Do You Have One of these 4 Negative Energies Lurking in Your Home?

This is the second article in the series about space clearing (in case you missed the first one, it is here: Why I Love Space Clearing (Ghost Stories Included)

In this second article, I’ll be talking about 4 very common categories of negative energy that I find all the time in peoples’ homes and more importantly, I’ll talk about how you can recognise if these types of negative energy are present in your home.

In a later blog post, I’ll go into how to clear them (and protect against them in future!)

But before we can clear anything from our space, we need to know WHAT we’re actually clearing, and we need to be able to diagnose energetic issues. That’s what this article is all about.

So, let’s get started…

A very common energy to show up in our spaces (and one I referred to in my last article) is the earthbound spirit – also sometimes referred to as a ghost.

Earthbound Spirits aka Ghosts

In my experience, the earthbound spirit is the single most likely type of negative energy to be present in our spaces. As a child, many of my paranormal experiences revolved around this type of spirit and as a little girl I found it terrifying.

However, earthbound spirits are not actually as scary as they may seem – they are simply the souls of the dead who have not yet fully transitioned out of the Earth plane, leaving part of either their emotional body or their mental body behind on the earth plane.

So, because they have not crossed over to the other side for some reason or other (almost always a negative one), they resonate with energies such as ‘stuckness,’ fearfulness, unhappiness, and pain.

These spirits are commonly found in public places that have experienced a lot of sadness and pain, such as hospitals, funeral parlours, cemeteries and police stations. Some may even be drawn to places which serve alcohol, such as bars and clubs. And of course, they often get into our homes – and attach to our spaces.

In some cases, the earthbound spirits who end up attached to our homes are there because at one time they used to occupy that space or visit it. Other earthbound spirits end up in a space because they just like one of the occupant’s energies.

Are you wondering if you have a lost spirit attached to, or hanging around your home? Here are some signs that an earthbound spirit is present:

  • You often see things moving in the corner of your eye
  • Your children or pets are afraid of a particular spot or room in your house
  • Your children frequently have nightmares or night terrors
  • You often feel a cold draught against your skin or temperature changes in particular places that seem to have no earthly explanation
  • You just get a creepy sensation that you are not alone or you’re being watched (this is a big one that is almost always the sign of an earthbound spirit, in my experience.)

Some Good Reasons to Clear Earthbound Spirits from our Homes

Occasionally I speak to someone who knows there is a spirit in their home and has become so used to its presence (and maybe a little attached, too), that they do not want the spirit to move on.

This is not a good approach to take to earthbound spirits. Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Earthbound spirits, when they attach to us, can drain our energy slightly and contribute to a sense of spiritual and physical fatigue. One ghost is not a huge energy drain, but the more of them you have attached to you, the more draining it can become.

2. They can also amplify our negative emotions when they attach to us. Let’s say that you have had a loss and you are grieving. If you have ghosts attached to your energy field, that sadness will be amplified slightly with each spirit that attaches to you. Simply because you will attract the spirits who resonate with what you’re going through and they’ll pile on with their sadness, too.

3. In addition, these spirits can affect your intuitive accuracy. If you’re dowsing with a pendulum or doing some automatic writing but you haven’t specified who you are wanting to channel, you could end up channelling a ghost in the vicinity, who, unlike your Spirit Guides, won’t have much in the way of high-vibrational advice to give out.

4. Earthbound spirits freak our kids out. Young children are energetically sensitive and it’s common for them to pick up on the presence of these spirits when they’re sleeping or falling asleep. Children who live in a home with lots of earthbound spirits attached to it will experience more nightmares, sleep disturbances and night terrors than kids who live in energetically clear spaces.

5. And finally, a really good reason to let ghosts go is because these spirits do not enjoy being stuck here on earth plane. It’s a bit like being stuck at the airport waiting for your connecting flight that somehow never arrives, so you end up hanging out in the airport for years on end. And because you were a little bit scared of travelling anyway, you decide you’re just going to make the most of living permanently in the airport instead. I think we can all agree that this is not a fun situation for any soul to be in.

Plus, not to mention that not all earthbound spirits are friendly ones. Sometimes we can have mischievous ghosts in our spaces who get a kick out of freaking us out. Enter…the poltergeist.

The Poltergeist

They are essentially spirits that have either been earthbound for a really long time, or a very powerful, dominant spirit which is able to draw energy from an occupant of the space (poltergeists are most likely to draw energy from pre-pubescent and pubescent girls, and people who are under a lot of stress.)

As a result, they have the ability to make noise, create disturbances, interfere with electrical equipment and generally move physical matter. (Whereas a regular earthbound spirit will not do these things.)

Is there a Poltergeist in your home?

Here are some of the signs a poltergeist may be present in your space:

  • You have heard footsteps, banging or knocking and there is no earthly explanation for these noises
  • Doors open and close of their own accord (with no wind or draughts present)
  • Door knobs turning and doors shaking as if there is someone struggling to open a locked door (but there is no-one on the other side…)
  • Furniture moves on its own
  • Appliances switch on and off of their own accord
  • Channels change on the TV
  • Lights switch on and off by themselves
  • You have felt someone touching you but there is no-one there.
  • Things disappear and show up again later in totally obvious places (a friend of mine told me about a dress she had been looking for that had been missing for months, and one day it was laid out on her bed for her, beautifully pressed and on a hanger. She lived alone and kept a tidy house…she says there was no way she had put it there herself.)

If you experience more than one of the signs above, it is quite possible that you have a poltergeist attached to your home.

How to Deal with ‘Things That Go Bump In The Night’

A very popular way to rid earthbound spirits and poltergeists from a space is by burning sage. In my experience, burning sage causes earthbound spirits to flee — they don’t like it at all. But saging doesn’t help them to cross over and it doesn’t stop them from coming back any time soon when the smell of sage wafts away. For this reason, I don’t usually bother with using sage — it’s OK if you have nothing else to use, but it’s definitely not the optimal way of clearing earthbound spirits. There is another way which involves helping these spirits to cross over to the light, and I’ll talk more about that in a later article.

OK, so we’ve now covered the two main types of spirit that can hang out in our homes.

Next, let’s have a look at another type of negative energy that can get into our spaces, which manifests similarly to an earthbound spirit or a poltergeist, but which is actually something completely different, on the energetic level.

It is what I call a “residual haunting”.

Residual Hauntings

A Residual Haunting sounds quite scary but this is just a negative past event which has been energetically imprinted onto a place, usually a home or a piece of land.

The negative emotions around the past event are encoded into the imprint, and there is almost always an element of trauma associated with them. They are essentially energy imprints created by individuals who experienced a terrible sense of suffering or a trauma at any given time, and they are most likely to be created by suicide attempts, accidents, murders, domestic violence, and sudden deaths.

Here in the UK we have so many ghosts and if you go on a ghost tour or read a book about ghosts, you will often find an element of a ghost mindlessly doing something over and over, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are repeating themselves. These are your residual hauntings.

One famous residual haunting is the ghost of Anne Boleyn who was charged with adultery by her husband Henry VIII, and executed. She was beheaded at the Tower of London and over the years she has been repeatedly seen with and without her head at the site of her execution, Tower Green.

Residual hauntings are often mistaken for earthbound spirits because they manifest as a spirit replaying a situation over and over again, like a record stuck on repeat – with visual and sound effects. But earthbound spirits are classed as ‘intelligent hauntings’, which means there is a real spirit involved. Whereas these residual hauntings are just energetic echoes – they are not actual spirits (even if they do look like one.)

Do you have a residual haunting in your home?

I regularly discover this type of energetic contamination when I clear out properties.

Here are some signs your home is being affected by this sort of haunting:

  • You see a spirit apparition in your home and it’s always doing the same thing
  • You hear distressed voices and they always sound the same
  • You hear crying/moaning or other unpleasant noises in your home
  • You have had a vision in your mind of something bad happening when you’re at home, but you feel it is not something that has any relevance to your family or your home
  • You’re an empath who generally feels bogged down by something negative that you can’t put your finger on when you’re at home (this could, however, be something else – I’ll go into that in the next article.)
  • You know there is a history of trauma in your home. I.e. there has been domestic violence in the home, someone died there (especially when it was unexpected), someone was murdered or someone attempted suicide in your home.

Residual hauntings are associated with very negative emotional energies so it is definitely a good idea to clear them from our spaces. And in a later article I’ll talk about how to do this.

Now let’s look at another type of negative energy that is very commonly found in our spaces:

This is also a form of energetic imprint caused by something happening inside the home — but this time it is a psychological energy, not an emotional one.

Negative Thought Forms

Negative thought forms are energies which are created by repeated negative thoughts and words (note that not all of the thoughts we think become thought forms – the energy of most thoughts actually disappears once they are spent. But if we (or another person) give our negative thoughts enough energy, and they are repeated over and over, they can take shape as a negative thought form.)

They’re often created by people who complain and gossip, and by those with a lot of negative self-talk. Wherever there are negative people, you will generally find negative thought forms. Often, these thought forms are ‘left behind’ in a space by someone who created them while they were in that space. They can also be directed at a space by someone on the outside of it.

Here’s an example of what this looks like in practice, when it comes to our homes and spaces:

Let’s say for example that a few hundred years ago, a wealthy family (who exploit the local workers) build an opulent mansion in their town. A lot of the townspeople resent this family, and when they see the house and walk past it, they think uncharitable thoughts about the owners.

Over time, some of these thought forms may attach to and accumulate in the building, polluting the fabric of the place. Thus the location becomes associated with the energies of exploitation, resentment and greed, and these energies may affect subsequent owners, as well as how visitors experience the place when they enter the building.

How do you know if you have negative thought forms in your space?

Well, they make the space feel sort of funky and a bit weird when they’re present – especially when they have no relevance to the here and now. When these thought forms were not created by you, they can also cause your space to feel like it’s not totally your own. I find that as an energetically sensitive person, they are most noticeable to me and most concentrated in thrift stores and charity shops because these places are full of peoples’ unwanted, often used items.

This is why we sometimes feel funky energies when we enter a building for the first time – we are picking up on energies that have no relevance to the here and now but which subtly affect us nevertheless. Buildings absorb the energy of events, thoughts, and feelings – these become imprinted on the fabric of the building. And place empaths will tend to be most affected by the kind of negative thought forms which accumulate in land, buildings and objects.

In addition, negative thought forms can contribute their underlying energies to our own negative thought patterns, in the same way that other people can aid and abet our own worst behaviours and thinking. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of being around someone who does a lot of negative thinking. If you spend enough time around such a person, you’ll find yourself taking on the same behaviours. Simply put, negative thought forms can be a subtle bad influence on our own thinking IF they match up to our own negative beliefs about ourselves, other people and the world. To use the example of the opulent home mentioned above, a person who is inclined to be cynical about other people may find themselves becoming influenced by the NTF’s in this space, and become even more prone to thinking the worst of others.

I hope you found this article informative. Stay tuned for the next article which comes out in 2 days — in it, I will go into several more types of negative energy that can affect our spaces, before talking about how we can clear all of these!

And if you don’t want to wait for the next article and you just want to get on with clearing your space, you may be interested in my Energy Clearing for Spaces Course, which teaches you how to diagnose and clear negative energies (and also to protect your space from them in future.)

Meet Anna

Hi, I’m Anna Sayce! My purpose here on this website is to provide practical techniques and information to help empaths to understand, and fix the root of their energetic overwhelm & also to help sensitives to embrace and develop their intuitive gifts. I believe that developing our spiritual & intuitive side is very powerful and allows us to improve our own lives, and if we wish, even make the world a better place for others. Discover more >


  1. Dave Duffell

    Thanks Anna,
    Great insight and looking forward to your next mail .

    Dave D.

  2. Marlene

    Hi Anna,

    Can poltergeists attach to people or travel with them? Or perhaps individuals may tend to attract different ones? I believe as a child and teenager, I had many poltergeist like interactions in my home and then again years later in two different homes in the state I’m currently in.

  3. Mithun Prakash.J

    I am Mithun Prakash.J from India. I am a reiki practitioner. One day I got a vibe of a female ghost immediately after waking up in the morning. It was from an abandoned home. I am a male. Another day when I was reading a newspaper, from the photo of a dead person who died in an accident, that person looked into my sacral chakra. I was reading other part of that newspaper. Sometimes I feel a sort of ghostly vibration inside me. I believe in all Gods.

  4. Anna Sayce

    Hi Marlene,

    Yes I do believe that poltergeists can attach to people. This is not something I’ve ever seen for a client, but when a person has no luck clearing a poltergeist from a space, I believe it is because the poltergeist is actually attached to the person – not the space. As I’ve never seen it in practice (and I’ve worked with lots of people) I am assuming it is not a common scenario.

  5. Sherry B

    I don’t feel there are negative thought forms in my home. The issue I have is my dead mother in law. She was a negative controlling woman and when she died I felt like she was controlling us from the dead. Negative things started happening and the resentment of her just exploded. Can she do that?

  6. Anna Sayce

    Hi Sherry,

    A few ideas:

    1. Have you ever a cut a cord with your M-I-L? Has your spouse?

    2. You or your spouse may have unwanted influencing energy in your aura(s)/home that originally came from her. That could be worth clearing (I’ll go into that in an upcoming article), plus instructions for clearing it from your aura are in my Empath Toolkit book:

    3. Occasionally it can happen that a soul has not crossed over after death and stays attached to a loved one or even a place. That can happen when 2 souls are very co-dependent in life and one of them dies. I’ve also seen it when someone is abusive and controlling, and they die and don’t want to relinquish control over the person they are abusing, even in death. This is why it is so important to free ourselves from truly abusive connections in life because they can linger after death if we are not careful. If you think that is the case, I’d suggest working with a professional rather than using a DIY technique like the ones I’m going to be talking about in my next article. Email me if you want a referral for that,


  7. LG

    Hi Anna,
    Can thought forms be seen or are they only felt? I’ve been trying to learn more about the ways in which they manifest. Thanks.

  8. Anna Sayce

    Hi LG,

    My guess is that NTF’s could manifest visually for clairvoyants but I think it’s more common for them to be felt, perhaps because most people are more clairsentient than clairvoyant.

  9. Maggie

    Anna, Your courses have been of invaluable help to me over the years. I believe that the land on which my development was built, holds a lot of negative energy because it was built on wetlands, its below sea-level, something the zoning board should not have allowed. In addition, there are at least two springs that cross under my house. So, I always tried to balance the excessive water-spirit because it had a profound effect on the moods and attitudes of my family. We were a joyful, active bunch, and I saw all of that disappear over the course of a few years. In addition, all of the symptoms of poltergeist activity on your list were a commonplace, as in, every day occurrence in my house. I had to have someone more experienced than I clear the place. Ever year or so, the energy starts to come back and I have to jump on it. Its been hard.

  10. Subhash Pandit

    Many thanks, dear Anna, for this informative and evoking deep thinking article. Your write ups are always making us think seriously about human life and its process. Regards
    Subhash Pandit
    Mumbai, India

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