Going away this month? Try to protect yourself from the paranormal with our quirky ghost-repelling advice.
Always book your room in advance
Some rooms are always vacant: These could be where previous guests have reported sightings and experienced paranormal activity. If you book a room at the last minute – and the hotel is fully occupied – chances of being given a haunted one might be much higher. So book early!
Knock before you enter
Some ghosts don’t really want to share a room, and are more than happy to leave once you check in. So let them know that you are entering the space by knocking on the hotel room door to alert them to your presence. This polite gesture will likely inspire the ghost to give you your space and not disturb you during your stay.
Place one shoe sole side up
When you remove your shoes, place one side sole down and one side sole up. This creates a yin-yang effect, which feng shui masters say will help create an auspicious and peaceful environment to keep the spirits away. It also confuses ghosts, who will lose their orientation and thus leave the room.
Cover the mirrors in your bedroom
Before going to sleep, drape the mirrors in your bedroom with a sheet, cloth or shawl. Some say that spirits live within mirrors, so by covering them you “seal” this entrance to the other world. The ghosts and ghouls who live on the other side of the mirror won’t be able to come through.
Put your things on both beds
If you’re travelling alone, but have been given a room with two beds, put your suitcase, toiletries or books on the bed you’re not sleeping on. This is to make sure that it doesn’t look inviting to invisible “guests” who might think they can spend the night in that bed. But don’t put hats – some say evil spirits dwell inside them.
Don't take a room near exits
Some say that rooms near fire escapes, stairwells and emergency exits usually attract more spirits because the empty spaces are ideal dwelling zones. Because spirits travel through walls, it will be the first stop for a travelling soul.
Hang a horseshoe or mirror above your door
According to 16th century European folklore, horseshoes can ward off witches, ghouls and goblins. But if you don’t have a horseshoe, you can also hang a feng shui mirror, as ghosts who attempt to enter will see their own scary reflection – and run away in fright!
Use spirit-repelling minerals
Precious stones like chalcedony, and obsidian and metals like silver, are purported to have protective properties that help ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Wearing jewellery made from these stones and minerals will allegedly help keep you safe.
Leave your bathroom lights turned on at night
Damp and dark places are favourite hangouts of the undead, so your bathroom is going to be a top spot for a ghost party. Everyone knows that ghosts hate bright lights, so if you leave the lights on in the bathroom, the spirits will probably find your room inhospitable and leave.
Be careful when shopping for antiques
Antiques are by nature old things that once belonged to someone else. And if you’re buying something really old, its previous owner is probably dead. Antiques are popular vessels for spirits and djinns. Remember Aladdin’s magic lamp? If you buy one, get it blessed by a priest, shaman or spiritual leader first, or else keep it locked up with a crucifix or talisman until you get it inspected and blessed.
Don’t pick up strange objects from the ground
If you see any unusual item on the ground – be it an item of clothing, a clay figurine or a ring – don’t pick it up. Magicians and sorcerers have been known to curse items by putting an evil spirit in them, then leaving them out on the streets so the spirits follow the unsuspecting “victim” who brings them home. Archeological sites in particular are places where cursed objects are often found. Of course, if you see something that looks really valuable, you don’t have to ignore it! You can always take it immediately to be appraised – just don't be alone with the found object overnight.
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