No? Well, honestly, most people don't. But, according to psychic Sylvia Browne in her book The Other Side and Back that’s exactly what everyone needs to be doing.
Assessing Antiques for Potential Spirits
While Browne makes it clear that she does in fact love antiques and buys them to decorate her home on occasion, she always spends several minutes with an object to see how it “feels” and how she responds to being near it before making a purchase.
“A spirit might have a lingering fondness for an object and want to come visit it,” said Browne in her book. “Every object is capable of holding an imprint that may or may not be a happy one.”
Some people do seem to be able to detect tension and negativity in the air, so why not transfer that ability to your antiques shopping? If all this sounds like a bunch of psychic mumbo jumbo to you, that's understandable. However, you might want to consider a few ghostly tales about haunted antiques a number of longtime collectors have run across in the past before making up your mind.
A Chair Haunting?
Bobye Syverson of Wisconsin once had a next-door neighbor, now deceased, who held a high position with the University of Wisconsin. She described him as an “extremely sensitive” person who often mentioned seeing a gentleman roaming around inside her house while she was out of town. Her neighbor’s description of that mysterious man, whom he had never met, fit Syverson’s long deceased father perfectly.
One day that same neighbor came over for a visit. When he walked past an antique chair Syverson had purchased at a local antique shop, every hair on his arms immediately stood on end as if the piece of furniture was electrically charged. When he moved away from the chair, the hair would lie back down again just as quickly.
After contemplating this spooky occurrence, Syverson decided it might be better if they took that particular chair to her antique shop and sold it. And that's exactly what she did.
Cleansing a Spirited Ring
Still not convinced? Then you might want to consider a story jewelry collector Maria Roberts of Louisiana had to share.
Roberts once put a lovely Victorian sapphire ring up for sale in her antique shop and didn’t think too much about it at first. But when she later took it out of the case to show it to a customer, a wave of overwhelming sadness and the sights and sounds of a Victorian lady weeping swept over her. This happened every time she touched this particular ring from that point on.
As a former resident of New Orleans, Roberts knew many “believers” who told her to hold the ring under running water to cleanse it or to place it in a tray with pieces of garnet jewelry to calm the restless spirit the ring obviously held. She finally sold the piece and, needless to say, was glad to be rid of it and the emotion that it held.
A Tale of Two Hats
In another conversation about eerie antiques, antique dealer Merrie Schonbach of Pennsylvania conveyed that she once bought a pair of hats that had a strong sense of negativity associated with them. In fact, that feeling was so bold that she experienced a distinctive burning sensation when she opened the original boxes where the hats were stored and held them in her hands.
Schonbach sensed that a traumatic experience of some kind was associated with the lady who originally owned and wore the hats - a sudden or violent death perhaps. “I’ve had to learn to turn my sensitivity off as I’ve gotten into selling other people’s things,” she added.
"Dr. Ghost" Weighs in on the Topic
When asked about these spooky tales, Joanne D.S. McMahon, PhD, also known as Dr. Ghost, described the phenomenon these antiques dealers experienced as psychometry. “In parapsychology, psychometry means the ability to read objects. The word actually means 'soul reading',” she explained.
Folks gifted with this ability are able to read an object and discern some of the history associated with it by merely by touching it. McMahon reports having had a ring "read" once and the person doing the reading gave her information about her mother he could not have otherwise known if the piece jewelry had not spoken to him in some way.
So, now what do you think? Can we all develop a little reading ability, as Browne suggests, to ensure that we don’t bring any unwanted guests home with our antique shop and flea market finds? There's no better time than the present to consider these spooky occurrences and contemplate the eerie answers about haunted antiques!