Ghost Problems: How to Get Rid of a Ghost
If you fear ghosts, then we recommend reading the articles Protection From Ghosts and Fear Of Ghosts, first. Most ghosts do not need "gotten rid of" but actually require help often referred to as Ghost Rescue. If you think you have a ghost, but are not sure, then we suggest you first read, How to Tell if You Have a Ghost. If you believe you have a troubled or negative ghost with you or your family, remain calm and try to gain insight and understanding of the ghost communications that may be happening around you. The ghost, or person, is likely attempting to make contact to try and communicate with you.
Typical Reaction to Ghosts: Get Rid of It!
Most people, when encountering a ghost, panic because the communication method is not normal; it's paranormal. But often, a ghost simply wants to be recognized as existing or in need of resolving unfinished business or wanting you to know that he or she is still alive before moving on to the light. Many times, people are shocked to find out the ghost is someone they know and love! Perhaps, the ghost, a disembodied human being, really wants to deliver a message to someone before feeling released to progress forward in life by moving into the light unto peace, joy and love. So, we must try and understand the reason behind the haunting - this is crucial; then you might choose to co-exist by establishing a mutual understanding and setting boundaries with friendly souls (ghosts) who wish to remain with you. For this reason, we recommend not fearing communication from the dead - for ghosts are people.
Problem Ghosts: How to Help Them In Order to Get Rid of Ghost Activity
If by chance you still feel you have a negative spirit or energy in your home (a ghost that frightens you, is physically abusive or ghosts that are sexually perverse versus enlightened, positive spirits or kind ghosts of loved ones who will not be troublesome when asked to behave and follow your house rules), or if you just want to try and help ghosts find peace, we recommend handling negative entities and ghosts in the following manner. Remember, by helping a ghost, you will not only get rid of the ghost, but the haunting will end.
- Be Strong - Remain unemotional and firm if dealing with a negative ghost, as they will feed off of your fear and make themselves stronger and more powerful to the emotional or weak-minded (much of this is simply in your head - we do not believe ghosts have any power over us except what we give them). Just know you are always in control. You have nothing to fear, for fear is created by, and controlled by, your mind. Speak out loud to ghosts to communicate but do it unwavering. If you are dealing with a vile ghost, you may tell the unwanted spirit to leave and that they are not welcome in your home. Do this firmly, yet with compassion, because this will not likely work in most cases of haunting. You are probably going to need to communicate and reason with mosts ghosts whether dealing with a pleasant soul or not. And most ghosts are nice, reasonable people.
- Don't Assume - It's always good to get down to the basics with the ghost by telling him or her to seek the light, explaining that their physical body has perished and it's time (and good) to leave this physical realm behind. Let ghosts know that they will see other people (loved ones in spirit) who are there to direct and guide them. Let ghosts know that they will be treated with love and forgiveness no matter what they've done prior. Ghosts need to know that they can be affecting others negatively, and that it is time for them to move on in life and unto peace, letting go of their concerns (which is suffering). Again, be compassionate, understanding, pleasant and helpful. Remember that ghosts are people who do not view themselves as ghosts, usually. We label them ghosts.
- Learn "Why" - Find out why the ghost is here. If the person in spirit understands that their body has died, then they may only need to be told to head into the light. Otherwise, the reason the ghost remains earthbound is due to some form of fear that has compelled them to stay. Ghosts may be afraid to face an uncertain future, leave behind loved ones, possessions, places, etc. Identify the fear, help the ghost to work through it, and they will be ready to go. It may help to let them know that they may return to visit, later, after heading to the light.
- Overcome the Fear - If the ghost is worried about punishment, tell him or her that there is no need to fear an eternal "hell." Every soul undergoes a brief review of their life, allowing them to take only the good with them and leaving behind past mistakes (errors in judgment). The person will always be treated with love and kindness and will be helped to move beyond self-created guilt and condemnation through forgiveness - especially learning to forgive themselves. Be very firm in letting ghosts know that it's good for them, and time for them, to go. Keep urging lost souls this is their path to freedom until you feel they've gone to the light, reuniting with loved ones. Light is not to be feared for it is love, peace and joy. Darkness is "lack of understanding" and negative - false. For more about assistiing ghosts to move on, we recommend our book, Helping Ghosts.
Traditional Spiritual Cleansing - Ghost Smudging Using Sage
If the spirit or ghost activity does not stop, or stops only for a while, then resumes, some ghost investigators claim a spiritual cleansing of the house may help ease the haunting for a while. This is the traditional practice of "smudging" a home to get rid of an unwanted ghost. However, we feel this technique may only temporarily slow the activity down, for the ghost needs to truly move on for a haunting to cease. Also, holy water is sometimes reported to have a temporary calming effect on haunted activity, the effectiveness possibly relying upon whether or not the disembodied person haunting the home (the ghost) is religiously-minded and fearful of godly judgment.
- Crack a window in each room of your home and take a dried bundle of sage (available at most metaphysical stores) and "smudge" your home clearing out any negative or stagnant energies. Smudging is simply lighting the sage bundle, making sure you have a safe receptacle to catch the ashes in, and walking around your entire home allowing the smoke to circulate and cleanse the energy and space.
- Being firm and unemotional, walk around each room of your home, while saying loudly and firmly, "This sage is cleansing out all negative energies and spirits... all negative energies and spirits must leave now through the windows and not return." Do this until you sense the negative energy has gone and the room's energy lightens (to a positive - look for peace) and then say, "In the name of God, this room is now cleansed." Know and sense this.
- Remember not to worry about how you sound if you stumble on your words. The main thing is your intent, which is your faith. You have power and have nothing to fear. Your intentions are to rid the home of negative energies and spirits and they will know this, if they are there. Always work with your own energy from within your soul and incorporate this energy into the cleansing. Draw your divine power from within your innermost being. Read more on the idea of protection from ghosts: Ghost Fear.
- Always be firm, non-fearing, unemotional and deal with negative ghosts strongly, yet in love. You are always in control and are not powerless. Some people like to re-visit a cleansed house by going back into all of the rooms with a pleasant incense such as lavender while inviting all loving, protecting, positive spirits into the home. You may end the ritual by lighting a white candle and setting it on a table to burn for a bit to "seal" the ritual. We recommend first helping the ghost, then doing the cleansing, if you choose to do so.
The Ghosts Versus Demons Question
At Angels & Ghosts, we don't subscribe to beliefs in the existence of "demons" or "devils" (though there are negative spirits, which are people out in the spirit realm who appear to have remained negative people, but now, think they can behave badly without consequence - see our section on Demons to understand the history of how false ideas about demonic entities were created by religion), but we do believe in people who choose to be evil, then become ghosts.
More on Ghost Behaviors
Some ghosts will never communicate with you but appear to be residual energy left over from a former event (maybe traumatic) and somehow recorded onto the atmosphere of a location. These do not go away and do not react with the present day or people. True ghosts, however, are simply earth-bound spirits, that have decided to stay attached to the earth realm, rather than moving into the higher, spiritual realms. There are several reasons why this may occur - the most common is that some dis-embodied people (or ghosts) may just want to be recognized as still being alive. Speak to them; acknowledge the ghosts you suspect are trying to make contact with you. Treat them as human beings, for they are, in essence, the same as you. Perhaps, the idea of "getting rid of a ghost" is rude in that light.
It's possible that some ghosts might not understand that their physical body has perished; it depends upon the death. After all, the physical body isn't really who we all are anyway; all of us are spirits. And a ghost is a spirit who is temporarily "stuck" in the journey of life. Many times, ghosts may be afraid to move forward unto the light where a life review will occur, believing they may be punished (such as in an eternal hell, which is a man-created idea...hell is a state of mind; such as a person who has passed is often afraid to move on toward the light) for not being good enough while in the physical world. Or perhaps, they still enjoy the people and places here on earth and don't want to leave, preferring to remain close to those they know who are still in physical bodies. Some ghosts simply will not move on due to former addictions, attachments, earthly pleasures, or what they deem as "familiar." Ghosts can have unfinished concerns here on earth and may need help getting a message across to someone, or an item found that was hidden by them. Keep in mind that a few ghosts can be very negative; while other spirits may just be visiting and have positive feelings and even messages for us - e.g. loved ones, spirit guides and angels. Remain open-minded, trying to understand what the ghost may be trying to communicate with you. Maybe then, you can help the troubled spirit move forward in life and out of a self-created prison, often referred to as Hell. To learn more about helping ghosts, read Spirit Rescue.
This may sound shocking, but ghosts can affect the behavior of people. Some believe such odd, behavioral issues to either be caused by mental illness (which is definitely a possibility) or possession by demons; but there are also accounts of disembodied human spirits who, in some way, co-inhabit another's physical body - or at least influence human behavior. The idea of a ghost or ghosts residing within a person probably sounds goofy; so a better way to consider this idea would be to think of them as spirit attachments or influences with the person. Just think about how much we influence one anothers' moods and affect each others' behavior each and every day, and you'll get the idea that ghosts and spirits may also affect the minds of the living. Sometimes, we wonder how much the unseen world might be influencing everyonelving on this planet. Is it possible that there is much more going on than what our eyes might see?
According to many paranormal researchers, ghosts that affect the behavior of the living, oftentimes, tend to be spirits addicted to earthly pleasures. It is our opinion that those who would be more easily "possessed" or "influenced" would tend to be more "spiritually dead," having all of their life-focus on outward, physical, earthly pleasures. These types of people would make a good fit for the ghost with like interests, and they would remain unaware of something existing beyond the world they know from only their 5 senses. With that idea in mind, then, alcoholics might attract alcohol-addicted ghosts; drug addicts would attract former drug-addicted ghosts, etc. Marked signs of ghost influence are often said to be dramatic personality changes, addictions, depression, etc. that some experts say often originate from the effects of one or more attaching spirits. This is not to say that all addictions, depressions and mental illnesses are caused by "ghost possession," but it does provide some ideas for further consideration. For more on this subject, we recommend the book, The Unquiet Dead by Dr. Edith Fiore.
Ghost Exorcism Document: This image shows a Hebrew document from the latter 1700 or 1800s that tells of the prayers used to exorcise the ghost of a woman's husband who had been troubling her after his death. The jewish rabbis asked the ghost to leave the widow alone, telling the ghost husband that he no longer had any authority or control over her since his passing.