Spirit Possession? No, can’t be
a Clinical Hypnotherapist dives in to find the truth
Recently I’ve been making inquiries into new realms of therapy and would like to share some of my findings. I’ve done my best to avoid the subject, but time and again I’m approached professionally to help someone clear what may be described as an ‘attachment’.
It’s often the case that when one begins to ask new questions of themselves, to mature in some way, that they quickly realize the boundaries of their own worldview. Perhaps, inherent in the heart of life there’s a boundless energy that is ever-seeking growth and expansion. And this very spirit may, in times of inquiry, propel us into realms of research that may have previously felt too metaphysical or improbable — incompatible with our worldview — and yet we persist. This has been the nature of my recent adventure.
As open-minded to metaphysics as I’ve been since the psychedelic experiences of my late teens, I’ve always found the realm of spirits — of the dead — uncomfortable, to say the least. I was much more comfortable exploring the no-less strange realms of ETs or Cryptids, all the while feeling perhaps that spirits were a bit too close to home. I’ve always believed in the presence of something unseen, perhaps harmless, lingering about us, sometimes even influencing our lives. Regardless of this ever-present faith in the reality of a spiritual realm, when it came to possession, attachment, the demonic, and the therapeutic removal of such maladies, I kept a blind eye.
I remember studying the Huna principles of ancient Polynesia and Hawaii years ago. Their map of the various minds or levels of human consciousness is simple and revelatory — definitely something to check out. But, what I truly found interesting was my encounter with a pastor of the Huna, residing on the east coast, that used the powerful energetic forces harnessed through the application of these principles to expel what he called ‘critters’, or energetic parasites invisible to the human eye. He shared that these things seem to attach to the electromagnetic field produced by the human body, also called the aura or Morphogenic Field, et al. Wild, right?
Aura was a term I was very familiar with after my years of energy work and massage, but something stirred in me when he described these things lucidly and with great confidence. He spoke of his banishing process which sounded a lot like the faith healings that Evangelicals and others perform but with a more esoteric leaning thanks to the Huna.
As an aside, some believe that the Huna was actually brought to the South Pacific from none other than Egypt (from the west through India and mainland Asia). Therefore, we can assume that all esoteric functions of the Egyptian motif were present here, including the possibility that humans are susceptible to attachments of these kinds. In the Huna, these critters are said to feed off of the Mana, or lifeforce, of humans. This all intrigued me to no end… and I’m sure you can guess one of my next questions…
But, what are they? There are many thoughts on this, and for as many perspectives, there’s usually an accompanying mythos or folklore which often reflects the geographic origin of the perspective. Simply put, every culture seems to have speculation about these entities. Djinn in the Middle East, demons in Catholicism, Incubi, Succubi, the list goes on and on. Some even think they’re interdimensional reptilian humanoids who attach to their victims, drawing loosh (lifeforce) from them covertly. Needless to say, this was a rabbit hole.
Over the years, I’ve learned to discern between modes of therapy that seem to have a utility that would provide healing for myself as well as others. I knew intuitively (and through the testimony of the Huna priest) that this approach was helping people, but as an early hypnotherapist, I didn’t even want to touch it. My rationale was that I would leave it to the professionals and pray that it didn’t find its way to my office. One month later, Tyler found me.
Tyler was a nice man in his early 40s. Mild-mannered, very new to hypnosis and was, quite frankly, rather skeptical of it all. You may ask how he ended up in my office, to which I would say: it happens all the time. Often, those who have a problem they don’t understand find themselves seeking modes of healing they also don’t understand. And here he was.
Luckily he was open to the process and we began. As soon as I helped him into a trance state, the energy in the room shifted. Everything seemed to get darker as though a thick cloud had suddenly covered the sun. Strangely, there was no sun, the blinds were closed and the lights were dimmed. It was my impression of the room that had changed. Why? Because something else was there.
Tyler, half unconscious, complained of a migraine. When I asked him to tune into its cause, he reported a “heavy gargoyle” sitting on his head. I paused, flabbergasted. It was then that I began to see something else. It’s hard to explain, but I saw what looked to be a black rat-shaped ‘animal’ that shot across the floor beneath me, from under one table to the next. It was a bit blurry around the edges, almost etheric, but dark and very fast.
The ‘rat’ was so vivid that I actually arose from my seat to bend down and look under the tables. Nothing there. Ten minutes passed and I saw another. I was worried now. This one ran along the border of the room in seconds. It inlined the wall, hit a corner at blazing speed, and continued along the adjacent wall, disappearing into a closed closet.
At this point, having hit a brick wall in helping Tyler remove his attachment, I assisted him in calling in some white light to amplify his vibe in hopes of repelling this thing. This succeeded in relieving his migraine, but he reported that it seemed to be here to stay, firmly gripping his head. Interestingly, when he returned to full consciousness he couldn’t believe that he’d reported a gargoyle. It was never something he’d think, let alone say, and yet here he was reporting it. I didn’t mention the ‘critters’ I saw, as I felt he already had enough high strangeness to sift through.
After I gently assured him that his needs exceeded my offerings, he thanked me for my time and for relieving the headache and left. In his absence, I sat for some time trying to make sense of what I’d seen. I was shaken and confused. At times soon after this, I thought I saw these same creatures in my periphery, but whenever I turned to look there was nothing there. This incident changed me because up until then I could rationalize my way out of dealing with spirits because I’d never seen any. I could honestly say this no longer. It was time to look deeper.
Years passed, and in this time I’d been asked to help one or two people with these attachments but still felt as though it was outside my purview. In May of 2022, I sat in a ceremony with some dear friends. During the meditation, into the early hours of the morning, a pack of coyotes began snarling, howling, and barking near the property. At that same time, my partner disappeared outside. She was gone for some time, and at that moment, a dark entity was reported as having taken form behind me, totally unbeknownst to me. In the morning, a trusted friend let us in on this sighting. It was at this point that something shifted in me. I needed to finally face this phenomenon head-on.
An interesting synchronicity occurred with regard to this search for truth. I visited Nashville earlier in the year to meet with my writing partner and to work on our book. Our visit brought us into contact with a fellow seeker who, in conversation, recommended a book called The Unquiet Dead, written over thirty years ago by a psychiatrist, Dr. Edith Fiori, seeking answers to the phenomenon of spiritual possession by earthbound spirits. The living possessed by the dead.
He mentioned it in passing, wondering if I’d read it, which was strange because our conversation had nothing to do with spirits. I brushed it off until a few months later when a podcast mentioned the same doctor. Not remembering who she was, I looked her up, and there it was — the book he’d mentioned boldly emblazoned on the screen. The Unquiet Dead. I took it as a sign and ordered it immediately.
This, coupled with the genuine possibility that I myself may be dealing with an attachment, catapulted me into a cocoon of research. I read Dr. Fiori’s book cover to cover in a matter of days and put her’s and a few other practitioners’ suggestions into action by working directly with my hypnosis clients. Thankfully, many of them presented strange symptomology that seemed impervious to normal therapeutic approaches, and amazingly, they were open to trying a new angle! Now, even though Tyler’s experience, as well as mine, may fall into the realm of non-human, I thought I’d introduce myself to the subject in the tamest way possible.
Now, I’d like to detail some of the theory regarding the attachment of deceased humans to the living.
Practitioners in this realm have been able to derive corroborating reports from clients experiencing these attachments that tell a revealing story about what may be happening. Apparently, when someone passes on, they enter into an adjacent vibrational realm that intersects with ours. This is what has been called the lower astral, or spirit realm. Here, there exists a wide array of ‘life’, much of which is invisible or completely unknown to us, almost like the deep recesses of the ocean.
Unfortunately, however, it seems that this life can affect denizens of our realm in detrimental ways, possibly causing troubling thoughts, feelings, and visions. This may explain any and all of the activity we label as ‘paranormal’ in our modern parlance. I know, spooky, right?
But, why is it spooky? I believe it’s because of the unknowable nature of this realm and its inhabitants. Like anything else, it’s a fear of the unknown, of chaos itself — that which we can’t control but that affects us directly. If the dead truly reside here, they are essentially trapped between worlds. The world of the living (here) and the world beyond ‘the Light’. Ah, yes, the Light. This metaphysical symbol seems to be of great use in this depossession work, but I’ll come back to it in a moment. First, let’s discuss death.
This model of the treatment of those suffering from possession symptoms was primarily designed by Dr. Carl Wickland in the early 20th century. However, his work was only made possible by the brave spiritualists who came before him. Kardec, Swedenborg, Mesmer, Blavatsky, and Steiner are but a few of the historic names of note. Dr. Wickland brought this model of the interaction between the living and the dead into therapeutic use by communicating with his troubled clients in trance sessions.
He found that, under hypnosis, his clients were able to channel these personalities (these spirits, if you will) that seem to have infested their psyches. He was able to derive names, dates, instances of the spirits’ deaths, and even the reasons for which they attached to his living patients. These were remarkable findings because the info often matched real-world people, events, and dates of which the patients were previously unaware!
He learned that when someone dies, their personality transcends the death event. Their body dies, but their spirit (personality, perhaps ego?) seems to live on. It seems that in every death there is some variable of an amount of confusion carried by the spirit; many not realizing that they have died at all. This confusion is extremely pervasive when sudden death occurs. After death, the wandering spirit is presented for the first time with the great Light.
The appearance of the Light inevitably triggers the appearance of deceased family and friends who come to meet the spirit, to welcome them into the Light in order to begin their next phase. Often, due to confusion — and sometimes an insecurity or unworthiness in the spirit to experience salvation — they will forego the Light and move about the spirit realm in search of someone familiar, often a living friend or relative. This is where attachment occurs.
There are many reasons attachment may occur, but every instance presents similar effects. The living will experience thoughts and feelings dissimilar from their own, plagued by strange yearnings or cravings, feelings of fear or anxiety where none were previously found, and a general malaise that seems to be a result of the energetic interaction between the living and the dead. A draining of energy seems to occur.
It’s important to mention that the feelings and thoughts of the dying person become imprinted upon the spirit in a sort of ‘loop’ which leaves them tirelessly in search of exactly what they needed or felt at the time of death. So, the living host of such an attachment, experiencing a blending of thoughts and feelings with the dead, will be plagued by these same urges, feelings, and thoughts.
Consider a dead alcoholic whose spirit is magnetized back to the bar in a posthumous frenzy. There, they may find the living alcoholic to whom they can attach in order to continue their binging (remember that they’re confused and often unaware that they’ve even died). The problem is, that the spirit is often driven to even deeper depths of madness when the drinking of the host may not ever fully scratch their itch.
The spirit will badger the drunk to drink more and more, only exacerbating the problem for both parties. Imagine now, the desperation we see in addicts and alcoholics, many of whom complain of the voices in their heads urging them to drink or use more. This theory puts a whole new spin on the phenomenon of addiction. This may seem bad, but the real problem is the confusion that the spirit carries.
The confusion we see these spirits experiencing is what seems to be the main cause of attachment. If there was a lucidity in these spirits, they may all decide to go to the Light and move on, however, we see quite the opposite occurring. It is as though they magnetize to the living and immediately believe that the living body is theirs. There seems to be an identification with the host, making it nearly impossible for them (or the host) to realize that the harmful attachment exists.
Luckily, one body supporting two (or more) spirits (those of the living and the dead) will eventually show signs of the unbearable burden by producing symptoms, alerting the living to a possible problem. But how many years may it take for the living to (a) get help, and (b) open their mind enough to get the right help? This is exactly why I write these words. To spread awareness of this strange phenomenon that may in fact be much more prevalent than we think. Dr. Fiori, in her own words, wrote almost without exception, when there was a drug or alcohol addiction, the patient harbored more than one entity who also were addicts. It certainly gives us all something to think about.
Ok, so if this is in fact happening, what do we do about it?
Well, luckily with the advent of consciousness technologies such as trance work, we can help the living communicate with anything that may be lingering. As I stated, most spirits don’t know they’re attached, so they’re not trying to hide (which also happens, by the way), so when a skilled coach or practitioner asks the right questions, these entities communicate readily. I wouldn’t write this if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes in almost every case I’ve worked on — because I get it, it sounds crazy — but here we are!
When communication is established, it’s time to show the deceased that they’ve died, the body they're attached to is in fact not theirs, and it’s actually detrimental for both parties for them to remain. It is at this point that we can reacquaint them with the Light by suggesting its presence. The living client may then begin to feel emotions arise, sometimes resistance. When this happens, it is important that the client gauge the agreeability of the spirit to see if further persuasion is needed. The ultimate goal being the release of the spirit into the Light.
The client can then be helped through the process of letting go of the spirit, which can be very emotional and can sometimes produce violent or aggressive actions. Because of this, detachment from earthbound spirits can often be mistaken for demonic possession and may raise the alarm of a less-experienced practitioner. Demonic infestation is very rare, but if you see it, you know it, and when you do, it’s time to call for backup. Tyler’s case from above may fall into this category.
When the spirit is willing to go to the Light, the client will wish it well, sending it away with love and forgiveness. As this happens, the client often experiences waves of peace and healing that pass through and around the body. Since the theory suggests that only those with weakened auras (as in compromised emotional states, while unconscious in hospitals, under chemical influence, etc) can take on attachments, the client’s aura is then repaired through the suggestion of angelic helpers or guides arriving in their aide. This is a nice touch that soothes the psyche and fortifies the conviction of the client that the process is beneficial and permanent.
Amazingly, this truly unbelievable approach produces the spontaneous healing of often decades-old, deep-seated emotional, mental, and even physical disturbances. One day here, the next day — gone. Imagine for a moment that this is all true. Now, think of the immense service this method performs for both the living and the dead! That alone has kept me locked into this research.
Now as we wind down, I think it important to underline the sheer amazement I’ve felt as the testimony of some of these spirits comes to light in-session.
I’ve heard some jaw-dropping things in these sessions. One of my clients picked up a spirit from spending 45 minutes in a graveyard when they were 9 years old! Another picked one up their first time trying cannabis at age 12. The spirit revealed to us that it jumped from the man my client was smoking with to him because he seemed innocent and a bit vulnerable! So you see, not every instance of possession occurs from a deceased loved one. Often, we see that merely being near a death as it occurs, spending nights in the hospital or, as seen above, places such as mortuaries and graveyards can also be hotspots.
Whether or not all of the above theory is objectively accurate, one must always ask themselves, does the approach help? It’s the same with past life regression. In both of these realms, empirical data is nearly impossible to come by, however, if you look hard enough, you’ll find more than tens of thousands of people who have been healed by approaching therapy from these perspectives. So, even if we don’t fully understand or believe the theory behind the approach, it is unequivocally true that it helps people heal. And in my line of work, that’s all that matters.
If you or someone you know experiences thoughts, feelings, memories, physical symptoms, etc, that seem to have no legible cure (or even origin), then it may be time to broaden your scope of seeking by reading Dr. Fiori’s book or many of the other publications which highlight this possession model and its approach to healing. It’s done wonders for the clients of mine that found no other answers in the world: from friends, family, or doctors. All of them stumped.
For myself, most of my healing has occurred in solemn meditation, and now, thanks to the brave practitioners that have come before me, I have yet another powerful tool in my box to use when needed. And as for the attachment seen behind me by our friend in ceremony, well, that’s a harrowing tale that is best told in its own article — coming soon.
As of now, I’ve jettisoned the need to fully understand these phenomena, and yet this approach remains one of the most astonishingly powerful and effective modes of healing that I’ve ever worked with (or witnessed). I remain on the hunt for new information regarding death and attachment, and as my search for answers continues, I’ll do my best to convey my findings here.
And if this info shook you in some way, close your eyes and fill and surround yourself with a beautiful white light that repels all negativity. Practice this by keeping your light with you regularly and you’ll be fortified in the astral realm. Be well on your journey, brave souls. Until next time… see you on the other side…