Dealing with a haunting can sometimes seem to be a daunting task.
A haunting can sometimes be difficult to deal with, especially with those who've never experienced it. Because there are various ways in dealing with a haunting, you first need to try to figure out what style you're experiencing.
There are two main styles of hauntings: residual and intelligent hauntings, and within those are the Poltergeist and Inhuman Haunting. These hauntings can share similar characteristics so determining which one you're experiencing can be tricky, but is very important, especially when dealing with a poltergeist or Inhuman haunting. And remember, although these techniqes have been used successfully in previous hauntings, they may not work in all situations.
Types of Hauntings
One thing you have to realize is that if you're experiencing a residual haunting, there's really not much that can be done. This type of haunting is like a movie being played over and over and is usually tied to a sudden traumatic death. Actually, we don't really consider this a haunting since there is no direct action from an entity involved, but it does fall into one of the catagories since it's considered paranormal spirit activity. A residual haunting is the result of the energy explosion of a traumatic or violent event being imprinted in the environment of the building. They usually happen at exact times and always have the same pattern of movement, which is why we say it's just like a movie being played. Your best bet is to just accept this activity and learn to live with it. Eventually, it will become less evident as the energy of the present occupants becomes more imprinted. A residual haunting cannot interact with you and will never cause you any harm, so there is nothing at all to worry about. In fact, the only reports of people being injured have shown that they actually injured themselves being frightened, usually trying to run. If it's something you just can't live with, you may want to consider relocating.
Poltergeist and Demonic hauntings lie within this style. Active hauntings can be a bit tricky. In most cases, there's no real way to force them to leave. They're present for a reason and they may not realize they've passed away. They could also be afraid of crossing over and being judged. Most of the time, the spirits involved in an active haunting are not malicious. They're simply there for their own personal reason. They may be trying to communicate with you or they may be trying to ask for help. They may have resided in the home that's now yours and may not understand why you are invading their space.
In the case of a non-malicious active haunting, you can try to reason with the spirit, but doing this depends on the activity. Sometimes, in the wrong situation, giving recognition to the spirits may increase the activity of the haunting
You can tell it that there's no need to be afraid to cross over. There are many ways to help the spirit, and most lie in discovering the history of the building or home, discovering if any deaths have happend in the area or the identity of the spirit(s). History may reveal a traumatic death of the person, such as a fire or other accident, or in some cases, a suicide or murder.
If reasoning doesn't work, you can tell the spirit to leave. In a firm and strong but non-threatening voice, tell it to "leave now". Tell it that this is now your home and they are not welcome there. Let them know that you don't like the things they are doing, that they are frightening you (if that's the case) and that they are to stop immediately. Taking your home back is usually the most effective method and is the first step. But you must be firm and stand your ground. Sometimes they may not know they are causing you a problem and their intention may be just to get your attention. You may have to tell them that they are dead, that they don't belong in the physical world and to go towards the light. Let them know that loved one's that have passed away are there to help guide them. You may also want to ask them if they want something and what that may be, though their answer may not be clear; this is why it's best to learn the history of the place that is being haunted. The most important thing is to NOT show fear. Even though the entities invloved in most human style hauntings are not malicious, fear can increase their energy as they feed off it. They only have as much power as you give them. NEVER use Ouija boards, seances or witchcraft as they can increase the activity or open doors that can allow inhuman spirits to enter. Also, religious provacation will typically not help because these entities/spirits are not inhuman/demonic. Remember, knowledge and strength is your best weapon. One of the best movies that shows how an intelligent haunting might be seen from the view of the spirits is The Others. If you haven't seen this, we recommend doing so.
If the spirit or ghost activity doesn't stop or if you are dealing with a malicious type haunting, there are other methods:
Traditional Spiritual Cleansing/Smudging Ceremony
Spiritual cleansing is the practice of "smudging" to get rid of a spirit. Smudging comes from an ancient indian ritual in which the native elders burned Sage, Cedar or Sweetgrass and rubbed the smoke and ashes on a person in order to cleanse them of negative spirits, negative energy or negative feelings. This was typically done before praying or before one could be healed or help to heal another.
The Smudging Ceremony has been passed down through generations and is still used today by native tribes. This technique has been used in hauntings for centuries to rid homes or buildings of negative spirits. The ceremony has been proven to be effective in most cases, however, it may not always work and it may not prevent the spirits from returning, especially in the event of a inhuman demonic haunting. This method is typically not effective for a human intelligent style haunting.
The botanical name for Sage is "Salvia", which is a Latin root name meaning "heal". Sage has been used to wrap pipes that lead into the earth as well as in headbands of Sundancers, so it's synonymous with protecting and healing.
There is a procedure for properly performing the Smudging Ceremony in its entirity. This complete ceremony also invloves Cedar and Sweetgrass. Cedar is usually burned while praying. It is said that the prayers rise with the smoke throughout the home. Cedar is burned for purification just as Sage is, but along with driving out the negative energy it is also said that it will bring in good, pure influences. Cedar is readily available.
Sweetgrass is considered by many native tribes to be one of the most sacred plants in history. It grows mainly in the northwest and parts of Canada, though development and animal grazing has slowed the growth. It can usually be found in native Indian stores, especially in the western U.S. Purchasing from the stores helps the Indian tribes revive the growth of sweetgrass.
It is usually braided or twisted and burned similar to Sage, ensuring the smoke reaches every area of the home and the bodies of the occupants.