Fear of Ghosts in Society
If we were to explore the roots of our superstitions, it is apparent that fear of ghosts can be found within many cultures. Let's call it “ghost fear.” For example in Japan, "onryo" are ghosts (Yurei) who are said to seek revenge. Most of the onryo are said to be women who seek vengeance from former male lovers! The Papuan people of New Guinea are so full of ghost fear that they absolutely will not pass a grave at night. Their culture believes that ghosts roam at night in search of tobacco. Sometimes entire villages will scream, yell and beat sticks in their home at early evening in order to compel the ghosts of the recently departed to leave them alone and not kill them. The Wari, an Amazon tribe, fears ghosts called “jima.” They believe the jima can grab their spirit and pull it away from the body. Of course there are many other cultural beliefs in ghosts and that we should fear them.
Fear: Protection From Ghosts?
Because many cultures teach ghost fear, it is no wonder that there are just as many ways said to protect a person from ghosts. I once heard a man talking about this very thing, challenging the old superstitious ideas of using sea salt in conjunction with white sage for smudging in order to banish ghosts from a residence. He told his listeners that it is better to communicate with ghosts if you want to help them rather than ignore them or block them somehow. He said bluntly that herbs and salt should be kept in the kitchen! I guess when one considers his statement, it certainly makes sense. I would rather have a person take the time to talk with me rather than run afraid scared, holding a crucifix and calling me a devil! I must be honest: I'm not sure whether or not items such as plants, minerals, stones, seeds, etc will work as protection from ghosts; but I do know that helping disembodied people resolve their past life on earth does solve cases of haunting.
Fear of Ghosts - Protective Items: Amulets, Charms, Herbs & Candles
When researching the idea of protecting ourselves from ghosts, I stumbled upon many different items that are claimed to work as defense against ghosts. This might paint the idea in people's heads that ghosts are out to get them. Allow me to say this is not true. Most ghosts are not ill-willed at all; they are simply misunderstood people more times than not. The misconception that we must walk around afraid of ghosts seems a bit ludicrous to me. If we fear then we open ourselves up for folly. I must also note to the reader that though ghost activity might temporarily abate after use of such materials or rituals, it is very common for the haunting to become active once again. To me, this indicates that such methods, if they work, are only temporary solutions. That said, I think it is interesting to at least consider that maybe some of these items could possibly provide a defense from a nefarious phantom. And it is reasonable to assume that items offered to protect a person from ghosts at least offer some level of comfort for the living.
Clearing a House of Ghosts
When famed ghost whisperer, Mary Ann Winkowski, clears a house of all ghosts, she will place quince seeds in the door jambs. She believes they prevent ghosts from re-entering the home. Mary Ann receives the quince seeds from relatives in the old country (Italy). She says that something is done to the seeds to make them special before she receives them. Mary Ann teaches that when quince seeds are on the person, ghosts will not be able to come closer than 3 - 4 feet. If the seeds are put around the entrances to a home while a ghost still resides within, the entity will not be able to leave, according to Mary Ann.
Native Americans believe that the burning of white sage keeps unwanted spirits away. So it is common for some paranormal investigators to do a “smudging” with white sage in order to cleanse a home of ghosts. Burning a sage “smudge stick” and wafting it around every room, in every corner, at every entrance into the home, even around anyone involved, is said to do the trick. It is believed that, like the quince seeds, ghosts may not enter a house after a smudging. Some smudgers also add “sweet grass” and cedar oil to the smudge stick for an added punch. In addition to sage, Native Americans also burn Eastern or Western Red Cedar in their cleansing ceremonies (and cedar branches are reportedly brushed about in the air to bless Native American homes). After a house cleansing, some people recommend applying sea salt above the doors and windows in a home, to prevent ghosts from returning. Others recommend placing bowls of sea salt around the home, particularly in low energy areas.
Plants Said To Alleviate Ghost Fear
There are other plants, besides sage, cedar and sweet grass, that supposedly have “ghost repellent” capabilities. For example, holy symbols carved from Hawthorn wood are thought to ward off spirits. Another example is St. John's Wort. When plants are placed in rooms, it's said to repel ghosts. There are many more plants believed to ward off ghosts, such as vetivert, mandrake root, snake head, balm of gilead buds, garlic, stone root, five-finger grass, bay leaves, basil leaves, lucky hand root, asafoetida, dragon's blood reed, blood root, High John the Conqueror root, frankincense, sacred bark, black cohosh, African ginger root, grape vine, rattlesnake root, fern, plant of peace, caraway seeds and wolf bane root.
Stones That May Help With Ghost Fear
Want a non-herbal way to protect against ghosts? It is commonly believed that stones, such as hematite and ghost quartz will help ward off negative spirits. Hematite is said to absorb and neutralize energy, while rose quartz is believed to generate feelings of love and tranquility. Amethyst is also taught to be healing to the mind, body and spirit. Black tourmaline is said to dispel negative ghosts. Citrine is said to shield unwanted energies.
Feng Shui To Resolve Haunting & Ghost Fear
The ancient Chinese teachings of “feng shui” are said to offer several methods in order to help with ghosts. Space clearing bowls and bells are said to drive ghosts and evil spirits away from a residence. The burning of feng shui candles in a home is said to restore peace and tranquility. It is also recommended that a house be full of light and decorated with warm colors to maintain more of a masculine energy.
Solving Haunting: Resolving Ghost Fear
When considering our own ghost fear, let us first learn to accept all people in spirit by being compassionate, empathetic. If we are confronted by a haunting, let us politely acknowledge those unseen and seek to communicate with them in order to be of help. Work the haunting with the utmost patience until it is resolved. It is after this that we may choose to use our personal choice of amulets, herbs, and methods as a conclusion to the cleansing process.