Where do we expect to find ghosts? This isn’t a trick question, there really is a general idea about where ghosts linger. Typically, we expect to find spirits of the past in locations of great tragedy. Places of death like hospitals, places of pain such as mental hospitals, war sites, crime scenes, prisons, and old abandoned houses that have seen the lives of many come and go. So, it is no wonder that we get stuck on the idea that everything is gloom and doom in these locations. But what if it doesn’t have to be that way?
I have a team member who is always trying to get us to look on the bright side as the rest of the group tends more toward the sarcastic, negative outlook. She always says she is odd within the group because she wants to believe in unicorns and disney princesses. This has gotten me thinking, are we too negative? Does this put spirits off? Does it put the living off?
Let’s take a moment to find the joy. Every person, no matter how terrible their ending, had moments of joy. It could have been one special Christmas morning with their family, an unexpected invite to dance, the taste of fresh baked apple pie, watching the sun rise over the ocean, and so many other little things.
Every once in a while, we need to ask ourselves, what types of joy may have occurred within this space.
- In hospitals, babies were born and lives were saved. Doctors and nurses worked hard to bring these lives into the world and save others.
- In long term situations such as sanatoriums, mental hospitals, and poor farms, there were holidays and gatherings as the people who ran these facilities weren’t always abusive. They believed they were helping and tried the best within their means.
- In prisons, believe it or not, some found spirituality, education or something else that gave them peace. Guards were not always evil but often cared about the wellbeing of the people under their watch.
- Before a murder ever happened in that old creepy home, there was laughter, games, family meals, holidays, and the occasional (and perhaps regular) bit of joy.
- Those who took their own life even had moments of joy even if they were fleeting. They may have loved music, plants, art, or books.
It’s important to recognize the entire person that may be the subject of a haunting. They are not just that one negative moment. They are years of good and bad days. When you visit a place, think of how you can bring a spark of joy back to anyone who may still remain. Play music, start a game, read a good book with them, read the bible, bring them a cup of coffee, or whatever else your heart moves you to do. If we are interacting with what remains of people after death, then they deserve to be reminded of not just the worst day in their life but also those little joys.
Until next time, Happy Hunting!