A friend posited the following question to her social media followers:
So quick poll:
Do you believe in ghosts or spirits?
I've had some really weird stuff happen to me that's been witnessed by friends so I know something is out there but not sure what.
I'd love to hear your opinions!
Yes. Emphatically, unequivocally, undeniably yes.
On my mother's side of the family, dark magick, spiritism, Masonic high witchcraft and to a lesser (and decreasingly over time) degree First Nation spirituality were a part of their lives until my grandmother married her first husband; however, my grandmother never left her fascination with it (although not actively practicing beyond personal astrology)—she would always be up for a discussion on any topic in this regard. I fondly remember those times spent together as we discussed whatever paranormal, supernatural or occult-themed show that she'd been watching, her always indulging my every question and engaging me as a peer in our conversations, as much as I could be any adult's "peer" at that age.
On my father's side, there's a well-hidden history of the use of deep magick going back to their Anglo-Saxon and Celtic pagan and Druidic roots, but they never openly recognized it as such, their being thoroughly "Christopagan" (for lack of a better term); in many cases, it was just our pagan roots being presented in a Protestant Christian garb. These practices stopped with my paternal great-great-grandfather and grandmother. Several years before she died, my grandmother told me stories that she had heard as a child and young adult that she hadn't shared with others, in part to instruct me on what to avoid in regards to magick, especially the oppression and bondage intendant with dark magick and spiritism. She reminded and retaught me of something that was a passage read many times but I hadn't fully internalized—the scriptural test for spirits, and the response to spirits that fail the test. For all that she taught throughout her entire life as a biblical scholar and teacher, this one thing had served me the most in these past few years.
My "belief" is not just a matter of hearsay or spiritual/religious instruction; rather, it is borne of a lifetime of personal experience. My immediate family, as well as my extended maternal family, has dealt with spiritual entities (including dybbuks/demons, familiars and archons) throughout our lives. We've had paranormal happenings everywhere that we've lived. Various spiritual entities have visited my mother, siblings and me, albeit quite unwelcome. We've been physically attacked, and both poltergeist activity and night visitations are a real issue on my mother's side of the family. (My father, "believing" in the existence of spirits, didn't recognize them as having any real power in the life of a professing believer in Jesus, so they would only influence him but never manifest in his presence.)
On the flip side, I've witnessed and participated in several exorcisms, as well as the destruction of charmed ritual objects including talking (spirit/Quija) boards, which spiritual battles were grueling for all involved; as expected, the negative activity of the spirits, the dybbuks and familiars, ceased. I've learnt to clear and cover myself whenever I've been or will be with certain people or in certain places. Out of hundreds of visitations throughout the decades, I've experienced the presence of only one "good" spirit (an ibbur) in my life—it not only acknowledged but rejoiced that Jesus is come in the flesh, that he is the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form—and I really needed it's comfort and presence at that time. The only solution of which I know that authoritatively, completely, entirely and finally addresses all negative spiritual entities and activity is for a disciple of Jesus who is living a consecrated life to loose and release unhealthy soul ties, to bind and cast away unclean spirits and entities and break generational curses in Jesus' authority; and through prayer and fasting with fellow believers, there is no unclean spirit that can't be bound and cast out, generational curse that can't be broken and wound that can't be cleaned and healed.
Cats are particularly sensitive to spiritual entities, being one of the many reasons that I've always loved cats—some of them are like "spiritual canaries", and my guys are no exception. They're very perceptive, and when I'm tired, hangry or otherwise not on top of my game, they're always the first to know if a spiritual entity or someone remote viewing or astral projecting has come around or is attached to or following me. Ники (Nēkyeh) is a timid lover: he snuggles up real close—back side to my chest, alert on his haunches—shivering and crying whenever he senses anything. Костя (Kōstya) however, the adventurer that he is, will keep a close, watchful eye whenever he senses anything coming near, growling, hissing, spitting menacingly in its direction, and I've been woken several times as he paws gently at my face while reacting at some area of the room until I clear it—he's learnt that so long as I know of it, I can make it go away. Even when they're bedded in the side room because of dietary or health reasons, I occasionally am awakened to their sounds as they react to whatever is going on in that room until I clear that space. As long as I keep up my defenses, they're as happy as can be, but when I let my guard down and don't go through the usual routines to clear and cover the space, they're sure to let me know!
In the first week that I got them, I had hung out with some friends for several hours one evening. When I got home, my boys were different around me. Костя kept inspecting me, doing laps around my feet, jumping on and off of me, making biscuits on my gut while whining and crying, looking at me with an expression that said "something's not right here". Ники wouldn't even come near me. I was able to pick him up after coaxing and gently scruffing him (he was so tiny back then!), but he immediately crawled up higher on my chest, started looking desperately for any place to jump down and wouldn't come near me for days after that. I had to clear and cover myself, them and the space, at which point they both calmed down; however, the casting off of that entity was disturbing and uncomfortable enough that even Костя wouldn't jump on my lap the rest of the evening as he is oft want to do. Now, he runs to me anytime there's something amiss.
On a positive note, I've not had one instance of sleep paralysis since getting these guys. They're not just enriching my life, they're saving me in ways that I wish that they could understand and appreciate. They're the greatest not-human partners and companions for which I could wish, and are better to me than some of my "friends". Jesus has really blessed me in my finding them!
I have many more "ghost stories" that I can share. I have at least one for every theater in which I've performed or worked, some theaters being a veritable "spiritual minefield".
The black box theater at one regional quality theatre company is one of the more active spaces in which I've worked. I've learnt to clear and cover myself and that space *every* time that I'm working there alone, lest Bad Things Happen™. I got so tired of finding lights unplugged, unfocused and/or gels switched and settings on my boards changed—ergo my "anal retentiveness" in my preshow QtoQ and intermission tech checks, just in case—and ladders, equipment and fixtures being knocked over, just minutes after placing them and walking away, all the while being the only person in theater—and yes, I know that the space was clear, because I personally cleared the entire facility from basement to fly wings every single time when the last person left. It's also a great space for capturing EVP—I've had to re-record audio recorded in that space because of EVP too many times to count.
While in college, I was "pushed" off a ladder in the black box theater at over 6 feet in the air when no one else was there (yes, I was sober and the ladder was sound), only to be "caught" as I was falling, gently landing on the ground without a bruise or scratch. And don't even get me started on theatres that are housed in converted church buildings! One thing that I don't know but that I'd be curious to find out is how much this happens to other people in these spaces—as a believer in Jesus, I tend to attract negative spiritual attention when in them.
So yes, I do "believe" in the existence and reality of ghosts/spirits. As to what these spiritual entities are, how they came to be, their moral nature (good and evil) and their role in our existence, that is a topic for another article; however, suffice it to say that in my experience, they are real, active and non-neutral.
I wrote this over the course of several days immediately following my friend's posting of this question last summer; however, it's taken several months for me to confirm some of the information that I've shared, thus the significant delay in its public release.