Facts About Ghosts
1. It is said sometimes that ghosts can actually feel your fear; they can even breathe it in and grow larger from it. If you are in a fearful situation with a ghost, say a mantra or a Buddha or Bodhisattva’s name that will help you feel at peace and protected. If you feel something close to your face taking your breath away, tell it to back off now!. Remember, you are more powerful than any entity. When they are breathing in your breath or the energy from your fear, it’s just an indication that they are not feeling very powerful and are trying to draw on your power.
2. When there are children ghosts in a house, it works well to ask one of the adult ghosts to persuade the children to leave together.
3. Children and animals can see ghosts easily. Their intellect isn’t getting in the way, telling them it’s not possible. If your dog growls or your cat hisses at nothing, or your children talk to “nothing,” chances are you have a ghost around.
4. Many times there are ghosts so filled with remorse, guilt or shame about something it did during its lifetime that it is completely stuck. It won’t allow itself to go on. Many feel they must stay in this state of “limbo” and be punished. The truth is, they are the ones who condemn themselves to limbo, but they can take the next rebirth whenever they’re ready to.
5. Ghosts will sometimes stick around if they are older and genuinely concerned for people on this side, or younger but using that as an excuse. We can always tell of the concern is genuine or not, but in either case, we re-assure the ghost that there are many people on this side who can help these people out. The ghost needs to learn to let go and trust that people will take care of themselves or find others to help them.
6. Ghosts who had a drug or alcohol problem when they were alive may choose to hang out with people who have a similar addiction and may actually take over their bodies from time to time to still feel that high.
7. Some people think of their ghosts as pets, and what’s sad is that these ghosts often think of themselves as pets. They’re grateful to be loved, no matter how it comes. These ghosts have very little self-esteem, so we are gentle and loving toward them. But it is also important to be firm about the fact that they need to set themselves free, e.g. by chanting “Namo Amitabha” to aspire birth in Amitabha Buddha’s Pure-land. Ghosts are people, not pets.
8. Sometimes if a person doesn’t believe in life after death, he will not move on when he dies, because he won’t understand what is going on. He will simply hang out in a place most familiar to him. The good news is most people do believe in some kind of after-life, so this doesn’t happen that often. When you are dealing with ghosts who don’t believe they are dead, it’s important to be honest and direct and tell them that their physical body is dead. We can tell them to chant the Buddha’s name and head for the golden light of Amitabha.
9. Sometimes it’s better that the owner or resident of a house tell the ghost to leave, first because it is empowering to the resident to know he can make this happen, and also because it is a message loud and clear to the ghost that it is not wanted.
10. The more fuss that’s made about a ghost, the more ghosts you’ll attract. A good example is the Chinese celebration of the 7th lunar month’s Hungry Ghost Festival. In Buddhism, contrary to the popular Chinese cultural superstition, hell’s gates do not open and the hell beings are not the same as the hungry ghost beings as they exist in different realms. Giving offerings in mass to the ghosts and fearing them thus attracts the hungry ghosts, who are already around, in masses, along with wandering ghosts. (Please re-read the header above if you are unsure of the differences between hungry ghosts and ghosts as in wandering spirits.) Many traditional superstitious Chinese do not see the difference between wandering ghosts, hungry ghosts and hell-beings. While the first is not really a realm by itself (limbo), the other two are realms in themselves. The so-called ghosts that we encounter as humans are either wandering ghosts or hungry ghosts- as hell beings do not wander in other realms.
Portals are openings from our world into the spirit world. The most common way to create one of these is to use an Ouija board (“plate fairy” in Chinese) because it’s inviting communication. The problem with opening ourselves up to the spirit world without knowing what we are doing is that we attract all kinds of ghosts to us that may not be so favourable. If you suspect you have a portal in your home, it’s time to have some psychic protection. This is nothing to mess about.
11. Ghosts in general have no concept of time. They can remain in the same room or area for years and years, never giving any thought to how long they’ve been dead or how much life is changing around them. They are literally stuck at a point in time in the consciousness. Honesty is the best way to handle a situation like this. We tell the ghost, “This is the year 2000; it’s important for you to move on to a better place.”
12. Ghosts can be very self-serving. They do what they want, without consideration of what it’s doing to others. Don’t ever let a ghost “have its way with you,” no matter what that means. If you suspect that you’ve been taken over by a ghost, do not under any circumstances put up with it. They need to honour boundaries just like the rest of us.
What to Do if Your Child is Frightened by a Ghost?
If your child complains that a ghost is trying to frighten him or her, don’t be too quick to judge him or her as crazy or imagining things. Listen and ask questions. She may become too frightened to sleep in the room. If something like this happens, try this: Get the child a can of (ozone-friendly!) air-freshener. Show him how to spray at the ghost with the can, while telling it to chant the name of Amitabha Buddha and go to the golden light. Just keep spraying until the ghost goes away. This helps to empower the child with confidence, to feel that he is not powerless. At the same time, the spray does not really harm anyone- not even the ghost. Remember to keep it simple- tell the child ghosts are lost dead people who need their guidance as to where to go and that he is doing a good thing by sending them to the light. Kids don’t need any big heavy explanations- just keep it simple.