Question of the Week
April 15, 2017
Each week I will post a question raised by people I meet at book events or at haunted locations I visit, or submitted to me by e-mail.
I will post my answer Sunday evenings, usually no later than 6:00 PM.
Is it possible for a spirit attachment to occur if a living person collects objects from intensely haunted places?
For years, John Zaffis has collected items from haunted places without apparent negative effects. We’ve watched his TV show, The Haunted Collector, in which he travels to haunted locations and removes a particular item believed to be the cause of disturbing paranormal events. I always found the show interesting but also a bit strange; why would he take those items to his home?
Why would he remove an object believed to cause paranormal or supernatural negative effects on people who inhabit the place and then store it in his basement? If the object has a spirit attached that causes disturbing effects, I would think that the wisest course would be to remove it and place it miles from the nearest living person.
Apparently John suffers no ill effects from his practice because he seems to be doing fine.
Zak Bagans has established a museum in Vegas that also houses objects linked to intense paranormal events. To date, I haven’t heard of any ill effects in Zak or anyone who works there, or visits the place.
Still, I can’t help but wonder about the safety of this practice of collector, and storing, objects that seem to have negative spirit energy attached. If the spirit energy remained in the object, we might be OK. But I have been asked about the possibility of the spirit energy leaving the object and attaching itself to a living person who handles it or occupies space close to it, such as a person who works in a museum or antique shop.
We know that negative spirit energy may leave a place by attaching to a living person. There are many reports of this happening at places like Alcatraz, Eastern State Penitentiary, and graveyards at prisons and asylums. I personally experienced an attachment by a spirit that resided at Alcatraz prison. He came home with me after filming an episode of GHOST ADVENTURES. After five days of banishing rituals, I won the war of attrition and the spirit departed.
So, it isn’t much of a stretch to conclude that something similar can happen if we come into to close contact with an object that harbor negative spirit energy. That contact does not, however ALWAYS result in the spirit leaving the object and attaching to a living person who handles it.
The primary mitigating factor may be the energy level of the spirit. The spirit may not have the energy to break its attachment and create a new on a living person. Others factors may be the awareness of the spirit that a living person is nearby. Negative spirit energy may radiate from an object and cause local disturbances, but the spirit may not be aware that there is a living person touching or handling the object. If the living person has performed shielding rituals (see Michelle Belanger’s excellent book), the spirit may not become aware of that person.
So, the answer is, YES: spirit attachment can occur if you snatch a souvenir doorknob from Eastern State Penitentiary or pick up an object once used by a serial murder whose home you investigate.
For your review; last week's Q and A . . .
I don’t find caves and mines on your list of the top five most haunted places. Should they be included?
Caves and mines are certainly great places to find ghosts, but they aren’t in my top five list. Currently, the list includes: hospitals, combat ships, prisons, crime scenes, and sites of major disasters. If I had a top ten list, caves and mines would probably come in at number 6 or seven, close to old theaters and Native American burial grounds.
I’ve investigated several mines in the Gold Rush country of California and caves in the wine country. While these “holes in the ground” have some distinct differences, the tragedies that occurred in them have a common denominator: sudden disaster. Once the disaster strikes, death might occur quickly, as a ceiling buries the miner, or slowly, as a trapped workers starves to death while rescue crews find it impossible to dig through tons of rocks to effect a rescue.
In the Gold Rush country I’ve discovered several old mines that can no longer be entered because they remain unsafe. In many cases, history of the cave-in, or explosion and fire, reveals that many workers were lost and the bodies never recovered. Buildings constructed over the site often become haunted. In fact, there are many stories of visitors to a Gold Rush country Bed and Breakfast inn witnessing the pale apparition of a miner walk through their room or showing up in the bar.
These stories are actually quite common and indicate that the ghosts of miners who died in the 1860s are still active and looking for a way out of the miner in which they died. People who visit mines in Virginia City, Nevada, or Grass Valley, California, have reported disembodies hands touch their shoulder, or unseen beings whisper in their ear.
In the last decades of the nineteenth century, hundreds of caves were dug in California’s wine country. In the days before refrigeration, wine makers discovered that caves would keep their wines at a constant temperature year round. Wine caves are still widely used through the wine county but they are much safer than those dug in the late 1800s. Many wine caves suffered cave-ins, trapping workers and sometimes cutting off barrels of valuable wine from vintners.
Here are many documented cave-ins in the Napa and Sonoma regions. In some cases, rescuers stopped their efforts to reached trapper workers because the ground was so unstable. Unfortunately, the racism of the day was another factors in stopping rescue efforts. Since most the cave diggers were Chinese, little effort was expended to free them. Some writers explain that if the wine trapped by the cave-in was not particularly valuable, no effort would be made to dig it out. The bodies of workers was a distant secondary concern.
So, what kind of paranormal experience may be had in a mine or cave? The ghosts of people who died in these dark places usually want help to find a way out. Some want to go home. Others who may realize they are dead, want to visit their grave. It is unlikely a grave was established for the deceased, but a monument might be a reasonable substitute.
These ghosts do whatever they can to get the attention of living persons who enter the cave or spend time in a structure built over the cave or mine. They touch visitors, whisper in their ear, tap on the wall (a ritual that was probably kept up for days for death occurred), or toss small rocks.
Most of the reports of apparitions indicate that the ghost showed up in a structure built over the cave. These spirits seemed to be unaware of the structure, but they did react to the living people they saw.
If you visit a cave or mine, exercise caution. Don’t enter caves or mines that are not designated as safe by a regulating body such as a museum or historical organization.
Copyright Jeff Dwyer. All rights reserved.