October is the spooky season, so in that SPIRIT (haha, get it?) we here at SpareFoot have been working overtime to watch as many scary movies as possible. That is, before our bosses got on our case about spending so much of our time watching movies. To save our jobs, we told them it was…uhh, research. For a blog post. Yeah, that’s it!

Here are some important safety tips and life-hacks for when it’s time to make your big move.

Research the House’s History

You’re going to need to spend a lot of time at your local library. I hope you love microfiche! Don’t bother using the internet: based on our experience (and by experience, we mean watching The Ring over and over again), the spookiest stories stay buried in huge dusty stacks of old newspapers in the library basement. Probably because some mayor in the 80s tried to cover up every mention of “the incident” to boost tourism.

You’ll also want to focus your research primarily on the 1800s, because that was a boom time for ghosts. Odds are your spooky lil’ roommate was some kind of horribly injured frontiersman or spurned Civil War wife, and not a YouTube celebrity or professional gamer.

No ghost has ever looked like this:

Listen to the Concerns of Your Children and Pets

Kids and dogs aren’t just great Instagram content; they’re also cute little ghost detectors, and you need to listen when they tell you something is up.

Cute? Sure. But they are also very powerful anti-ghost weapons.

Your dog won’t stop whining and scratching at a particular spot on the kitchen floor? You got a ghost, friend! Your daughter won’t stop talking about her new friend Zebediah, the shy boy who lives in her mirror? That’s a ghost, buddy! Your cat stares wide-eyed at the wall for hours at a time? That might not be a ghost actually, cats are pretty weird!

The movie Poltergeist opens with Carol Anne talking to her invisible friend who lives in the TV static, and if that were my kid the movie would be 5 minutes long, because there would be a Kyle-shaped hole in the wall quicker than you can say “they’re here!”

Actual footage of me escaping from my ghost child:

But for real, if your dog stands outside your front door and refuses to go inside after using the bathroom, pack your bags and move away. Actually, don’t bother packing the bags, your shirts are probably all haunted now.

Take the Opportunity to Start Fresh

A new home is a time for new beginnings. Believe me, I know you’re attached to that rug, or that lamp, because it was a gift from your mom, or it reminds you of the carpet in your grandfather’s home from when you were a kid. But did you ever consider that no ghost has ever haunted anything bought at an IKEA? It’s true!

Huge hassle? Yes. Haunted? Definitely not!

Marie Kondo says to “discard anything that doesn’t spark joy”, but if you just can’t bear to throw out your old stuff, luckily we know just the place where you can keep it and visit it, safely outside of your new, ghost-free home. If the family from The Conjuring had just gone to SpareFoot, they could have got all that spooky old furniture out of there and been just fine.

You will never see this in a West Elm, I promise:

Seek Help From a Spiritual Advisor

It never hurts to have a friend who is well-versed in all things paranormal. The next time the renaissance festival is in town, head out there and see if you can strike up a conversation with a traveling fortune teller. Pop into a confessional booth and ask the priest what shows he’s been watching on Netflix lately. Get coffee with a Ghostbuster.

Your cool new best friend:

I get it, it’s tough to make new friends as an adult. But if Regan’s mom hadn’t struck up a conversation with Father Karras in The Exorcist, she’d still be spitting up pea soup. You need a little help sometimes, especially if you’re waking up with bruises all over your arms and your clocks are striking at weird times in the middle of the night. Also, why do you own so many clocks? Toss out those creepy old clocks!

Normal, fun activity: clock drawing…

Get To Know Your Neighbors

Okay, I’ll admit it, this one is a toss-up. If you’re lucky, you end up with neighbors who are sympathetic to your plight and who will give you a roof to stay under when your kitchen cupboards start rattling. If you’re really lucky, your neighbor is a benevolent old bruja who will cleanse your home for you. See above section re: making friends.

These are the type of witch neighbors you want.

If you’re not so lucky, your neighbor is a Dracula (shout out to Fright Night). Either way, cracking a cold beer with your neighbor can only bring you closer together, so you may as well offer! But uhh…stuff some garlic in your pockets just in case.

Yikes. Still not as annoying as Ned Flanders.

Kyle Romero