Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Who Ya Gonna Call?
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Who Ya Gonna Call?

Local woman writes book about how to get rid of demons

Jodee Taylor - July 21st, 2014  


Samantha Harris doesn’t particularly like getting rid of demons. It gives her nightmares, makes her physically ill and provokes unexplained accidents.

But the flip side — people continuing to live with an evil spirit — is untenable as well.

“I do this solely to help people,” says Harris, 25. “They have nowhere else to turn.”

In order to help, she’s written “Fighting Malevolent Spirits,” a collection of stories of her own “house blessings” as well as DIY instructions for people who think they have mean spirits of their own.

Harris, who moved to Traverse City in March, uses herbs (white sage, sweetgrass), olive oil, salt and holy water in her house blessings and says she has a 98 percent success rate. The failures were at homes where the family didn’t follow her instructions, she says, or weren’t fully behind the process.

The blessings aren’t all sweetgrass and light, however. She’s had occasions when the “entity” has invaded her own home, where the “darkness” is so heavy it makes it hard for her to breathe or when clients have attacked, shrieking and yielding weapons.

And yet, Harris continues.

“I used to not believe in this stuff,” she admits, “and now I kind of specialize in demonology and get the worst-case scenarios.”

When Harris first hears from a potential customer — who either finds her through her website, via word-of-mouth or from one of her appearances on TV (which aired on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel’s Destination America) — she confers on the phone with them for an hour or two, both to gauge their sanity and to calculate the severity of the haunting. Most of her callers are not mentally ill, she says, although almost all have some kind of dysfunction, ranging from alcoholism to sexual abuse.

“Any negativity in a natural situation creates an opening,” Harris says, “and makes it easier for entities to attach themselves.”

The first call is almost a “mini psych evaluation,” Harris says, and includes asking about prescription drug use, to see if the “haunting” is a result of side effects or asking if the sound in the attic could possibly be a raccoon. But “90 percent are genuine hauntings.”

Harris herself has also had psychology evaluations, specifically when she was diagnosed with dyscalculia, a condition like dyslexia except with numbers. She’s passed them all. She’s a 2011 graduate of Michigan State with a degree in communications and runs her own wedding photography and videography business.

The “gift” (“or maybe it’s a curse,” Harris laughs) has been passed down on her mother’s side of the family, she says. “Every female is intuitive,” Harris says, but “we don’t use it. It’s like a muscle.” Her own premonitions started in grade school, when she dreamt about her grandmother’s beloved dog dying. She also was able to predict what was in wrapped presents and took a picture with an unexplained figure in it at summer camp on Burt Lake. She then began reading everything she could find.

Between graduation from Dexter High School and her freshman year at Central Michigan University, she helped a boyfriend’s family with an entity. It gave her the confidence to learn more about house blessings. She has since come up with her own materials and prayers, which are directed to a nondenominational spirit.

She doesn’t belong to an organized religion but says she works for God.

“She’s a very spiritual soul,” says her mother, Michelle Harris, 60. “She believes in God. God is much bigger than any one religion.”

Michelle Harris also has a “gift” and remembers knowing ahead of time what day her grandfather would die (“It was horrible”) and who was calling on the phone. When she was quite young, her grandmother asked her if she heard things other kids didn’t, then told her how to deal with it, Michelle Harris says.

“She told me to ask the spirits to leave — and they do!” says Michelle Harris. “She told me to call on God.”

Skeptics abound, of course, equally from religion and science, Samantha Harris says. She welcomes them.

“Skepticism is often given token lip service,” writes Sharon Hill for the Center for Inquiry, a national group of skeptics. “Several ARIGs (amateur research and investigation groups) say they welcome skeptics. However, what open-minded skepticism really means to them is that one is open to the paranormal conclusion as the correct conclusion.”

Hill goes on to say that, because “only certain gifted individuals can ‘sense’ the spirit present or communicate with the entity, the nongifted cannot confirm or deny such an observation.” Despite science having considered and rejected the existence of ghosts, the public still embraces the idea, Hill writes.

Michelle Harris says her daughter gets hate mail telling her she is working for the devil, among other things, and that having these powers has been hard on their personal lives as well. Samantha had a four-year relationship that broke up and Michelle is going through a divorce with her husband of 40- plus years.

“It does exact a toll,” Michelle Harris says.

Samantha Harris will visit Horizon Books in Traverse City for a book signing to coincide with Halloween on October 25 at 3p.m. For more information and other events, go to www.michiganpra.com.

 
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