The Witch’s Desk: How do you detect the presence of Spirits in your house?

MaresHouse4.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

This is me, using an EMF detector while touring a house during a ghost hunting adventure.

This is my question-of-the-week, and I thought it would be refreshing to get away from the topic of relationships for a while.  Spirits are always interesting, though they are not always fun, but mostly (from my own experience) they actually are.  This is just me, or maybe it’s that I’ve only had pleasant or neutral experiences with them so far.  For whatever reason, I just don’t feel “frightened” by them. I have a friend that I have done House Cleansings with around the Omaha area, and the one thing that I’ve noticed is that a lot of the time you won’t have to ask yourself if you have a spirit in your house, you will most definitely know; but this is often the more extreme cases, real “hauntings” with something that is unpleasant, or obnoxious, or invasive in a very negative way.  Through this experience, visiting other people’s homes and talking to them about their situations, I realize that some people are just naturally frightened by the idea of the ethereal…ghosts, spirits, anything down this road.

The house that we live in now has always had spirit activity, and I’ve only recently learned from some of my daughters, since they’ve grown, is that when they were small there was an unpleasant “something” on the landing (we have a split level home).  One of my daughters told me that she felt it so strongly, and it was such a scary menacing presence to her, that she was often afraid to go up and down the stairs.  Years afterwards, when I began to regularly (key word here is “regularly”) cleanse the house, this entity disappeared.

I remember the exact day I decided I had enough– I was sweeping down the stairs, on a day that I was all alone, which rarely happened with our large home-schooling family, when I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and a rush of goose bumps come up my legs.  This was accompanied by the very unnerving sensation of someone (a presence) behind me.  Did this scare me?  No, I actually found it interesting– but it did make me angry.  I considered this an obnoxious invasion of my personal space.  I threw the broom down and, muttering under my breath, I stalked off around the house to gather up white candles, and incense, salt and water, cussing the whole time.  I guess I felt it was an inconvenience that was unnecessary, and I would have to take the time to straighten this spirit out and set some boundaries, rather than being able to get all the “Stuff” done that I wanted to get done while I was on my own!

My kids claimed later, and continue to do so to this day, that I tend to do too good a job of cleansing, and some of the entities we have shared this space with were actually interesting, just an integral part of the house and it’s atmosphere.  So I’ve let up over the years, acknowledging that there’s enough room in this old house for everyone, as long as we all play nice in the sandbox.  There have only been a handful of times in the last 20 years when I’ve had to draw some boundaries and shoo a spirit away.

MaresHouse14.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

An attic full of orbs.

Anyway, I digress, on to the subject at hand.  The individual who asked me this question is obviously not sure what constitutes a spirit’s presence, and what may just be some sort of natural occurrence, or an overactive imagination. Let’s look at all those tell tale signs of spirit activity–

1)  Scents:  It’s happened to me before, I’ll smell my grandmother’s perfume, or her favorite flower (roses).  You might smell cigars or cigarette smoke in a house where no one smokes.  You might smell a loved one’s favorite food.  Anytime you pick up a scent that is not explainable on a physical level, you might want to consider that it’s coming from another source.  I’ve heard about (but never experienced personally) the unpleasant and obnoxious odors of malevolent spirits.  This is just something to keep in mind.  Most of the time it’s all good, but once in a while you might run into something unusual.  The sense of smell is just another one of our six senses, just another way we learn and experience and process information about the world around us.

2)  Noises:  Here we go again, another one of our six senses.  Several times over the past few decades, since my grandmother’s death, I have heard her call my name.  Often this has happened in the dead of night and woken me out of a deep sleep, but there have been occasions where this has happened during the day, when I’m wide awake to begin with, and usually when I am alone.  It’s cool, nothing scary.  She’s just touching base, letting me know that she’s still near, that there is still some sort of connection.  (Death isn’t the end, it’s just a different plane of existence.) Besides hearing voices, there are other odd sounds– knocking, scraping, footsteps, growling (not usually a good thing), hammering, human sounds (like hand clapping , finger snapping, muttering)…and always, you will have no logical explanation for these sounds.

3)  Temperature Changes:  We’re talking big in-your-face changes that are unexplainable through normal physics.  This means the furnace man won’t be able to explain to you a 40 degree drop in 5 seconds.  If you ask him to explain this he’s just going to stand there scratching his head; and if he’s a really savvy furnace man (who knows about ghosts and all that paranormal stuff), he’s liable to be throwing tools in his bag and scurrying from your house so fast all you see is the back of his head.  I guess there are more subtle temperature changes you can experience, but people are more liable to explain them away– a sudden cold breeze that wafts through a room, gently lifting the pages of a newspaper; a momentary “chill” that gives you a shudder.  Besides unusual temperature changes, you might experience drafts– the kind of draft that flickers and toys with candle flames, the kind of draft that can’t possibly come from anything of this world because there is no place for the draft to originate from.

4) Electronic/Electrical Malfunctions:  We’ve often heard that the spirit world has the ability to collect energy from our electrical gadgets and use this energy to manifest all kinds of paranormal phenomena.  I don’t know if any of this can ever really be scientifically proven, but it seems that a lot of these occurrences (odd things happening with your electrical gadgets, lamps, lights, computers, etc.) almost always seem to precipitate a mad rush of paranormal activity.  Do you have appliances, lights, a television, computer, or other gadget that turns itself off and on? …that turns itself off and on regularly?

7)  Moving Objects:  This is pretty extreme and the fodder for many movies and television shows.  But it does happen, and the most basic kind of activity that I’ve personally witnessed (with moving objects) involved a series of cupboard doors that would be closed one minute and all open the next; drawers or doors, same thing.  I’ve yet to see anything as dramatic or theatrical as portrayed in the movies.  Remember, for a spirit to move a physical object, an object of atoms and matter, it would take an incredible amount of energy.

6)  The Goosebump Factor:  Some people are more sensitive to the paranormal and its energy than others.  There are a lot of people (a lot!) who can actually “feel” the presence of spirits, even if they are not sensitive enough to communicate with them (as a medium or psychic), they still know dang well that there is something there, and they can often pick up on positive or negative energy.  Never underestimate The Goosebump Factor.

MaresHouse1.jpg picture by witch_of_endore

You can read all about this paranormal investigation here:


Ghosts/Ghost Hunting

Woman Speak

My Google Hangout: Woman Speak

Premiering: FRIDAY, January 9th, 3pm-3:30pm CST

My Google Profile:

Explore the world of women, witches, and pagans on a variety of levels at Woman Speak. Reconnect with The Goddess. Find healing, empowerment, and sisterhood through Matriarchal Divinity. The topics are pagan, occult, new-age, paranormal, and supernatural. The topics will also center around feminism, relationships, family, careers, writing, and books…(Woman Speak– exploring women’s issues.)


*Note: to join me “live” and participate at Woman Speak, you have to be on my Google Friends list.

Introductory Online Tarot Class

I’m offering my Introductory Online Tarot Class
at a special price:


Online Tarot Lessons
to begin Your Tarot Journey!

I’ve developed an online tarot class comprised of three lessons to start you down the road to tarot interpretation. The first class touches on a card a day in a way that literally dismantles how you look at tarot cards, how you view traditional meanings, and the art of intuitive reading. You’ll quickly move on, learning how to put the cards together in a simple spread, discovering the story the tarot tells, as well as learning how to write your own interpretation through the cards. The third lesson will teach you how to broaden your tarot connections and add unexpected insights into a reading.

My book, “Tarot: A Witch’s Journey”, is the textbook used for these online tarot classes. You can purchase this book at, Barnes & Noble, or Labyrinth House Publishing.

These tarot classes will be emailed to you in rich text format.

Wykid Wytch Newsletter– September!

Hi, Everyone!

My September newsletter from The Witch’s Corner has gone live this morning. You’ll find that I’ve changed up the format a bit with the addition of some new sections, including one entitled “Pagan Highlights”. You’ll find information about pagan authors, artists, activists, and other unique individuals that need to be brought into the spotlight so that we can all benefit from their wisdom, their sense of humor, their talent, and their eclectic pagan views. This month features Lunea Weatherstone, Susan Weed, Mickie Mueller, and Witches Rising.

There’s an essay on“Autumnal Holidays” and links to an article on interfaith marriage,“A Christian & A Witch”, learn how this couple handles both interfaith and inter-racial issues in their relationship. We’ll be “Makin’ Magick ‘Round the Kitchen Table” with some “Workplace Mojo”– bosses beware! And “From the Witch’s Kitchen” is a recipe for “Full Moon Biscuits”, it’s easy as pie.

I’ve also edited a photo slideshow called “Nebraska Autumn” with some new pics.

You’ll find updates and news from The Witch’s Corner with links.

The Wykid Wytch Newsletter
September 2011

click Here

Magickal Connections: Spell Bag Instructions

Mojo Bags

At my online shop, found at my website, I offer a variety of spell bags– bags filled with the items that you need to cast specific spells. The ones I offer include: Make Him Love Me; Money Flow; Make Him Go; Shut Your Mouth.

I’ve had several people order these spell bags and then email me, unsure as to what exactly they should do with the magickal items enclosed, so I’ve decided to post some instructions. Later I may even make small instructional videos, but I like taping these videos outdoors better than anywhere else, so the weather is going to have to warm up.

The following instructions are pretty basic and will be used with any of the spell bags.

First, let’s look at the items included in these bags:  1 small taper candle, 1 bottle of magickal oil, 1 small bag of herbs, 3 incense cones, a stone, and a small porcelain candle holder*  (*not shown).

After you’ve situated yourself in a comfortable spot to work– some of you casting a circle to work in, and other’s probably opting not to do this– go ahead and light one of the incense cones.

If the herbs enclosed  are not all powdered, but include leaves and whole blossoms or petals, you’ll want to begin by crushing or pulverizing them.  I use a mortar and pestle for this, but if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, crush them up with your fingers.  If the herbs are a bit coarser than herbs ground with a mortar and pestle, that’s okay.

Next, shake up your bottle of magickal oil and open it.  You’re going to dress (anoint) your candle with the oil and then roll it in the crushed herbs.  Tip the bottle up and get some oil on your fingertips.   If you’re working magick to draw something to you, you will hold the candle in one hand while you stroke the oil onto the candle in gentle sweeping motions towards your body.  If you’re working magick to send something away, you will hold the candle in one hand while you stroke the oil on the candle in gentle sweeping motions away from your body.

After the candle is oiled, have the herbs sprinkled out on the surface you’re working on in a long pile.  Put the candle on it’s side and roll it through the herbs, several times if need be, until all or most of the herbs adhere to the candle.  Place the candle in the candle holder.

Keeping your intentions in mind, light the spell candle.  Allow the candle to burn down.  Make sure not to leave it unattended and to keep all flammable materials out of reach of the flame. 

Once this candle has burned down and the wax has cooled, you can use the large bag all of these ingredients came in to make a mojo bag.  To this bag you will add the remains of the candle wax and any of the herbs which might be left over, the stone, as well as personal items/effects that will make this magick more individualized and add to the energy of your spell.  These items could include hair, fingernails, or a photo of your target, a name paper, a small slip of paper upon which you’ve written affirmations, an item belonging to the target– such as a button, an earring, etc.

Keep this bag in a safe and secret place, giving the magickal energy time to build and work.