To recap from yesterday:

My brother’s rental house was the  location of horrific crime. The murdered woman’s spirit still inhabited the home!

Later that day, after I left spook central, mom contacted a friend who had her new house “de-ghosted.”   Although not a religious person, the friend is very spiritual, and felt an unhealthy energy in one of the rooms. She hired a medium, who smudged the house to clear the negative energy.

My brother refused to pay $$$ for a medium to blow smoke around his house.

sageBooknerd and do-it-yourself-er that I am, I figured we could clear the spiritual air ourselves ( a great family activity!)  The next day mom and I set off to a New Age store ( surprisingly, there are quite a few in SLC). We bought The Ultimate Guide to Sage & Smudge.  I read the book cover to cover that night.

Spiritual cleansing by smudging has been done for thousands of years. The Catholic, Greek Orthodox, a few Protestant,and  Buddhist religions , as well as many Indigenous tribes use the ritual of smudge/smoke to cleanse and purify a space or a person.

Depending on the purpose, there are many smudge worthy herbs. Sage, sweet grass, tobacco, juniper, lavender, mugwort, and  rosemary are some examples.

According to the book, several like-minded friends, and a few internet sites,  we decided to smudge the house with sage. So, it was back to the store for sage bundles.

A few hours before sundown, we returned to my brother’s house ready to smudge. My mom, a frequent visitor, claimed she never felt anything strange in the house.

“Is she here?” she asked. “How come my children can sense a ghost, but I can’t?”

Already apprehensive and nervous, I walked around the house, feeling nothing amiss– nothing creepy–until I entered the kitchen. Frigid air engulfed me. I experienced that same pins and needles feeling from the other day.

“She’s right here. Come here and feel for yourself.” I waved mom over, moving out of the ghost space.
Mom took a step into the pocket of Cold Creepy.”Oh my God! I feel it!”
“She watches me while I cook,”  my brother said.
Looks like a giant doobie.

Looks like a giant doobie.

We lit the sage bundle,then blew it out, allowing the sage to smoke.

Newbie smudgers that we were, we went by the book.Picture this:

  • brother is leading the way with a lighted candle.
  • mom is holding a bundle of smoking sage
  • sis (me) wafts the smoke into the general direction with a white towel


(It was like a scene from a bad reality TV show: Ghost Smudgers! )

I was petrified, my imagination on overdrive ( guess that’s why I write fiction).  Visions of ghastly ghouls and chilling apparitions filled my head! The library scene from Ghostbusters  kept running through my mind.

The three of us went to every corner; the whole time I’m speaking to the ghost and wafting the smoke into every nook and cranny.  I let granny ghost know that her killer was in jail for life, and that my brother would take good care of her home. I read her the newspaper article about the murderer’s conviction and we left the computer print out on the dining room table. We brought a Bible and I told her it was time to join her loved ones on the other side.

It took us over an hour to smudge the whole house. Basement and all.

The temperature of the house increased about 10 degrees.

My brother’s house smelled liked burnt sage. We smelled like burnt sage.
Sage smells EXACTLY like marijuana!

I can’t imagine what the neighbors thought! And I was really worried that if we got stopped by the police, the officer would not believe our story. (Well officer, we were cleansing the house of ghosts.)

The final result: My brother had to smudge the house two more times before he felt ghost granny had fully left the premises. We learned later that this is common with spirits. A few weeks later, my brother just happened to meet the murdered woman’s niece! Weird, huh?  He told her about the haunting ( she had no idea) and learned that she had been a wonderful, sweet lady.

A few months later, my brother saw the ghost! An apparition was standing in the kitchen! Was she still lingering in the house? Or was it someone else?

We’ll never know because he moved out a few months later.

The library scene from Ghostbusters!


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