How to Determine Which Spirits Can be Beneficial in our Lives

Good spirits or bad spirits

Children are natural mediums and tend to see more than most adults do. Pets are excellent at seeing spirit activity as well. Not all spirits are negative or scary. Many are relatives looking in on us to see how we are doing. There are also instances of spirit guides and angels that are there for us as children or adults when we ask for help. A great way to identify these helpful beings is that they will never intrude in our lives or be intentionally scary.

Intelligent Ghosts and Hauntings: Typical hauntings occur in places with a lot of history, but that is not always the case. Ghosts can manifest anywhere. Ghosts or trapped souls with unfinished business may fall into the unwanted spirit category, when they try to interact, demand our attention, scare us us into leaving or keep us from sleeping they become a problem. There are cases of spirits that seem helpful at first, but then start to become scary or drain you or your child’s energy. In these cases, they will need to be cleared out of your lives. See “Helping Children Bothered by Unwanted Spirits”.

Residual Hauntings: frequently these hauntings are neutral. This type of haunting will replay a ghostly action over and over again, more like a TV show that repeats like clockwork. There will be no interaction with the living (other than you witness it). After no harm is experienced often the living will adopt a “live and let live” approach to this situation. It can feel frightening, but not harmful. My sister and I experienced this type of residual haunting in a Motel room. We both woke up suddenly were shocked to see a man hovering above the bed. My sister said she couldn’t see his legs, I saw an old wrought Iron elevator surrounding him. I wondered if the Motel had been remodeled and the old elevator shaft was where the beds were now. This apparition absolutely didn’t notice us at all and was probably replay of the old elevator operator still doing his job. I wonder how many other people have had this same experience at this Motel.

Angels: In a few instances I have experienced a very soft warm loving energy cloud around people going through a rough time. I really feel that these are angelic beings that are very comforting and loving. One experience was around a friend from high school who was pregnant and divorcing a man who was a mistake. Her parents were old school and not at all happy about the situation. My friend was miserable and every time I was over to visit her, I saw this white, warm sparkling cloud-like being that felt like pure, love. I experienced this angelic being until a few months after the baby was born. I’m sure this angelic being was there for the baby through the stressful pregnancy and living situation.

Spirit Guides: These beings seem to choose and mentor us. We usually have more than one. They will help us with different aspects in our life. One may help you with personal relationships and another may help you in school or your career. They are a type of teacher for us. I know of a couple of instances where a Guide gave a warning about a dangerous situation.

The following is an example of a helping Spirit Guide. This happened to my good friends daughter when she was 14 year old. She is a wise old soul, even then, at her young age. Brittany woke up in the middle of the night and saw an Indian standing beside her bed. We all talked about it and she realized that he was there to help her. She asked him not to show himself to her, telling him that it made her nervous. I have seen him around her since then, but he has honored her wish. I’m sure if she ever wanted to see him, he would appear again.

Deceased Loving Relatives: When Brittany’s older sister was 3 years old, she used to see her Grandfather appear in her room at night. She told my friend that he was waking her up. The same thing worked like a charm. She asked him to not wake her up. When he realized it was disturbing her sleep, he stopped showing himself to her. This is a really good way to know that the guide or deceased relative is just checking in and showing loving interest and guidance. They will not ignore your wishes and wellbeing. Nothing to be alarmed about!

Sometimes the interaction is so subtle and loving that the child is not even aware of it. This happened to my mom who now lives in Oregon. She was looking at old family photos with my aunt Mary about 15 years ago. As they went through the album, they saw a photo of their great grandmother. My mom was born in Chicago and lived in that area up until she was 5 years old. In that time period, my mom’s parents would have Sunday dinners with my grandmother, Margaret’s family at my great grandmother, Salina’s farmhouse in Kentucky. My mom remembered playing and having a great time with my aunt and her brother up stairs. Their great grandmother smoked her pipe and kept an eye on them as they played. (Just the pipe smoking alone would make an impression.) All those years later while looking at the photo, my mom asked my aunt why their great grandmother never came down stairs and sat at the table with them for Sunday dinner. My mom thought that maybe she was disabled and couldn’t get down the stairs. My aunt was pretty startled and told my mom that their great grandmother had died two years before my mom was born! My mom was also startled and admitted that she had never before thought to ask about it. In all of that time, she had no idea it was their great grandmother’s ghost watching them play. It still gives me goose bumps.

This example of my mom’s great grandmother is the type of spirit that usually will not cause fear. She seemed to be doing what a great grandmother would do and watching over the children. Normally kids won’t have any trouble with this type of guardian spirit. Another interesting aspect to this is that my aunt never saw her, while my mom did. Maybe their great grandmother Salina knew it would frighten my aunt Mary and not my mom?

These beings are in and around our lives whether we see them or not. Our bodies tend to react with fear when we first see something out of the ordinary. Just know that our Guides and Angels want to help and will protect us from the negative energies. Just ask!

Helping Children Bothered by Unwanted Spirits!

indian, ghost

It’s just one of those things. Kids we are even more likely to see and hear ghosts than adults. Many children are natural Mediums. This ability starts to shut off in us is when we realize that talking about Ghosts makes most adults uncomfortable. The old “it’s just an imaginary friend” explanation starts to seem like the way to explain it away. It can leave young people in a vulnerable place with no one to talk to. I was lucky to have my intuitive grandmother to talk to. In hindsight, I appreciate her even more now. I eventually had to learn how to clear out these unwanted spirits. Not all experiences are with negative spirits though.

Both of my parents experienced ghosts as children, so genetically it just seems to run in my family. My dad grew up in Washington State. When he was young, he was at a neighbor’s farmhouse with his older brother. They were talking with their friend when they saw the front door swing open and close all by it self. Next they heard the sound of boots walking through the room towards the kitchen and then apparently exit through the kitchen door, as it also swung open and closed by itself. They ran home and I don’t believe ever went back.

I’ve seen ghosts and spirits for a long as I can remember and I was spooked a lot. For a good part of my childhood, my family lived in Claremont, California. Even though the main drag is named “Indian Hill”, I didn’t realize that Claremont had been home to the Serrano (highlander) and Cahuilla Indians. After the Spanish settled in the area, the Indians were mostly wiped out by small pox. The spirits that lived on the land before can haunt even newly built homes years later. I just never felt comfortable living in Claremont, even though on the surface it was a beautiful, quaint, college town.

My room always had an eerie feeling and I didn’t get too many good nights sleep. I stayed awake as long as I could and I slept with my closet light on hoping for protection. I saw shadowy figures and felt that prickly Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) sensation. I remember being in a panic one night because I could hear a voice calling my name out of my closet. At first it was a whisper and it got louder and louder until I cried and ran out of my room. Later, after we moved, my mom and brother both told of being woken up and seeing a woman dressed all in brown standing over them. Then she disappeared.

When I was 11 or 12 years old I became more bold and lead ghost tours for the neighborhood kids in our hallway. My sister reminded me on her last visit that we called this “Dark-In-Doors”. We would shut all of the doors and turned off the lights. There was almost total darkness, even during the day. It was pretty dark, but I could see and feel the spirits in there with us. The truth be told, most of my ghost tours usually ended up with one of the neighbor kids running out of the house screaming!

My experiences lead me to spend my early years trying to overcome my fear and learn how understand who these spirits were and why they were there. Along this line, I also learned how to clear negative spirits from my environment. Many ghosts are just confused or have unfinished business and really just need to cross over. Occasionally there are dark spirits looking to feed on fears and draw energy to manifest. Children are easy targets. After going through these experiences, I always listen to young people and help them with these problems!

Every so often in my practice a concerned a parent will bring in their teenager or preteen who is really going through it with ghosts. In one case a client brought in her granddaughter, whom I’ll call Hannah, to see if I could help her. She was extremely sensitive and her trouble had escalated due to stress brought on by her parents divorce. Both parents were not listening to her complaints of seeing and feeling a shadowy spirit. I could relate to her issues and knew she was not sleeping well. The front room in her dad’s house made her feel especially afraid.


I tuned in and described a cranky old man that had lived somewhere around her house. I could tell he had died and just didn’t want to move on. I could see him hanging around his wife, moving things and generally being a nuisance. He was still trying to affect her life. It all became so disruptive that his widow had yelled at him to leave. I said that he was the type of guy who would call the police on the neighborhood dogs and yell at the kid if they dared go in his yard. A look of recognition came over Hannah’s face. She said it sounded like Mr. X, who died two years before and had actually sprayed her dad with the hose.

I told her that he had initially gone across the street, but their dogs had barked at him. He then settled in at her dad’s front room to hang out. I psychically told him to move on and I gave her some methods to clear him out as well. I told her to bring her dog with her when she stayed at her dad’s house (even though the dad didn’t like it too much) and this alone would help to deter Mr. X from hanging around. Just listening to Hannah and validating her experiences helped. Also knowing the identity of the spirit made it a lot less scary for her. After that, things dramatically improved for Hannah.

If you or your children are experiencing hauntings and scary experiences with unwanted spirits, the act of telling them to leave can really help. Mentally ask your guides and angels to help the ghost cross over. Prayers and rituals can add to your intention to clear your home by giving you a physical way to express your intention. These include the Native American ritual burning of sage (I personally prefer the smoke form sweet grass) and blowing the smoke into the corners of the room(s) you are clearing. Other methods such as putting blessed crystals or religious medals in the corners, placing a line of sea salt, forming a perimeter around the area, sprinkling holy water, burning incense or even spraying Fabreeze will work! You can use any thing that you feel comfortable with as your ritual. It not the specific method you use. The real power is in your intention for a safe and “grounded spirit” free zone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from an expert, it’s like learning to live with a parasite… It’s just not necessary, you don’t need to live that way. We all deserve a good nights sleep and to feel safe and protected in our own homes!

The Houdini Séance at the Magic Castle

Houdini Magic Castle

I was lucky enough to get a last minute invitation to fill an empty spot at the Houdini Séance table. My friend’s husband has an allergy to wearing ties, and the Magic Castle has a dress code. I owe my good fortune to a man with principles about his personal style!

The Magic Castle is in Hollywood, California, close to the Hollywood bowl. It is a really great old Victorian home Built in 1909 and restored in 1961 to become a private club for and by Magicians. It’s home to the Academy of Magical Arts (think Hogwarts). You must know a member to finagle an invitation. The Club has a lot of personality. It’s a little formal, spooky and welcoming all at the same time.

Once checked in, you say “Open Sesame” to the owl with glowing red eyes, the book case slides open and you enter. You have cocktails at one of a few bars through out the club. Then you begin to notice many odd things everywhere you look. There are paintings with eyes that follow you around the room, a piano bench that take the shape of someone sitting on it as a ghost named Irma takes requests and plays the baby grand piano. Next to the piano is a gilded cage with a ghost canary that chirps “cheap, cheap” at the poor tippers. Everything has a sense of humor and mystery.

Dinner is served in the Séance room, which is full of Harry Houdini’s memorabilia from his act and home that was nearby. There is a photo of his wife conducting a séance, trying to reach him during the last of the 10 years after his death that they had agreed that she would try. Houdini had spent many years looking for proof of life after death and disillusioned by fake mediums he made it his mission to expose their tricks and gimmicks in his act. Even so, he still held hope to find proof and promised to try to come back after his death. The 10 of us were seated at a large round table for a delicious dinner, and can I just say Lava Cake!

Our group was filled with engineering and technical friends that were up for fun, but honestly, I think they were a little bit worried that it may be real. Before the Séance, Kelly, a charge nurse at a local hospital had told us a spooky story of a patient that had jumped to her death out of a 7th floor window and now the staff sees her spirit around her old hospital room. I told them of the time my Uncle’s spirit visited me on night when I was working late by myself. The next day I found out he had died. When it was time to start, we were ready, real or not!


Leo Kostka, the resident Medium has a great theatrical presence. I was impressed when he asked me to think of the name of who was my first love or who gave me my first kiss or a favorite teacher and to project the name I chose to him by repeating it in my head. He had his back to me and on a piece of paper he wrote the name “Tom”, the name I was thinking of was Mr. Thomason my 5th grade teacher. I’m just not sure how he did this other than telepathy! The Séance included slight of hand and magic, great stories about Harry Houdini and the Lane family who built the mansion. We were instructed to keep our hands on the tabletop with our palms down and remain in our seats. Before long the chandelier was swinging, a wind chime was ringing, the candles moved and blew out, and books flew off of shelves. The room went into near complete darkness and the table levitated and vibrated wildly in the air. Glowing faces appeared in the windows and a tambourine flew out of a locked case. The old radio lit up and disembodied voices trailed in and out around the room. This definitely was a nod back to a bygone era of formal séances. When I see spirits, it’s usually not so dramatic!

We finished the evening in the big theater with a fun show featuring three different magicians. Their acts were really professional and funny. Magician Bruce Gold was the Master Of Ceremonies and was quite funny with his “Amazing Psychic Toaster”! He had a woman from the audience choose a card and keep it hidden. His old fashioned, one slice toaster, accurately, maybe psychically, toasted the image of her playing card onto a slice of wonder bread. One of the other Magicians, Steven Fox whose hand played “thing” in the Adams Family movie, even did dramatic reenactments of his hand’s emotions. I just hope someone from the academy was watching! I even had Justin Willman seated next to me (host of “Cupcake Wars”). He graciously told me his name when I recognized his face, but I just couldn’t place him. I suspect sightings of Hollywood personalities may happen often.

If you get the chance to go, it is a one of a kind experience. I’m so glad I got to go along for this really fun evening and Séance. I’ll hope someone else will have some misgivings about wearing a tie again soon!