Your ghostly guest may not take up much space, but your house isn't big enough for the both of you. Age-old traditions can help that spirit move out and move on.
Step 1: Talk to it Be confident, firm, and polite, and talk to your ghost. If you can live with it, detail what you'd like it to stop doing. If not, use the same respectful tone of voice to tell it to leave.
TIP: Ask the spirit if it wants something. Ghosts may need to pass on information before they can leave.
Step 2: Smudge your home Smudging is a way of purifying your home with smoke from a bundle of burning dried herbs -- usually sage. Fan the smoke so that it touches every surface, including the exterior and any pipes or wires that might feed into or out of your house.
: When burning herbs, don't bring them too close to flammable surfaces. Hold them over a metal tray, be wary of sparks or embers, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Step 3: Clean After smudging, air out your house and give it a thorough cleaning. Pick a sunny day and open all the windows. Wash the walls, clean the drapes, and scour, scrub, and vacuum every nook and cranny.
Step 4: Sweep With a steady rhythm, sweep the entire house with a broom made from natural fibers. Start with the outer areas and work inward, and sweep the entire pile out the front door. Take the broom outside, soak it in water, and allow it to dry before bringing it back into the house -- or just burn it.
Step 5: Light candles Light a white candle in each room, and state out loud that the flame will protect and purify your home. Then tell the ghost again that it must leave. Do this in every room.
Step 6: Try hematite If you've really got to break out the big guns, try hematite, a rock known for its ability to dispel negative energy and ward off spirits.
Step 7: Take a religious tack If you're a religious person, try using holy water to bless your home. Stand at each window or doorway, dip your fingers in the holy water, and let it flick off your hand as you make the sign of the cross. In more severe cases, ask a priest or minister for help.
Step 8: Try not to freak out No matter what, paranormal experts advise that you try not to freak out -- that only feeds the ghost. Keep your cool, carry out your game plan, and that sucker's as good as gone.
FACT: Al Capone claimed to be haunted by James Clark, a victim of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1929.