A friend asks:

I know someone who says she has been haunted by dark spirits with bright eyes that bother her during the night. She claims to have awakened with scratches that she feels could not have been done by anyone else. What do I tell her?

Thanks for your question. I’m not going to judge the situation, because there are too many details which haven’t been revealed. Here are some ideas:

  • It may be a misinterpretation. Sometimes spirits attempt to contact us to let us know they are there or to give us a message. It doesn’t mean they are automatically “bad guys,” or that they have any intention of causing trouble. We are brought up to think that ghosts and goblins are scary, but they are just spirits like you and me, usually going about their own business. They aren’t interfering with us any more than we interfere with them. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to “give us a call.” 

Have her ask the spirit who it is, or tell them that the way they are presenting themselves is frightening. It could simply be that she is seeing it as a scary thing because she has convinced herself that there is something scary to be seen. How many times have you heard of someone panicked because they thought there was a prowler outside and it turned out it was the neighbor’s dog, or the branch of a tree blowing in the wind, or a friend coming by to check on them?

  • Spirit won’t hurt you. One of the things we teach is that nothing can harm you unless you allow it. Spirit cannot do harm to you unless you give permission to do so. Yes, there are those in spirit with less-than-ideal intentions, just as there are in the physical realm, but they must honor our wishes.

It’s okay to tell a spirit to go away and not bother you. You don’t need sage. You don’t need rituals. You certainly don’t need to spend money to have an “expert” clear your house. All you need is pure intent and a desire to truly be left alone. You are in charge, and no one can take away your will unless you give it away.

  • She may have created this situation. Sometimes people draw negative energies to themselves. Like attracts like. If we are expecting to be bothered by spirits, that is what we are going to create and draw to ourselves. There is a pearl of wisdom that a young woman we know shared once: “Worrying is like praying for something you don’t want.” A physical example: I know someone who wakes up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. If she is traveling and sleeping in a strange bed, sometimes she will say, “I hope I don’t have a panic attack tonight,” and she almost invariably wakes up a few hours later in a panic, because she has been focusing on the panic attack, not on a good night’s sleep. It works the same way with spiritual energies.

If you maintain your attention on spirits with negative energies or intent, that is what you will draw to you. Go to bed with affirmations of a good, restful night sleep. Affirm that you will get a full night’s sleep and wake up at X:XX am feeling refreshed, rested and energized. Visualize any spirits minding their business and leaving yours alone. Guess what will happen (unless you start worrying that it won’t!)? Our thoughts are powerful things!

  • We see what we want to see. This one is more for you than your friend: One of the most important pieces of advice we can give when it comes to spiritual matters: Don’t believe something just because someone said it. There are so many stories of amazing or unbelievable things happening. Even if it isn’t true, if it is something we are interested and passionate about, we will be more likely to want to believe it. I have seen videos of people doing what are claimed to be amazing feats of physical mediumship. One man allegedly produces crystals and gems from his tear ducts. People I know are convinced that it’s real – there it is on video! But if you look at the video presented as “evidence” you can clearly see that the little crystals were tucked above the person’s upper eyelid and they fell out when he blinked hard. The people who want it to be real don’t see that part. They don’t want to.

In a nutshell, investigate! If you are accepting things just at someone’s word, you are bound to be mislead sooner or later. That doesn’t mean that amazing real things don’t happen along the way, but it’s important to learn about how natural and spiritual laws work, and what can reasonably be expected. I’m not telling you to be a constant naysayer, but the best intuitive counselors and teachers will tell you that it’s good to have a little bit of skepticism.

  • It may not be what she says it is. This is the most difficult part of the response. Sometimes people create stories or situations, or read into a situation, because of the attention it brings, or because it brings them excitement. Sometimes they aren’t even aware that they are doing it. Spirits do not physically harm us. That only happens in the movies. If she has scratches, it’s because something scratched her. Scratches do not materialize for no reason. It is amazing what people will do to get attention or make people feel sorry for them. I don’t want to assume that this is the case this time, but there is so much we don’t know. Was she working in the yard earlier in the week and scratched herself on a shrub or tree? Did she bump up against something innocently and didn’t realize she had been scratched? Did she make the scratches herself to make her fantasy more believable? Was it just a dream that seemed real, and she’s having trouble distinguishing from her waking state? Is she just saying it happened to make it seem more real? There are so many things that may have not been considered.

If this is the case, start with some of the other suggestions we’ve offered. If that doesn’t work, try to investigate and ask questions. Take an interest in her life and see if any clues are revealed. Was there an abusive relationship, loss of a job, death of a loved one, lack of acceptance in school, etc. If something like this happened, it is possible that there are unresolved issues that are manifesting in unusual ways.

Pardon the expression, but a radio talk show host popular in the 1990s used to talk about his “crap detector” – that uneasy “knowing” feeling he would get if he thought someone was exaggerating or lying. That was his creative way of describing his Solar Plexus chakra reacting to the deceptive energies. You have one, too – Use it. It’s a natural instinct that is there for a reason! If you are getting that kind of feeling, pay attention! If it turns out that it is an exaggeration or a complete fabrication, don’t give life to it, but it’s okay to make it clear that lying is not acceptable. In a respectful, gentle way. A little forgiveness goes a long way toward gaining acceptance and clarity.

Regardless of what actually happened with your friend, keep in mind that it seems to be real to her. You have a role in keeping it all in perspective, as importantly for yourself as for her. The more informed you are, and the more objectively you look at situations like this, the easier it will be to respond to them, and if necessary, discern the chaffe from the wheat, so to speak.

Many blessings…