When we think of haunted houses what comes to mind is an old, abandoned and frightening property which we're scared to approach let alone live in. Such extreme cases of haunting are exceptional. There is a whole gamut of visitations, from the light, completely harmless ones, to the very severe. Some merely make people's lives more difficult, but there are those which make it completely impossible.
How do such haunting phenomena come about? Their cause are ghosts of a specific type. The only aim in life that many people have is to earn as much money as possible, to acquire and maintain the largest possible property. The concept of a large property, or of a fortune, is, of course, relative. What for one person may be a great fortune could, for another, have no value whatsoever. This kind of person may have seen nothing in his life outside the amassing of wealth. He has become so attached to it that he is in no state to leave it while he's alive, nor after his death. He doesn't want to die at all, but since he has to he wonders what he is to do with it. Most of all he would like to take it with him, but how? Maybe he should leave it to someone as an inheritance? Oh, no, he has worked far too hard to get it. Besides, no-one else will look after it in the right way. When he was alive he never thought of himself, never visited anything, never rested, and now he's supposed to leave it all just like that? Never. That would be too great a sacrifice, after all he has paid for that fortune with his soul.
When someone realizes that they can't take their property with them and when they don't want to leave it to anyone, they resolve to stay with it for ever and to haunt it. Even if they will it to a relative under the pressure of approaching death they will take it back anyway. Let's assume that someone scrimped and saved through most of their life to build a house for their old age. They saved enough money for the materials but didn't take anyone on to help them, building it themselves day by day, putting all their energy into the construction. They had hardly finished the building before they died. The fate of the beneficiaries or of the purchasers is hard indeed when they come to live in the haunted house. They will have to pay a very high price for every brick, for every drop of sweat lost during its construction. For as long as they live there they will know no peace. Only when they move away from that haunted house will they recover their freedom. Every subsequent buyer will be subjected to same the fate.
The living occupants of some of the houses or farms haunted in this way, knew the owner when he was alive. This does not, however, change the situation: their lives are hell on earth.
There is another kind of ghost which visits houses that never belonged to them. These are ghosts who were, in their lives, very grasping in their pursuit of wealth, they were even ready to kill for it. They acquired fortunes in a cruel way. They were guided by the lowest instincts and after their deaths nothing has changed. They are every bit as ruthless and grasping, ready to kill anyone who wants to trespass on their territory. The desire to acquire wealth gave people like that enormous strength, cruelty and fearlessness. It is with the same strength that the ghost guard their treasures, not allowing anyone to get close to them. Let us not assume, however, that there is an enormous treasure hidden behind the doors of every haunted house. The concept of a fortune is very relative. What represents great worth to one person will, to another, be worthless and barely good enough for the garbage tip. So ghosts guard their gains which in their subjective assessment are very valuable. Here's an example.
A ghost who was haunting a particular house had, in its life, been someone who preyed on old ladies. In the majority of cases his booty consisted of the old ladies' pension or the dimes left from them. Those old ladies who weren't particularly attached to money, gave it up to him willingly. Others defended their money to the end and lost everything, including their health and their lives. At the end it turned out he was killing for a couple of pennies. Now, as a ghost, it guards what he looted as if it were the greatest of treasures. It remembers how hard he had had to work to acquire it, going as far as committing murder. The ghost doesn't realize that it is of very little worth. In its view, this is a great treasure. It will be prepared to kill to protect a cheap picture hanging on the wall of the house it is haunting. This house, though it is a hovel, represents something very valuable compared with the sums he looted from the old ladies. A ghost like that won't allow anyone inside, will do anything to smoke the owners out of there. Its greed gives it great strength which other ghosts don't have after their deaths. It is unreconciled, and no arguments can persuade it. That is why some haunted houses stand empty for years. They decline but no-one is able to live in them nor can they knock it down unless the ghost decides to let them.
Another group consists of the ghosts who died suddenly, e.g. in an accident, and aren't aware that they have died. This group is completely different than the previous one in terms of character. They function in the same way they did in their lives. They left home to go to work and in the evening they returned there as ghosts. Between those times a tragic accident took place in which they died on the spot. For them this was a sudden and unforeseen happening which they did not register. So little has changed for them that they guess they're still alive. They leave for work every day, they go shopping, they come back home. They may spend part of the day in the office "working" and another part at home, or at a friend's. If they used to live with someone, parents, a friend, a husband or a wife, then after death they return to their close ones like nothing had happened. The film "Sixth Sense" shows very well what happens to ghosts who died suddenly and don't realize that they're no longer alive. I suggest that anyone who has lost someone close to them in a sudden accident ought to see this film. It shows the dependencies we're talking about very truthfully without exaggerating the fiction.
When they are preparing a funeral the family members aren't at all bothered, indeed they regard it as normal, to hear or sense the ghost of the dead person. Many of them are even pleased that it is visiting them after death. If they knew what it signifies and what consequences it might have they would surely consider how they could best help it and themselves. Many of you will ask: How could they do that? First and foremost by informing the ghost that it is no longer alive. They should light large numbers of candles, do everything to make the house look like a place of mourning from which someone has departed. In the past the remains were kept in the house till the day of the funeral and then the dead person had a chance to view its own body in the coffin, to see the burning candles, the mourners. Nowadays in towns, because of public health issues, this is no longer practiced, and even in the country people are moving away from it. Some houses have days of prayer arranged, but the dead person needs more than that. It is essential that they be informed that they have died. How can one do that? One should speak to the dead person aloud and by name. For example: "Johnny, you are no longer alive, you died in a car accident in these circumstances, on this day, at this time. You died, go towards the Light. Go, don't be afraid, they are already waiting for you there. Go, God loves you very much and is waiting for you, don't be afraid. God had forgiven you all your sins and you must forgive them yourself. We, too, have absolved you of everything. Please forgive us our misdemeanors, too". These words can of course, be modified according to the needs of a given situation. Intuition will prompt us in what we need to say to the dead person. How long should we do this? Till we can be certain that the dead soul has understood and has left. This way we are performing a service for not just the dead person, but for ourselves, too. This ritual should be performed even when the death was of natural causes but we feel intensely that the ghost, for whatever reasons, isn't leaving. In this time we should all also think about a settling of accounts with the dead soul. We have to forgive all the injuries they caused us, and also the fact that they didn't do something they should have done, that they made promises which they didn't keep. At the same time we must forgive ourselves because we may in some way have been at fault with regard to the recently deceased soul.
When for some reason a ghost overlooks the moment of its death then it will live in our house like nothing had happened. For the first few days after the funeral we may even like it, but afterwards a haunted house starts to be a problem. When it does, then everything will depend on what kind of person the ghost was in its life. If its nature was tidy, acquiescent, and gentle then we may not experience many physical manifestations of its stay. Though we will feel ill-at-ease, often quite tired, waking in the nights for unknown reasons, we will get accustomed to it in time. When a ghost was an untidy person, taking no notice of others' feelings, then it will also be noisy, bang about, knock things over, move them, make a mess. It will not only be harder to live in a house like that but we'll start to fall ill, we'll feel lethargic, we'll be unable to see a purpose in what we do, misunderstandings will arise for no apparent reason. When we want to take a nap the ghost will choose that moment to start banging about. Some ghosts are well aware that they've died and want to make contact with us. They can do that to try to draw attention to themselves. Sometimes they may do this for years on end while we ignore them completely. They become very irritated then and, after a while, may become very vicious. I refer you to the chapter entitled: "Troubles with our Children" where I describe the activity of a ghost which, unable to make contact with its niece, started to get at her by possessing her son. When she made contact with it, the son didn't raise his hand to her again.
What happens when the whole family dies and the house stands empty for some time? In the majority of cases the ghosts immediately come back to it because they don't know they have died. After a while new occupants move into the house but this doesn't get through to the ghosts. It's a very difficult moment for them because they have to confront reality. Till then everything was just like it had been before, they could live in the illusion, but now what about these new people? Where have they come from? For some ghosts this is the moment of awakening, but for very many nothing changes. Nor should we be surprised. You, dear reader, believe that you're alive, you know you are, but how can you be so sure? You'll say it's because you can see, hear, feel. That is sufficient proof for you, isn't it? And what would happen if someone suddenly told you that you're not alive? You would glance at one another and you'd laugh out loud in that someone's face. After all, you know perfectly well that you're alive, so where do these insinuations come from? There are only a very small number of people who would consider that question at all deeply. But you know and that's enough for you. It's the same with ghosts. They can see, hear, feel, they can even pinch themselves, they see their own bodies, so which experience will show them that they are no longer alive? When some people (the new occupants) appear in their haunted house they get angry. Some get so angry that they chase the intruders away. Others explain, plead, and when that is unsuccessful they go for a compromise. So then, under one roof, the new and the old occupants, the living and the dead, live together. That's why it's possible to function more or less reasonably in one haunted house while in another house it may be more difficult. It all depends on what the ghosts' attitude was to personal possessions while they were living. If someone was helpful and generous then they won't mind that there's someone living with them. When the ghost was sly, ungenerous in its life, it won't allow others to take advantage of its property.
It can also happen that the people living in a haunted house may not be aware of the existence of the ghosts, and the ghosts may not be aware of the existence of people other than them. That's like two parallel planes existing in the one space, and when they sometimes do cut across each other the ghosts will regard us living people as ghosts, just like we do them. This is shown very vividly in the film "The Others". When you've seen it many of you will start to wonder if perhaps you're not ghosts yourselves which have overlooked the moment of their deaths.
Many people come to me with a variety of problems - diseases, various kinds of misfortunes, suicides, burglaries, and even murders. I start by looking for some starting point, a moment at which everything began. It often turns out to be tied to moving into a new apartment or house. It can happen that a building where more than one person has already died becomes the cause of misfortunes for its new occupants. If we know about it, it's easier to put it right.
In my work I have come across many instances where my clients have moved into a newly-built house, built by themselves, yet things happen in it which are just like the situation mentioned above. It happens that I discover that the cause of their misfortunes is visitation and by many ghosts at that. Then my clients say; "Mrs Pratnicka, when we were building this house people mentioned that there used to be a small cemetery there but it was so long ago that we took no notice".
There are many accounts of visitations stemming from the fact that houses have been built in unsuitable spots. Nowadays there is a trend to build houses quite literally everywhere and anywhere. Sometimes, when I drive past a building site like that and I know what used to be or happened there earlier, it makes my hair stand on end. For I am very well aware what misfortune will meet the people who end up living there. The old wisdom of ensuring before starting to build a house, be it large or small, that the ground is suitable for habitation has almost disappeared. Not only to check the water lines and tectonic plates, but also the history of a given place. For there are places where under no circumstances should any kind of building be erected. In the first place this includes all cemeteries, various kinds of battlefield not just of major battles but even minor skirmishes, places of catastrophes or murders. I draw attention to this because I've noticed that many people have absolutely no idea of the danger which might, in the future, destroy the life of a whole family. Nor do large concerns building multi-occupation houses have any awareness of this. Many large housing estates are constructed in totally unsuitable places. I ask myself if the reason for these decisions is ignorance, thoughtlessness or maybe a soulless desire for profit. It is my opinion that the people with the most to lose, namely the future occupants, should concern themselves with this and that would force the construction firms to change their approach. If every one of the occupants checked to see that their apartment is suitable for habitation the builders would have to take the consequences of their shortsighted attitude. Houses built in unsuitable places would stand empty and then the firms would think twice about building them any old where. It would motivate them to check assiduously the terrain of future construction and thereby our children would have a better future. When this is not talked about the lives of many families become complicated for reasons unknown to them.
If we move into a haunted house built on the ground of a former cemetery, battlefield, place of execution of hostages, crime or catastrophe, then we expose ourselves to having to live through the most extreme of human experiences, the suicides of people close to us and maybe even our own. That is the very thing we seek to avoid when we build or move into a new home. Even an apartment needs to be checked to ascertain if the previous owner died and, if he did, whether or not he has passed through to the other side.
When things are awry in the family, everyone's always ill, always arguing, they have suicidal thoughts, they drink, then, looking to be rescued, they often come to me. I then cleanse the family once, then a second time and then again. Whenever the ghosts don't depart, or if new ones keep appearing, I ask myself what could be the reason for it. Why is the whole family possessed? I ask many questions and when I receive more and more fresh replies which don't satisfy me I ask more and more questions. In many cases the cause are water lines running beneath the building, or tectonic faults. Ghosts draw energy from them so there is usually a larger number of them there. In houses like this people suffer from numerous diseases and even die one after another. There are frequent suicides. A symptom of it may be alcoholism throughout the family, arguments, or various kinds of trouble.