Living With Ghosts – Literally!

Part Two: Talking to your ghostly companions

Last time, we spoke about how to listen to your spectral roommates. Providing tools for proper communication is very important, but communication is a two-way street, so in addition to listening, you also need to be able to speak to your paranormal pals.

There are many methods for speaking to spirits, but I’ve found the best one is just to speak to them like any other person. You may be tempted to use a spirit board (aka a Ouija Board), a pendulum, a tarot deck, or some other method often advertised as a way to communicate beyond the veil, but please PROCEED WITH EXTREME CAUTION when using those. It’s never guaranteed that you’re actually speaking to who you think you’re speaking to, and it would be silly to have a meaningful conversation with a complete stranger! [See the side story at the bottom for why you should never use a Ouija Board]

How It Started

When I first started talking to my ghosts, I was very polite. It was always “Yes, ma’am”, “No, sir”, “Excuse me, sir, if you’d be so kind as to not frighten me while I sleep, I’d be ever so grateful.” While it’s always good to use manners and be on your best behavior, it can be a bit tiring, for both you and the paranormal half of the conversation. It’s important to remember that your specters are people, too, and you can speak to them like you would speak to anyone else.

Not long after I moved into the Carriage House, I was sitting in bed, watching TV with Her Royal Feline Malevolence, when a small figurine on my bookshelf flew straight off the shelf and hit the entertainment center two feet away. Now, it is absolutely not unusual for things to fall in the Carriage House due to its jaunty tilt, but this figurine flew straight outward, perpendicular to the tilt. I immediately snapped a few pictures on my phone, in case I got a visual of what had just caused that (I didn’t, alas), and then said to the ether:

“Um – sorry, excuse me, but that was really mean. Please leave my things alone, if you don’t mind.”

Photo courtesy of the Marlboro Historical Society, the carriage house is the small building on the right, behind the oxcart.

Exactly 11 months later, on Christmas morning, the same thing happened. 11 months had given me plenty of time to adjust to the situation and become comfortable with my ghostly roommates. This time, when the figurine went flying (despite being held down with sticky-tack to prevent any falls), I wasn’t spooked – mostly just annoyed because I had to go pick it up and put it back.

“Wow, you guys. Really? Stop throwing my stuff.” After a pause and some thought on why they chose to throw the figurine again, I continued, “Merry Christmas to you, too, I guess. Find another way to talk to me, please.”

How It’s Going

As our communication strengthened, so did our relationship. The spirits no longer throw my things around, and I speak to them like they’re my actual roommates. After a long, painful day at work, I would come home and start ranting.

“You guys would not believe what happened today! Get the margaritas ready because I have some tea to spill!”

[Alas, the spirits have yet to make me a drink of any kind, but one can hope.]

Now that I have started speaking to them like peers, they no longer come to me in my dreams to frighten me. No longer do I hear “Get out!” whispered ominously in my ear while I sleep. Instead, they listen to me, they stay out of my space, and I stay out of theirs. We’ve reached an understanding and there’s mutual respect. This is what proper communication can do for you!

Side story:

I have used a Ouija Board one single time in my life, and I will never use one again. I was only 13 years old – just a wee babe in the woods – and my friend’s mom had purchased her a spirit board. A group of us had gathered at this friend’s house, and another friend suggested we use the board. The first friend decided that, since it was her house, she didn’t want to take part in the conversation, so she sat on her bed and read while the other four of us got the board out and started asking questions.

We were the group that played with fire (literally), told ghost stories, and did weird Spooky Girl™ things, so it wasn’t unusual when one friend asked the spirit we were speaking to, “Are you angry?”

The spirit moved the planchette to ‘Yes’.

The natural followup question was, “Are you angry with anyone in particular?”

The planchette started to move again, this time spelling out the name of one of us in the group.

Before it could finish, we freaked out, flipped the board, and darted out of the house, leaving our one friend to pick up the board in confusion and come after us. She found us on the other side of the neighborhood, all still terrified. She managed to coax us back to her house, but it was never the same.

After that, it was honestly terrifying to be at her house. The atmosphere had changed, from one of family and welcoming to heavy darkness and fear. The friend reported to me one day that she’d been woken up the previous night by a loud snapping sound. She went out to investigate and found that the corner of a very thick table in her entryway had been broken off. Everyone else in the house was asleep, and even if her siblings had been faking it, they were too small to cause that kind of damage. Her parents were furious.

We hadn’t properly closed the session on the Ouija Board when we ran out of the house, so the door to the other side remained open, and there was no telling what we had let into the house. The table served as a reminder of the most minor consequences of us improperly using a spirit board, and we were all incredibly glad when that friend moved houses a couple years later and that table didn’t join them.

The moral of the story is that if you want to use a spirit board, you need to make sure you do it properly. Open the session politely, ask your questions, don’t invite anyone in, and make sure to close the session completely. Never allow unknown spirits into your home or life, and be very, very cautious when speaking to someone beyond the veil.

Do you have any stories about talking to ghosts? Have you had any bad spirit board experiences? Let us know in the comments!

Chelsea Osborne lives at the Colonel Williams with her parents, her best friend, her cats, and her ghosts.

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