Homeownership is one of the great American dreams, an achievement virtually all of us aspire to. There's something about having a little part of planet Earth to call your own that inspires a sense of both security and pride. Getting the keys to your very first home is almost always cause for celebration: you open the door, cross the threshold, and enter your very own castle - whether it be an apartment, a condo, or a single-family home - and prepare to reign happily over a kingdom characterized by peace, coziness, and serenity, a haven and sanctuary from the travails of the world outside.
But what happens if you're one of those unfortunate homeowners who makes the bone-chilling discovery that you, your family, and your pets are not the only ones inhabiting your home sweet home? Perhaps a series of unexplainable occurrences, sounds, or sensations has led you to conclude that the house you worked so hard to obtain is actually (gulp) haunted.
As horrified homeowners have known for centuries, ghosts make their presence known in a variety of ways, including the following:
- Pets seem to see the unseen! Fido and Fifi bark, cower, whimper, or moan for reasons you can't see or sense. There's no intruder in the house, no storm on the horizon, and nothing physically wrong with the pets, but they behave as if there's a presence in the house - a decidedly unwelcome one.
- There are spontaneous light shows. Lights flicker on and off, seemingly of their own accord. No one in the house - at least no one among the living - is playing with the lights, but some entity seems to be having a good time giving you the creeps.
- Hot and cold spots abound. You move from one room to another and pass through an icy-cold or blazing-hot spot or which there is no logical explanation. Only a spirit could alter the temperature in your home in such a strange and noticeable way.
- You hear noises with no discernible origin. Footsteps, creaks, scratching sounds, and knocks occur, but neither you nor any of your housemates are responsible. You can be sure that ghosts are finding weird ways to alert you to their paranormal presence.
- Shadows appear, but you can't see what's casting them. Also known as "shadow people," these dark, mobile images on walls and floors - often shaped remarkably like humans - are cast by spirits who feel frighteningly at home in your home.
Living in a haunted house can be stressful for a variety of reasons. There's the psychological stress that comes with being perpetually spooked, as well as the financial stress that can result when particularly aggressive ghosts wreak havoc around the house: they break things, and send the energy bill sky high with their constant tinkering with the lights! Moreover, it's certainly unsettling to feel as though you are never alone, and always being watched, especially in the one place you hope for a little privacy.
What's the owner of a haunted house to do? Here are a few options:
- Resign yourself to cohabitating with creeps, and turn your home into a tourist attraction, a la the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA, Franklin Castle in Cleveland, OH, McPike Mansion in Alton, IL, or the terrifying Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, MA.
- Call in the experts. Go online to find a paranormal research professional in your area, and have him or her come over to suss out the situation, and provide solutions.
- Cleanse the house. Burn a bundle of sage and allow the smoke to waft into every room and every nook and cranny of your home. Sage has long been used to purify environments and sends the message to evil spirits that they should skedaddle!
- Talk to the ghosts directly. Some spirits may simply be afraid to make the transition over to the other side. Encourage them to go. Tell them that it's even better over there than it is in your house - hard for any proud homeowner to admit, but quite possibly true!
For any other spooky questions about insurance, call or contact Wilson, Timmons & Wallerstein Insurance, Inc. today.