I’m obsessed with haunted houses. Oh, do not misunderstand me – I don’t like going INTO them. I just like to read about them and enjoy their spookiness from afar.

But while I’m relatively well-versed on haunted homes around the globe (ahem, gentle plug but I AM half of the All Aussie Mystery Hour podcast, which you should listen to immediately), I’ve always wondered what makes a creepy place so… creepy. It can’t just be that someone died there – people die all the time! Even murders don’t necessarily create bad vibes in a room – a friend of mine lived in a totally nice and warm-feeling apartment, only telling me a year into knowing her and visiting said home that a couple were murdered in the front room. So.

I asked psychic medium Calise Simone for her thoughts on haunted houses. Calise is a medium to the stars – think Real Housewives and The Osbournes vibes. I figured she’d know some shit regarding haunts.

PSA: She’s also coming out to Australia at the Kailo Medispa in the Calile Hotel, Fortitude Valley, QLD. It’s her only Aussie show, and she’ll be doing live readings for fans, if you’re keen.

Firstly, she doesn’t believe in ghosts. I KNOW. Wild stuff. She prefers to call them “spirits”, and doesn’t think they’ve got anything to do with haunted houses. “Spirits usually have to more to say than ‘Boo!’,” she explains.

When people assume a location is haunted, I find that it merely holds residual energy of the previous people who lived there. This energy is simply a ‘feeling’. In my experience, when spirits choose to step forward from the afterlife, their energy is strong and loving.

So basically, that haunted room is the result of bad energy from previous occupants, not ghosts. This makes sense to me – when I visited the Quarantine Station in Sydney’s North, there were areas I couldn’t bring myself to enter because of bad vibes.

And it doesn’t have to involve horrific killings or torture for a house or area to feel “bad”. Not to mention, some spaces can feel great because of good energy.

I believe energy is left behind and can imprinted in places during times of strong emotion.  Those energetic remnants can feel like hauntings and very often be mistaken for ghost-like energies. Happiness, anger and sadness can all linger after significant events.  If a murder takes place in a room the room will likely feel creepy for a long time after the event, on the flipside if a couple get married in a room it will hold a happy energy from the celebrations. 

So what about houses where people have weird dreams or keep seeing things? That might be spirits trying to contact them, says Calise.

In addition to visiting in our dreams, our loved ones send signs from the spirit world to let us know they are still with us.  They may draw our attention to number patterns such as 11:11 or specific phrases or objects that remind us of them.  

So what if you just moved into a place and you reckon it’s haunted? Well, recognising that it’s energy you’re feeling, not a vengeful ghost, is probably helping you a bit, no? And also – you can actually fix that negative energy, according to Calise.

Give the place a good clean, add some fresh flowers and open the windows.  If you find the heaviness or feelings of discomfort persist, invite a medium in to take a further look. As a psychic medium, I teach meditation classes and mentor people in how to tune into their own intuition. I often find the energetic connection of sharing space with spirits brings the emotional healing people need.

Or you know, just move out and pay exorbitant rental cancellation fees. That’s what I’d do.