Imagine waking in the middle of the night to the sound of footsteps shuffling in your kitchen. The kitchen drawers slowly opening and closing, the faint, hollow sound of a pencil dropping to the tile floor. You sit upright in bed, frozen with fear, because you’re the only one home, because you know instinctively it’s not an intruder, but a ghost.
Twelve years ago my husband and I moved into our first apartment together in an older part of Sausalito called Hurricane Gulch. It was the lower level of a home dating back to 1905. I spent the first night there alone because he was traveling on business.
After a long day of unpacking, I took a hot shower, ordered take-out and was in bed by 9pm. Three hours later I woke to a thin, high-pitched zinging noise that was almost inaudible. It seemed to permeate the air above where I slept.
Those quiet, yet unsettling noises came from the kitchen. As if someone was quietly snooping through our drawers. Then I heard the sound of wine glasses clinking as if a toast was being made. The funny thing was, I hadn’t yet unpacked any of our glasses or dishes.
I sat up in bed and made a psychic pact with this ghost that if he stayed on that side of the bedroom door and I’ll stay on my side. The sounds slowly disappeared and I was able to drift back to sleep.
You see this wasn’t my first rodeo with ghostly encounters. In fact I had an almost identical incident that happened when housesitting for a friend five years before. Kitchen drawers opening, the faint sound of silverware clinking and a strong smell of burnt toast wafted up to the second floor bedroom where I slept.
I’ve had countless encounters with ghosts in homes that I’ve lived in, walking through the streets of San Francisco, New York, Boston, hiking through haunted forests like Olompali State Park or even the Cow Hollow parking garage at Union & Buchanan.
One standout was playing in front of my aunt and uncle’s home in Buck’s County, PA. I was eight and playing with my dolls in their front yard. Suddenly I heard the sound of a horse approaching. It was an Amish man driving his single horse-drawn carriage. He tipped his hat and waved to me as he rode by.
What perplexed me was he rode down the narrow street that led to a dead-end into a small forest meadow. I walked to the edge of the front yard to see where he was going but there was no trace of them, no more sound of the horse, no carriage tracks in the grass of the meadow. When I told my aunt about it, she said that couldn’t be possible because there was nothing but forest at the end of the road, there was no place for a horse-drawn carriage to go.
Over the years of my career, I’ve been asked if I believe ghosts exist to which I’ll answer a resounding “yes”. But what are ghosts and what should we do if we encounter one?
A recent article from LiveScience states, “Albert Einstein suggested a scientific basis for the reality of ghosts, based on the First Law of Thermodynamics: if energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow be manifested as a ghost?”
In his book, Journey of Souls, Michael Newton describes how when a soul is being called to leave the body and move on to the next dimension, it sometimes has difficulty accepting this new reality and will resist moving on. If the soul lingers too long, not wanting to leave the body, then it can become trapped between dimensions.
Some paranormal experts say that ghosts are merely energetic imprints or movies that are stuck on replay until the energy is cleared. I’ve had a range of experiences from seeing shadowy figures moving through the same part of a room, to waking in the middle of the night with an entity actually holding my feet up in the air. So I have to believe that ghosts span from energetic imprints to actual unseen entities that can somehow create their own physicality enough to be felt by us.
What to do if you see a ghost?
So what do we do with this? How do we respond to these encounters. My theory has always been, tune into its energy, see if communication is available or even necessary. In the case of the Amish man driving the horse-drawn carriage, he was simply passing through and I feel this was indicative of an energetic imprint that replayed itself. There’s really nothing to do unless it’s bothersome to you.
For instance, the home we now live in had a shadowy figure moving through our master bedroom at 7pm almost every evening. My husband and I could see it out of the corner of our eyes as we sat in the living room watching TV.
There were no other encounters, just that replay every evening. So I decided to do an intensive space clearing. As I moved through our bedroom to clear the space, I felt an energy move through me and out the window. In this case, it was trapped energy. I acted as an usher, guiding it to the proper exit.
Yet, in the case of the snooping ghost or the entity holding my feet in the air, these were entities who needed communication. Think of it like a friend you need to have a talk with or a rude person who cut in front of you at Starbuck’s. You tune into the energy to see if it’s open to communication and go from there.
I found it easier to communicate with the snooping ghost. Letting it know I understood it needed to know who was inhabiting their home, but I didn’t want to see it. I also asked it to give us peace and not wake us up at night. Again, after a space clearing, the noises quieted down.
In the case of the entity who held my feet in the air, I later learned from our Sausalito landlord that there was a ghost who was a bit of a prankster. He even named the ghost, Sean. Apparently he had way more encounters with Sean than I had.
When I tried communicating with Sean in the quieter early morning, I found his energy to be erratic, unsettled and not terribly interested in communicating. Much like a 12yo boy who finds it hard to sit still.
Nonetheless, I let him know it wasn’t okay to cross my personal boundaries and told him, “hands off”. While we did experience other pranks, I was never bothered by “physical” contact again.
This is a small snapshot of the experiences I’ve had over the years. It makes for good stories around the campfire. And I assume that because I tend to be open at my mind’s eye and crown chakras, that I’m tuned in a bit more than the average person.
But I set boundaries with my guides and ask that my chakras are in harmony enough to experience other dimensions, but plainly, I don’t want to see “dead people” everywhere I turn. Because trust me, that’s a hard pass!
Do you have energy that needs to be cleared in your home? Try booking a space clearing with me!
Have a spooky encounter to share? Do so in the comments below!
Jennifer Brinn is a healer, teacher & empath offering space-clearings, virtual healings & in-person healings at her (non-haunted) office in Sausalito, CA.