Words by Laurel Armstrong Art by Trevor Wirth
Helen Heaven: Ghost Whisperer
Helen Heaven is a ghost advice columnist who helps readers discern and deal with problems on the spiritual plane.
Dear Helen Heaven,
I think I may be haunted. Lately I’ve been noticing that shingles seem to have gone missing from the roof, and there are marks like something (or someone) is trying to get in. Last week I was sleeping and heard what sounded like rattling and tumbling outside. I rushed to the window, but didn’t see anything. However, my garbage was all over the sidewalk. My family says it’s just a raccoon, but the spilled garbage was in the shape of an “X”, and I think it means something.
—Wondering in Rhode Island
Dear Wise One in Rhode Island,
I’m glad you contacted me. While most of the mundane world would claim a racoon, you are sensitive to the unseen and know something else is going on. You are being haunted by an old prospector. He mistakes your shingled-roof for an old mine, and is trying to mark his claim before other prospector-ghosts seize it. The best thing to do is blow up your house with dynamite so he knows the “mine” is closed. However if that is not an option, put a large poster on your house that says “NOTICE” with a skull and crossbones on it. He’ll assume the mine is too dangerous and move on.
Dear Helen Heaven,
On the third Tuesday of every month, I come home and find the radio on. I never leave it on before leaving the house. Also, I’ll find the kitchen window is open which I always keep closed, and it smells like Pine-sol. It really freaks me out. The woman who cleans my house comes on the same day, but she said she hasn’t seen anything. Do I have a ghost?
—Freaked-out in Michigan
You definitely are right to suspect a restless spirit. Upon reading your letter and focusing my energies on your address, it was revealed to me that you are being haunted by a hipster-ghost who is deeply offended at your choice in music and seeks to awaken you to the awful state of your listening habits. The entering through the window instead of the door is a message: Recognize the unconventional ways you can enter into a new experience. And that Pine-sol aroma? It’s a physical manifestation of the way your sanitized, banal listening habits smell to a spirit with discerning tastes.To calm the spirit, I recommend no music for at least a week. Without anything to judge, the spirit will eventually move on. Some have tried to appease such spirits by playing new music constantly, but that has the effect of attracting more spirits to your location where they will argue over who haunted your house first.
Dear Helen Heaven,
So my husband is really worried about this new house we moved into. And even though I think he’s overreacting—whatever—I thought I’d write you to keep the peace. So anyway, this new house. Last night my husband hears something on the stairs and goes to check it out. He comes back all freaked-out and says there’s an angry spirit in the stairwell that tried to kill him. I think he’s being dramatic, and he shows me scratch-marks on his arm. Okay, he’s bleeding. But maybe it was just the cat. We don’t have one, but it could still be the cat. Then today he tells me he did some research on the house. It’s built over a cultist gravesite, a witch was burned in the backyard and, apparently, the couple we just bought it from murdered seven people in the stairwell. Is this cause for concern, or should I just tell him to calm down? We got a really good deal on this place.
—Exasperated in Massachusetts
Dear Exasperated in Massachusetts,
Your husband is completely over-reacting. It’s likely you have a wild cat infestation, and it’s his fault since cats love drama.