Shelter

I am the director for an emergency shelter for native American teenagers. We are located on an Indian Reservation. our shelter has been open 5 years, a brand new building that we've decorated nicely. Our staff are mixed: some Indians, some whites, some blacks, some Hispanics. Yet they all have some incidents to tell of.

Recently, they started relaying more incidents of thumping, alarms going off in unoccupied rooms, etc. in particular, the room they cite as having the 'most action' was called the sapphire room because of it's blue decor. Because we are native American, I try to use traditional methods to rid our place of these spirits. I don't find them 'evil' per se, I believe because we serve teens that have very troubled, abusive, etc. backgrounds, that sometimes 'evil spirits' follow them into our place. And as the kid gets stronger, they sometimes leave that spirit behind. So I end up doing a periodic 'housekeeping' or 'smudging and blessing'. This usually works for a while. And then things like knocking on walls, walking down halls, and the alarms, will start again. I now have the staff record all incidents in our 'haunted house' log. I'm not sure what I'll do with that yet.

One of the most striking incidents occurred last year. Our lady that works the grave shift was preparing breakfast and going to start waking up the kids around 6. But at 5 she heard voices and thought maybe the girls got up early. So she went down the girls wing. She peeked into a room but all were sound asleep. When she turned back to the hall she saw one of our ex-clients, a boy. Boys are not supposed to be in the girls wing. The boy looked a little startled and smiled then disappeared. This boy had committed suicide 6 months before this siting back on his own reservation. I asked our lady if she were upset or if it would be okay that the boy visited sometime as we had been the only real home he knew. She said she had no problem with it. I did a 'smudging' (which uses burning sweetgrass and sage to smoke the rooms and prayed). I told him we missed him but he needed to move on, but that we welcomed his visit except "YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE GIRL'S WING!"

We do have our rules, you know. He hasn't been back since.

Submitted by Nevada, USA