Living With Ghosts – Literally!

Part One: Listening to your spectral roommates

A lot of people ask me what it’s like living with ghosts:

“Are you scared all the time? Do they bother you? Have you thought of getting rid of them?”

While I understand the sentiment, it’s a shame that so many people only know the bad behaviors of spirits and not the reasons behind them or the positive aspects. Anti-social antics, disconcerting deeds, and irritating incidents are all signs that your paranormal pal is bored and not mentally stimulated.

The Carriage House before a storm. Photo by Alyssa James

When I first moved into the Carriage House, I encountered the multiple spirits who reside here. They were quite rascally – throwing things, leaving bruises, whispering in my ear – these were things I experienced on a regular basis. The first real hint, however, that something was amiss with my new roommates was the various vocalizations.

The most disconcerting incident happened while I was trying to fall asleep. Now you may be thinking, “Gee, Chelsea, you just admitted you were falling asleep, so why should we believe in ghosts?” Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit – I never would have thought of that! Funnies aside, I’ll explain why it very much wasn’t a hallucination.

It was a gentle, mid-summer night. The darkness sat heavily in the room, not even a peep of light shining through the blackout curtains on both windows. Only two sounds interrupted the silence: the quiet whirring of the small fan on the table next to my bed and the sweetest, tiny snores of my cat. As far as evenings go, it was a generally peaceful one.

Occasionally, Dahlia was super adorable!

“I wish I was still alive.”

The words, although they were no more than a whisper, vibrated through my head. My eyes flew open and my heart started pounding, like a little mouse trying to hide from an owl on the hunt. I knew I was not alone in the room. I could feel that there was a presence right next to me – it had to be because I could still feel the hot breath on my ear. Through the darkness, I could barely see that Dahlia, the Malevolent Feline Monarch who ruled over my home, had poked her head up, and was looking over to my side. Barely daring to breathe, I fumbled for the lamp, but as the light filled the room, I could see that I was alone. Dahlia removed her eyes from the spot she was staring to look at me with annoyance, and she meowed her disapproval at the change in her environment. After one last glance around the room, I reluctantly turned off the light, and I spent the rest of the night staring at the darkness.

Her Evil Royal Majesty, Queen Dahlia. Long may she reign.

This wasn’t the first experience I’d ever had in the Carriage House, but it was the first really clear sign that I wasn’t alone in my room (not including Her Royal Felinus Malevolence whom I served or the occasional guests that occupied the other rooms in the building). At the time, I had no clue how to deal with the paranormal. I was just a sweet, summer child in the dark, mysterious world.

Intimidating presences and whispered words are a perfect example of a frustrated ghost. Ghosts can’t communicate the way the living can; they have a variety of methods, such as dream invasions, blood on the walls, and lipstick on the mirror. If you find yourself having uncomfortable conversations with your resident spirits and that bothers you, provide them other methods of communication. Spare the poor creature that might provide the blood for wall-writing and offer the apparition some craft paint instead. You can also save your lipsticks by giving the spirits a dry erase marker for your mirror. Be sure to only provide writing utensils in red, in order to emulate the color of blood as much as possible, so your supernatural buddies feel like they’re living up to their fullest spooky potential.

As with many other aspects in life, living in harmony with the paranormal is a matter of setting firm boundaries, having clear intentions, and being up for threatening expulsion. (“We could have been killed! Or worse – EXPELLED!”) Non-malevolent entities are often like drunk toddlers, and it takes a good sense of humor and patience to live with them. If you have ghosts in your garage, spirits in your bar, or apparitions in your apartment, you can either learn how to live with them or attempt to get rid of them.

Have you had any ghost experiences? Tell us about them in the comments section!

Look for the second part of this post in two weeks!

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