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Spirits and Hauntings

Today is Thursday, October 7. Yesterday was the New Moon, so we are currently waxing crescent. I hope everyone managed to set their intentions and cast their spells, but even if you didn’t, there’s still plenty of New Moon magic in the air for the next day or so, so don’t despair. There’s still time if you have some big spellwork you’re hoping to enact in October. No need to wait until next month.

So, a bit of housekeeping really quickly before we jump into the topic of the day. I record and publish these episodes on Thursdays. It’s a bit of a tight schedule, but I actually prefer it because I work best under a deadline. But I was looking ahead on the calendar while I was doing a little research topics for the November episodes and it occurred to me that recording and publishing on Thanksgiving day is going to be tricky. We actually do celebrate Thanksgiving and indigenous peoples day in our fam, so I thought I would record ahead of time for that episode. And I thought it might be fun to do a question and answer episode.

I receive a lot of DMs and messages on social media, I mean. I say a lot, but it’s not like a ton. But I do always respond personally to each and every message. I get questions about certain episodes and topics, sometimes people ask advice about certain witchcraft concepts or spellwork or what have you. As I said I have already responded to all these questions, but I thought it might be fun to do an episode regarding all that stuff. So if you’ve asked a question in the past, I may be reaching out to get permission to read your question on the Thanksgiving day episode. I will obviously change names and identifying details, and if you do not want me to read it whatsoever, I will respect that.

And if you want to submit a question for that episode, please message me on Anchor, which is my podcast platform, you can message me on Instagram at @middleagedwitch, or Facebook @middleagedwitch, or you can email. So. onto the meat of today’s episode.

This is the first episode of October. And although I know it’s a very America-centric holiday, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the Halloween spirit. The house is decorated inside and outside with ghosts, goblins, witches, and bats. I’ve got jack o’ lanterns on the porch, I’ve got bags of candy in the pantry in anticipation of the trick-or-treaters in a few weeks. And I know I will have to replace the candy long before Halloween night, but it’s tradition in the Ro household to eat an entire bag of mini-Snickers long before the children come knocking at our door.

My own kids are a little old for trick or treating; my youngest is 15 and my oldest is 19, but they still put costumes together for Halloween parties and to pass out candy on the night. I don’t turn away any trick or treaters, no matter how old they are. As long as teenagers are willing to put on a costume and go house to house, they’ll always get a handful of candy from me. This is my favorite time of year, and I want everyone to enjoy it as much as I do.

This is also the time of year when the veil between this world and the next grows thin. Our loved ones who have crossed over find it a  lot easier to communicate with us at this time, so I like to listen extra closely for those little messages from the other side. We have our ancestor altar all set up for the season, and of course I’ll be doing an episode on Samhain in a couple weeks, but this week I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to talk today about what can happen sometimes when you’re getting those messages from the other side, but they aren’t necessarily from your loved ones.

Basically, what we had to do when something nasty was haunting our house. This isn’t a story I have told much, but it’s in the spirit of the holiday, so here goes. Now, our house was built in 2015. We are the first and only family that has ever lived here. And the area where our neighborhood was built was previously undeveloped. So you would THINK that there would be no lil spookers here. We did not anticipate any sort of activity in this house. Our previous home never had any activity, and it was built in the 70s. Our house before that was built in the 40s, and it… had a bit of activity. I’ll tell that story another time.

But this house, our brand new house (at the time), should have been totally empty of spirit activity. And yet… The first inkling that I had of any sort of occupation was about 5 years ago. We had been living there for 6 months or so at that point, we were mostly settled in. I ran a catering business then, and I was working on the weekends at the time. And on this particular weekday day, my husband had gone off to work, the kids were off at school, and there was no one in the house at the time except for me and our sweet old dog, Dexter, who was asleep on the couch. 

I put a load of laundry from the washer into the dryer, and I cleaned the lint from the lint screen and put it into a little basket that we kept specifically for the purpose of collecting lint. This basket hung on a good sized metal hook. I dropped the lint into the basket, turned on the dryer, put a load of dirty laundry into the washer, and turned that on too. Then I walked out of the laundry room and into the kitchen.

The TV wasn’t on, the stereo wasn’t on, there was no sound in the house at all except for the washer and dryer, so when I heard a small commotion from the direction of the laundry room, I wasn’t terribly alarmed. But I did go in to see if like, the washer was off balance or something. And let me tell you, the little basket was no longer hanging on the hook on the wall. In fact, the little basket was sitting upright, perfectly in the center of the floor.

I stared at it for a few moments, trying to decide how this had happened. Because the handle of this basket would have had to lift up over the decently sized hook, and travel several feet forward, and come to rest in the center of the floor without dumping out all the lint that was in it. I really tried to figure out how it could have happened. I put the basket back in the hook and rocked it kind of violently to see if maybe it was swinging and worked itself over the hook and fallen on the floor. But I could not replicate it. I had to basically slap it up to get it off of the hook, and when that happened, the lint went everywhere. I really, really tried to figure it out, but I couldn’t. And that was the first time I thought maybe there was someone else living in our house. 

Months wore on, and eventually, it got to the point that we couldn’t ignore it. Things in the laundry room were constantly being knocked off the shelves, and I mean it was FREQUENT. Laundry detergent, bottles of bleach, even a big glass jar full of baking beads was knocked off the shelves in there. Shortly after that, my husband replaced the open shelves with cabinets that closed and we didn’t really have a lot of activity in there after that.

But we did begin to have activity in other parts of the house. The pantry door at the end of a long hallway would open of its own accord, the motion sensitive lights in the bathroom would trigger constantly, we began hearing voices, we began seeing shadow people… Suffice it to say, we realized there were some uninvited spirits squatting in our house. 

But even then, we didn’t make moves to cleanse or banish them. Because we don’t actually mind if spirits live in our house, as long as there’s a mutual understanding and they respect our boundaries. And in general, spirits will respond pretty well to simply stating your expectations. In fact, for a couple weeks there, one of the fellows in the house kept touching my hair when I was trying to go to sleep, and I finally just said, out loud, Please don’t touch me. And it never happened again. I believe it was the same spirit that kept turning my TV on in my room too. And once again, I said, out loud and with authority, Stop turning the TV on. And it stopped happening. 

In general, whenever I’m asked what to do about a haunting the first thing I ask is, is it trying to scare you? Or are you just scared? Because ghosts and spirit entities aren’t always bad or malevolent. In fact, in my experience, most of the time they’re just neutral, and a lot of the time they’re just curious. If the activity gets to be too much, or if you really just aren’t comfortable with the idea of sharing your space with them, you can just ask them not to interfere with you. You can tell them that you’re uncomfortable or that they’re scaring you, and you can tell them to leave you alone. That’s usually all it takes. Usually.

And we didn’t have any intention of trying to banish any of the spirits in our home. Not until one spirit in particular really started to torment my middle daughter,Tree. It started small, like I said, things were moving around, we were hearing voices, occasionally, things would fall and break, but this was rare. It wasn’t until we started seeing what we eventually called the doppelganger that we became concerned.

The voices that we were hearing always sounded like my husband. And so we didn’t realize anything was amiss at first, because it just wasn’t strange to hear my husband’s voice in our house. I would be in the back of the house and hear him talking. And I’d be surprised, because he was supposed to have been at work. I couldn’t make out the words, or hear who he was talking to, but I know his voice. So I’d go looking for him, only to find that he wasn’t home, his car was still gone, and he was still at work.

This didn’t happen all the time, and it didn’t only happen to me. The kids also began mentioning at different times that they had heard their dad’s voice only to discover that he wasn’t there. Strange, sure, but not terrifying. But then one night, around 11pm or so, when she was maybe 15 or 16, Tree was laying on her bed, texting a friend, and my husband comes in the room and walks over, and sits on the bed. But the strange thing was that his eyes were closed. She asked what he wanted and he didn’t respond. She poked him in the back, and he still didn’t respond. He then stood up, and walked out of the room, BACKWARDS. And still, his eyes were closed. 

Again, this was weird, but it didn’t frighten her, because it’s just her dad. And Tree isn’t afraid of her dad, it was just such a strange thing to do. So she went down the hall to find out what he wanted and to ask why he was acting weird. And she finds him in the office, playing a video game on the computer with his headphones on, completely engrossed with other people. She interrupted him to ask what the hell was going on and he didn’t have a clue what she was talking about and kind of blew her off, because he was involved in a game and didn’t really understand what she was trying to explain anyway.

Tree told me about it shortly after it happened, and we concluded it must be the same being that was mimicking his voice. I actually told her then that I wanted to get rid of it. I don’t mind spirits sharing my house, as I’ve said, but the thought of something pretending to be my family members did not sit right with me. But Tree begged me not to banish it, she said she didn’t feel like it was evil or trying to harm us, and I relented. After that, we didn’t hear my husband’s voice anymore, and whatever it was never pretended to be him again. It did, however, start pretending to be my oldest daughter, Eva.

Tree was woken up early in the morning, maybe 7am or so, by a loud ruckus coming from the corner of her room. But she saw Eva standing at the end of her bed, telling her not to worry about the noises, and not to look over in that direction. Eva told her to close her eyes and go back to sleep and forget about it. But as Tree really looked, she realized that whatever was speaking to her was not Eva, it was just pretending to be. It sounded like Eva, but it didn’t look right. In fact, it didn’t look like Eva at all, it looked like Tree. The same thing happened again a while later, and this time, its outline and general shape DID look like Eva, but it was dark and shadowy, and Tree wasn’t able to see its face at all. Once again, Tree didn’t tell me about this until much later, and when she did, she STILL didn’t want to banish it.

But then I saw it. Again, several weeks had elapsed. It was the middle of the day, I was standing in the kitchen having a conversation with my husband, and behind him, off in the living room, I saw a dark figure looking at me from near the coat rack. I looked directly at it and it ducked behind a wall. I had the distinct impression that it was trying to appear to look like Tree. I knew it wanted me to think it was Tree. But it was just a shadow figure, sort of obscured around the edges and dark black in the middle. I made up my mind to figure out what the hell it was and what it wanted, and I told both the girls we aren’t screwing around with this thing any more, we are going to get rid of it.

But before we had a chance to do much of anything, in the middle of the night that very night,  it appeared to Tree in its full form. It was standing in her closet and watching her while she was trying to speak with her spirit guides. She said it was a dark, grey-black mist with two bright, tiny points of white light where its eyes should be. She felt anger and hatred radiating from it, and she knew that IT knew that we were going to banish it. She actually thought she was going crazy, and she was reluctant to wake me or my husband because she didn’t even know what to say was happening. She ran across the hall to Eva’s room and tried to sleep on her floor.

Now, I wake up everyday at 4am. I got up and came down the hall to make coffee, and suddenly Tree was right behind me. I was shocked to see her up and about at that hour, but she explained to me what had happened, and said she hadn’t slept at all. She was all but shaking, and she was terrified to go back in her room. Tree and Eva actually did the cleansing and banishing themselves that day. They opened all the windows and cleansed with smoke, they commanded it to leave, they called on their spirit guides, and I laid wards that I had made at the entry points to the house. 

It was an ugly banishing, and it did fight. But they drove it out, painted sigils on the windows and doors with holy water and Florida water, and laid additional wards in their bedrooms too. We haven’t had any issues with it since then, and honestly the energy of the house feels much lighter since it’s been gone. I still don’t know what that thing was. I’ve done a lot of reading and there are aspects of it that fit certain types of entities, but I haven’t found anything that describes it exactly. Whatever it is, it isn’t welcome back. We keep the wards on our house charged and we are very selective about the spirits and energies that are permitted to stay here. Our sweet old boy Dexter passed in September of 2020, and he stays close to the house, and he protects us too. But still, any time I find myself alone in the house, I wonder what I’ll do if I hear a voice calling to me. A voice of someone who isn’t home.

Until next time, my name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle Aged Witch podcast.

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