Friday, June 5, 2015

Traditions: How To Get Rid of Ghosts

For centuries cultures from around the world have come up with methods to deal with unwanted ghosts or spirits that haunt one’s home.

The following methods have been passed down from one generation to the next. These beliefs are based on legends and folklore, but all have a grain of truth, so several of them actually work.

St. John's Wort
In the Middle Ages in Europe the plant St. John’s Wort was placed in every room of the house to ward off demons and dark spirits from entering the home.

An old folk legend states one should throw rice on the floor of various rooms in a house--because it is believed a ghost has to stop and count the rice grains. This is done over several days so the spirit will become frustrated and leave. Some use sand in place of rice.

Another method used to frustrate ghosts is to place one’s shoes in reverse directions at the end of the bed. It is said this confuses spirits, so they just leave.

Some believe that playing traditional organ hymns over and over can drive a ghost away. For it is thought the sound of hymns that praise God will drive evil away.

For several centuries people in various cultures have believed that hanging garlic can ward off ghosts--even evil ones. It is stated that a clove of garlic should be hung in every room and hallway of a home.

Some people carry a clove with them in their pocket. Even though this can get smelly people still follow this custom today.

Rosemary wreath
In ancient Greece, rosemary was burned in temples to keep evil spirits and illness at bay. In more recent times rosemary has been put in wreaths and hung on front or back doors to ward off ghosts.

Rosemary plants can also be placed in various rooms. Today smudge sticks used to cleanse houses often also include rosemary.

Another item that was hung to ward off ghosts was used in ancient Egypt and China. Cinnamon sticks were bundled together and hung. It was believed this kept homes and temples free of evil spirits.

Wind chimes are also used for this purpose. It is said the ghosts cannot tolerate the sound they make and will not enter a house but instead will just leave.

Yet another deterrent used is to hang an iron horseshoe upside down above the front door. This is said to bring good luck, but it also wards off ghosts because it is made of iron--which is also in blood and represents “life’s blood.” Because of this, it is believed to scare spirits off.

A wise old tale involves placing flat mirrors in every room facing the doorway. This is done for it is felt a ghost entering a room would see their reflection and be scared away.

Many paranormal investigators disagree with this practice today because of the common belief that mirrors are actually portals that allow ghosts to enter the living world.

Regardless, some swear this method does work.

Ba Gua mirror
In China, Ba Gua mirrors used in the practice of feng shui are hung on front doors to bring harmony into the home and to charm evil spirits, so they do not enter.

Another charm placed on a front door is a Mezuzah, which is used in Judaism to prevent evil entities or energy from entering a home. A Mezuzah is a rolled piece of parchment housed in a decorated case and placed on a diagonal on the frame of the front door.

Another belief involves painting doors red. The entrance to the room where the activity is occurring should be painted red for it is said ghosts flee when they see this color.

A more modern version of this is to place a red napkin or handkerchief near one’s bed before going to sleep. This prevents ghosts from awakening a person at night.

During medieval and Gothic times Gargoyles were used to drain water from large buildings. But it was believed that their grotesque appearance would ward off evil spirits as well. They were used on churches for this specific purpose.

Believe it or not some people today still purchase gargoyles and place them in doorways to keep an evil entity from taking up residence in their homes.

Here is another post about traditional beliefs--How To Prevent a Haunting.

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