Monday, December 19, 2016

Repelling & Trapping Spirits

Here's a post I've been working on for a while, guess it's a bit overdue. . .

Previously I've posted about exorcisms, cleansing, and blessings. But that's not the only potential way to deal with spirits.

There's been an increase in attempts to trap spirits on ghost hunting shows, often using a specially made box, such as the Devil's Toybox (a mirror lined box), a Faraday Box (metal), the Inferno Cage Trap (a Faraday Box with cameras and charms), and the Wraith Web Trap (an electrified cube dreamcatcher with a crystal ball in the center).

It harkens back to the Dybbuk Box (a wine box supposedly containing a powerful Demon, one which was even blamed for the holocaust), and Middle Eastern tales of Djinn in bottles and other objects (where the nature of the spirit wasn't always as cheerful as kid's movies might have you believe. . . by the way, Aladdin doesn't take place in the Middle East, it takes place to the east of the Middle East, so, probably in China. But the point of the comment was that often they were so angry from their imprisonment that they punished or killed the person that freed them).

Logically, it's really a questionable pursuit. First off, paranormal investigators aren't even on the same page concerning the existence and composition of spirits. Then there's the fact that it's often 'evil' spirits they're trying to trap, even though there's rarely any collaborating reports of 'evil' paranormal activity in the area. Plus, on occasion, they've claimed to be successful in blowing up trapped ghosts with dynamite, which creates a lot more questions then it answers (assuming you don't subscribe to Scientology, wherein spirits need a physical body to protect them). 

It also directly conflicts with the concept of NOT destroying possessed objects, because the evil is released and free to find a new home.

Another method of dealing with spirits is simply to repel or otherwise block their attacks. Such efforts date back well into ancient times, with ceremonial bowls being buried under houses, and magical talisman being kept in the house. The ancient Egyptians are said to have used honey to repel evil spirits. More recently in the USA, people would put a baby shoe inside or near a wall (since babies are often considered more at risk, I'm not really sure what this is supposed to do to repel evil, maybe it's just to confuse spirits).

Water mixed with herbs, and sprinkled around, or brushed on mirrors is said to be effective as well. Not to mention mirrors themselves, placed in windows, are supposed to ward off spirits.

Salt has long been used to ward off demons and witchcraft. The whole activity of throwing a pinch of salt over you shoulder to ward off bad luck after you've spilled some, is actually a Christian ritual intended to keep the Devil from sneaking up on you because you wasted such a precious resource (mind you, salt is not as hard to get a hold of as it once was).

Garlic may also be used to ward off demons, of which vampires are sometimes considered a 'sub-species'. Garlic salt seems like it should be a particularly useful tool. Other countermeasures often involve the corpse of the suspected vampire itself; such as pulling out all their teeth, tying them up, nailing the coffin shut (which is still done today), staking the corpse, wedging a brick in their mouth, or carving out their heart, burning it and drinking water mixed with the ashes. Delicious.

The dwelling itself can even be designed to repel evil. In China roofs are curved to deflect evil spirits, which are said to fly quickly in straight lines. So if one hits your roof, the arc will throw it back into the air.

And if all else fails, or you just want to be left alone without bothering the spirits, the TAPS book Seeking Spirits claims that green olives will simply dampen your ability to perceive spirits. But you may need to eat a lot of them to get this benefit, like a jar.

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