Things That Go Bump in the Night

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling that there is “something” in your room? It can be a disconcerting, even frightening experience. And it’s much more common than you might think.

One of my friends recently described a night visit by a creepy spirit. She was startled awake around 3AM with a feeling of dread. The room seemed darker then it should have been, and there was a heavy weight on her chest. She felt paralyzed, finding it difficult to move, or even breathe.

Turning on the light took an act of strength and courage. And though that was somewhat relieving, her sleep was uneasy for the rest of the night. It was, she reported, as if something kept trying to come back into her room. Only by leaving the light on, did she manage any sleep at all.

Ghostly visits often happen around three o’clock in the morning, a time when the spiritual worlds come very close to ours. Unfortunately, we are particularly vulnerable during this time because our conscious defenses are offline. Our energy fields relax and open when we are asleep and we become easy targets for energy hungry entities and objects of curiosity for wandering spirits. Psychics, empaths, children and astral projectors often attract extra attention and may benefit from taking stronger precautions.

Fortunately though, not all nocturnal encounters with spirits are negative ones. Friendly and helpful spirits sometimes come to call too. Many people have reported feeling, or even seeing the figure of a person standing in their room. These apparitions are the most common ghostly encounter and tend to happen shortly after a loved one passes on. It is their newly departed spirit coming to say goodbye, sometimes before we even know that they have died.

Because they happen at night, many of these paranormal experiences are chalked up to nightmares. Interestingly enough, the word “nightmare” comes from German roots — nachtmare (“nacht” — night, and “mare” — demon) and is the name of a malicious spirit said to trouble sleepers by sitting on their chests and stealing their energy in the wee hours of the morning.

It’s true that the prime time for seeing spirits is while we are falling asleep or waking up. Some of this has to do with the entity’s predication for the dark hours, but much of it is related to our normal brain wave activity. Our brain waves move from beta wave (normal waking state) into alpha (light trance state) many times throughout the course of our sleep. During these transitions we able to “see” psychically with our eyes wide open.

So while you are waking up, still in that drowsy state of alpha, you really can see Uncle Fred standing at the foot of your bed. You might rub your eyes and blink, but he is still there. It’s when you reach over and turn on the light that Uncle Fred “vanishes.” This vanishing occurs because the act of turning on the light shifted your brain waves into beta. You can no longer see the spirit image, but in all likelihood Uncle Fred is still there!

Visitations are often perceived visually, but some people just sense the presence of something, or they just know it’s there. You may hear a sound, like footsteps or voices. Other times you might have a physical sensation of some thing touching you, or the feeling of someone sitting on your bed. Other times you might smell something like perfume or tobacco smoke. Spirits will use all of our senses to make their presence known.

What Is It?

Once you have sensed something, it’s pretty important to know who or what has appeared in your room. Here are some things it could be.

Helpful Spirits

  • A beloved relative who is paying a visit
  • A helpful spirit guide, like an angel, power animal, or one of your other regular spirits guides
  • Helpful fairies and earth spirits

Neutral Spirits

  • A dead person who is just passing through
  • A neutral or curious non-human spirit

Shadow Spirits

  • A dead person who needs help — a ghost!
  • A non-human shadow spirit
  • An energy or emotion sucker who eat our “negative” emotions and therefore like to generate them!

The art of being able to tell different kinds of spirits apart is called “discernment,” and is one of the more handy psychic gifts to posses. Even if you don’t happen to have that gift, there are still some easy ways to tell what you are dealing with. The trick is overcoming your initial fear and surprise, then tuning in to your body and your emotions. Our emotions and our body are the best spirit barometers out there!

If you feel good about the spirit, or you feel happy, reassured, calmed or supported by its presence, then it is from the helpful category and is some type of spirit guide. Check in with your body and see if you feel warm, open, tingly or relaxed.

If you feel neutral, blank or not much at all from the spirit, it is a neutral spirit. Feel free to investigate it if you wish, or shoo it away if you need your sleep. Your body will also feel neutral here.

If you feel a sense of dread, menace or evil, or if you feel terror or panic, then chances are it’s not a helpful spirit. Insist that the encounter end and the spirit move on. In the presence of a shadow spirit, your body will feel cold, shivery and contracted. You may feel goose bumps or even a flash of cold run through you, as if someone threw a bucket of cold water on you. These body sensations are very strong so they’re impossible to miss.

What You Can Do

There are plenty of measures you can take to get an unwanted visitor to move on, even when you are half asleep. Here are some good places to start:

  • Turn on the light and light some incense or sage.
  • Tell them to go away. Really mean business. Feel your power in your solar plexus and state loudly and firmly that this is your space. Insist that they leave, right now, without incident and never return. Use the power of your will.
  • If you are dealing with a ghost that wants to tell you a story or needs help, you can choose whether or not to assist. Or you can make an “appointment” with the spirit and ask it to come back at a better time for you.
  • Remember that you are strong and they are weak in this dimension. Feel your power and claim your space.
  • Say some prayers. Ask your guides to help and protect you. Archangel Michael is particularly adept at protecting people from harmful spirits. Ask your guides to come and escort your visitor to where ever it needs to go. Here are some more permanent solutions that will make your space unappealing to negative spirits.
  • Make sure you open the drapes and blinds during the day to let in the light.
  • Hang religious or spiritually meaningful pictures or objects on your walls. These could include a rosary and a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Dalai Lama, whatever has meaning for you.
  • Sprinkle a circle of salt around your bed. This is great for astral projectors and will keep you in your body while you sleep.
  • Put crystals or rocks at the four corners of your bed or your room.
  • Clear the energy in your room frequently with incense or sage.
  • Cover any mirror in your room at night. Mirrors make great gateways!
  • Create an altar in your room to hold objects that are sacred to you.
  • Sleep with your pets in your room.
  • Routinely call on your spirit guides and guardians to protect you while you are sleeping. Saying a prayer and invoking God or your guides before you sleep will add positive energy to your space while you sleep.
  • Get a natural salt lamp. These are great night-lights for kid’s room, since they add two potent anti-negative entity ingredients to a room — salt and light.
  • Put in a fish tank with a bubbler or a fountain with running water. Many negative entities can’t abide running water. This is also great for a nightmare-prone child’s room.

The most important thing to remember is that you are strong and spiritual beings are weak in this dimension. It’s almost impossible for them to take on physical form. You have far more power there then they do and ninety nine point nine percent of the time a spirit being can’t physically harm you in any way. The worst they can do is scare you!

Lisa Campion has been a professional psychic for over 20 years and uses a combination of intuition, energy healing and therapeutic techniques in her private healing practice. She is also the co-founder of the Rhys Thomas Institute of Energy Medicine in Medway, MA. She can be reached at 508-533-0669 or

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