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Cleaning House

In 1972 my family moved into a house on Ashburn Street. Two months later we moved out. It was too haunted for my mother's liking. We rented a house on Craig Street and mom bought the identical house next door when it came up for sale in 1977. Shortest move ever.

Being a traditional family we had ceremonies in both houses over the years so spirits had made themselves known, but there was never a sense of a haunting. Not until we made some renovations in 2011. Apparently renovations stir the spirit pot.

The last straw came one night when my stepdaughter was in our bed alone for a couple of minutes while the Mrs. came downstairs to check on me (I'd been up late writing to a deadline and crashed on the couch). In that short time the bedside lamp turned itself off and the door slammed itself shut. The Mrs. found youngest stepdaughter curled up and shaking under the blanket.

Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Or in our case a Medicine person who smudged our place out. The paranormal activity abated.

A few years later John and Ursula, our neighbours to the north (the home I used to live in) moved out. Renovations were made and a new family moved in. Pot stirred. Soon enough Evelyn asked that awkward question. Were we experiencing paranormal activity? And we had been. The stirring of the pot had spilled over to our house, but in a benign way compared to what she described. Her entire family was seeing black shadows in hallways and coming up the basement stairs. They'd see an old man standing in the corner near the upstairs bathroom who tilted his head when he looked down. They saw a little girl walking around. A foam chair was ripped out of Evelyn?s hands as she took it upstairs after her kids fought over it.

When Evelyn had first visited the house, and John showed her around, he clearly bumped into something on their descent to the basement. "Don?t worry, they mean no harm," he told her. Evelyn was no longer sure.

We had both houses cleansed again and all was well for a couple of years until Evelyn entered a new relationship with a traditional Indigenous man and single father with a teenage daughter sensitive to said phenomena. The spirits awoke, culminating one late night when one grabbed Evelyn?s side while she lay in bed. She was paralyzed for a time, then broke free, called the boyfriend to pick her up and never slept in the house again. 

Cleansing a house, it seems, is not an exact science. Doing it once doesn?t mean you won't have to do it again, and again, and again.

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