly creep you out if you watch them back-to-back.