Bolting upright in bed and shrieking do little to help one’s sleep.

For several years at almost weekly intervals, I’d awaken and open my eyes to see a dark mass, shaped like a man, standing near the head of my bed.

You’d think after it’d happened so often, I could turn off the startle. Look calmly at the featureless shape and ask, “Why are you here?”

Yet, I couldn’t.

Instinct always took over. I’d scream loud enough to wake the neighbors (at least Ken claims I did once, when he saw their lights come on after one of “my spells”). Each time, my fright sent the apparition on its way.

Over time, I queried psychics who participated in the Nevada Ghost and Paranormal Series on how I could reclaim my nights. They suggested various techniques, but I’d found that while their advice may have helped some, it was never enough for me.

In the past year, though, I’ve created a successful ritual.

Once I retire at night and recite the Lord’s Prayer, I ask the Great I Am to

Clear all negative energy around me.

I’ve found I pick up others’ energies and emotions—good and bad—from both humans and spirits. It’s been a process for me to recognize when it happens.

  • Send energy that doesn’t belong to me (or hasn’t been divinely sent to help me on my spiritual journey) back to its owner.
  • Fill me with the Lord’s abundant light and love.This puts me in a better place, allowing me to focus on the positive and further banish fear.
  • Place a heavenly light of protection around me to keep all negative and evil entities from visiting me. I further emphasize this point by asking the Supreme Being to only allow higher and positive spirits and heavenly emissaries to contact me.
  • Prohibit anything or anyone from startling me in the night.

It’s important to trust God.

Whenever I doubt the Great I Am is listening to me, I allow fear to creep in. And when I do that, I’m more likely to be startled.