By: Kate MacDonald-Dunbar
Until you start to look into the paranormal, you wouldn't be aware how many varieties of ghosties and ghoulies there are. Some are still with us on purpose. That purpose can be good or bad, of course. One specter may have information they are desperate to tell a family member. Someone else may seek retaliation for a wrongdoing. Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of these spirits are simply confused. Sometimes they are not even aware they have died. They hover around a place well known to them, get able nor willing to take that final step.
When these manifestations become more frequent and noticeable, "clean up" becomes the order of the day. Although more than a dust buster is needed, When I started my company and was looking for a name, the obvious one was taken. However, I think "Spirit Leveler" says it all. Yes, I find them, straighten them out, and move them on. I'm aware my looks belie my ability, of course. My clients see a small, blonde forty-year old with blue eyes and dimples. Then I do what's required. The family can return to their house. I know they feel how much warmer and welcoming it's become. Their relief is thanks enough.
I know when I am in the presence of a ghost. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. They may try to scare me, but there's no chance of that. My night vision camera and spirit box tell me when they are near. Spooks and spirits are around me every day. I've been dealing with these entities since I was a child. Another day, another haunting. That's the way it goes. My story is not unlike that of others with the ability that I have.
My grandma was the one in my family I was closest to. When I first noticed the glum people who floated in and out of my days, she was the person I spoke to about it. I was about eight years old then. I will always be grateful for the calm, matter-of-fact way she explained what was going on to me that night.
"These are sad people mostly, lost and confused."
She admitted that it was not usual but assured me I could take control of my life. Grandma was also the person who suggested it could be a profession instead of a burden. After our talk, and a drink of hot cocoa, I fell asleep quickly.
"Where is it? Where is it? I know I left it here," was what I heard next.
I was constantly waking up to find someone floating just above the floor. They would be wailing about a lost hat, scarf, or child. I doubted this was something I could ever get used to. Grandma hurried into the room. She must have been listening out for just this sort of thing to happen. She muttered an incantation a few times, and the ghost seemed to dissolve and disappear. "I will teach you all of that as you get older, Samantha. I know this is so very unusual but be assured you it can be managed."
Today I'll need all my special skills to help my clients. I knew at once I was going to be challenged when I walked into a dank and cloying atmosphere. I felt the psychic residue cling to me, like walking through damp spider's webs on an autumn morning. I was in a very old house, so there were many layers of hauntings, many diverse entities. So far I've found: Old Bess from 1726, with her bonnet and her beau. Then there was Joe, aged sixteen, who worked in Candlemakers Row, then passed away in 1880. Next, a very flighty lass called Flo, who was "popular" in the fifties. Then, along came the sixties and Sandra Jones, who remembers bits and pieces, but not a lot after 1965.
To move this motley crew on, I will have to be radical, think outside the box, push the envelope, and any other cliches I can bring to mind. You might think these visitors would be merry, but no. Most ghosts are miserable souls. It's as if they know that somewhere, someone is having a wonderful party. The only problem is that their invitation was lost in the post. So, I will be throwing them a disco, of sorts. No expense will be spared. There'll be strobes, neon, and glitter balls. If I know my spirits, which I do, and provided we don't overload the circuits, they will have to go into the light.
The night of the big event has arrived. Everything is set up; speakers, lights, music. I have asked the homeowners to vacate the premises. It is easier to get the attention of the ghosts if I'm the only one here. Also, that way, I can watch out for rogue entities. The epicenter for me is usually a previously docile spirit who, at the last second, freaks out. He or she, will desperately try to hang on to the illusion of the life they think they have. They do not want to move on. The unnerving aspect is, I'm what they hang on to. I can't convey how surreal having someone share your body and mind feels. Sometimes I simply need a brighter light.
Talking of lights, of all things, I've left the white candles at Head Office. (My garden shed.) Each one has the all important incantation scratched into it. These candles have to be placed in front of each door that appears, to draw in the correct spirit. Head Office (still my shed) is only fifteen minutes away though. I still have plenty of time to collect them before the witching hour arrives.
I'm back in the house. Oddly, it feels as though no time at all has passed. What is annoying is I still don't have the candles. I notice the strangely disturbed atmosphere. I can't think why what was initially a straightforward transition of a few confused spirits should now feel as though a sullen electrical storm is brewing. Still, this is my milieu, nothing I can't handle. The scene is set, the CD is playing. I've collected music that spans time, from Crumhorn to Clarinet and everything in between. Time to get the party started.
The house is in darkness apart from this one room, where all the lights are on. Gradually, each of those poor, bewildered entities floats into the room. They are oblivious to each other's existence. I find that a little sad. These various spirits have existed together in the same house for hundreds of years without even being aware of it. Now they are leaving and can't even say goodbye.
So, it begins. I count them into the room, and I will count them out. I speak the words of the incantation my grandma taught me, as she promised so long ago. A door opens in front of each of them. After listening intently to someone I can't see, one after the other, they cross the threshold. Their door closes behind them, then vanishes. Old Bess and her Beau. Then young Joe, flighty Flo, and Mrs. Jones, all depart. Suddenly, I notice there's one more door, standing open and waiting. I haven't missed anyone, have I?
That is when I see my grandmother. "Hello my darling girl. You will have to be brave. Tonight, your car was hit by a lorry. The driver had dozed off behind the wheel. You are here because, being the person you are, you had only one thought. To complete the task, you promised to do. You did it, and now you too can move on. Come with me Samantha, it's time to close this door."