[All photos courtesy of Syfy unless they are GIFs]
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If there is one thing consistently watching way too much Paranormal Witness has done for my life, it has given me an over falsity of confidence about my ability to deal with ghosts. Having never seen a ghost, I can only assume that my ghost warding powers are off the charts, and I should probably star in my own reality TV show. Since no producers have been returning my calls (seriously, Brian, CALL ME), I’ve decided to lay some ghostly knowledge on you all using the power of the written word. If spiteful spirits are one of your main problems in life, I humbly submit the following advice:
1. Ouija boards are basically ghost catnip.
Maybe ghosts really like spelling, or maybe they specifically like messing around with humans by spelling out improbable names. Whatever the reason, anything that calls itself “Molech” or “Beelzebub” is probably not your friend. Seriously, why aren’t there any ghosts named “Timothy” or “Jessica”? Even a “Derek” would be a nice change of pace.
2. If a grandmother seems scared of a thing, you should ALSO be scared of that thing.
As seen in: Season 2, Episode 4 “The Dybbuk Box”
Here’s the thing: if a grandmother tells you not to open a mysterious box, don’t open that box. Just don’t. Whatever is inside is bound to be horrifying.
Grandmothers are tougher than nails, and they’ve dealt with a hell of a lot more crap in this life than you have. Go open a different box instead. Maybe a box of chocolates? Forrest Gump would approve of that choice. Be like Forrest Gump.
3. Don’t sign contracts in your own blood.
As seen in: Season 5, Episode 4 “The Contract”
This one seems like a no-brainer, and logically, it should be. “Rachael,” you might be saying at this moment, “why are you even telling me this?” I am telling you this because ghosts are sneaky. If a dapper man approaches you and asks you to sign a contract in your own blood, he is almost definitely a ghost. That, or a really sketchy lawyer.
4. Burn all of your dolls.
Just do it. Burn them all. I don’t care if they have sentimental value. I don’t care if they’re oh so cute. I don’t care if they can fly you to the moon and back. The dead soulless eyes of all dolls are just waiting to be possessed by vengeful undead spirits bent on your destruction. Little Suzie can learn to play with a brick or something. She will thank you when she grows up not possessed by a demon.
5. Ghosts can be pretty zen, actually.
Ghosts love balancing things on tables. Tables, glasses, your body, doesn’t matter, they will balance that thing on a table like nobody’s business. They also love arranging things in circles or other shapes and patterns, like terrifying dolls or teddy bears (see Number 4). Channel your ghost’s zen energy (zenergy?) into more positive channels. Maybe get one of those little sand things. If nothing else, it will give you some stress relief, which I assume you need if you’re haunted and all.
6. Ghosts hate blue.
As seen in: Season 5, Episode 1 “Voodoo Preacher”
They just do. They hate the crap out of it. Specifically, they hate “haint blue”, a soft blue green color traditionally painted on ceilings in the South to ward off ghosts. Apply a generous coating of this to your home, preferably in an ominous “Jackson Pollock HGTV Edition” kinda way to send spirits skedaddling. Bonus points if you don’t explain your decorating choices to any future tenants. They’ll figure it out…eventually.
7. Listen to your realtor.
Listen to what your realtor and previous tenants are saying, but also carefully listen to what they’re NOT saying. For example, if your realtor informs you that your house is such a bargain because it was previously owned by one of the most prolific serial killers in the state’s history, that should probably be a deal-breaker for you. Similarly, if the previous tenant has a haunted look about his eyes and refuses to tell you why he’s leaving in such a hurry, you should potentially be concerned. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, people.
8. Invest in a good fire alarm.
As seen in: Season 1, Episode 3 “The Poltergeist”
I’ll just come right out and say it: some ghosts are just jerks. Rather than embracing a more productive afterlife, many are hell bent on your destruction and will literally try to burn your house down around you.
Do not make this easier for them by waving a lit cigarette over your collection of gasoline cans. Get a good smoke alarm and fire extinguisher. Smokey the Bear is a ghost’s worst nightmare. Only you can prevent ghost fires.
9. Your child’s imaginary friends will try to kill you in your sleep.
If your child tells you they have an imaginary friend, immediately assume that imaginary friend will try to kill you. Just right off the bat. Sure it might sound cute to start with, but trust me, it will seem way less cute when an unseen force is trying to drown your little one. Probably encourage your kids to watch more cartoons on TV and spend more time mindlessly playing video games.
10. Ghosts have a LOT of opinions on home renovations.
Ghosts can be harsher home remodeling critics than anyone on HGTV.
Instead of those nice affable Property Brothers, you could get stuck with an angry demon who really thinks blood on your walls is a great trend for spring.
Before attempting any home renovations, pause and ask yourself, “Is this hideous avocado colored shag carpeting REALLY worth risking a ghost infestation?”
No. No, it isn’t.
Paranormal Witness runs on Syfy on Wednesdays at 10/9 Central, and is available to view on Syfy’s website.
Be sure to check out our other coverage on Syfy programming here.