Since I was quite small, I’ve always been able to sense “others.” But I’ve never actually seen one – nor do I wish to do so. Feeling them – the bone deep knowledge that they are there – is more than enough for me. Like all forms of beings in the universe, spirits run the spectrum between good and evil. My first true interaction was, luckily, with a relatively “good ghost.” It wasn’t until many years later that I met a spirit on the opposite end of that spectrum…
In the 6+ years that I’ve been in Phoenix, I’ve lived in many areas of the city. My current lodging actually overlooks a rather large cemetery – a fact that is oddly comforting (but I have a strange relationship with such places). Several years ago, my friend and I lived together in downtown Phoenix, just across from the baseball stadium and literally right along the lightrail line. A less likely place for a spirit encounter I would’ve thought difficult to find, but I suppose we can’t all be right all of the time.
The place was a townhouse of sorts with two floors situated above a communal garage. It was an absolute ideal location and the guy who rented it to us was the perfect landlord – only around as needed. We lived there for just over two years in total and celebrated a lot of wonderful memories (smile). I can’t remember when I first felt something a bit off, but I don’t think we’d been there long. We moved in around February and she took off for a summer abroad – I remember distinctly not being nearly as happy to be living there on my own as I thought I would be. I never left all of the lights off and I always made sure everything was locked up tight. I just chalked it up to being in a downtown setting even though that setting was the reason we lived there. I was so relieved when she got back!
I think it was some months still before she mentioned feeling the same way that I did – as though there was just something a bit “off” in the mood of the place. Admitting it to one another seemed to be exactly what the spirit was waiting for. The cats (we each had one) went completely out of character. They would either both sleep with me or wake my friend up in the middle of the night staring at one particular corner of the room and periodically hissing. We were both beyond perplexed but determined not to admit that we might actually have a not-so-friendly ghost. I was relating some of these happenings to my colleagues one day when one of them – the least likely one I might add – suggested that she contact a friend of hers who performed “cleansings.” After the Alabama experience I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a professional take charge, so we got in contact and set the date.
The very nice lady came over early one Sunday morning. She was a full Native American who was related to someone high up in the tribal spiritual arena, as well as a celebrated archaeologist. We made small talk around the reason of her visit and then finally she asked us to take the cats and wait out on the patio. We never told her what exactly was going on – she said she didn’t want to know. Just as we were beginning to get a bit concerned, she came out and informed us that yes, we did have a spirit in the place. She explained where it liked to reside (that bedroom corner), why it was likely there, and how best to cleanse the space. Even after the Alabama experience, I was the skeptic. Until she showed me the old maps of Phoenix and the proximity of our townhouse to a cemetery razed in the name of progress. I had a new understanding for the hostility of the spirit, but was even less inclined to let it remain after hearing her description of the force it put out into the world. On the good – evil spectrum, it veered strongly toward evil.
So we all went back inside, cats included, and walked behind the lady with the smudge stick, repeating the incantations after her – some in English, some not. After we had cleansed the living area, she wanted to go to the communal garage as well. Of course the neighbors chose that moment to run errands…they thought we were odd anyway but I’m sure that sealed the deal. After the garage was properly smudged, we went out back and had to forcefully “cast the spirit away.” Then the lady blessed us with a proprietary mixture of herbs, cornmeal, and turquoise while we each made our peace with the sun. Shortly after, we all parted ways. As she was leaving, the lady informed us that to speak of the spirit, especially while inside those quarters, would only entice it back in. She also indicated that although we had sent it back to its resting place, it would likely creep back in again to the first abandoned space it could find. Good to know….??
My friend and I spoke of the experience only in broad terms while we were home and told few people. We smudged all of rooms annually, and I kept the smudge stick for use in each new place until I finally finished it at my current residence. One can never be too careful after all, especially when there’s a cemetery in your “backyard.”