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Aleteia

Do real haunted houses exist?

SCARED WOMAN
WitthayaP | Shutterstock
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Or are they all just hoaxes meant to scare people?

Visiting haunted houses is a popular form of entertainment for many people, who do so in hopes of getting scared. While most of these haunted houses are set up by various groups of people and are generally “harmless” in nature, there do exist some that are not operated by any force in this world.

A house can become “haunted,” though it is not usually inhabited by a ghost as we commonly picture it in our minds.

Most of the time when a person thinks their house is haunted, it is possible that a demonic spirit is present. This usually happens when someone invites a demon into their lives through various means, such as playing with a Ouija board.

A common tactic of the devil is to try and influence us through fear. It is his hope that we will become frightened and be drawn away from God. While demons do not have physical bodies, they can influence the material world, even moving objects around the room.

If there is no natural explanation and the feelings stir up fear, or anxiety, St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests that it could be an evil spiritual creature. Loyola writes, “If in the course of the thoughts which he brings it ends in something bad, of a distracting tendency, or less good than what the soul had previously proposed to do, or if it weakens it or disquiets or disturbs the soul, taking away its peace, tranquility and quiet, which it had before, it is a clear sign that it proceeds from the evil spirit, enemy of our profit and eternal salvation.”

If you were to discover that your house may be haunted, the best thing to do would be to contact your local parish priest. He could come over to your house and bless it, driving away any evil spirits that may dwell there.

Most of the time a priest’s blessing will be successful, but other times an exorcist may need to be called in to deal with the spiritual problem.

It’s important to remember that demonic spirits can not force themselves into our lives. Houses become haunted due to a spiritual door that is left open, where they enter and try to influence us in a negative way.

If you have a devout prayer life, go to Mass and confession on a regular basis, then there is nothing to fear. Satan can not touch us when we are closely united to Christ.

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