Natural Awakenings, New York, March 2019
It’s safe to say that Hollywood movies often exaggerate or sensationalize real-life events in the name of entertainment. When it comes to ghosts, however, films like The Sixth Sense and Ghost actually get it right, says Wanda Pratnicka, Ph.D.
She would know. She’s one of the world’s leading lecturers and authors on the subject, in addition to being a sought-after exorcist who is regularly called upon to remove ghosts from the possessed. Over the last few decades, she says, she has helped tens of thousands of people free themselves of spirit attachments.
“I counsel living humans, but I also counsel ghosts, aka the spirit energy, of people who have died but not moved on to the other side of death’s curtain,” she says.
According to polls by distinguished organizations like the Pew Research Center, as well as news sources like the Huffington Post, up to 45 percent of people believe that ghosts exist. Yet most people do not know the danger that ghosts can pose to the living, Pratnicka says.
“Whether a ghost is the spirit of someone you loved or a mere acquaintance, they will negatively impact your energy,” she says. “They need to usurp the energy of someone like you to remain amongst the living.”
When this occurs, she says, the affected person can feel a range of symptoms. Among the many common symptoms are frequent anxiety, racing thoughts, inexplicable bursts of anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, addictions and chronic fatigue. What all her clients have in common is that they are similarly unhappy, lost or deprived of hope for the future.
“They have tried everything to overcome their emotional pain, but nothing has helped long term,” she says.
When Pratnicka describes the recent cases she’s handled, it’s clear that she is an advocate for the ghost as much as she is for the living.
Often ghosts are unaware that they have died, or they are fearful of what lies on the other side, she says. If they had an addiction, such as cigarettes, drugs or gambling, they won’t want to leave their fix behind; instead they’ll seek out a person to attach to in order to fulfill that need.
Cases can be complex, she says, which is why she married her formal education (a doctorate in philosophy, master’s in psychology and bachelor’s in parapsychology) with her natural ability to communicate with ghosts, cultivating as many tools as possible to lure the spirits away from the living. That process can take up to three months, depending on the case, she says.
Asked if she likes being referred to as an exorcist, she replies, “I prefer referring to myself as a therapist for people and for ghosts. They both need the same care, understanding and love. I also refer to myself as a therapist for souls. I help people free themselves from ghosts, but I also help ghosts free themselves from people. Many ghosts who are not ready to leave this realm at the moment of death just need a little counseling to pass through to the other side of death's curtain later. And for those ghosts who don't know what to do with themselves or are more persistent about staying, I help them accept leaving behind the living, which will lead to healing and happiness for the person who is living.”
Removing a spirit attachment requires a high degree of training, says Pratnicka, who warns people not to try to attempt it themselves.
“It’s quite dangerous for anyone to be in the same physical space as a ghost, because their first reaction is to attack someone trying to displace them,” she says. “It also makes the person performing the removal susceptible to being possessed themselves.”
So how does she help people? From a physical distance, she says.
“Remote spirit removal is possible because everything that exists is energy,” she explains. “It’s possible to communicate with ghosts and their energy on the astral plane.”