We talked mostly about haunted houses; Jordan has worked with several recently. The most spectacular was one in which every picture, mirror, etc. on all the walls was upside down when he entered the house. And they all fell off the walls during the exorcism.

For exorcisms and cleansing of houses, Jordan favors holy water, camphor and Angelica root (wrapped in red thread) at each corner of the property (or in each corner of the building).

For fumigation, Jordan swears by Sulfur, Camphor, and Dragon’s Blood. Katy Kaminski notes that Dragon’s Blood is also effective against mosquitoes and other “no-see-ums”.

“Bell, book and candle,” a Catholic excommunication rite dating back to the ninth century, is also useful for banishing evil spirits. The bell rings a death knell; the book – which means, of course, the Bible – is slammed shut, to cut the target off from the Word of God; the candle is extinguished and then thrown on the floor.

Katy Kaminski has been working with curandero herbs; she has been taught to use a combination of rosemary, white sage, and salt. For incense, she likes Balm of Gilead buds from Venezuela, and Asafetida.

That brought my mind back to the use of Sulfur in fumigations, which is toxic and will darken oak furniture. We thought that Asafetida might make a useful substitute: less damaging, but just as noxious. Then we thought about the classic combination of Asafetida and Vandal Root – to which Katy is allergic; it gives her nightmares.

Katy had a picturesque experience with house cleansing once; she caught sight of “something short, squat, and angry” under the sink. She asked herself, “What is a British bogeyman doing here?” When people emigrate, they take their legends with them, if not the spirits themselves.

Next week’s topic: Personal Spiritual Cleansing When and How.

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