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


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.


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.


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

  1. Thank you for this! I just needed confirmation that I’m definitely feeling something in the new apartment we just moved into… My husband thinks I’m strange (or hormonal), but while sitting and working at our dining room table, I’d suddenly be overcome by very cold air, as though the window had suddenly come open, and it wouldn’t stop no matter how high I turned up the heater (also in the same place the cold draft was!). Then I had the same thing happen in the bedroom a few times.

    Hopefully the full moon energy from the other night cleared it out…although I did make the exception for light-hearted entities to stay…we shall see!

    Great post!

    • Thank you!…We’re the same way at our house; there are a few gentle spirits that we’d actually miss if they were to leave. I have to say that when all this was new to me and I was “Cleaning House”, I had to learn not to be quite so aggressive. The “stillness” of a completely cleared house is almost as unnerving to me as one that’s too active with spirits. (Your husband– had to laugh– women tend to be more sensitive to things like this more often than not. But one of these days, something will tap him on the shoulder!) 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde…. and commented:

    I’ve experienced most of the items you discuss, sometimes As I’m driving around I get the cigar smoke smell. I usually tell him, hey it’s been awhile, where have you been. I always keep it friendly-though at times when I’m not feeling good and smell the cigar, I tell him not today- and poof it’s gone.

  3. I’ve experienced several of these, especially scents, being woken from sleep by someone calling my name, feeling presence, lucid dreams, even feeling a hand on my back or shoulder. I’ve often thought this was one of my grandmothers soothing me during a difficult time. One of my very special experiences was when my mother-in-law passed. I woke up and felt a presence, got up and looked around the house, checked on my own mother, went back to bed. This happened 3 times. On the 3rd time when I got up and went into the family room, it was like I walked into a void. I can’t explain it any other way. All scent, sound, light was gone. When this happened I acknowledged my mother-in-law and went back to bed knowing that the hospital would call soon letting us know she passed. About 20 minutes later the call came that she had passed on.

    • These experiences are truly amazing, and although I know there will always be people out there who are skeptical about the paranormal world, it’s comforting for me to know– in my own mind, completely, and without a doubt– that death is not the end of our existence, that there is another plane of existence, that we continue, and we continue in a way that can still connect us to the physical world and the people we love.

  4. It is good to see someone who can distinguish between spirits that are bothersome and must be removed from the home and those who are a little like spiritual house guests or neighbors! My policy has always been to make it clear to these people who are temporarily “between bodies” that they are welcomed to stay so long as they behave themselves and not go about scaring my family half to death! In most cases they respect these simple boundaries. I say, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’

    Thank you for your thoughtful post! 🙂

    • Qumran, Thank You for sharing how you feel about this. I find your view interesting, I have never set boundaries except to those that bring feelings of harm or immediate distrust. The others just tend to leave, but also some have stayed a bit and fooled around until they seem to feel satisfied with the attention they were given.

  5. Hi, Amythyst,. I would like to thank you for this post. I am also sensitive to the presence of those who like to visit. There have been many unexplainable “things” noises, voices, radio stations changing, my son ( an adult) whom doesn’t like that I’m a Witch has been scared to many times for his liking along with his girlfriend. I have felt fear a few times with different spirits and was attacked while sleeping(the most bizarre experience for me.) Cleansing Rituals throughout the house helped greatly. I agree completely with you on our senses, you just know you are not alone. Some spirits I’ve seen and followed thru my house and then they are gone, no fear felt. Others have awoke my son, spirits of a brother and sister of which he stated ” I thought the little boy was nice, he wanted my help but then I saw the little girl and I knew then they were brother and sister and that’s when they changed.” My son became quite afraid after that and became very aware of his surroundings. Just the other week while in my Mother’s house I was speaking of spirits and the 3 brass bars that sound the doorbell suddenly started swaying without touching each other. A feeling of happiness overcame me as I watched them move. I feel some spirits mean no harm but I also know there are those that do. I waste no time in clearing them out. Many of us are open to these entities without realizing it, those that are aware know right away in my opinion that we are not alone.

    • Anne, you’re obviously very sensitive to the Spirit World. Are you a medium? Have you ever worked consciously at strengthening your natural ability? I’m so glad that you took the time to record your experiences here, I find it fascinating! “You just know that you are not alone”…Exactly!

      • Hi, Amythyst, thank you for your kind reply. I was a bit hesitant to mention what I and my son have experienced. Many are never given this “gift” and tend to never believe these things have happened. Or maybe they are too afraid I don’t know. There is more I didn’t mention, but to answer your question about being a medium, no I am not one and no I have not worked on opening myself more to those that come. Actually I have never seen myself the way you mentioned. All is good though. I need a mentor lol. Change is coming to my life this year and I pray to Goddess I have the strength I need to do what must be done . My fear. I love the visits when they do happen. I believe everyone can have this , if they choose to be open and their faith is true. To all whom have experienced spirits/ghosts and don’t want to have this happen-let it happen I say, allow yourself to feel their presence. In our faith Witchcraft or Wicca , paranormal activity can and.does occur. It’s important to be able to know how and when you must banish and cleanse. Like we.say Amythyst You just know. It is the truth. A feeling presence of another. I’m glad to have this experience, to have seen that ethereal realm where some have walked where we have not yet been. To me I see this as a blessing from our Goddess to me or anyone else. Thank you so much for your comment to me Amythyst.

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