While this story is my own, I have changed the names of those involved to protect their privacy.
Growing up with Wiccan high priestess, Lady Rhea, for a mother made for an interesting time. Aside from glittering Enchanted Candles, crafting perfumes, and giving clients psychic advice, my mother occasionally performed banishing rituals to remove negative energies from close friends’ houses. This was much different from the spiritual cleansings that she did to purify a space. These spells involved deeper, older magick. For those of you who don’t know, Wiccans and Pagans often spell magick with a “k” to differentiate from the stage “magic” that magicians use as entertainment.
When I was a teenager, a close family friend of ours, started experiencing a lot of problems. Anne had a big house with several people living there. Over a few months, her family experienced a slew of bad luck with illnesses, financial setbacks, and a rise in heated arguments. While various circumstances could lead to this happening, Anne felt that something in the house was “off,” so she asked for my mother to give her a reading to see what was going on.
Mom shuffled her cards and turned them over. Taking a final drag of her cigarette, she shook her head. “Oh, no…This is not good.”
“What is it?” asked Anne.
Mom turned over more cards. “What I’m going to say might sound ridiculous, but I need you to listen to me.” Anne nodded. My mom paused before continuing, “The cards indicate that there is something inside of the house that is causing the problem. It’s a negative entity of some sort.”
Anne’s adult son, Peter, who was also seated at the table turned his head at this news. He said that he had recently woke up and saw an apparition of a bat-like creature with a human face hovering over his bed. He hadn’t mentioned it before because he thought it was just a nightmare. Mom looked back at the card reading. She turned to Anne’s son.
“Can I see your room?”
He nodded. Even I tagged along upstairs. After hearing Peter’s story, I didn’t want to be left alone. Mom entered the room. After a minute or two, she nodded. “Yes. Whatever it is, it’s upstairs and it generally stays in this room.”
We went back downstairs.
“What can we do?” asked Anne as she made more coffee.
“You can light some white candles and incense to help cleanse the space, but ultimately, I’ll have to do a banishing spell for you,” said my mother.
I almost choked on my soda. Mom always prescribed candles, prayers, incense, that sort of thing. She only spoke about conducting rituals for serious problems.
“Great,” said Peter. “I’m staying downstairs on the couch until this thing is gone.”
After Peter went to hang out with some friends, Mom asked Anne about the history of the house. A large, three-story, white, Victorian house, it was the kind that you see iced with snow on picturesque Christmas cards. The house had been remodeled in the years following an older relative’s death. Mom asked if there were any strange events that had happened in the house. Anne said that there was one.
The last owner of the house had met a tragic end. Two hours before his daughter’s wedding, he had excused himself saying that he would be right back. While everyone was in the house getting ready, he left the car engine running and sealed himself inside the vehicle with the windows shut. Without any warning to his friends or family, he had committed suicide on the day that his daughter was to be married.
“Why’d you even buy the house?” I asked, after Anne was done telling the story. I was about fifteen then.
“TARA!” Mom glared at me.
Anne laughed. “It’s okay, Rhea,” she said. “We didn’t find out until years after we bought the house. Some neighbors told us.”
Later on, I shivered as we got into the car. Even though I had been over Anne’s house hundreds of times, I was afraid that the ghost of the dead man was going to jump out at us in the driveway.
“Could Anne’s neighbors have made up that story?” I asked.
“Perhaps,” said Mom, “But I don’t think so. That negative spirit has caused trouble before.”
“What are we going to do?”
“It’s okay,” said Mom. “We’re going to get rid of it.”
The first thing Mom did was call our coven members. She told them that she needed their help doing a special favor for a dear friend of hers. They all knew about Anne and were happy to help. I had already been initiated and since we needed as many people as possible, Mom decided to bring me along.
A few days later, our coven met at Anne’s house. We went upstairs to the second floor where all of the bedrooms were located. My mother turned off the lights and then lit some candles. She and her partner cast circle to help protect us during the ritual. Then we all started running clockwise to create a cone of power while chanting a Wiccan banishing spell that is sacred to my mother’s coven. As we did this, we were running past the bedroom doors which were all standing wide open.
At one point as I was running past Peter’s room, I saw a pale face glaring back at us from the dark. The apparition was about three or four feet off of the floor. The face glowed white and had three dark spaces where the eyes and mouth should be. I didn’t dare break the chain and by the time that I had come around again, the thing was gone. After the ritual was done, I mentioned the incident to my mother. One of my older friends who was also in the coven turned to me.
“You saw it too?”
In addition to the banishing spell, we also said prayers that night to help the previous owner’s spirit move on to the light. After the ritual, everyone was much more at peace in the house and Anne’s family life returned to normal.
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