Tag Archives: apartment

Sage to Prevent Spirits from Haunting Property


Informant: “My mom had many experiences with ghosts. During her twenties, she was constantly moving apartments and had strange experiences in each of them. Doors would open and shut. At night figures appeared and then disappeared. She could hear voices when no one was around, stuff like that. So the next time she moved, she burned sage in the apartment. Now I do that whenever I have to move into a new home. You are supposed to burn sage because you don’t know who’s been on the land. People’s spirits stick around. I think people linger when their spirit is lost and they can’t move on because they’re stuck. People get stuck. Sage will scare out the old spirits.”


The Informant is a 48-year-old Black-American woman. She learned this ghost prevention ritual from her mother and passed it on to me. The Informant interprets this ritual as a way to cleanse new spaces of old spirits. 


The Informant and her family are from America, a country that emphasizes individualism, private ownership, and the right to property. This nation’s philosophy stems from John Locke’s individualist ideals in the Second Treatise of Government. In the Treatise, Locke writes that “every man has a property in his own person” and he can take ownership in anything that comes from “the labour of his body, and the work of his hands” (Locke 5:27) In America, the home is where one manages both properties: bodily and physical. The physical property is maintained through household labor (ex: mowing lawn, mopping floors). Homeowners maintain their bodily property through facilities inside the home (ex: stove to cook, bath to bathe). A home is a place where personhood and physical property mingle (ex: homeowners decorate spaces to reflect personal tastes). In short, individuals are strongly tied to property in American culture. Thus when a homeowner dies, it can be difficult for a new person to move in and feel “at home.” Burning sage can be seen as a way to ease the transition between homeowners. The ritual clears out the old spirits to create a clean slate. A blank canvas to welcome new identity, personalization, and labor.

The Haunted Virginia Apartment Unit Pt. 2

Informant: I used to live in an apartment when I first moved to Virginia around 2007. I was around 8 years old. I was playing with my friend and my mom had previously gotten me a baby doll (I had about three of them). It was the ones you would get in Easter baskets. My friend did not like the way they looked, so she shoved the dolls into a drawer and closed it. She had to go, so we all went downstairs. It was just my parents and me (only child). When I came back into my room, the drawer was open, everything was trashed, my tea table was turned upside down. There were three dolls on my bed looking at the bedroom door. Slightly irrelevant, but a few years later, my apartment burned down (only my unit of the apartment) and the only thing that survived was our Bible. It was absolutely pristine and unscathed.

Background/Informant Thoughts: The informant lived in an apartment in Virginia when they were around 8 years old in 2007. There were repeated accounts of haunting going on in there. The informant felt unsafe and like something was out to get her. She felt as if it only wanted her out of the apartment. She remembers this because it was so traumatic to her. Seeing dolls staring at the door with her room torn apart shook her to her core. She was even more concerned after seeing the Bible was the only thing left unscathed after her unit in the apartment burned down.

My Thoughts: As with the first story, I am extremely freaked out by the amount of paranormal activity that has occurred just with this apartment alone. I believe whatever was residing in that apartment truly did not want her in there. If I came back to my room being seemingly ransacked, I would be freaked out and move out as soon as possible! Especially as a child, I would be terrified to sleep in that room.

The Haunted Virginia Apartment Unit Pt. 1

Informant: This story was a bit before my 2007 baby doll story (I was around 7 years old). So I was laying in bed by myself playing with Webkinz. Parents were outside smoking on the porch. I was always by myself when these things would happen. I called my superhero Webkinz “Webkinzanator” (bad name I know I know). My bed is pushed up against the window, no fire escape, and I was alone at 10P.M. at night. I hear at the left side of me a grown man repeating the word “Webkinzanator” in my ear. I got chills and could not move my body at all. Later that night, I woke up and something was floating towards me. I screamed and then it vanished. It looked like a t-shirt was floating towards me.

Background/Informant Thoughts: The informant lived in a Virginia apartment when they were around 7 years old. There were multiple accounts of hauntings going on in there. In this story, the informant was unsure of what to think. At the time, the informant was absolutely terrified. She believed something was after her and didn’t know why.

My Thoughts: When listening to this story, I do not think about much except that is seriously scary. While the informant may not have seen what happened as scary today, back then, she was terrified and I would be too! I still am terrified hearing that spooky tale. I would not be able to sleep in my bed again if I had something like that happen to me.