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Suburban Spirits: Types of Spirits You’ll Encounter in the ‘Burbs

Recently I was thinking how witches are naturally drawn to the country. Its wild woods, meadows, farms, creeks, and mountains. And I thought about the spirits that reside there. The elementals, fae folk, genius loci, and wild gods. Then I thought about the fact that I live in the ‘burbs and that there has been no shortage of spirits here. Yet, we don’t see a lot of talk about spirit work in the city or the suburbs. But I would venture to say, there might be even more spirits in a suburban environment. So, in this post, we will learn about the different types of Suburban spirits and how to work with them as witches. And you might walk away from this article feeling like you are in the right place.

I would like to preface this article with this disclaimer: this was written based on UPG, which means Unverified Personal Gnosis. The suburban spirit spectrum is one that I’ve experienced and am now putting into tradition for others to learn and use how they like. Sure, some of it is based on years of research in the realm of spirit work, but it is mostly a system I’ve created of my own accord based on 38 years of communing with the Otherworld.

What are the Suburbs? What is the energy like?

Before we dive into the bustling world of suburban spirits, we need to define the Suburbs. And this is so we can all understand the underlying energy there. According to the dictionary, a Suburb is “an outlying district of a city, especially a residential one.” So, basically, if you live in the suburbs you are merely lying on the outskirts of a large city. Sub-urb literally means near-city. Which means the suburbs aren’t quite a part of the city, but they aren’t quite the country either. Which means…drumroll please…it is a LIMINAL place. A place that’s neither here nor there. Which also means that witches might indeed feel at home in a liminal place such as this.

The energy in the suburbs can feel one of two ways, in my experience: bustling and busy or chill and laid back. It depends on a. the suburbs you reside in, and b. the time of day and year. And truly, the time of the month as in the lunar cycle. For example, today is the Full Moon and my suburban area was feeling extremely chaotic this morning. The roads were crowded, service trucks going to and fro, and people just seemed out of sorts. When you’re smooshed into a smaller space with other people, it makes sense that the energy shifts would be felt stronger than say a small town out in the countryside. And it makes me wonder how much of these shifts are felt and even influenced by the suburban spirits.

I think the suburbs get a bad rap. Folks hear the word and think of a particular stereotype…Stepford wives comes to mind. And, while there’s plenty of fake housewives and soccer moms running amok in the ‘burbs, there are also the other kind of folks. The witches, conjurors, and rebels hiding in plain sight. And guess what? Where there are people, and where there are witches, there are always spirits. We would do well not to forget that.

Now, onto the good stuff. The spirits residing in the suburbs are probably more varied than what you’d find out in the country. Here’s why. There will be spirits of the land like the genius loci and elementals present, in addition to all of the many spirits that are attached to human beings. Which we are going to break down below.

Suburban Spirits: Genius Loci and Elementals

Let’s talk about the natural, most ancient spirits residing in the suburbs. The elementals and genius loci. Yes, these spirits do indeed exist in suburban and urban settings, not just far out in the wild. At least, in my experience they do. And according to Ancient Roman and Egyptian tradition.

The land the suburbs has been built upon was once wild land. That wild land was guarded by ancient primal spirits. Spirits that guarded that land and helped it and its wildlife thrive. Then human beings came around and began to build on it. Sadly, they knocked down trees, poisoned the water and ground, and ran off the wildlife. They used the land’s resources in a parasitic fashion. And still do. But here’s the deal. That doesn’t mean the human presence was strong enough to run off an ancient spirit like an elemental. Or the genius loci (spirits of place). So the elementals and genius loci remain. Might they be angry? Or their energy diminished in some way? Absolutely. But they are still around.

Where to find the Suburban Genius Loci and Elementals

In the suburbs, you might feel and communicate with the genius loci in places like nature preserves and parks, cemeteries and graveyards, rivers and shorelines, gardens, animal rescues, and even in your own backyard. I believe they are also present in and around buildings and homes of all kinds, it’s just that their energy is diminished there, to a degree. In Ancient Rome, the genius loci were spirits that guarded places. This meant both wild and urban. So, while we expect to naturally feel the genius loci in natural places, there might also be genius loci that thrive on the inherent energy of a suburban or urban area. Or has arisen as a guardian spirit of that place itself, not just the land it sits on.

The same goes for elementals in the suburbs. Obviously anywhere you can connect with the elements easily, there you will also feel the elemental presence.

  • Air – Sylphs – can be felt and communicated with in an open space like a large parking lot, abandoned lot, nature preserve, or on top of a building
  • Earth – Gnomes – can be felt and worked with in nature preserves with large trees and untamed bushes, suburban and personal gardens with trees, anywhere there are trees for the gnomes to live/hide
  • Water – Undines – connect with undines in a Suburban area anywhere there is a large body of water. An ocean shoreline, if the suburb lies along the coast. Even a river or other waterway that runs through the area. From time to time, they might even be felt in large ornamental water fountains and koi ponds
  • Fire – Salamanders – their fiery presence can be felt anywhere there’s been a wildfire and in places that generate a lot of heat like electric plants, businesses with large furnaces, residential fireplaces, and firepits

Another place where elementals can be experienced and communed with is within the magic circle. When witches and ceremonial magicians call on the elementals, or the guardians of the watchtowers, they are invoking the elemental spirits to their circles. A magic circle can be raised anywhere, even in the ‘burbs.

Parks and nature preserves in the 'burbs are where you can feel the genius loci and elementas presence.

Spirits of the Dead in the ‘Burbs

It’s obvious that where there are cemeteries and graveyards, there are spirits. Obviously, these places exist not only in the country but also in the city and suburbs. Therefore, any time you visit or come near a graveyard, you are near spirits of the dead. But that doesn’t mean the dead are confined to the places in which their physical bodies were buried. Think about the people whose bodies weren’t given a proper burial. Or people who might have been cremated. Should their ghost remain on this plane, they could be anywhere.

The land of the dead is truly everywhere and anywhere. I recently discovered that our closest city has quite a few large, famous buildings that were literally built on top of 4 different cemeteries. We hear of certain cities like Savannah, Georgia being built on top of the dead, but we tend to forget that most cities and suburbs have had cemeteries and graveyards long before many of the commercial buildings were constructed. And do we really think the companies purchasing the land would take the time to exhume and properly transport the bodies elsewhere? And sometimes the burials have been there so long, that time has literally forgotten them. As in indigenous burial grounds, sadly, and others.

In addition to graveyards, cemeteries, and burial sites, we have spirits in the suburbs that haunt their place of residence in life. Sometimes they haunt the place where they died, if the death was tragic or sudden. And I truly believe that many of us, witches and magical folks in particular, attract these spirits. Some of them even attach to us and hope to either help us or have us help them in some regard. So even if you don’t have a ghost attached to you or your home, you might visit the home or business where the dead persists. And you encounter people every day who have the dead attached to them. The dead are everywhere, folks. We are swimming in spirits in the suburbs!

Guardian Angels, Ancestors, Guides, and the Witch’s Spirits

Where there are humans, there are spirits. Loads of them. Every single human being has a guardian angel, at least one, as well as a whole team of spiritual guides and guardians looking after them. These spirits may be present near the individual they care for at any given time. So you might encounter and experience other individuals’ guardian angels, spirit guides, animal guides and their ancestors, at any given time.

If you encounter a witch or magical practitioner, it is my belief and experience that these folks have even more spirits around them. A whole legion, if you will, of spirits that guide and protect them, as well as spirits that are attracted to them for assistance in some way. A few spirits attached to the witch might include: ancestors (the beloved dead and the mighty dead), guardian angels, animal spirit guides, fae folk, ghosts, ascended masters, djinn, familiars, egregores, servitors, and the list goes on.

Household Spirits and Fae Folk in the Suburbs

Check this out. You though we’d covered all of the many spirits living and visiting the suburbs. Well, you’d be wrong. There are more. We haven’t discussed the household spirits and fae folk yet. These spirits might be residing within your own house. Conversely, you might encounter the household spirits and household fae in another person’s home or place of business.

The household spirit, or more specifically the spirit of the home, is one that I believe takes form and lives when a person feeds it and cares for it. I do believe that every home and building has consciousness to a certain extent, but the home’s spirit gets stronger when given a name, talked to, and provided with offerings and care. Many kitchen witches and hearth witches engage in this practice. In addition, there are some who believe that any building or home over a century old automatically gets a soul. I’ll tell you this, I love my home but the spirit of my home is high maintenance. I’m learning more and more about what she wants and requires. They take on certain personality traits to pay attention to.

Also inside of the home and place of business could dwell one or more of the fae folk. Household fairies like brownies, kobolds, bwbachs, and the bean-tighe tend to follow families OR live in the oldest of manor homes and estates. Then there are fae folk who protect and guard places of business. For instance, the moniciello is an Italian spirit who watches over the wine cellar. You may find this “little monk” guarding the wine cellar of an older and esteemed restaurant in town. Garden flower faeries might be found flitting from bloom to bloom in local gardens and even in your own backyard!

Types of Suburban Spirits: Ghosts, Fae Folk, Shadow People, and More

The “Others”: Shadow People, Evil Spirits, and the Unidentified

We don’t like to think about it, but there are spirits out there that don’t have our best interest at heart. In fact, there are spirits out there that are entirely destructive because that’s what they do. In the suburbs, unfortunately, we might convince ourselves we are in a totally sheltered, shielded, happy place, but the spirits don’t shy away from green grass and picket fences.

Some of the “other” spirits we encounter in the suburbs include shadow people, the Hat man (also a shadow person, IMO), shadow spiders and other entities that manifest in shadow form. But again, these types of spirits are everywhere and know no boundaries. Evil spirits, or what some call “demons” and what I call lower-level beings, are also present in the ‘burbs. Some of these spirits are attracted to tragedy, trauma, fear, illness, and other human emotions and actions that veer towards the “darker” side of life. And still there are some spirits that are brought to the physical plane by way of astral travelers. Or through portals like mirrors, etc.

In a past episode of Otherworldly Oracle Official Podcast, I (Kitty) discuss in detail the Djinn and Ifrit with HP Jasmyne Ambrosia. Jasmyne educated us on the fact that some djinn are present in “dirty” places. Cemeteries are one of these, but also public bathrooms, sewers, and even dumps. There are spirits in every place, even the places you could never imagine.

Lastly, there are even beings that exist in the realm of the ‘burbs that we don’t even know how to label. I call these the “unidentifieds”. They’re those guys that you can’t quite put a place or a name on…sometimes they seem like one type of spirit, sometimes they’re something else entirely. Whatever they are…they are creepy.

Want to learn more?

In our next article, we will go deep into how to identify and communicate with the spirits present in the suburbs. And which ones NOT to communicate with. And for those witches who engage in spirit work, how to work with these beings on a magical level.

3 Comments

  1. Serena

    February 20, 2024 at 1:05 am

    Ok! But I wanted to learn more about how to identify and communicate with the spirits present in the suburbs and which ones not.
    So, i’m still waiting for the next article, this was just amazing.

    1. kitty fields

      February 21, 2024 at 6:30 am

      It’s in the process. Thank you for commenting. 🙂

  2. Cindy Kurneck

    February 1, 2024 at 8:30 am

    In my experience, too, this article is spot on!

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