My house is haunted and I don’t believe in ghosts.
I used to joke about it. I used to blame “the ghost” when things went missing or suddenly broke. I even used to chat to it. I’d pick at chicken in the fridge door and explain why it was okay for me to be eating at midnight.
“Hello ghost,” I would say. “I had a really light lunch so…”
But ever since my mother gave me this new painting… things have gotten weird. Paranormal Activity level weird.
I decided I needed to do something. I needed to get rid of the ghost.
HOW TO GET RID OF A GHOST THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IS REALLY A GHOST.
Step One: Remove All Spooky Objects.
The painting was the first thing to go. I banished it... or I told mum it was freaky as all hell and she took it away. Case closed.
I also threw out the earring my ex-girlfriend left at my house. I literally threw it out my window. My neighbour, standing downstairs, yelped when I did it.
I didn't check to see if it hit him. Case (and window) closed.
Except the hauntings continued....
Step Two: Ask Google What To Do.
Google instantly believed that I had a ghost. I asked her if they were real and she said yes. I asked her if she had proof and she said yes. FACT.
Google sent me to a Wikihow article on how to remove ghosts. I trusted Wikihow. Wikihow taught me how to remove stains in carpet (soda water).
Mamamia once went on a ghost tour. We even caught a live one.
The website said I needed to follow their step-by-step guide.
Unfortunately, the first two steps were things like "call your local university's science department and see if they have any recommendations for putting together an infrasonic microphone."
The third step was to get a psychiatric evaluation.
But if you scroll past all the bullshit initial steps, you get to the good stuff like: "perform an exorcism" and "cleanse the house".
Step Three: Cleanse The House.
Wikihow and some other authentic sources said I should cleanse my home by burning sage. I didn't have sage but I did have rosemary and oregano.
The mystical forces behind www.energy-shifter.com told me rosemary would work. I mean, if you can't trust www.energy-shifter.com, who can you trust?
I placed the herbs in the bowl and tried to light them. I experienced limited success.
And then, as I was lighting the herbs, the lighter broke.
I found another lighter in the back of my "stuff" draw. I soon realised I wasn't able to use it as it would burn my fingers so I lit a paper towel instead.
As the herbs burned in a fireball of budget kitchen paper, I asked the ghost to leave.
Wikihow said I should use a "firm" voice. I used my normal voice. I might have even said please. I blame my upbringing.
When the flames went out, the ghost appeared before me. She apologised, took one final drag of her cigarette and left.
Not really. Nothing happened. I went to sleep and had a nightmare.
Maybe it was the ghost seeking revenge, maybe it was my common sense seeking revenge or maybe it was because I ate a third of a block of cheese at midnight. I'll never know.
On the upside, my room now smells like pizza.
Still feelin' freaky? Here's a ghost story from a palliative care nurse...