how to deal with ghosts, according to ninth house

Small confession: I’ve been trying to read NINTH HOUSE for the past two months. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Every time I try to read it, I end up putting it aside again. I read a post about it that said you kind of have to sit with it and read it a while to get into the mystery, so that’s probably what’s happening for me, but I’m so annoyed at myself for not having read this yet.

ANYWAY that is not the point of this post.

The point of this post




why are we talking about ghosts in November, the month AFTER spooky season is over?

I’ll tell you why.

  1. I am a witch. Therefore, every season is “spooky season.”
  2. There is a ghost in my apartment complex. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably seen me mention this ghost in my building that LAUGHS and also has screamed a couple of times. My boyfriend and I narrowed down who could be laughing, but they’ve all left and moved out, ergo: GHOSTIE. It seems to be a friendly ghost so far, minus the two screams. That was a little too spooky for me.


BUT as I have been slowly drudging through NINTH HOUSE, I’ve actually picked up a few tips on dealing with ghosts from Queen Bardugo. This should not surprise me, because she is Goth AF and probably a secret witch, plus the book is about scary occult secret society things. The MC, Alex Stern, has always been able to see ghosts, and is offered a place at Yale for free if she helps monitor the activities of the secret societies at Yale, which involves preventing supernatural calamities with ghosts (this is not a spoiler, it’s revealed in chapter 1).

Within the first chapter, we learn a lot of ways to handle ghosts safely, and since I am having a ghost problem, I wanted to share some of those methods with you:

  • Don’t make eye contact with the ghost. Ghosts attach themselves to people very easily, and eye contact can be the beginning of an intimate bond for ghosts.
  • Don’t learn their names or their history. If you don’t know the names of the ghosts haunting you, you won’t be tempted to say them and invite them to latch onto you.
  • Use salt for protection. Sprinkle salt over a space or create a salt circle when you are performing magic of any kind to protect yourself from spirits or demons.
  • Cleanse a space with bone dust. Ghosts hate reminders of death, so using something like bone dust will deter them from entering a space. Do I know where you would find bone dust? No. But apparently it works.
  • Caramels distract them. At this point in the book, I do not know why this is the case, but if Darlington said it, it must be true.


This all may make it seem like ghosts are Bad News, but in reality, at least according to Queen Bardugo, most ghosts are harmless if you keep your distance and don’t attract them in any way. So basically, I just have to ignore my ghostie friend and stop trying to find out if a man died in my apartment. Having a ghost may be annoying, but I suppose it’s vaguely comforting that Queen B doesn’t think they’re a big deal.

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