Elemental Hauntings and What To Do About Them
You moved into a new house and realize it’s haunted. You’re hearing disembodied voices, see wisps of light and shadows move. You notice inexplicable smells in the air. Maybe you’ve even seen a figure in full-form standing at the foot of your bed. You know it’s haunted, but by what? There are more than just ghost hauntings, there are also elemental hauntings. We will define elemental hauntings and discuss the difference between a “normal” ghost haunting and an elemental haunting in this article.
Signs of a Typical Ghost Haunting Are Different than an Elemental Haunting
Often when we realize our home is haunted, we automatically think “ghost”. A ghost is a disembodied soul that was once in a human body. Most of us know this as the definition. And depending on the ghost and the person it was in life will determine how it acts in the afterlife.
These are typical signs of a ghost haunting (we’ll see that it differs from an elemental haunting considerably):
- Sights – full-form of a person seen in your home/building, odd lights/shadows, etc.
- Sounds – disembodied voices, whispers, giggles, etc.
- Smells – bad smells like sulphur or rotten meat or good smells like food or perfume
- Touch – tingles, goosebumps, drafts, intense heat, ghostly touches, etc.
- Taste – an inexplicable metallic taste in one’s mouth
Research the History & Try a Cleansing
Consider the history of your haunted home, particularly if there was a tragedy such as a suicide, homicide, or accidental death. Even if there was no particular tragedy, also consider whether a previous owner died in the home. These types of events often cause run-of-the-mill ghost hauntings rather than an elemental haunting.
Another way to tell is if you spiritually purify your home and the ghostly activity ends. If it continues following a home cleansing/blessing, it’s probably something other than a ghost haunting your home.
First, What is an Elemental?
So you’ve decided you don’t have a ghost haunting your humble abode. But an elemental is a real possibility. But then you also realize you don’t know what an elemental actually is. It’s simple – an elemental is a nature spirit, typically a guardian spirit that may be angered by humans encroaching on its territory. Sometimes you may attract a household faery, which is considered a type of elemental by some folks. Your typical household fairy like the brownie or kobold is helpful around the house. Unless it is angered. In these cases, brownies are known to turn into boggarts. And kobolds become downright dangerous.
How to Keep an Elemental and Household Fairy Happy
Maybe you’re wondering how to keep these finnicky fellows happy. As far as protective elemental guardians, ASK before cutting down any trees or plants on the property. Provide an offering to the spirit of the tree before doing anything else. If you don’t have to cut down trees, don’t. Also keep in mind what kind of pesticides you’re using in your yard (if any) and how you make changes to your home or property. Any of these things could upset an elemental guardian spirit.
As for a household fairy, keeping these guys happy can sometimes be challenging. They can be pretty finnicky creatures. But a few things to remember: most household fairies don’t like to be thanked out loud and they like regular offerings (I’m talking weekly to daily). They don’t appreciate being made fun of OR anyone trying to catch a glimpse of them while they’re working.
Learn more about HOUSEHOLD FAIRIES in our podcast episode here:
Signs of a Fairy or Elemental Haunting
Stories of fairies date to ancient times and may refer to spirits of the land also known as genius loci, land spirits, wee folk, the sidhe, elementals, etc. They have hundreds of names and are called something different depending on the region or culture. While most elementals have retreated to the wildest places far away from humans, there are those who feel wronged and linger to retaliate. In these cases, you may have a fairy or elemental haunting.
The elemental haunting may manifest all of the classic ghost haunting signs WITH a few extra. Research the land where your haunted home sits. Was it once a sacred pagan or native site? Is it surrounded by woods or was it a piece of land recently disturbed by construction? Is there a river or body of water nearby? When elementals are displaced, often they become angry and seek to punish those responsible.
Elemental hauntings typically manifest in the following ways:
- poltergeist-like activity: items being blatantly moved, slammed, destroyed, loud knocking on walls at night
- personal items going missing or moved to odd places – jewelry, keys, heirlooms, etc.
- aggressive physical touch – being grabbed, pushed, hair pulled, bitten, blankets being pulled off of you in the middle of the night
- balls of glowing light or lightning-fast wisps of light
- milk, beer, and other food items spoiling long before their expiration dates
- hearing far-off music, specifically harps, violins, and whimsical sounding songs OR faint drumming in the distance
- fairy rings just outside your front or back door
Again, we believe elemental hauntings happen because these beings have been displaced or are protecting a sacred place. OR you’ve angered a household fairy. This happens often and people pass elemental hauntings off as ghosts or demons. This is why cleansings don’t work for some hauntings. When you use sage in a smoke-cleansing ritual it will not work to stop elemental activity. Land spirits are of the earth and therefore sage may not bother them.
What to Do For A Ghost or Elemental Haunting
With a typical ghost haunting, try one or more of the following:
- if the ghost is bearable and relatively harmless, live with it and move on with your life
- the ghost is unbearable: a full house cleansing and blessing is a must (this includes a good physical cleaning and de-cluttering as well as a spiritual cleansing with sage, holy water, protective oils and symbols)
- if none of the above works, contact a religious/spiritual official experienced with spiritual activity
If you have an elemental haunting, the above methods may not work to rid your home of this spirit. You’ll have to decide whether you can live with this elemental or not. Essentially, these will be your options:
- leave an offering (traditional offerings include milk, butter, cream, cakes, wine, mead, ale, etc.)
- apologize and ask the elemental for a peaceful working relationship
- hang low-tone windchimes around your house (warding device)
- hang iron horseshoes around your house (iron wards off the wee folk)
- ring a bell or bang pots and pans to scare it away (make sure you open a door or window to allow the spirit to escape)
- wait it out or move
- seek to appease it by setting up a garden, planting trees, or honoring nature in a big way
- salt is also supposedly a way to get rid of certain household fae (but do your research first because some household fae consider salt beneficial and will take it as an offering!)
Learn more about fairies and elementals:
- Fairy Protection: How to Protect Yourself From “Evil” Fairies
- Fairies in America: Fairy Folklore in the U.S. and Canada