Wherever there are spirits, there are also risks of spirits attaching themselves to living persons. Once attached, the parasitic relationship can last a lifetime, until the living host dies, or until the cords can be cut. Wait, there's no need to panic. We're not all walking around with a spirit on our back, but it's more common than most are aware.
Why does it happen? Why do spirits gotta attach? Some spirits, for a variety of reasons (detailed in an early blog post), refuse to move onto the spiritual realm. Remaining on this earthly plane can render a spirit confused, weak and lonely. They will long for the comfort of their friends and family, or to live vicariously through the living. Also, human spirits grow weaker the longer they continue to remain in this realm, so they will need to syphon the energy that the living naturally possess. Non-human entities can also attach to us with a much darker agenda - to feed off chaos and negative emotions.
Are we all susceptible to attachments? In theory yes, but spirits hone in on emotional weakness or other vulnerabilities as entry points into our auric/energy field. People suffering from addiction, depression, anxiety or those experiencing intense negative emotions like fear and hatred, are ideal candidates for attachments. We can also fall into vulnerable states through major surgery, near-death experiences or astral projection, and end up bringing something back with us. Occult rituals where entities are invoked are the most dangerous. So don't do that.
It can be difficult to detect a spirit attachment as it is often a gradual and subtle process. Spirits use energetic cords to transfer our life force to them. They differ from possessions, which seek to totally control the host and are far more destructive.
But there are signs! Take note if you experience one or more of the following symptoms over a prolonged period:
tiredness - feeling a depletion of energy
mood swings and explosive emotions
inner voices speaking negative messages
sudden onset of depression, anxiety or panic attacks
new, inexplicable fears and phobias
physical illness without healing
loss of spiritual faith
sudden onset of severe allergies or other physical problems
feelings of being watched and items being moved in your home
heat/cold/tingling in the body
your normally attentive pets now avoid you
The symptoms listed above are not always signs of spirit attachments. So please do seek medical attention for concerning health issues.
I had my own attachment last summer. At first, I kept glimpsing a shadowy presence flitting about my home. This activity continued for a couple weeks when I finally mentioned it to my friend and fellow ghost tour guide, Vanesa Zappala, who also happens to be a gifted psychic medium. Right away she sensed a male spiritual presence in my home, someone I picked up during a tour (common occupational hazard). Then she asked if I'd been feeling tired lately. Indeed, I was feeling drained and lethargic for the past week or so. Turns out, this spirit had attached to me. A few days later when we met up, Vanesa cut the cords, which turned out to be relatively quick and easy because the offending spirit was actually relieved to be free of me! And while I was glad it was over, I couldn't help feel a little insulted by the "mutual" breakup.
A trained psychic medium is the most efficient tool to get rid of a spirit attachment. An experienced energy worker can also do the work. However, we are not helpless in freeing ourselves - there are techniques we can use. We can pray to a higher power (God, angels, etc.) to cut the cords. Or we can visualize ourselves in a white light with the spirit leaving our aura. Sometimes we can even convince a spirit to let go by engaging in dialogue with them, if they care enough about us to listen. Whatever self-help method you use, your persistence and strength are the key in overcoming.
However, not everyone wants their attachments to end. Some folks have had them for so long they are afraid to let their "friends" go. But the longer we have an attachment, the weaker and more troubled we become, and other entities will also be attracted into our energy field. There is also a danger that the spirit can turn into a darker being as they continue to consume our energy and crave more to grow stronger and survive.
We can take protective measures, especially when we enter into known haunted locations. A departure ritual, where you sternly state that a spirit does not have the permission to leave with you, can be most effective - if you remember to do it every time. But often we're not even aware that we're in an active ghostly area. Talismans, such as protective charms and religious sigils, can offer a defense though they are not 100% foolproof. Regular prayer has also been known to help. But above all is staying energetically strong, in a positive frame of mind, which is easier said than done.