Death Spells: Death, Ghosts, Necromancy, and Vampires - The Spells

The Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells - Judika Illes 2009

Death Spells: Death, Ghosts, Necromancy, and Vampires
The Spells

Death spells are not hexes nor are they meant to cause death. There are no “killing curses” here. Instead, “death spells” as a category revolves around the topic of death, death’s aftermath and death’s magical effect on both the departed and the living left behind. Although magical practitioners may be buried with their ritual tools, for a variety of reasons, most typically death spells are spells for the living. Ghosts, vampires and other denizens of the next-world will have to discover their own new repertoire of enchantment in the Summer-lands.

This was not always the case: ancient traditions from Egypt and Tibet for instance required that spells and rituals be learned in life so that they could be performed after death. The books, known in English as The Tibetan Book of the Dead (The Book of the Great Liberation) and the Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, record these traditions. Spiritual adepts trained for years, so that they would be prepared and show no fear when they finally faced their after-life examinations, sort of like the application process to a university with extremely tough admissions standards. (Although eventually in Egypt this practice degenerated into merely being able to present the appropriate spell or sacred text. Thus the wealthy were buried with Books of the Dead as amulets—or glorified hall passes!)

This is another of those spell categories that fall along the razor’s edge between religion, spirituality and magic. Cast these spells (or adapt them) as they correspond to your personal spiritual realities.

Death spells tend to fall into a few categories:

Spells to prepare and propitiate the dead so that they will not bother the living. Ritually correct* respectful funeral rites are crucial so that the dead will pass on peacefully to their next existence. Incorrect or absent rites may produce ghosts, demons, vampires or just general trouble

Spells to protect the living from the dead

Spells that permit the living to avail themselves of the dead’s special powers, with or without the dead person’s co-operation, including necromancy

Many of these spells are extremely ancient, so many presume that preparations for the dead person will be conducted at home, typically by someone who is either familiar with the deceased or familiar with correct magical procedure. However, for modern people in industrialized nations, death is primarily a topic to be avoided at all costs. Death has become a mystery, tended to by professionals. People no longer die at home: they die in hospitals or hospices. Families and loved ones no longer prepare the body: professionals whisk away the corpse and perform all functions discreetly away from the eyes of loved ones left behind. It is perhaps the area where magical cultures diverge most strongly from surrounding conventional ones. Magical cultures are concerned deeply with preparation of the body and the funeral rites. This is an extremely important threshold; if errors are made, there are potentially disastrous consequences for both living and dead:

Incorrect or absent funeral ritual leaves the soul of the deceased vulnerable to capture by a sorcerer who may use the soul as a tool for nefarious ends or as a work-slave. This belief dates back at least to ancient Babylon and survives in the duppies of the West Indies

The spirit of the deceased who cannot transition properly to the next realm has nothing better to do than hang around this realm and, depending upon their frustration level, make life miserable for the living. This applies particularly to unidentified homicide victims

In many cultures, the “next life” means becoming an ancestor and serving and protecting descendants. If proper burial rites as well as later propitiatory offerings aren’t available, neither is the potential power of an ancestor, leaving the dead angry and frustrated and the living vulnerable and unprotected

Death Spells also incorporate spells involving those who may be dead: ghosts or vampires. There’s overlap between spell categories; it can be difficult to distinguish between a “ghost spell” and a “death spell.”

Death Spells

Death Spirits or Spirits of Death sound so threatening compared to a Healing Spirit or a Spirit of Love. This isn’t mere modern squeamishness but an attitude shared with the ancients. Death Spirits, although they play a necessary function, made our ancestors nervous, too.


For purposes of organization, spells to prevent formation of ghosts and vampires, particularly those involving funerary rites and immediate post-death rituals, are grouped with Death Spells. Spells involving already formed “mature“ ghosts and vampires are classed under their own headings.

Death Spirits tend to fall into one of two categories:

Spirits who are involved in the dying process or who serve to ease the transition to the next life

Spirits who are guardians of the dead, who preside over the realms of the dead, or who rule cemeteries and cremation grounds

Many Spirit Guardians of Death’s Doors remain unnamed. As with Disease Spirits, there’s some reluctance to name many of them, just in case they actually come when called, thus epithets and euphemisms are frequently substituted. Often, a Death Spirit’s true name remains secret. Hades literally means “the unseen one.” Should that name become too familiar, other euphemisms may be substituted: Polydegmon means “the hospitable one” because, after all, everyone is welcome in his realm. Pluton means “wealth,” because ultimately he owns everyone and everything.

Despite the fear they instill, these Spirits can be very needed, helpful and welcome—at the right moment, of course. Their assistance is incorporated into many spells for a variety of reasons and purposes.

Guardians of the next world and of the cemetery gates include:

Baron Samedi, leader of the Vodoun Ghede spirits, and his consort, La Grande Brigitte

Dongyue Dadi, Lord of Tai Shan (China)

Erishkigal/Lamashtu (Mesopotamia)

Hades, Persephone (Greece)

Hella (Norse)

Kali, Shiva, Yama (Hindu)

Mictlantecutli and Mictecacuiuatl (Aztec Lord and Lady of the Dead)

Oya (Yoruba)

Osiris (Egypt)

Yambe Akka (Saami)

Appeal to these guardian spirits to protect the souls of the dead, and also to maintain control over the souls of the dead, keeping them in line, so to speak. Petition them also for access to the spirits of the dead, should this be desired.


Psychopomp means “conductor of souls” in Greek. The term refers to a specific type of spirit, entrusted with a specific type of function. These are the spirit guides who lead the soul between the lands of the living and the dead. (In addition, they sponsor, protect and guide shamans who journey back and forth between the realms.) You will recognize them in your dreams or waking visions by the attributes they carry; traditional emblems for this class of spirits include a key, a cutting instrument and/or a torch. Culso, an Etruscan psychopomp, for instance, awaits the arrival of all souls. He carries scissors in one hand to sever ties with the realm of the living and a bright flaming torch to light the way toward new adventures.

Psychopomps include:

Angels: Gabriel, Azrael and the unnamed “Angel of Death” (Jewish)

Anubis, Hathor, Wepwawet (Egypt)

Baron Samedi, Baron La Croix and Baron Cimitiere (Vodoun)

Culso (Etruscan)

The Valkyries and Freya (Norse)

Giltine (Lithuania)

Hecate, Hermes (Greece)

Jizo (Japan)

Mother Holle (German)

Animals serve as psychopomps, too. The most famous are dogs, jackals and other canines. Many spirit psychopomps manifest in these forms. These include Anubis and Kali (jackals), Hecate (dog) and Wepwawet (wolf). Other animal psychopomps include butterflies, snakes, and birds, especially ravens, crows, hornbills, and frigates. It is considered extremely auspicious if any of these creatures make a spontaneous appearance at a funeral or similar post-death rites. This indicates that the escort service for the soul has arrived and is intended to comfort and reassure the living.

Psychopomps may be petitioned to ease the travails of the dying, by the dying person or their loved ones alike.

Angel of Death Intervention Spell

Foil the angel of death by changing a person’s name! Death angels in Jewish tradition, similar to Chinese death spirits, possess a bureaucratic nature. Instructions must be followed to a “t,” thus they come prepared with a magical warrant naming the specific person whose soul is scheduled for harvest. (It’s believed dangerous to have too many people—like more than one—bearing the same name in one family. The Angel of Death might get confused and take the youthful one instead of the aged.)

In case of life-threatening illness, should a visit from the Angel of Death genuinely be feared, change the afflicted person’s name. Traditional choices are Raphael for a boy, interpreted to mean “The Creator heals” or Eve for a girl, which literally means “life.” Other options are names of animals, especially “Bear,” “Lion” or “Wolf” because these creatures are perceived as holding onto life particularly fiercely and tenaciously.

Should the illness and threat of death abate, it’s considered wise to maintain the new names, even changing names legally, on the off chance that the Angel is still searching.

Baron Samedi’s Appeal for Life Spell

There are many magic spells for healing illness. From a certain perspective these may be understood as spells that indirectly seek to prevent or forestall death. There are very few spells, however, that openly and directly target prevention of death, perhaps because most magical philosophies understand death as part of the process of life.

In an emergency, however, a rare exception is an appeal to Baron Samedi. The Ghede are the Vodoun spirits of death and the guardians of the cemetery. They control the crossroads between life and death. Baron Samedi is their leader, owner of the metaphoric and literal cemetery; ultimately no one can die if Baron Samedi refuses to “dig the grave.” You’ll have to have a very good explanation of why a life must be spared, however Baron Samedi has been known to be sympathetic to appeals made on behalf of dying children.

Offer Baron Samedi a piece of dry toast, a cup of black coffee and some dry roasted peanuts. He drinks rum in which 21 very hot peppers have been steeped. Cigarettes and cigars are appreciated as well.

Give the Baron a pair of black sunglasses, with one lens popped out, demonstrating that he can see in two worlds, the realms of the dead and the living. (Once you’ve given the gift, they’re his; don’t put them on afterwards.)

Set up an altar, make your offering and start talking, explicitly, respectfully and frankly about what you need and what will be offered in exchange for a miracle.

Brigitte’s Appeal for Life Spell

If you perceive that a woman may be more sympathetic, appeals may also be made to La Grande Brigitte, Maman Brigitte, Baron Samedi’s Scottish-born wife. She co-owns the cemetery with the Baron.

Offer La Grande Brigitte nine purple eggplants together with a glass of red wine.

If possible, set up her offering by the central cross in a cemetery or under a willow or elm tree. Given the choice, the most auspicious day to petition her is on a Wednesday.

Light a white or purple candle for Maman Brigitte, make your appeal and explain why it should be considered.

Burial Protection Spell

Drive or carry the deceased around the cemetery sunwise (either one or three times is recommended) before burial, for protection and luck during the next journey.

Epidemic Lock and Key Spell

There’s only so much one family should have to bear; however, epidemics are greedy and know no boundaries. This spell can only be performed after at least one member of a family has succumbed to an epidemic. It must be cast during that person’s burial in an attempt to protect other members of the immediate family. Someone in the family casts the spell.

Lock a padlock while focusing on your desired goal.

Throw the closed padlock into the grave so that no further members of the family will follow the deceased into the grave.

Bury the padlock under Earth together with the coffin. It must not be removed under any circumstances, nor ever opened.

If there is a key, put it in a small bag filled with stones and drop it into a river, arriving and leaving via a circuitous route, without looking back.

Escort Service to the Beyond Spell (1) Tarot Card

To request this sort of escort service, either for yourself during the dying process or for a loved one immediately following death, remove the Moon card from a Rider-Waite tarot deck or a thematically similar deck.

Place it where you can meditate on the image. The two canines are the awaiting psychopomps; the crab or lobster is the soul beginning its next, long journey.

Try to go into the card, jump inside and see what happens. Practice jumping in and out of the card; it’s important to the success of the ritual that you’re confident that you can emerge safely. The subject of death is a mystery and so to some extent is this spell.

Enter the card and see what assistance you can bring back with you.

Escort Service to the Beyond Spell (2) Spirit Intervention

If, for any reason, the soul of the deceased seems to be lingering or doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to make the next journey, appeal to one of the psychopomps to provide an immediate pick-up service. Any of the spirits may be petitioned, although one dear to the deceased would be the kindest choice.

If you’re unsure what to do, burn white candles and provide one of the fragrances that call in spirits best: benzoin, cinnamon, frankincense or sandalwood. Call the spirit by name and request that it comes to collect the recalcitrant soul quickly.

Escort Service to the Beyond Spell (3) Psychopomp Spell

Knowledge that a psychopomp awaits, that the journey won’t be made alone, can be very comforting. Some like to be surprised but others prefer to choose their own tour-guides. This spell allows you to magically place your order.

Gather images to represent assorted psychopomps: assorted deities may be represented as well as canines (dogs, jackals, wolves), snakes (especially aspects of the Vodou Iwa Simbi), and birds (corvids, hornbills, seagulls). Flames may be used to represent angels.

Place them on an altar or cast a circle with the images. Accompany by burning candles and incense, especially benzoin.

If you find one particular image calls to you, intrigues or comforts you, keep it by your bedside or sleep with it under your pillow.

Escort Service to the Beyond Spell (4) Hecate

Toss wolfsbane/aconite into a simmering cauldron to invoke Hecate’s escort service to the beyond. (Beware: wolfsbane is very toxic!)

Escort Service to the Beyond Spell (5) Canine Intervention

Many spiritual traditions believe that a dog psychopomp awaits the newly dead, waiting to lead the way to the next existence. Without the dog, it was believed, the dead soul was doomed to wander and never find the right path. Trusting souls know that their loyal spirit dog awaits them, however, not everyone has faith. Perhaps out of anxiety, different traditions tried to compensate: sometimes a familiar pet was killed following a person’s death so that they could be buried together, with this pet dog assuming the role of psychopomp. The ancient people of what is now Mexico came up with a happier magical solution:

Create or obtain a clay image of a dog; it can look like a specific breed or individual dog or just be a generic canine.

Incorporate this figure into funeral rites, either burying together with the person or cremating them together.

Fiery Ring of Protection

Until funeral rites occur, maintain lit candles around the body to create a fiery wall of protection.

Irish tradition designates a dozen candles steadily burning; other traditions suggest two (one each at head and foot), four (marking the body’s cardinal points) or as many as can be squeezed around.

Light a new candle, every time one burns out.

Guardian of the Dead Spell: Osiris

Osiris, Lord of the Dead, presides over the Western Lands, the ancient Egyptian after-life. He may be petitioned to guard the soul of a loved one. Burn frankincense and gum arabica in Osiris’s honor; light black and green candles. Osiris accepts offerings of spring water, flowers, and grain.

Iris Spell

Popular Greek mythology indicates that Iris was a messenger for the Olympian spirits until she was supplanted by Hermes. Iris had other roles, too: she served as psychopomp for women’s shades. Plant purple irises on women’s graves to ensure Iris’s help and blessing.

Funeral Cleansing Spells

Once upon a time, the first magic spell one encountered, immediately after birth, was an enchanted cleansing bath. One’s final Earthly magical activity (at least in this body) was similarly a magical bath. Just as childbirth rituals frequently incorporate cleansing spells (specifically, cleansing baths), so last rites usually incorporated a magical/spiritual cleansing bath. The body is bathed, typically with spiritually cleansing, protective materials. Incense may also be burnt to cleanse and comfort.

Chervil Incense

Chervil, also known as Sweet Cicely or British myrrh, was among the ancient Egyptian funerary herbs. Remains of the herb were found within Tutankhamun’s tomb. Burn the dried herb as incense to comfort the bereaved and also to enable them to contact the deceased if desired.

Copal Incense

Copal is traditionally burned during Mexican Day of the Dead rituals but it may be used anytime. Its fragrance allegedly pleases, pacifies, and honors those who have passed on, while protecting and cleansing the living at the same time.

Funeral Cleansing Spell (1)

Different traditions emphasize different cleansers. Select one or any combination of the following:



Lime (fresh slices, rather than the essence)





Funeral Cleansing Spell (2)

According to Seneca tradition, the oils of two evergreen trees, Canadian hemlock and balsam fir are used to wash and prepare the body. Bodies are then laid out for funerary ceremonies on boughs of the trees.

Funeral Garland (1)

This garland offers immediate comfort and spiritual cleansing. Each tear is charged with blessings and may be burned at a later stage for protection or in attempts to contact the deceased. Pierce tears of frankincense and myrrh and string onto thread. Give the garlands to funeral attendees to take home as a talisman to burn as needed.

Funeral Garland (2)

Pierce cloves and string them onto a necklace. Wear or hang to comfort the bereaved.

Hyacinth Spell

Fill the home with fresh hyacinths to comfort the bereaved and assuage their grief.

Jasmine Incense

Burn jasmine incense to protect and purify, comfort the bereaved, and honor the deceased.

Ocean Cleansing Spell

Life emerges from salt water, both metaphorically speaking and literally. Each person begins their Earthly incarnation swimming in their mother’s salty amniotic fluid. Ocean water is also used to signal rebirth in the next realm.

Gather ocean water; add essential oil of lavender and bathe the deceased’s body with this liquid. If real ocean water is impossible for you to get, place as much salt in spring water as possible, preferably Dead Sea salt, and use this instead.

Sandbox Cleansing Spell

No, not that kind of sandbox; sandbox tree is the popular name given to euphorbia, a member of the spurge botanical family. Make an infusion of its leaves with which to intensively spiritually cleanse a house from which a corpse has been removed.

White Sage

Burn white sage to comfort the bereaved and to provide simultaneous spiritual cleansing.

Funerary Preparation Spell (1)

Create an infusion by pouring boiling water over myrtle, mugwort, and rue. Use this liquid to bathe the body.

Funerary Preparation Spell (2)

Place a fresh sprig of basil over the deceased’s chest to provide safe passage to the next realm.

Funerary Preparation Spell (3)

Place fresh rosemary in the deceased’s hands, for protection against any coming dangers.

Funeral Protective Spell (1)

Amulets and travel-charms may be sent along for the journey, for luck and protection, as exemplified by the ancient Egyptians who filled the tombs of the wealthy with every object needed to maintain the lifestyle to which the dead person was accustomed, including magical models of people to serve them and do their bidding in the next life. Even the poorest person, however, was buried with basic protective amulets and an eye-makeup palette, necessary for magic as well as maintaining appearances.

The Egyptians cultivated a magical science of amulets and talismans for a variety of purposes. There were over thirty styles of funerary amulet alone. These included:

Eyes of Horus


Tet amulets (Buckle of Isis)

Djed amulet (Pillar of Osiris)

Vulture shaped amulets

Funeral Protective Spell (2)

The body may be decorated after death. In particular, henna is used to provide good fortune and protection in the next realm. Different traditions use different designs; choose what resonates for you. Drawing the image of an amulet, if accompanied by the chanting of sacred texts and charging through magical focus, was believed to equal the actual amulet in ancient Egypt.

Using henna, decorate the deceased’s hands and feet, incorporating Egyptian funerary amulet designs.

Funeral Protective Spell (3)

Place sulfur in the coffin to protect against evil and danger.

Funeral Protective Spell (4) Dog Amulet

Craft a dog from paper and place it within the coffin for protection and guidance.

Ghost Prevention Spell (1)

Immediately following a death, brew substantial quantities of bayberry (Myrica cerifera) tea, in order to follow a Seminole recommendation to prevent ghosts.

Family and friends of the deceased should drink this tea, as well as bathing their heads and arms with it for three days following the death.

Ghost Prevention Spell (2)

Bury the body in the same spot where the deceased’s placenta and/or umbilical cord were buried: allegedly this prevents the soul from returning as a ghost.

Hair Girdle Spell

It is customary in many traditions to remove a lock of the deceased’s hair as a keepsake or memento. An Australian aboriginal custom suggests the metaphysical origins of this tradition. Think of “girdle” in terms of a magic belt or “girding your loins,” rather than as a figure-shaping undergarment.

When a man dies, his hair is cut off by a male relative.

It’s woven into a belt and presented to the deceased’s eldest son. Wearing this magic belt transmits all the positive masculine qualities of the deceased and enhances the wearer’s psychic skills.

Madame Death Spell

Central Europe’s Madame Death is a unique spirit. When she arrives, she actually teaches you how to die, demonstrating how to do it, and then serves as escort during the transition. If it’s time to contact her, look for Madame Death sitting at the crossroads or in apple and pear trees. It’s unnecessary to bring her gifts or offerings, and you can’t see her until she’s ready to see you.

Passport to Death

In many disparate magic and spiritual traditions, a tattoo serves as the passport to the next world. The tattoo serves as an identifying mark for the psychopomp and gains one admittance to the afterlife, in the sort of way some clubs and museums stamp one’s hand when allowed entrance. It’s believed that this reason was among the initial stimuli for the concept of permanently tattooing the body.

This tattoo is applied when one is still living, typically on the hand or inner wrist. Geometric patterns are typical; however, consider what your passport should look like. If you’re not sure but would like one, turn to the Divination Spells to help you determine what sign is needed.

Mysteries of Death Contemplation Spell (1) Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga is the Russian spirit who rules the conjunction of magic and harsh reality, of limits and possibilities. This Death Spirit provides fertility when she chooses, but she also consumes those who disappoint her. Baba Yaga, iron-toothed and boney-legged, wears a necklace of human skulls; her home is surrounded by a fence crafted from human bones. She offers comprehension, not comfort.

Like her compatriot spirits, Kali and La Santisima Muerte, Baba Yaga encompasses all the mysteries of life and death; contemplate her in order to begin to comprehend these mysteries. This spell doesn’t suggest contacting her (the Baba has little patience; don’t waste her time without good reason), but this kind of magical contemplation instead.

Build an altar featuring birch wood and leaves, animal imagery, a mortar, pestle and broom, and, especially, food and drink. Baba Yaga is always voraciously hungry. Offer her real food or cut out photo images for the altar: she’s especially fond of Russian extravagances like coulibiac. Offer her a samovar with blocks of fine Russian caravan tea and perhaps a water pipe.

Sit with the altar, gaze at it from different angles, play with the objects and see what comes to mind.

Mysteries of Death Contemplation Spell (2) Sheela na Gig

The sheela na gig is the crossroads where fertility and sterility, birth and death meet. The sheela na gig is a genre of ancient Celtic images depicting a naked wizened crone holding her legs open as if she were giving birth, although she is clearly too old to do so. The sheela na gig stretches her parturient vagina open with her hands as if it were a gate, while looking the viewer in the eye: many traditional belief systems perceive the Earth Mother as the ultimate source of life and death. One returns to her after death only to emerge again. The sheela na gig invites you to contemplate these mysteries.

Create an altar of contemplation with a sheela na gig as the focal point.

Combine images of fertility and death: include pomegranates, bones, seashells and feathers.

If one is brave or curious enough, visualize stepping through the gate the sheela na gig holds open.

Discussions of death inevitably leads one to consider one’s own mortality and the mysteries of what happens after death. Many traditions believe in reincarnation. Rituals are performed to discover previous identities.

Past-life Spells: Crystalline Memory Bank

Stones and crystals contain the memories of the world. Certain crystals allegedly evoke long-buried memories in others, especially past-life memories. Brown crystals, in general, are believed beneficial to this purpose. Among those considered especially effective are: cuprite; garnet; jasper, especially brown jasper; serpentine; and variscite.

Crystal Past Life Spell: the Passive Method

Simply wear, carry or sleep with the crystals and allow memories to arise of their own volition.

Crystal Past Life Spell: the Active Method

Place one crystal onto the Third Eye area, above the point where one’s brows meet, and consciously try to remember. Be aware, however, that these memories cannot be forced or commanded.

Past Life Spells: Magic Mirror

Do not expect immediate success with this spell. It takes practice; an extended period of time may be required before results are achieved. It is more difficult than it seems; do not perform the ritual for more than fifteen minutes at a time, until a successful momentum is achieved. You will need a chair and a table, with a white candle and either a fixed or hand-held mirror.

Take all spiritual precautions. Cast a circle around the table and chair.

Burn mugwort and sandalwood within the circle.

Light the candle and place it between yourself and the mirror.

Keep your mind clear and calm.

Gaze at your face in the mirror neutrally—this is not the moment to count pimples, wrinkles or despair at your nose.

Call your own name clearly and distinctly three times.

Eventually you may be tempted to call another name or another name will simply fall from your lips. Try it: ask the mirror to show you who you were.

Petrified Wood Past Life Spells

Pieces of petrified wood are typically sold alongside crystal gemstones. Like crystal gemstones, they’re believed to retain memory and are used to help access those buried within you.

Petrified Wood Past Life Spell (1)

Hold a piece of petrified wood in your hand during conscious attempts at past-life regression.

Petrified Wood Past Life Spell (2)

Place a piece of petrified wood in a charm bag. Wear it around your neck while sleeping for information to appear in your dreams.


Burn sandalwood to stimulate past-life recall.

Wisteria Past Life Spell

Hang wisteria over your bed to access past-life memories while you sleep.

Following removal of the body, it’s recommended that any rooms where it was kept be swept out completely. (See also Cleansing Spells, page 185223.)

Post-Death Cleansing Spell

Sweep the house thoroughly using a single use ritual broom or any other broom that you’re not sorry to lose.

Dispose of any dust and debris outside the house, ideally by burning.

Dispose of the broom immediately, outside the home, preferably at a crossroads unless, of course, you’d like return visits; then keep the broom as a summoning device.

Rest in Peace? Barometer Spell

Do the dead rest easy? Flowers and flowering shrubs may be planted on the grave to serve as barometers. Allegedly if the flowers thrive and bloom, there’s no need to worry about whoever’s in the grave. Of course, some plants are considered better barometers than others. Marjoram is believed to provide a good guarantee: if it thrives on a grave, the person within is certain to be content.

Rest in Peace? Barometer Spell (2)

A Jewish variant of the above suggests planting a cutting of elder on the grave. If it flourishes, this is a sign that the soul of the deceased is peaceful and happy. (It’s not necessary to be a passive spell participant in this or the spell above; do whatever is necessary to keep the plants alive and thriving.)

Rest in Peace Aloe Vera Spell

Plant aloe vera on the gravesite in order to soothe the deceased, ease any sense of loneliness or abandonment, and prevent their longing for the living.

Rest in Peace Chamomile Spell

A carpet of chamomile planted over a grave encourages the dead to sleep and also eases their passage to the next realm.

Rest in Peace Floral Spell

Cover graves with a carpet of daisies and bluebells to bring peace to the deceased and joy to the bereaved, and to invite the presence of benevolent guardian spirits.

Rest in Peace Juniper Spell

Burn juniper berries at the gravesite during the funeral to ward off any malicious or mischievous spirits.

Rest in Peace Ghost Prevention Spell

Drive iron arrowheads into the ground at the foot and head of the deceased’s body to prevent the formation and return of a ghost.

Rest in Peace Paint the Stone Spell

Alternatively, keep the deceased content by dressing their tombstone:

Powder dried henna blossoms, roses and pinks together and grind them into a fine powder.

Add water to make a paste and paint the headstone with this mixture.

Repeat as needed.

Rest in Peace Rowan Spell

Plant rowan trees in the cemetery, especially overlooking graves, to watch over the spirits of the dead.

Rest in Peace Sleep Well Spell

To encourage the dead to sleep peacefully and deeply, strew wild poppy seeds throughout the cemetery.

Rest in Peace Willow Spell

Place willow branches on the side of a grave to drive away mean spirits and meddling, troublesome ghosts. These willow branches will also prevent the deceased’s ghost from rising, protect living visitors from “ghost sickness,” and attract benevolent, protective spirits of the dead.

Replace the branches as needed.

Rest in Peace Just try to Get Out Spell

Planting thorn bushes on graves allegedly prevents either vampires or ghosts from rising.

Rest in Peace Pinal Amends Spell

Ideally one has the opportunity to say a final farewell to the deceased and depart on good terms. This is not, unfortunately, always the case. This can stimulate great pain and regret for the one left behind. According to a Romany tradition, however, it’s never too late to make amends. This spell should relieve your heart and also forestall any possible difficulties with a testy, still-resentful ghost.

Go to the grave.

Offer a libation of spring water or whatever would be the beverage of choice. A small gift of some kind might not be a bad idea either.

Talk to the person. Be frank and familiar. The standard speech goes something like this:

I forgive you. Don’t harm me, don’t haunt me.

I behaved badly towards you [or specify the situation]

Please forgive me. I forgive you.

Ideally a response is received shortly, in dreams if not in waking life.

Rest in Peace Food of the Dead Spell

Although it’s customary in many traditions to spend time at the gravesite, cleaning, caring and sometimes bringing offerings of food and drink, a more direct method was used in ancient Greece.

Create a blend of olive oil, honey and spring water. This may be poured directly onto the grave, or poured through a tube into the grave. Meanwhile, the living should picnic nearby.

Rest in Peace Menu of the Dead Spell

Asphodel is allegedly among the favored foods of the dead. Asphodel is sometimes planted on graves, however the legend is also taken literally. Prepare asphodel—it’s typically roasted—and leave it atop a grave to comfort and satisfy the deceased within.

Rest in Peace Tansy Eternal Life Spell

Tansy is described as an herb of life everlasting. It allegedly comforts the bereaved while assuring the dead that they will not be forgotten. Sprinkle ocean water or Holy Water over the deceased’s body using a tansy branch as an asperging tool.

Severing the Ties that Bind Spelt (1) French Caribbean

When two people were very much in love and one dies, especially suddenly, both parties may continue to cling to each other intensely. This creates a type of paralysis for both: the living person isn’t really living, while the deceased can’t completely depart. A spell from the French Antilles attempts to sever these unhealthy ties between living and dead.

Cut acacia branches into either three or nine wands.

The living person must go to the grave and whip the ground repeatedly with these wands until they feel a release.

Severing the Ties that Bind Spell (2) Oaxaca

A ritual from Oaxaca helps create healthy boundaries between a living woman and her deceased husband:

Immediately following death, the widow sits alone at home, grieving for nine days. She neither communicates with nor looks at anyone. Food is brought to her but she’s left alone.

On the ninth day, she’s brought fresh, clean clothes.

Carrying the clothes, she hurries immediately to a river or ritual bath, stopping only three times to draw breath. She must not talk on the way.

A complete bath is taken, submerging entirely three times.

When she puts on her fresh clothes, her mourning is complete and she is free from the influence of the dead.

The most complex, organized system of modern after-life offerings may derive from Taoist traditions. The Chinese after-life is organized like a bureaucracy. Huang Feihu, a warrior prince who was deified after death, eventually transformed into Dongyue Dadi, Supreme Ruler of the Underworld. He is responsible for maintaining the registry that contains every individual’s expiration date, the day of their death. When the due date arrives, underlings are dispatched to collect the soul.

Souls ideally are transformed into loving, guiding ancestors. A system of reciprocity exists: ancestors protect the living, the living feed and care for the deceased, keeping them strong and well provided for so that the deceased can continue to care for them in turn. The dead live in a parallel universe and they, too, have needs that descendants must provide. Although edible offerings may be included, many Chinese spirit offerings take the form of burned paper.

Spirit Mail Spell (1) The Bank of Hell (1)

Once upon a time perhaps real cash money was burned, as it was elsewhere in the world. Obvious flaws may be observed with this system. If the ancestors really care about you, do they want you to go broke?

Special spirit money was designed instead, specific currency to be used by ancestors in the next realm: it is delivered to them, through the air, by burning. This spirit cash, typically drawn on the Bank of Hell, is easily and inexpensively obtained from feng shui suppliers and Chinatown vendors.

Because even the afterlife modernizes, and no doubt the cost of living increases in the other realm just as it does here, Bank of Hell checkbooks are now available, as are credit cards so that the ancestors may shop for themselves. The reference to Hell doesn’t insult ancestors, by the way, implying that their behavior on Earth was less than exemplary or requiring of punishment: there’s no connection with the Christian concept of Hell. It’s merely a somewhat sardonic reference to everyone’s fate in the afterlife.

Burn spirit money as you will. If you need your ancestors to work harder for you or perhaps you’d like to do something for them, set up an ancestor altar.

Arrange photographs, if you have them, or place objects on a tablet that remind you of your ancestors or would remind them of their connection with you.

Place a white candle on the altar, together with a glass of pure spring water or Spirit Water. Make any other offerings you deem fit.

Light the white candle and burn generous quantities of Bank of Hell notes.

Spirit Mail Spell (2) The Bank of Hell (2)

The immediate presence of death sometimes opens portals between this realm and the spirit realm, causing a sudden awareness of hovering spirits and hungry ghosts. Toss or burn Spirit Money at crossroads to assuage and please lurking ghosts and spirits. This is especially beneficial during funeral processions.

Spirit Mail Spell (3) Next Realm Post Office

The ancient Egyptians had a sort of spirit mail, too, also delivered through smoke, although theirs took the form of an actual letter to the deceased. Their tradition is very easily adapted.

Write a letter to the person you’d like to contact. Write down exactly what you need to say.

Place this letter inside an offering bowl or on an altar.

Cover the letter with food offerings. The Egyptians would have used bread, but use whatever is appropriate for your precise situation.

Embellish the altar as needed: offer candles, food and libations.

Eventually burn the letter: it will be received via smoke and air.

Death is one of life’s major thresholds: there are spells for the periods immediately preceding and immediately following death.

Scarab Spell

The scarab, the most popular amulet of ancient Egypt, still retains its popularity. The amulet depicts a scarab beetle and is usually crafted from faience or gemstones. The scarab represents the Egyptian deity Khephra (an aspect of Ra) “He Who Turns,” representing the eternal return of the sun. The scarab, a lucky health-bestowing amulet, was used to replace the heart during mummification and is a meditative symbol of everlasting life.

The scarab serves as an instrument of the divine: to heal and promote longevity or to promote peaceful, graceful transitions to the next realm. Whisper words, blessings, sacred verses, names of power, or wishes into the scarab. Give it as a gift to someone who stands near the threshold of life and death.

Threshold Transition Spell (1) Crystals

Crystals can help ease the tradition: place aquamarines strategically on the body.

Threshold Transition Spell (2) Elder Wood

Elder wood eases the transition to the beyond and may be used to unlock various paths, speeding the journey. Either place a branch of elder wood within the coffin, or cremate elder wood with the body.

Threshold Transition Spell (3) Flower Essence Remedies

Among flower essence remedies’ finest expression is their ability to ease the transition from life to death. Flower essence remedies are either given internally or gently massaged into the dying person’s feet. The following are especially recommended:

Angels’ trumpet (FES), to ease the process and promote spiritual surrender

Angelica (FES, Pegasus), to connect with the angels and psychopomps and to beseech their protection and benevolence

Blackberry (FES), which eases depression and fear

Chrysanthemum (FES), which stimulates the courage to contemplate the journey ahead

Grape (Master’s Flower Essence), which eases the sense of abandonment during the dying process and following death

Purple Monkeyflower (FES), which eases and resolves the terror of dying

Scarlet Monkeyflower (FES), to help resolve rage and anger about death and dying

Sweet Chestnut (Bach), to relieve the bitter isolation of the soul

Tobacco (Pegasus), which promotes spiritual surrender

Threshold Transition Spell (4) Midsummer’s Ashes

Midsummer’s ashes bring fertility but also assist the dying to cross the threshold into the next realm.

Place ashes from the Midsummer’s bonfires in a charm bag.

Give it to a dying person (have them wear it or place under the pillow) to ease the transition to the next realm.

Threshold Transition Spell (5) Pennyroyal Spell (1)

Pennyroyal, a member of the mint family, serves as a botanical magical bridge between life and death. (As befitting its magical usage, pennyroyal is unsafe for pregnant women to handle.) Pennyroyal aids in the transition from one realm to the next.

Pour boiling water over pennyroyal to create an infusion. Strain and use the liquid to bathe the deceased.

Threshold Transition Spell (6) Pennyroyal Spell (2)

Sprinkle dried, powdered pennyroyal on and within the coffin.

Threshold Transition Spell (7) Protect the Living

The period immediately following death, from a magical standpoint, is perceived as being as vulnerable for the living as for the deceased. One way of looking at it is to recognize Death as one of the pre-eminent thresholds, with as much attendant vulnerability as the Birth process. Everyone immediately present at that threshold, whether they are the dying individual or not, is exposed to some metaphysical danger.

Another way of looking at it is that when death occurs one of the psychopomps is present and may still be lingering. Is anyone else scheduled for the pick-up service or could mistakes be made? Various customs have evolved to ensure the safety of living and recently deceased alike.

Immediately turn mirrors to face the wall or cover them entirely. It is considered harmful to capture the reflection of any angels of death. In addition, it’s believed dangerously shocking should the soul of the deceased view their post-death reflection, or lack thereof

Traditionally, the deceased is never left unattended. Someone must stay with them, from the moment of burial until funeral rites are complete. In places where malevolent sorcery attempts to exploit the dead, a vigil may also be kept following burial in the cemetery for specified periods of time, allowing the soul to depart and decomposition of the body to begin

Burn candles near the deceased. Some traditions ring the body with candles; others place one candle at the foot, another at the head while other traditions keep the candles burning beneath the deceased’s bed

Threshold Transition Spell (8) Iron Safety Spell

Should death occur at home, iron is used to secure and ground the living. Death is believed to infect water and food.

Thrust a piece of iron, like a nail or a knife, into every item of food (meat, cheese, canisters of flour and sugar, for instance) to prevent and combat this contagion.

Standing water should be thrown out of the house.

The iron may be thrust into open bottles; securely sealed bottles, like beer and wine bottles, are generally considered safe from contamination.

Threshold Transition Spell (9) Travel Assistance

In order for their journey to be successful, the dead soul may require some ritual assistance from the living. A lingering soul may need reassurances as well as explicit instructions to leave. It’s important to be very clear in this ritual, repeating the deceased’s name, calmly but frequently, so that there’s no confusion about who is being discussed.

Offer whatever was the person’s favorite drink as a libation. Share a glass, too.

Burn sandalwood, frankincense and/or benzoin.

Think of the departed and light white and/or silver candles.

Say, clearly and aloud if possible:

I light this candle for [name].

I remember [name] and will always remember [name] even though [name] has departed.

I wish [name] peace and love and safety.

May [name] rest in peace.

Our love journeys with you forever.

Threshold Transition Spell (10) Walking Papers Spell

The ritual above may be performed after funeral rites. A similar Tibetan-derived spell must be done before the body is removed from the home.

Serve a meal to the deceased, before the body’s removal from the home.

An elder or other authoritative member of the family then speaks firmly to the deceased, in clear, calm, no-nonsense language, saying something like: [Name!] Listen! You’re dead. Don’t have any doubts about this.

There’s nothing for you here anymore.

Enjoy this meal. It’s the last one.

Eat a lot. You have a long journey ahead of you.

Good luck. We love you.

Fortify yourself and don’t come back.

Threshold Transition Spell (11) Threshold of Time

Sometimes the home must be brought back to order following the inherent trauma caused by a death in the family. An Obeah ritual creates a healing threshold period for the living as well as for a lingering soul.

Maintain a dish of plain spring water and burning candles in the room where the death occurred and/or the body was prepared for burial for nine days.

Change nothing in that room during those nine days except for replacing candles as needed and substituting fresh water daily.

When the nine days are complete, dispose of the water, the pan and the candles outside the home.

Redecorate the room: rearrange the furniture, change pictures and ornaments, even purchase new furniture.

Threshold Transition Spell (12) These Shoes were Meant for Leaving

According to some traditions, the shoes belonging to a dead person must be removed immediately. It’s not auspicious for a living person to step into these shoes, nor should they be left to tempt the deceased to return.

Gather up all shoes belonging to the deceased.

Take them to the woods.

Throw shoes in every direction and leave them there.

Threshold Transition Spell (13) Willow Spell

Willow trees are among those sacred to Hecate. Among their other magical uses, they ease passage to the next realm. Plant a willow tree to assure easy passage after death; although this may be done any time, for the spell to be effective, the willow must be alive when you die. For added enhancement, have leaves or small branches of this tree placed within the coffin.

Transition Incense

This incense blend has healing, strengthening, and empowering properties but also opens the road to the next realm, if this is inevitable. Burn cypress, angelica, and juniper. (Use the dried powdered botanical, whole botanicals, or essential oils as desired.)

Transition Incense Myrrh

Burn myrrh to ease and illuminate a person’s transition between life and death.

Death’s Gifts: Magical Ingredients

Death offers magical gifts to the living. Certain magical ingredients, incorporated into countless spells all over the world, are the products of death.

Coffin Nails

Technically, “coffin nail” is a straightforward description: a coffin nail should be pulled from a casket, ideally a used one. Any iron nail demonstrates the magical power of iron; coffin nails are basically extra-strength regular nails, their inherent power enhanced by their encounter with the threshold of death. Although to modern ears this sounds like a malevolent ingredient, coffin nails are used in benevolent spells as frequently as they are in hexes, particularly protective spells.

Real coffin nails are no longer easy to obtain, if they ever were. Trying to get an authentic one will probably land you in a lot of trouble. You may be able to explain away a handful of graveyard dirt but tampering with coffins constitutes illegal vandalism in most places. A nail picked up from a casket manufacturer or a funeral parlor may suffice even if it’s never actually been in a used coffin. The associations with death may be powerful enough.

Coffin Nail Transformation Spell

Regular nails may be transformed into coffin nails through the process of magic.

Hold the nails in your hand and charge them with your desire and intent.

Place them in a bag or box filled with graveyard dirt for seven days or during the Dark Moon phase, periodically murmuring your desires and sacred texts over them.

For maximum intensification, bury the bag or box in Earth during this period, marking the spot with a “headstone.”

Quick Fix Coffin Nail Transformation Spell

Sometimes you need ingredients right away. If a spell requiring coffin nails needs casting immediately:

Place some graveyard dirt on a plate or in a box.

Hold the nails in your hand, charging them with your desires and intent.

Roll the nails in the graveyard dirt prior to use.

Corpse Water

Modern people have concerns about hygiene and contamination that would probably preclude using a product like corpse water. Corpse water is the reserved liquid that has been used to bathe the deceased, usually in preparation for funeral rites. Contact with the dead body transforms water into corpse water. Like coffin nails and graveyard dust, corpse water is an ingredient shared by magical traditions all around the world.

Unlike coffin nails, there is no way to transform regular water into corpse water.

Since bodies are now only rarely privately prepared for burial at home, this is now an ingredient that’s virtually extinct. However, the water used to bathe a corpse may be reserved for various magical uses:

Mixed into his food or drink, it prevents another man from having sex with your wife

An abusive man who can be induced to wash his hands with this water, is deprived of strength and vigor, making him unable to beat his wife, or at least as badly as usual

Used as an anti-love potion, it can destroy someone’s feelings of love

Fed to a woman, it can induce her to stop weeping over a deceased friend

Corpse water is also used both to provide and prevent personal fertility. In parts of the Middle East, this water is believed to retain some of the life essence, the last sparks of life as it were, of the deceased. In that case, drinking it may repair fertility. This is particularly true if this life-potion is drunk immediately following the bathing of a corpse who died suddenly in the vigorous, vital prime of life. Those protesting, disbelieving sparks of life are looking for someplace to go to be alive.

In North Africa, however, surreptitiously feeding corpse water to a rival is believed to cause her to become infertile, especially where the corpse was old, feeble and took a long time to die, so that no life essence remains. (This hex should be understood in terms of a polygamous society, where one woman’s status and quality of life may depend on the outcome of rivalry with others.)

Because so many uses of corpse water are malign and controlling, great care is taken to be sure that it remains distinct from other, innocuous water. Prescribed methods of disposal exist, too. (Because these are old-fashioned spells, they presume that the body is attended to by loved ones at home. Adapt to your own needs.)

In many traditions, the water used to bathe the body is kept under the bed as long as the body remains present or at least kept in the same room. Because the water is believed to contain some of the dead person’s essence, it is traditionally removed either with or after the body, not before. Suggestions for safe, proper disposal include:

Throw the water into or onto the person’s grave

Toss the water out on the ground, outside the home property, behind the coffin or body, as it departs from the home

Toss the water on the ground where the deceased’s placenta and/or umbilical cord was buried

Graveyard Dirt/Graveyard Dust

Wherever there are burials, there are cemeteries. Wherever there are cemeteries, graveyard dirt is used in magic spells. (Ashes and dirt from cremation grounds are used too.) Graveyard dirt is among the most crucial, important magical ingredients and a prime component of many, many spells.

The use of dirt dug from cemeteries or graves is fairly standard universal magical practice; where traditions differ is whether this practice is considered entirely malevolent or not. Graveyard dirt, by the very nature of where it comes from, will be used as a tool of cursing and hexing spells, however, is the material inherently malicious and toxic? In general, the answer to that question depends upon what role, if any, the dead play toward the living. Cultures who perceive ancestral spirits as being positive and helpful, such as many deriving from Africa and Asia, cultures who aren’t fearful of the dead, in general (as opposed to an individual threatening ghost), often use graveyard dirt for benevolent purposes.

On the other hand, those who perceive the dead as malevolent and threatening will simultaneously perceive the cemetery as a place of toxic, perilous power. For instance, among certain Native American cosmologies, the soul is entirely transformed by the dying process. What remains accessible on Earth has no benevolent purpose and retains no specific memory of past relations with the living. In that case, any contact with a dead body or with cemeteries is potentially contaminating, both spiritually and physically. The power may be harnessed but only for evil: the sorcerer who delves into graves is contaminated and potentially contaminating as well.

What actually is graveyard dust? At its most basic, it’s dirt from a cemetery or from a specific grave. However, graveyard dirt or dust is also a nickname for various botanicals, with no actual relationship to death. Valerian, for instance, a strong insomnia aid with a foul smell, is called graveyard dust because it promises that you’ll sleep like the dead. Patchouli is often called graveyard dirt, because of its unique wet earth aroma.

Some practitioners pick up a handful of surface dirt from the cemetery

Some practitioners obtain dirt by digging within a grave. An entire science exists of precisely whose grave suits which magic spells, ranging from that of your mother’s grave to that of a murderer to that of a young child

Some practitioners wouldn’t be caught dead with actual dirt: they use either one or a blend of several botanicals: powdered mullein, powdered patchouli, or powdered valerian.

These aren’t arbitrary choices. In addition to the reasons given above for patchouli and valerian, mullein is under the dominion of both Hecate and Oya, two powerful spirits with strong associations with death and cemeteries

Some practitioners like to combine botanicals with dirt. Sometimes real cemetery dirt is used, while other practitioners feel that the addition of graveyard dirt botanicals transforms any dirt into graveyard dirt

Graveyard dirt must be seen within the context of all kinds of dirt being used as amulets and spell ingredients. Dirt from shrines and sacred areas was painstakingly preserved and carried. People carried bits of dirt from graves of saints, holy people and loved ones, perhaps purely as souvenirs and talismans, perhaps for other reasons. For millennia, Jews carried pouches of dirt from Jerusalem, laying it in the grave after death. Romany collected dirt from the legendary seven lucky mountains. Dirt from North African shrines is brought home and sprinkled over hand-made fabrics and carpets to imbue them with the power and protection of the saint. Perhaps the most famous modern example is the Shrine of Chimayo in New Mexico, where thousands of pilgrims converge each year to receive a bit of miraculous healing dirt.

Looked at from that perspective, the use of botanicals instead of real Earth seems euphemistic. On the other hand, perhaps dirt itself is a euphemism. What exactly is being collected in the cemetery under the guise of graveyard dirt? If one digs deeply for dirt within an old grave, particularly one conforming to spiritual traditions that bury the body in nothing more than a shroud or a wooden coffin that disintegrate quickly, there is an inherent implication that one is really looking for some part of the body that has returned to Earth. People used to be far less squeamish than they are today nor were they necessarily as concerned about sanitary hygiene. Relics, purportedly pieces of a saint’s actual anatomy, were prized, collected and sold. It wasn’t even necessary to dig in graves for relics. Public executions created a whole other venue: following the execution of Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, spectators gathered up his ashes, as was done with Joan of Arc and countless others. What exactly was done with those ashes?

Methods of graveyard dirt collection vary. Some believe there’s no need to dig; dirt from Earth’s surface, provided that it’s contained within the cemetery walls, is sufficient to constitute graveyard dirt. Some like the dust clinging to a tombstone. That’s not sufficient for everyone. Some commercial purveyors of graveyard dirt advertise different levels of dirt, taken from varying depths, depending upon the purpose of your spell. According to British magical traditions, graveyard dirt is ideally taken from the top of the coffin, just above where the heart of the deceased would be. According to Hoodoo traditions, three scoops of graveyard dirt should be taken, one from over the head, one from over the heart and one from below the feet of the deceased.

There are discreet methods of collecting graveyard dirt in broad daylight:

If you only require a handful, gather it and carry it home in your pocket or in a talisman bag

If you need more substantial quantities, rather than cut flowers, bring potted plants to transplant onto the grave. Dig a hole for each new plant, reserving the dirt. Carry the graveyard dirt home in the plant’s emptied container, creating a dirt transfer if you will

In some traditions, gifts of coins or libations are made to appease the spirit of the dead whom you may have disturbed, particularly if one is doing some serious digging. Remember to drop the gift into the hole.

Graveyard dirt is used for both benevolent and malevolent purposes. Some examples are offered here in order to give a sense of the nature, power and scope of the material, however graveyard dirt spells will be found amongst every possible magical category.

Benevolent Uses of Graveyard Dirt

Protection From a Loved One Beyond the Grave Spell

Gathered from materials from a loved one’s funeral, this creates a memento mori as well as a protective charm.

Fill a red flannel bag with a pinch of dirt taken from the gravesite, one flower from the funeral and a pebble picked up at the cemetery.

Anoint with a drop of the deceased’s favorite perfume or signature scent.

Protection From a Stranger Beyond the Grave Spell

Romany spiritual traditions combine a dislike of disturbing the dead with a desire for the protective capacities cemetery dirt offers. Although one might not want to disturb one’s own ancestors or someone one knows, there’s no actual fear of the cemetery, thus an anonymous, unknown grave is chosen. This spell harnesses abstract, protective qualities inherent in graveyard dirt to protect a child embarking on a long journey.

The parent takes a little dirt from any grave, balancing it on the back of the left hand.

When the departing child isn’t looking, this dirt is tossed over his or her head to provide protection.

Malevolent Uses of Graveyard Dust

Many malevolent uses of graveyard dirt may be observed among this book’s Hexing Spells. Perhaps the simplest hex involves throwing a handful of graveyard dirt at someone’s back as they walk away from you. How does this differ from the benevolent Romany spell where dirt is tossed over your beloved child? Your intent. Your desire, energy and personal power are the unnamed component of every spell you cast. Your personal energy transforms a loving spell into a spell of hatred. Merely tossing the dirt isn’t enough to hex anyone: what turns the trick is the suppressed rage and anger that precipitates the action.

In Java, graveyard dirt is used in spells to induce deep sleep, whether for the purposes of robbery or for a romantic rendezvous—where it’s used to prevent parents or spouses from awakening.

Frequently graveyard dirt is transformed into a destructive force by the addition of other ingredients, as in Goofer Dust.

Waste Away Hex

A popularly recorded spell, although not necessarily popularly performed (if only because of the time and expense demanded), the following was no doubt invented by the owner of a spiritual supply store wishing to drum up business quickly. Deriving from New Orleans, this spell has now passed into the general Western magical lexicon.

Graveyard dirt is combined with a host of standard formulas: Asafetida powder, Babel Powder, Black Cat Oil, Damnation Water, Four Thieves Vinegar, Goofer Dust, Jezebel Root Powder, Lost and Away Powder, Mummy Oil.

This blend is mixed with some item belonging to the spell’s target, as intimate as possible.

Placed in a small bag, it’s buried or hidden near the target’s home. The goal of this hex is to cause the victim to gradually waste away, becoming listless, passive and losing vitality and life force.

Eternal Life Spell

In modern Western magical traditions, only Palo Mayombe acknowledges the use of human bones. This was once not unusual however. Despite all the Halloween skeletal imagery, few today have actually seen exposed, bare human bones. Once upon a time this was not so unusual (and the practice still survives amongst some isolated traditions). Bodies were disinterred for various reasons having nothing to do with vandalism.

Certain traditions disinter ancestors periodically to invite them to rituals and celebrations, returning them to the grave at the conclusion

Other traditions retain ancestral bones to honor and communicate with them

Particularly in areas where land is scarce, bodies may only remain underground as long as flesh remains. Bones are permanently moved to catacombs or ossuaries

Bones are also disinterred so that magical rituals can take place to preserve the deceased’s soul for eternity or to activate the reincarnation process.

Paint human bones red to magically provide the deceased with eternal life, of one sort or another. Menstrual blood was the most ancient activation material; however red ochre has also been used since prehistoric times.

Eternal Life Spell (2)

You’d really like Great Grandpa Phil to have eternal life but you’re not ready to paint his bones, menstrual blood, watercolour or otherwise? Never fear, other magical solutions exist.

Determine a proper waiting period; this spell is not cast immediately after death. A year and a day is appropriate, as may be anything with significance to you or the deceased. Paint the grave marker, headstone or monument red. Cover it in its entirety or decorate with magic symbols, especially diamonds, downward-facing triangles, hexagrams and eyes.


The understanding of what constitutes a ghost depends largely on what one believes happens to the soul after death or, in fact, on how one views the soul during life.

To discuss the human soul as singular contradicts many metaphysical beliefs. Many believe that each person has multiple souls, each with a special function. Thus the dream soul travels and wanders, when released by sleep. Perhaps one of these souls or facets of the soul lingers on Earth after death.

Perceptions of souls and what happens to them following death vary according to spiritual tradition and individual belief. As one example, in traditional Hmong belief, the soul exists as a kind of trinity: one part stands guard at the grave, another journeys to the realm of the dead while a third part is subject to reincarnation.

In traditions that revere and communicate with ancestors, death forms a different kind of crossroads: will the soul take a positive turn and accept the responsibilities of an ancestral spirit or will it transform into a ghost? If it does transform into a ghost, will this be a helpful, benevolent or at least unobtrusive, quiet ghost content to linger near the living, or will it transform into a malevolent, spiteful, resentful, mischievous, trouble-making ghost?

The road taken at that crossroads may depend on the actions of the living: were proper funeral rites given? Was the body treated with respect and care? Were any needed spiritual precautions offered?

Among many traditional philosophies, those who die violently far from home or whose funerals and/or graves are neglected have the capacity to evolve into wandering semi-malevolent ghosts or worse. (See Vampires, page 291.)

It is never too late to lay a ghost, however, and many rituals exist worldwide for propitiating those who were laid to rest without proper rites. For example, the Festival of Hungry Ghosts: during the seventh month of the Chinese lunar candle, paper offerings are burned for one’s own personal ancestors. However, extra offerings may be given to placate any hungry, wandering ghosts. In Mexico, November 2nd, the Day of the Dead is a national holiday. Families congregate in cemeteries, visiting loved ones, repairing and caring for graves. In addition to offerings made for ancestors and relatives, many add candles for forgotten souls, those who have no one to welcome and care for them. These candles, with additional offerings, may be placed on the family altar or as independent offerings by the roadside, for passing ghosts.

If a ghost isn’t causing trouble, how do you know it’s there?

Candles that burn dim, low or blue may indicate the presence of a ghost

An unexpected chill in the air may indicate a ghost: A frequent observation is that the presence of ghosts is indicated by a significant decrease in temperature—a cold spot

Ghosts may signal their presence through specific fragrance, a sort of aromatic calling card

Peaceful, mutually beneficial coexistence may not require any spells. Many homes feature the presence of a ghost who wants nothing more than to linger in the presence of loved ones. If the ghost isn’t bothering you, there is generally no need to exorcise it; actions to do so may in fact antagonize the ghost and cause trouble.

There are basically two types of ghost spells:

Spells to provide protection from troublesome ghosts and keep them far away

Spells to obtain access to ghosts and their powers

Spells where you wish a ghost to do something for you are included in this section. Spells where you wish a ghost to provide you with information are included in the Necromancy section (see page 284).

Samhain Hungry Ghost Spell

Samhain, the Celtic roots of Halloween, marks the beginning of the dark, incubatory half of the year. It’s also the moment when the veils between realms of living and dead are sheerest. Thus it’s the time around the world to contact one’s ancestors, pay tribute and honor to them, and engage in necromantic practices of various kinds. Hungry ghosts are also believed to abound—those without family or friends to feed and remember them.

Place offerings of milk and barley outside under the stars to ease the ghosts’ hunger, prevent their mischief, and to accrue their blessings.

Boneset Ghost Spell

Boneset guides ghosts elsewhere, attracting protective, benevolent spirits instead. Boneset may also be used to protect people and animals from “ghost sickness,” the illness that some believe may emerge after extended contact with the dead. The most potent boneset is found growing on or near graves. Supplement it with white pine for added enhancement.

Hang fresh boneset branches over doorways, or burn young boneset branches and twigs within a cauldron to drive away existing ghosts.

Duppie Repelling Charm

In Jamaican folklore, duppies are harmful, mean-spirited ghosts. Allegedly they’ll stay away from someone wearing the following conjure bag:

Place asafetida, camphor and garlic inside a black cloth.

Tie it up with a black silk ribbon.

Wear this around your neck or waist using another black silk ribbon.

Fragrance Communication Spell

Because a ghost may be identified by a specific fragrance, this can be used as a communications device. The ghost may be identified by that specific fragrance. If you are on compatible terms, ask the ghost to use that fragrance as a communications device and identifying factor.

Choose a specific aroma to identify your desire to communicate with the ghost.

The next time you apprehend the ghost’s fragrance, communicate aloud with the ghost.

Explain that you’d like to set up a formal system of communications, where you are an equal partner, rather than a passive partner, subject to the whims of the ghost popping in and out.

Demonstrate your chosen fragrance to the ghost and explain that when you wish to initiate communication, that fragrance will be wafted into the atmosphere. It will not be used at other times.

Ask the ghost for a sign that he or she is in accordance with this plan.

Get Away Ghost Spell Backwards Candles

Light a white candle after dark.

Carry it in your right hand while holding a handful of salt in your left.

Walk backwards through every room of the haunted house from bottom to top, sprinkling salt through your fingers. (Keep additional salt in your pockets for refills if your house is large: do not backtrack.) Simultaneously tell the ghosts to get lost, aloud or silently as you deem appropriate.

At the topmost, furthest point of the home, extinguish the candle.

Get Away Ghost Bean Spell

Scatter beans around your property to deny entry to ghosts for a year. (If plants result, this banishing effect may last even longer!)

Get Away Ghost More Beans Spell

This spell has its roots in ancient Greece, and involves spitting or throwing beans at ghosts to make them go away.

Get Away Ghost Yet More Beans Spell

To prevent hauntings, surround your home with living bean plants. Not only do beans repel ghosts but allegedly, the plants sing to wandering ghosts, guiding them to the next realm. If you’d like to hear these songs, a shamanic art, sit under the vines while they’re in bloom. Meditate or allow yourself to fall asleep.

Get Away Ghost Spell Bistort

Burn dried powdered bistort to banish ghosts, wafting the fragrance as needed.

Get Away Ghost Bistort Extra Strength

Hit the ghost with a double-whammy by burning and asperging with bistort.

Burn bistort, waft the fragrance through the home and reserve the ashes.

In the meantime, create a strong infusion by pouring boiling water over the powdered herb.

Sprinkle the bistort infusion throughout the home.

Sprinkle the ashes over thresholds.

Repeat regularly—at least once weekly—to send stubborn, persistent ghosts packing.

Get Away Ghost Coffee Spell

Tell those ghosts to wake up, smell the coffee and leave! Burning ground coffee (rather than brewing it, although you can try that, too, having a cup in the process) allegedly repels ghosts as well as malevolent spiritual entities. It’s important to use real ground coffee, the stronger the better, and especially not decaffeinated.

Get Away Ghost Fennel Door-blocker

This spell may be used to ghost-proof individual rooms or an entire building. It only works on some ghosts but may be worth trying. Stuff keyholes full of fennel to prevent ghosts from entering the room (or leaving, too. If the ghost is already in the room, it may be trapped.)

Get Away Ghost Juno’s Brew

Despite its Roman name, Juno’s Brew is reputedly a Greek formula. Juno is the firm mistress of her home. She determines who has permission to stay and who must leave immediately. This formula allegedly banishes all ghosts from your premises:

Cover half a cup of vervain leaves with boiling water.

Let it steep for ten minutes, then strain it.

Add the liquid to a bucket of wash water together with some white vinegar.

Wash your floors and thresholds; wipe up the walls and window areas. Concentrate on sending strong mental messages: this is your home; you choose who stays within its walls.

When cleansing is complete, leave doors and windows open for thirty minutes.

Get Away Ghost Genitalia Spell

Botanicals are by no means the only way to banish ghosts, nor are they even necessarily the strongest. These methods also have the disadvantage of requiring preparation. What if you are suddenly surprised by a threatening ghost? The ultimate weapon may be used spontaneously, requires no preparation and costs nothing (beyond a jail sentence, if performed at the wrong time and place).

The human genitalia are perceived as the ultimate sign of life and thus the ultimate ghost-repellant. Sudden visitations may be removed merely by quickly and aggressively flashing your private parts at the ghost. It is effective for women to do this at any time. Men: if it’s not erect, don’t bother; that’s the only way to impress a ghost.

Because there are many good reasons, apart from threat of legal action, against exposing your genitals, a host of amulets deriving from human genital imagery has evolved. Be prepared; wear as needed:

Downward facing triangles

Cowrie shells

Penis beads, cornos and other phallic amulets

A red, firm chili pepper worn on a cord around the neck

The fica, or fig hand amulet

Get Away Ghost The Pig Hand

Merely making the gesture of a fig hand in the direction of the ghost should be sufficient to send it packing. Tuck the thumb between the first two fingers and thrust it aggressively in the appropriate direction.

Get Away Ghost Pine Trees

According to Hildegard of Bingen, ghosts hate pine trees and avoid places where they grow. If it’s not possible to surround your home with living pines, bring small living trees within it and situate them strategically. Decorate with images that resonate strongly of life: ankhs, hexagrams, and imagery (abstract or otherwise) depicting human genitalia. (In case you weren’t sure what to do with that Thai penis amulet, this is the perfect opportunity.) This allegedly drives away the ghost, or at least makes it feel extremely unwelcome.

Get Away Ghost Tiger Lilies

Tiger lilies planted near doors and windows allegedly prevent the entry of ghosts.

Get Out Ghost!

If the ghost has taken up residence in your home or within another building, hanging alyssum up in every corner of a house will allegedly exorcise it.

Ghost Co-existence Spell (1) Lilies

Do you have ghosts? Can’t get rid of them, no matter what you do? Keep lilies in your home and garden. They won’t repel ghosts or banish them but they will keep the ghosts well behaved, preventing them from causing harm or mischief.

Ghost Co-existence Spell (2) Incense

Keep ghosts happy and good-natured by maintaining the fragrance of benzoin and sandalwood in the home.

Ghost Good Behavior Spell: Hecate’s Supper

The Eurasian spirit Hecate guards the frontier between the realms of the living and the dead, negotiating the sometimes divergent needs of both parties. Although she may not banish ghosts entirely (you can ask, though!), she can enforce their good behavior. Hecate is traditionally depicted having one body but three faces, sometimes that of women but most typical that of a dog, a horse and a lion.

Each month, at the full moon, bring a three-headed image of Hecate to a three-way crossroads.

Place the image so that each face points toward a road (or as close as possible).

Place food on the ground including fish, honey and a round cake with candles.

Make an invocation to Hecate requesting that she make the ghosts behave.

Leave the meal at the crossroads for whoever takes it.

Ghost Keep Away Spell (1) Don’t Cross that Line, Ghost!

Create a boundary line over which ghosts allegedly will not cross.

Place three peeled cloves of garlic in a bowl, together with one handful of sea salt and one handful of fresh rosemary leaves.

Grind and mash the ingredients together.

Sprinkle them to create a boundary, as needed.

Ghost Keep Away Spell (2) The Wreath of Life Spell

A wreath of fresh bay laurel leaves posted on your entrance doors signals “No Trespassing” to ghosts.

Ghost Keep Away Spell (3) Caribbean Fumigation

The following herbs are burned in some Caribbean traditions to ward off malevolent ghosts and other troublesome spirits:


Grannybush (Croton linearis; known locally as rosemary, this is botanically distinct from the rosemary native to the Eastern hemisphere, Rosmarinus officinalis)

Guinea weed


Water marigold or waterweed

Burn one or a combination of these herbs in a pan, wafting the smoke as needed.

Ghost Keep Away! (4) Roman Talisman Ring

An iron ring, containing a splinter of wood from a gallows, forms a magical talisman to frighten away ghosts. The ancient Roman formula suggested that the ring be formed from a bent nail, used in a crucifixion. (Not the crucifixion! It was a popular ancient practice; the Romans had plenty of nails to choose from.)

Ghost and Poltergeist Protection Spell

To provide relief from destructive and mischievous ghosts and poltergeists:

Maintain fresh bay laurel branches and/or leaves within the home.

Replace them as their green color fades.

Ghost Safety Spell: Knife and Fork

That ghost may clank its chains as much as it wants but at least this spell will guarantee you a safe night’s sleep.

Get into bed.

Open the Bible or whatever sacred text gives you comfort or the ghost pause.

Begin to read backwards from wherever the book was opened.

When the page is concluded, fold that page over.

Insert a knife and fork as a page marker then place the book with its “bookmarks” under the pillow.

Ghost Sickness Spell (1)

In many metaphysical beliefs, particularly Native American ones, the problem isn’t that ghosts clank their chains at night or pop out at inconvenient moments to say “boo!” Rather, ghosts need to be avoided or banished because it’s believed that contact with ghosts causes illness in the living, something specifically known as “ghost sickness.” If you fear this type of unhealthy contact, burn desert sage and white sage to repel and remove these influences as well as strengthening the defenses of the living.

Ghost Sickness Spell (2)

Ghosts of those who died by violence are believed able to roam and cause aggressive forms of “ghost sickness.” As diagnosed in traditional Mexican magical belief, ghost sickness is characterized by chills and excessive nervousness. The patient jumps at the slightest provocation. Ghost sickness may also be characterized by coma or the loss of the ability to speak.

The patient may be cured by rubbing the body with a live black hen. (The intent of the cure is not to kill the hen; if anything efforts are made to preserve the hen from harm, however many curers believe that exposure to ghost sickness may be too much for the hen and result in death or injury.) Patient and chicken should then undergo ritual fumigation using smoke derived by burning a combination of bay laurel leaves, frankincense, copal, and crossroads dirt. (Curers with Roman Catholic orientations would also include palm leaves blessed on Palm Sunday in this blend.)

Ghost Vision

Are those ghosts really there? Carrying a lavender wand allegedly allows you to see ghosts for yourself.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (1) Anti-Ghost Garden

Ghosts may be prevented from haunting houses by surrounding the home with specific botanicals. Create an anti-ghost garden by maintaining a substantial quantity of bay laurel trees, rowan (mountain ash) trees and lilies.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (1) Fumigation

Fumigating an area with camphor and mint is used to send unwanted ghosts in search of new housing. One application may not be sufficient, however. Use repetitions of mystical numbers for reinforcement. Repeat for three, seven, nine, eighteen, twenty-one, or twenty-seven days as needed.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (3) Bayberry

Sprinkle a strong infusion of bayberry inside and around the perimeter of a house to exorcise existing ghosts and repel new ones. For added power, asperge with a bay laurel branch.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (4) Raspberry

Hang raspberry vines over the entrances to the deceased’s former home to prevent the ghost from reentering.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (5) Angelica

Make a decoction of angelica roots or pour boiling water over the dried, powdered root to make an infusion.

Sprinkling this within and around the home is an Iroquois recommendation for exorcising and preventing ghosts.

Haunted House Prevention Spell (6) The Household Fights Back

A Russian method of repelling ghosts from a home involves a coordinated household attack. At midnight, kosher or other blessed salt must be aggressively thrown from all windows and doors.

Apparently the presence of unwanted ghosts was a matter of some concern for the ancient Mesopotamians; ghost prevention, expelling and appeasing spells abound. As elsewhere, ghosts most likely to cause trouble were those with irregular funeral rites or those who no longer received post-funerary offerings, perhaps because no family members survived to perform this function.

Other potentially difficult ghosts included those who died violently, in sudden accidents, criminals sentenced to death—particularly unrepentant ones—and those who were not buried at all. Although this is specifically the ancient Mesopotamian perception, it’s one shared with more magical traditions than not.

The Mesopotamians possessed an elaborate, sophisticated science of either repelling or appeasing ghosts, depending upon circumstances and the individual ghost. Spells may be complex or simple, aggressive or propitiatory. Adapt these to your own needs.

Mesopotamian Ghost Spell (1)

An ancient Mesopotamian formula to drive away ghosts allegedly works against either actual physical manifestations or disturbing, consistent dream visitations:

Blend vinegar, rainwater, well water, ditch water and river water.

Asperge the ghost-infested area with this liquid.

Ring a bell vigorously.

Hold a lit torch in the left hand and a cattle horn in the right. (If you’re out of cattle horns, substitute a shofar, the Jewish ritual horn, available from Judaic religious supply stores.)

Announce in a firm, clear, steady voice:

My goddess, * look upon me!

My god, * watch over me!

Let angry hearts be calm

Satiate and appease anger

Establish protective boundaries for me

Establish well being for me.

Mesopotamian Ghost Spell (2)

Another Mesopotamian formula to drive away ghosts bypasses the realm of spirits to take banishing into one’s own hands. This method is suggested if a ghost sighting has you spooked.

The original spell might insist that one spin one’s own woolen threads. If you can spin, the spell will be strengthened by incorporating that process.

Braid a strand of unbleached wool and a strand of red wool together, so that the colors stand out from one another, remaining distinct. Use red wool that will not bleed into the other strand. The finished braid must be long enough to tie around your forehead.

Make seven knots in the braid, while focusing upon your desires.

Bind the braid around your forehead, while chanting an incantation, something like this:

Until red turns white and white turns red, That ghost that appeared to me can’t come back again.

Sleep in the braid overnight (and whenever deemed necessary in the future).

Afterwards, carry it as a talisman, in a charm bag.

Mesopotamian Ghost Spell (3)

Burn an image of the ghost, however you understand this. Whether or not this is sufficient to expel the ghost, it is a threatening gesture indicating that stronger action will be taken.

Mesopotamian Ghost Spell (4)

Sometimes attempts to expel the ghost or take aggressive action aren’t necessary or wise. Peaceful coexistence may be the best possible goal.

Keep the ghost happy by pouring out regularly scheduled offerings of flour and water. (Traditionally the water was poured from an ox horn or hoof: horn shaped beakers may be appropriate as well.)

Mesopotamian Ghost Spell (5)

Laying the ghost can be a cooperative process. Why should you have to presume the needs, intentions or desires of the ghost? Negotiate with the ghost: find out why the ghost is present. What are the ghost’s personal cultural post-death expectations? What can you do to transform a troublesome ghost into a protective ally? If direct negotiation is difficult, check the Necromancy Spells below for some tips on communicating across the realms.

Pacify Ghost Halloween Spell

At midnight on Halloween bury apples at crossroads to feed hungry ghosts.

Rest in Peace Spell (1) The Unknown Ghost

An ancient Greek method to lay a ghost to rest is especially beneficial if not only the identity but also the gender of the ghost is unknown.

Make distinctly male and female dolls from wood or true earthen clay (not synthetic substitutions as typically found among art supplies). It’s crucial to the success of this spell that the dolls be formed from biodegradable materials, so that they can decompose entirely without leaving traces.

Give the dolls a feast, a party in their honor. Have real food and drink, real fun.

When the party’s over, explain that their wanderings are over, too. Bury them in uncultivated land, where they are unlikely to be disturbed for a long time.

Rest in Peace Spell (2) The Proper Send Off

Restless ghosts may be laid to rest by giving them the proper funeral they may never have had.

Place a small doll in a tiny coffin.

Have a great send-off.

Bury the coffin in a remote area or even in a cemetery itself.

Summoning Ghosts and Extracting Cooperation from Them

Not all ghostly visitations are unwelcome. For all the emphasis placed on exorcism and separation, sometimes the proper boundaries between living and dead can be maintained, for mutual benefit, while still permitting visits or even co-existence.

For every malevolent ghost, there’s another who visits out of care and concern and whose help may be very useful. Before automatically repelling ghosts, especially if they haven’t already proved hostile, it may be wise to determine who they are and why they’ve appeared before you bar opportunity and protection from your door. Further information on communicating with the dead may be found under Necromancy (page 284).

Sometimes the desire for contact doesn’t emanate from the ghost. The dead may be summoned for protection or to perform various functions perhaps impossible for the living to accomplish. Spells for summoning the dead for purposes of divination or obtaining information are included under Necromancy.

Calling Up The Dead Incense

Dried amaranth flowers

Dittany of Crete


An incense made from the above botanicals is traditionally burned in the cemetery, to simultaneously invite the dead to arise while offering protection to the living.

Dittany of Crete Ghost Summoning Spell

Just as certain botanicals summon spirits, others may be used to beckon ghosts. Dittany of Crete, named for a Greek divinity, perhaps an aspect of Artemis, is used to communicate with those who have passed on to other realms. Traditionally it’s burned in the cemetery, although it may be used to call the dead to come to you. Legend has it that the image of the deceased will appear in the smoke just above the flame.

Sprinkle dried, powdered Dittany of Crete onto lit charcoals. If you are outdoors, burn substantial quantities of dried Dittany of Crete within a cauldron.

Put the Dead to Work Spell (1)

An extremely ancient metaphysical practice that still survives involves setting the dead onto somebody. Recorded practice goes back to ancient Egypt. Technically, one is merely requesting assistance from the deceased, over a specific situation, problem or person. However, there is an inherent intimidation factor involved with receiving a visitation from beyond the grave: frequently there’s an element of something akin to calling in thugs to work over your enemy.

A trip to the cemetery is not required. If you know whose assistance you need, an altar may be erected at home, so that you may discreetly request personal aid.

The minimum offering is a white candle plus either a glass of spring water or Spirit Water.

The altar may also be personalized so as to strongly attract the person whose assistance you seek: offer a favorite libation or meal. Set out photographs or objects that will beckon attention.

Write a brief, clear, concise statement of your desire on a piece of brown paper.

Place this within a conjure bag, together with graveyard dirt and seven coffin nails.

Carry this with you, retain it in a safe place in your home or bury it in Earth immediately.

If and when your petition is granted, bury the bag in Earth.

Put the Dead to Work Spell (2)

In a traditional Chinese belief, the dead may be empowered to rise for brief periods and perform evil deeds, as desired by another, if a dog is beneath the bed containing the corpse while a cat is simultaneously on the roof of the building within which the corpse lies. (In other words, for everyone’s protection, keep cats and dogs away from the corpse, enclosed and supervised, until the body is gone.)

Put the Dead to Work Spell (3)

A spell derived from ancient Alexandria suggests having a ghost deliver your unrequited lover. Whether that person will be pleased to be “delivered” in this fashion is subject to debate. More romantic love and seduction spells may be found elsewhere in this book.

Make a wax figure to represent the object of your desire.

Pierce the image with thirteen needles. No sharp pains or other harm is intended to befall your target. Instead the spell’s goal is to make him or her burn with desire for you.

Put one needle each through the brain, the eyes, the ears, mouth, hands, feet, anus, genitals and abdomen. (These are the traditional spots; however if others are more fitting for your situation, use those instead.)

As you pierce the brain, murmur: “You can’t stop thinking about me,” or “You think about me all the time.” As you pierce each eye, murmur something like: “You only have eyes for me.” Continue with each stop along the anatomy, personalizing your chant as much as possible. No need to be shy, the ancients were quite explicit. You can be, too.

At sunset, place the fully pierced doll on (or within) the grave of someone who either died young or violently or preferably both. The spirit emerging from this type of death is allegedly restless and filled with resentment and thus willing to accept a commission from a stranger.

Call on the corpse in the name of those spirits with authority over the dead, those who supervise their comings and going, and those whose legends somehow involve the realm of the dead. The original spell suggests Adonis, Anubis, Erishkigal, Hecate, Hermes and Persephone; however, use whichever spirits you think will be most effective under the present circumstances. There’s little real spiritual invocation here: instead it’s a pyramid of intimidation. The dead soul is called upon to intimidate the object of your affections, while the spirits are called upon to intimidate the dead.


By the spirits of the afterworld,

By the spirits of those snatched from life too soon,

I command you, Spirit of the Dead, arise!

Go to [give the address] and bring me [Name], child of [Name] to be my lover!

Go home and await results.

Put the Dead to Work Spell (4)

The spell above attempts to exploit the inherent restless energy stimulated by a certain type of death. An Obeah ritual requests more personal assistance. Aid is sought from someone who loves you and is loyal to you from beyond the grave.

At night, visit the grave of someone with great love and loyalty toward you: your mother is considered the ideal but another family member or good friend also works.

Bring raw eggs, cooked rice and a libation. (Rum is the traditional Obeah libation as it is in many other traditions, not only because it’s what’s available but because rum derives directly from sugar, which has profound summoning properties. Whiskey, aqua vitae, is also popular; however choose what’s most suitable for your circumstances.)

Pour the libation onto the ground.

Break the egg onto the dish of rice and mix them.

Leave the offering at the grave.

Move away for a few minutes, then approach and explain why you’ve come and what you need.

Spiritweed Spell

Spiritweed is an herb, originally native to the Amazon. Often called false coriander because of its resemblance to that herb, it has culinary and magical uses. As its name indicates, spiritweed is used to maintain control over the dead, whether for exorcising or summoning. Different motivating factors are used to persuade a ghost to accept a mission from the living: intimidation, love, sometimes bribery.

Bring two bottles of rum and some spiritweed to the cemetery.

Attach the spiritweed to a stick and be prepared to initiate the spell at midnight.

Take off your clothes.

Place one bottle of rum at the head of the grave.

Strike the tombstone three times with the spiritweed stick and call the deceased:

“[Name], child of [name]. Come out! I have work for you!”

Leave the second bottle at the foot of the grave. Strike the ground beside it three times with the stick and repeat your call.

In clear, concise language—no murmuring and muttering now—explain precisely and exactly what you need.

Open the bottles but leave them at the grave. Don’t turn around until you get home. At some point that you deem appropriate, with your back to the grave, you may put your clothes on.

Don’t speak with anyone until daylight.

Stinging Nettles Ghost Safety Spell

Wear gloves for this spell! Hold stinging nettles in your hands to ward off ghosts.


Technically necromancy is a divination system that exploits the special powers of the dead. It has come to encompass contacting the dead by various means to extract information, about the future or otherwise. Necromancy is a word frequently misused and misunderstood: it’s been used as a catchall label for any sort of cemetery desecration. Although desecration may occur in the name of communication (and one person’s ritual is another person’s desecration), vandalism and desecration for its own sake or for destructive purposes is not necromancy under any definition, and there are many methods of contacting and speaking with dead souls that do not involve a trip to the graveyard, nor require any contact with a corpse at all.

Necromancy exists because the end of life doesn’t necessarily end the need for one person to talk to another. Necromancy also exists because some metaphysical systems believe that dead souls are the only ones both privy to certain information and able to share that information in a lucid manner with the living.

Because it’s believed that the dead are no longer bound by the limitations of the mortal physical realm, they are able to foresee events, understand the past and be either persuaded or compelled to reveal these details. Necromancy may be used to reveal the future or to gain understanding of a past or current situation.

Two kinds of souls may be summoned:

Those with ties of love and loyalty to you, who are probably inclined to be helpful

Those who must be compelled to appear and provide assistance

Different methods of summoning exist for different souls. Whether there must be contact with the corpse depends upon the method chosen.

The ancient Greeks believed that the recently deceased were more coherent than those who had been dead for a while. In essence, the long-deceased are out of practice. The longer one has been dead, the further away from the land of the living one has drifted. It becomes harder for the living to understand the dead and likewise for the dead to comprehend the living person’s needs, desires and even language. Hence the Greeks’ inclination to use fresh corpses in necromantic ritual.

Of course, all of this depends upon whether you believe that love, loyalty and consciousness transcend death. For some cultures, all semblance of human feelings and memory immediately ceases at death, therefore there can be nothing benevolent about contacting the dead. Any contact with the dead is thus, by definition, malevolent sorcery.

The most famous modern necromantic device is the ouija board, available at toy stores amongst the board games, and its relative, the planchette. This begs another point of consideration. Some philosophies consider that wisdom and foresight are acquired during the death process. Others believe that nature and intelligence after death remains what it was during life. In other words, if Aunt Sophie never gave you good advice while she was alive, what makes you think that she’ll do any better now that she’s dead?

Be cautious whose advice is relied upon, whether it derives from living sources or those beyond the grave. The ouija board is considered something of a portal to the next realm: an open telephone line, as it were. Consider who speaks with you before continuing and maintaining any conversations.

These are all remnants of shamanic rites, out of context. When shamans are banished, people attempt to do needed jobs themselves, as best as they are able, whether or not they have been extensively trained.

Necromancy should be preceded by intensive cleansing and protective spells. Fasting probably wouldn’t hurt and may make the process more successful to boot. Wear or carry protective amulets and charms.

Bugleweed Spell

Old-school séances often featured bugles, reminiscent of Gabriel’s horn. Bugleweed encourages contact between realms more quietly: burn it as incense during the séance.

Cemetery Stroll

Circle around the cemetery three times, staying calm but focused on your desire. The dead should become visible to you and you will be able to communicate.

Dreams of the Dead Incense

This incense blend allegedly allows you to contact those who have gone on ahead in your dreams.

Burn dried powdered acacia, althea, and star anise before bedtime. Permeate the room with the aroma. As you go to sleep, visualize the dream that you need. Try to “begin” the dream before you fall asleep and see what happens.

Dream Summons to the Beyond

Create an infusion by pouring boiling water over yerba santa, “holy herb.”

Bring the strained liquid to the cemetery and sprinkle it over the grave belonging to the person whom you wish to see and perhaps communicate with.

Allegedly the person will appear in your dreams that very night, although the extent to which one can communicate may be dependent on your dream skills.

Dumb Supper Spells

Do you wish to dine with Dr. Dee, Madame Blavatsky and Mamzelle Marie Laveau? Invite them! Perhaps you’d rather share a meal with your late great-grandmother. Invite her, too! Dumb Suppers are ritual meals enacted between living and the dead. “Dumb” indicates not lack of intelligence but that these meals (and any communication) are conducted in silence. While the dead are formally invited to attend, all cooking and serving is done by the living. Although a dumb supper may be served at any time, traditionally they are scheduled to coincide with Halloween, the time of year when the veil between realms is thinnest. Extend specific invitations, or allow yourself to be surprised by who shows up.

Dumb Supper for One

Set the table for two (or more, depending upon the number of guests anticipated or invited).

Serve yourself and the other party.

Don’t utter a sound until the meal is over.

Dumb Supper for Two

Set the table for three (or more).

Serve both living people and also the departed. (Make sure there are enough chairs so that the departed may sit.)

After the meal is over and cleared away and you have left the table, both people may discuss their experiences and perceptions.

Dumb Supper Extravaganza

Set a table for a banquet.

Invite a number of people, both living and otherwise.

Dress for dinner. Set the table beautifully. Make sure there are sufficient chairs and place settings for the unseen guests.

Do not speak at all. Do not serve yourself. Everyone must serve others, living or otherwise. Allow yourself to become sensitive to the desires of others. (You may also designate specific people to serve as waiters.)

When the meal is over, dishes cleared away and everyone has left the table (and the dead have presumably departed), discuss experiences, perceptions, and insights.

Dumb Supper Baltic Version

This Dumb Supper is celebrated on the third, ninth, and fortieth days following a funeral.

The souls of the deceased are publicly invited to share a meal with the living.

This meal is eaten in silence. The table is set without knives.

Any food that falls should not be picked up but remain for hungry ghosts to enjoy.

Presumably once upon a time, libations and offerings were made; incorporate as desired.

Golden Bough Spell

Mistletoe allegedly works as a key to unlock the doors between the realms of the living and the dead. Hold a branch of mistletoe, “the golden bough,” in your hand during necromancy for inspiration, protection and success.

Greek Necromantic Spell (1)

For the ancient Greeks, a fire made from privet opened the gates to the afterlife. To summon and speak with ghosts, burn wormwood on a bed of privet fire.

Greek Necromantic Spell (2)

Shamanic methods are retained by this Greek necromantic spell, with its echoes of Odysseus’ journey to Hades. The ritual should be accomplished at the Full Moon, the Dark Moon or the days in between.

Dig a ditch deep enough to stand within.

Surround it with incense. (Dittany of Crete, mugwort and/or wormwood are recommended.)

Cast a protective circle around it to keep everyone away except the one(s) you summon.

Pour a libation of equal quantities of honey, milk and wine into the ditch.

Make a figure of the person you wish to communicate with from bread dough.

Ornament it with bay laurel leaves and fennel. Throw it into the ditch.

Nick your little finger and sprinkle a few drops of blood into the ditch. (This is sufficient: do not injure yourself or cut yourself severely.)

Drum, dance, work yourself into an ecstatic state and speak.

Interview With a Corpse Spell

An old Greco-Egyptian spell for questioning corpses is reminiscent of the spell used to create the legendary golem of the Prague Ghetto.

Create ink from red ochre, burnt myrrh, fresh wormwood juice and either powdered evergreen leaves or the essential oil of an evergreen species.

Write the following on a flax leaf: “AZEL BALEMACHO.” (This is the English transliteration. Ideally the formula is written using the Greek alphabet, so that it will have twelve letters.)

Place this leaf in the mouth of the corpse.

Ask your question. Listen patiently. Modern literal minds may expect the corpse to start speaking. Although nothing is impossible, this isn’t necessarily the way answers are received. Allow yourself to receive spontaneous mental revelations. In addition, the response may come from another person, who may or may not realize that they are serving as an oracle.

Interview With a Loved One Spell

Eliphas Levi was the magical name adopted by the French master magus Alphonse Louis Constant (1810—1875). This complex, lengthy necromantic spell is based on his instructions. This spell allegedly enables contact with someone with whom the spell-caster shared a close, loving relationship. It extends over fourteen consecutive days although the actual conversation doesn’t occur until the final day.

Choose a significant date for communications to occur, whether a birthday, anniversary or some other date of significance for both you and the deceased.

Intensive preparation for necromancy must begin fourteen days prior to the chosen date and continue for the duration. Undergo extensive cleansing spells daily for the fourteen days: refrain from sex, alcohol and eating meat. Only simple, minimal food should be consumed during this period.

The spell must occur in a room belonging to the deceased. If this is not possible, reproduce another room so that it resembles the actual room as closely as possible. A museum-quality reproduction must be realized and must be ready fourteen days prior to the chosen date.

Place a portrait of the deceased in a prominent position. Veil it in white fabric.

Arrange flowers around the portrait. Choose the individual’s favorite flowers or those that hold significance towards the personal relationship shared together. Change the flowers for fresh ones daily.

Every night during the fourteen-day period, go to the room alone, maintaining total silence. Ideally enter the room at the same time each evening, as if keeping an appointment. For a minimum of an hour, contemplate the portrait. The only light permitted is one candle or magic lamp placed behind the spell-caster.

Fumigate the room before leaving. Choose a fragrance beloved by the deceased or one that holds personal significance for your relationship. If the choice puzzles you, choose benzoin or mimosa, to invite benevolence and ward off mean spirits.

Leave the room by walking out backwards, never turning your back on the portrait.

On the actual day designated for communication, dress up in a celebratory manner. Do not see or communicate with anyone else but the deceased on this day.

Earlier in the day, before the time scheduled for the regular “appointment,” set a table for two in the room. Eat a meal of bread, fruit and wine while facing the portrait. Place half the food and a glass of wine before the portrait but do not unveil it. Eat your own food and then leave.

Come back at the appointed time in total silence.

Build a fire of cypress wood, and cast frankincense upon the fire seven times.

Call the person’s name.

Extinguish the candle or magic lamp. Allow the cypress fire to burn out.

When the fire is reduced to mere embers, add more frankincense.

Call upon the Creator of the Universe in a manner pertaining to the spiritual beliefs of the departed. Speak from the perspective of the deceased.

Be silent for fifteen minutes, then talk as if the person is present. Pray aloud for them to arrive, then silently cover your face.

Call the person’s name three times from a kneeling position, in a strong voice with your eyes closed. Call again very gently.

Open your eyes: the spirit should materialize or their presence should at least manifest to you.

Interviewing Grouchy Ghost Spells

Burn three parts wormwood to one part vervain when summoning ghosts who were suffering from a state of depression when they died. This formula may also be

used when communicating with ghosts who haven’t realized that they’re dead, especially if you’re planning to break the news. Alternatively, to raise grumpy and/or unwilling ghosts, you can burn three parts wormwood to one part Solomon’s Seal.

If you anticipate that the ghosts may not be so delighted to see you, and that they may have preferred undisturbed eternal rest, offer honey immediately as a peace offering, to sweeten the experience for all concerned.

Jewish Necromantic Spell

Spend the night at the grave, clothed in distinctive garments.

Burn spices and incense.

Concentrate on your question, whether one asks it aloud or silently.

Wave a myrtle wand, until one hears the answer to your query. The myrtle wand must be held continuously while conversing with the deceased at the gravesite.

Iron Necromancy Spell (1)

If iron protects against ghosts, it also enables communication between the realms of the living and the dead.

Bring an iron wand to the cemetery.

Point it in the direction of a grave.

Speak and listen.

Iron Necromancy Spell (2)

If a trip to the cemetery is impossible, the spell may still be accomplished. Face a portrait of the deceased or conjure up a vivid mental image. Hold the wand; speak and listen. When you wish to terminate the session, lay down the wand.

Mugwort Ghost Spell

Desires may be complex. Although you may wish to consult with a ghost, you don’t necessarily want that desire to be misinterpreted as an invitation to follow you home. Mugwort both facilitates communication with the dead and protects you from them.

Burn an offering of mugwort: this enhances your psychic senses, enhancing your powers of reception with other realms.

Keep the mugwort burning following the ghost’s apparent departure.

When you depart, step over the burning mugwort; this allegedly stops a ghost from following you.

Necromancy Ritual Trident

The magic fork or trident sometimes used in medieval high ritual necromancy must be fashioned from almond or hazel wood. Traditionally the wood is severed from the tree with one blow from a virgin knife—a knife that has never before been used. To guarantee that this is so, the old magicians observed the manufacture of the knife, purchasing it directly from the smith, or they crafted the knife themselves. The knife can only be used to craft the wand. The trident’s three prongs will be crafted from its blade.

Osiris Incense

Osiris is the Egyptian Ruler of the Dead. Blend acacia and frankincense together, and burn this incense to reach someone in his realm.

Post-necromancy Cleansing Spells

After communicating with ghosts, strong cleansing is recommended.

Get into the tub and scrub vigorously with salt

Make a paste using salt, Holy Water or one of the other formula waters and cleanse the body

Form a paste with olive oil and salt and scrub the body

Create a paste with salt, olive oil and fresh rosemary leaves. Scrub the body

Scottish Necromantic Spell

In order to perform this Scottish necromantic spell, one must arrange to have a room with total, complete privacy.

Meticulously spiritually cleanse the room and oneself prior to beginning the spell at nightfall.

Using a compass, cast a circle in the middle of the room, large enough for you, a table and chair.

Place objections of protection on the table. The traditional spell calls for a Bible and/or a crucifix. Substitute as needed. If the Bible doesn’t work for you, substitute another lengthy spiritual work, both for protection and to occupy you until the ghost shows up.

Light a white candle: this is your only source of light.

Sit down and concentrate on your desires. Call the specific ghost you need. Read the book. Wait for the ghost to show up, perhaps in person. Should you fall asleep, be prepared to speak with the ghost in your dreams and remember and record the conversation.

Séance Incense

Grind frankincense resin and sandalwood powder together and burn. The fragrance lets ghosts know they’re welcome, while simultaneously beckoning angelic and other protective powers.

Séance Protection Candle Spell

This candle provides protection during séance proceedings.

Slice the top off a small white votive candle.

Carve the bottom of the candle so that the wick is exposed and may be lit.

Fill a glass half-full of spring water.

Place a saucer on top and quickly flip it over so that the glass rests on the saucer but no water is spilled. (This becomes easier with practice.)

Place this on the floor, behind the door.

Place the reversed candle on top of the glass and light it.

Tree Necromancy Spell

Trees are traditionally planted atop graves, in the same manner that they’re planted over a newborn’s buried placenta or umbilical cord. This serves multiple purposes: in essence, the tree roots the deceased in the grave, but it also serves as a communications device between the dead and those left behind. This is commemorated in fairy tales like The Juniper Tree and various versions of Cinderella where the dead mother magically communicates with her children through a tree planted on her grave. Trees most commonly and effectively used include cypress, juniper, and pine.

To communicate, bring a libation and/or other gift for the tree, which serves as the portal.

Bring something for yourself, too. If you’d like to bring a gift to the deceased, do so as well. Sit down, eat, drink, and talk to the tree.

The response may come in dreams or unexpectedly.

Tormentil Safety Spell

Tormentil tea allegedly offers protection while journeying to the realms of the dead. It ensures that you’ll return—and return alone! Drink a cup of tormentil tea before embarking on your journey or any other necromantic methods.

Wisteria Dream Spell

Wisteria may be used to communicate with those who have passed on. Consider whom you wish to speak with:

Place a photograph of the person you want to contact under your pillow. If a photograph isn’t available, write their name on a piece of paper as a substitute or, better yet, use their signature written in their own handwriting.

Hang wisteria over the bed or keep it beneath the pillow; whichever is more convenient and comfortable.

Concentrate on what you wish to discuss and go to sleep.

Wormwood Spell

Allegedly if wormwood is burned in the cemetery, the souls of the dead will rise and speak.


No after-death spirit retains as much fascination for the living as does the vampire. Popularly known as the un-dead, many understand vampires to exist on a plane somewhere between the realms of the living and the dead. Are vampires tortured souls of the dead, compelled to feed upon the living? Or are they souls rewarded with eternal life, able to achieve the alchemist’s ultimate fantasy without spending endless hours shut up in a laboratory?

Who or what exactly are vampires? Interpretations differ; “vampire is a catch-all word that encompasses many concepts. However, one quality is held in common by all vampires: they suck vitality from others. The most notorious literary and cinematic vampires, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, or the inhabitants of Anne Rice’s novels, are blood-suckers. Some vampires kill their victims by draining them of all their blood immediately. More sensuous vampires prolong the process: it isn’t the loss of blood that ultimately kills the victim. The blood is merely the means for the vampire to drain the victim’s life force away.

How does one become this type of vampire? Different traditions cite different causes, some much crueler than others if one considers the implications.

Inadequate, improper funeral rites potentially create vampires

There is a contagious quality to being a vampire. One vampire infects, initiates and creates another. Having been attacked by a blood-sucking vampire, according to this school of thought, one either becomes a vampire oneself or dies

Bram Stoker conflated his Dracula legend with tales of Vlad the Impaler, Ruler of Transylvania. In actual Transylvanian folklore, illegitimate sons, born outside Church-sanctioned marriages, are doomed to become vampires

Ukrainian folklore perceives vampires as the inevitable result of sexual relations between witches and werewolves

According to other legends, those born on Christmas Day are potentially future vampires

Some spirits are believed to be innately vampiric, transcending rhyme or reason

Traditional antidotes to vampires include bells, bright light or sunlight, garlic, onions, and silver bullets or bullets created from melted down bell metal. Whether crosses and Church-blessed Holy Water also repels vampires or whether this is merely Christian propaganda is subject to debate. Devotees of Japanese anime will recall that these methods have no effect on Vampire Princess Miyu.

More specialized, occult charms to repel vampires exist.

Basic Vampire Banishing Spell (1) The Obsessive-Compulsive Vampire

Place fishing nets over entrance doors and windows of the place you’d like to protect.

Allegedly the vampire must compulsively count all knots before entering. He or she will either be caught in the sunlight or simply give up and find another home.

Fishing nets may be replaced or supplemented with sieves: the vampire will be forced to count the holes instead.

Basic Vampire Banishing Spell (2) Magic Ring

A recommendation from the Gypsies of India:

Wear an iron ring set with pearls.

Remember to charge and consecrate the ring prior to its initial use.

Cleanse the ring in incense smoke following any encounters or close calls.

Basic Vampire Banishing Spell (3) Lilac Oil

Lilac oil reputedly repels vampires and is certainly more fragrant than garlic. It’s very difficult to find real lilac oil, most of what is commercially available is synthetic; presumably vampires can tell the difference. Make your own, the lingering aroma should keep the vampire out of the house, too.

Infuse olive oil with lilac blossoms. (Check Elements of Magic Spells, page 31, for reminders on making infusions.)

Rub the oil on the body as needed.

Vampires similar to those in literature and movies, who spend their nights on the prowl but their days in the grave, may also be destroyed. However, it’s necessary to identify the gravesite.

Destroy Vampires Spell (1)

Pour boiling water over any cracks or holes visible on the gravesite.

Destroy Vampires Spell (2)

Walk a horse back and forth over the grave repeatedly.

Get Away Vampire!

Perhaps it’s sufficient to banish a vampire, albeit from a greater territory than just your private home and presence. Simple enough—provided you have his sock.

The vampire’s left sock is specifically needed, although perhaps this vampire interchanges socks like many people do.

Stuff it with graveyard dirt, preferably from his or her own grave, blended with rocks from the cemetery.

Toss this outside the limits of the area you wish to protect into running water, flowing away from the area.

Peppermint Vampire Banishing Spells

Peppermint allegedly repels vampires as effectively as garlic, and can be easier to administer.

Peppermint Vampire Banishing Basic Spell

Hang fresh peppermint leaves around one’s neck at bedtime. (This is also reputed to have an aphrodisiac effect, so maybe you’ll be too busy to worry about the vampires.)

Peppermint Vampire Banishing Extra Strength

Grind dried peppermint leaves and garlic cloves together, forming a powder. Place some of this powder in a bag and wear around your neck. (This is no longer an aphrodisiac.)

Peppermint Vampire Banishing Extra Strength Indirect Approach

Make a powder by grinding dried peppermint and garlic together. Cast a circle with this powder around your bed just before bedtime; allegedly infernal beings will not enter this circle.

Peppermint Vampire Banishing Quick Fix Spell

Traditional vampires always seem to go for the neck.

Add essential oil of peppermint to a vial of grapeseed oil.

Keep the bottle beside your bed. Anoint your neck with the oil before retiring for the night or as needed.

If you like the fragrance (and this one can work as an aphrodisiac!) anoint your pillow too.

Trap-A-Vampire Spell

Vampires, like genies, may be trapped in bottles. Choose a glass or metal bottle; presumably the vampire can bite through a plastic one. This spell works on the same principle as a fly-trap.

Place some kind of food the vampire likes inside the bottle, but not blood. This spell works on a vampire who is understood to have once been a regular person with predilections for human food. Find something particularly tempting and put it in the bottle.

You will know when the vampire is in the bottle when you observe a bit of straw or fluff within. Seal the bottle up securely.

The bottle and the vampire may be destroyed by throwing the sealed bottle into a fire.

Vampire Diagnostic Spell

This spell to determine whether a cemetery is infested with vampires derives from Transylvania, the cinematic, if not necessarily the actual, heart of vampire country.

Place a young virgin boy onto a young virgin black stallion.

The boy must ride this horse around the cemetery.

Should the horse halt at any spot and refuse to go further, suspicions are confirmed.

Wherever the horse stops is a clue to the vampire’s abode and identity, not necessarily the actual home of the vampire. Clues may need to be analyzed for a complete revelation and understanding.

Vampire Pacification Spell

In Macedonian tradition, vampires can be prevented from causing harm by scattering millet seed throughout the cemetery. Any passing vampires are compelled to obsessively pick up every tiny seed, leaving them vulnerable to the banishing rays of the sun.

Vampire Peaceful Coexistence Spell

If you are unable to beat, destroy or banish a vampire, what other option is there? No, you don’t have to join them. Sometimes peaceful co-existence can be arranged. A practical Romany method involves creating a regularly scheduled offering table for the vampire and providing food. In exchange, the vampire promises not to bother an agreed-upon list of people. In addition to blood, Romany vampire lore says that the creatures of the night crave milk. Offer dairy milk, coconut milk and rice balls boiled in milk. Those vampires with a sweet tooth accept offerings of halvah.

Vampire Prevention Spell (1)

Scatter iron over the suspected grave.

Vampire Prevention Spell (2)

Scatter garlic cloves over the grave.

Vampire Prevention Spell (3)

Spindles are an ancient symbol of life and death. The Fates traditionally wield a spindle with which they spin the thread of life—and a pair of shears to cut that thread. Three days after a burial, stab nine spindles into the grave to prevent a vampire from rising.

Vampire Prevention Spell (4)

Hammer iron nails into Earth over the grave—as many as possible, and at least a hundred.

Vampire Prevention Spell (5)

Grow briar roses over the grave to prevent a vampire from rising.

Vampire Protection Spell (1)

Blackthorn sticks may not repel a vampire but they protect against harm from them. If involved with magical activities that may accidentally or deliberately summon vampires, use a magic wand crafted from blackthorn.

Vampire Protection Spell (2)

Some vampires allegedly prefer infants and children. To protect them, place the following in a small bag: a safety pin, mustard seeds, rosemary, and an image of San Cipriano. Tie this around the child’s waist.

Vampire Repellant Powder

Grind and powder dried hawthorn and rowan leaves. Blend this powdered mix with either fresh or powdered garlic. Carry the powder within a charm bag for protection, and sprinkle it to create boundaries as needed.

Special Vampires: Incubi and Succubi

Vampirism can be understood metaphorically as well as literally: that may not be just any old blood the vampire is draining. Menstrual blood may be perceived as symbolizing women’s mysteries and magic powers. (Traditional magical wisdom considers this to be more than just metaphor and symbol.) The male vampire depicted preying upon a young woman may be perceived as either attempting to appropriate or annihilate her special power. (And when you consider those vampires who also crave milk …)

Literary and cinematic vampires typically possess a sexual element. To some extent that type of vampire combines the blood-sucker with the more ancient incubus (male) and succubus (female). Incubi and succubi are spirits, vampiric creatures who suck and drain sexual vitality, often through sexual intercourse, whether actual physical intercourse or through dream hauntings. Although the visitations may occur in dreams, the severe devitalization is apparent upon awakening.

These may be the original vampires, once more famous and prevalent than the notorious bloodsuckers of today. These legends converge in the Semitic spirit Lilith, often diabolized as both a blood-sucking vampire and as a seductive but dangerous succubus. Other famous succubi include Lilith’s daughters, Herodias and her daughters, La Diablesse of the French Caribbean and the djinn, Aisha Qandisha and the Karina. Incubi apparently prefer anonymity, perhaps because so many more spells are devoted to banishing them.

Avoid Succubi

The standard magical recommendation for men who wish to avoid succubi:

Never sleep alone and never sleep in an empty house

Don’t respond to sexual advances from solitary, beautiful, mysterious women who linger alone amidst ruins or near deserted fresh water springs

Banish Incubus Spell (1)

Ludovico Maria Sinistrari (1622—1701), a Franciscan friar, is widely acknowledged as the last of the “gentleman demonologists.” The incense formula he recommends to ward off an incubus largely consists of a combination of aphrodisiac and commanding ingredients. Perhaps the goal is to attract other company to keep busy with at night, so that the incubus is denied his opportunity?

Place the following ingredients in a cauldron: sweet flag (calamus), cubeb seeds, roots from two different aristolochia species, cardamom, ginger, long pepper, pink cloves, cinnamon, cloves, mace, nutmeg, frankincense (Sinistrari’s formula calls for only resin; I’ve interpreted this to refer to frankincense, however interpret as you will), benzoin, aloeswood together with its root, and sandalwood.

Brew all ingredients in three and a half quarts (approximately four and a half liters) of brandy and water.

The steam from the simmering brew repels the incubus.

Banish Incubus Spell (2)

This spell repels an incubus and prevents his return.

Wrap three thorn apple seeds in a white handkerchief.

Use a safety pin to fasten this handkerchief to the underside of your pillow.

Leave this attached for seven nights then either throw the seeds out the back door or bury them in the ground at a distance from your home.

As soon as the seeds have been disposed, immediately wash the handkerchief. Use Indigo Water, if appropriate and essential oils of lavender and cajeput in the final rinse water.

Banish Incubus Spell (3)

An Anglo-Saxon defense against an incubus may represent a Christian overlay over an older spell.


This is an historical spell. The formula is not safe to reproduce as it contains toxic ingredients.

Collect hops, wormwood, lupine, bishopwort, henbane, harewort, garlic, fennel, heathberry plants, ashthroat, viper’s bugloss and githrife.

Place the botanicals in a jar and place beneath an altar.

Sing nine masses over them.

Boil them in butter and mutton fat.

Add salt.

Strain the mixture through cloth.

Take the strained herbs and dispel of in running water.

Anoint yourself with the salve as needed.

Incubus Protection

Weave fresh dill. Saint John’s Wort and vervain into a garland and wear it for protection while you sleep.

Should dried herbs only be available, place a pinch of each in a medicine bag and wear it around your neck.

Incubus Repellants

The following worn around your neck repel and protect against incubi: coral, flint, or a necklace woven from peony roots. For maximum effectiveness, all ingredients may be combined. Charge and consecrate all items prior to initial use. Remember to knot your goal into the necklace.

While there seem to be fewer generic succubi spells, individual succubi have earned great renown, unlike incubi. (Who remembers the name of Merlin’s father, allegedly an incubus?) One succubus, Meridiana, allegedly advised Pope Sylvester; it was her influence that supposedly allowed him to attain the pontificate. In exchange he remained faithful to her throughout his life. (Whether sleeping with a succubus breaks vows of celibacy is an interesting theological dilemma.) Other succubi, however, are more malevolent.

La Diablesse

La Diablesse, a Caribbean vampire, resembles Lilith and Aisha Qandisha, as well as some other vampiric, alluring djinn. La Diablesse usually appears as an exceedingly beautiful, charming woman; she may appear in traditional Creole costume but betrays herself with her one cloven goat’s foot. Her anger is towards men: she seduces them then kills them.

To save yourself, should you have a close encounter with La Diablesse, take off all your clothes.

Turn them inside out, then put them back on again.

Walk home backwards, never once during this entire process taking your eyes from La Diablesse.

East Asian Fox Spirits are a special sub-genre of incubi/succubi. Shape-shifters, they appear to the victim in the form of extremely handsome or beautiful men and women, although when traveling incognito they tend to use the form of a fox. They are seductive, charming and frequently the most exciting lover the victim has ever had, therefore blinding the victim to potential danger. Some fox spirits are in fact benevolent, however most are vampiric creatures that suck the life-essence from those they seduce sexually. The victim wastes away, traditionally becoming tubercular.

Fox Spirit Exposure Spell

In general, fox spirits can only retain their power over an individual as long as their victim refuses to recognize the potential danger. Once exposed, the malicious spirit generally flees in search of another victim.

Fox spirits love wine and crave intoxication. Given the opportunity, they tend to over-indulge but just like any other drunk, this causes them to be sloppy and careless.

When drunk the fox spirit will reveal their true identity, breaking their spell.

The Sukuyan

In Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean special vampiric spirits are known as sukuyan. During the day, the sukuyan appears as an innocuous, frequently charming or even beautiful person; at night however she is transformed into a dangerous, bloodthirsty spirit. To determine her true identity, empty 100 pounds (45 kg) of rice at a crossroads. The sukuyan, an obsessive-compulsive like so many low-level spirits, will feel compelled to pick it up grain by grain, leaving herself vulnerable to identification.

She (and the sukuyan seems inevitably to be a “she”) gains admittance to a home by coming to the door and requesting the loan of matches or salt. If you give them to her, you are at her mercy. To escape the sukuyan’s clutches:

Murmur “Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday” three times.

Mark a cross over every door or window in your home.

Hang a mirror on the outside of entrance doors.

Leave it there until all danger has passed.

Special Vampires: Psychic Vampires

There is also another type of vampire, perhaps the most common of all. This one neither craves your blood, nor haunts your dreams. This vampire enhances its own personal power by absorbing that of another. This may be deliberate or completely inadvertent. This vampire is a living person and typically means no harm. You will know these vampires by their effect upon you: no matter how much you like the person, no matter how much you enjoy their company and conversation, you are always exhausted and drained after spending time in their presence. Perhaps every individual has moments of unconscious psychic vampirism, in times of stress and need. However, if this is a consistent reaction to someone’s presence, protection must be taken. One doesn’t necessarily have to avoid the other person; instead one needs to learn how to shield and protect one’s own energy.

It is crucial not to leak psychic energy, which subliminally attracts these vampires like a bleeding wound summons sharks, or those other kinds of vampires. A weak or damaged aura signals your psychic vulnerability. If you are in contact with a psychic vampire, check the Protection and Psychic Power Spells and immediately begin to fortify your defenses.

Psychic Vampire Defense Spell (1)

Rosemary provides emergency relief. Drink rosemary tea. Or create strong infusions by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried rosemary, and add substantial quantities to your bath for aura repair and to relieve psychic exhaustion.

Psychic Vampire Protective Shield

Black tourmalines and labradorite crystal gemstones provide a shield of protection against psychic vampires. Wear them or carry them in a pocket so that they are close at hand, rather than tucked into a mojo bag.

Psychic Vampire Repair

Flower essence remedies may be used to repair the damage done. They will also assist you to manifest new behavior so that you are no longer as vulnerable. Recommendations include:

Apple (FES), for depletion of sexual creative forces and energy (also excellent for incubi/succubi repair)

Fringed Violet (Australian Bush), to repair damage to the aura caused by other individuals

Garlic (FES), repels parasitic entities of all kinds and repairs any damage done

Rue (FES), heals and empowers those whose energy and life-force is easily depleted or is overly absorbent of negative forces

Special Vampires: Accessing Healing Energy

There is one other kind of unintentional vampirism: the victim doesn’t necessarily “leak” energy nor does the stimulus to drain vitality originate in the vampire. Psychic energy and vitality are offered. This type of vampirism possesses no inherent malevolence, selfishness or diabolism; instead it may be necessary for Earth’s proper functioning and one way magic power, heka, is transmitted. That said, this type of vampirism is not without dangers.

Those with plentiful magic power and a strong life-force feed others with their own energy and essence, although they may be unaware that they do so. These include healers and counselors of all varieties, psychic practitioners, soul singers and assorted individual caregivers. These individuals may forget or not realize how crucial it is to replenish their energies.

The flower essence remedies recommended above may be used, as well as Leafless orchid (Living/Australia), suggested for those in service to others who suffer feelings of depletion. Others should not be encouraged to feed at will but as invited and permitted.

If you suffer from this type of vampirism, create boundaries essentially determining when the pump is open and when it’s closed.

Wear black tourmaline

Wear dark sunglasses and headphones as needed to demarcate private space

Special Vampires: Sorcerers

There is yet another kind of vampire, also resolutely human. However, unlike the psychic vampire, this type of vampirism is not inadvertent but construes a category of sorcerer.

Although the phenomenon occurs elsewhere, the fullest analysis of this type of vampire comes from Chinese magical and alchemical traditions. Vampires figure prominently in Chinese magic, although they rarely have anything to do with blood. These practitioners of malevolent magic are known as soul stealers. The goal of the vampire-sorcerer is to extend personal power, health and longevity by tapping into another’s life force. Someone whose chi or soul force was stolen would waste away, eventually falling ill and dying prematurely, their life literally stolen to enhance that of the vampire.

There are various methods of soul stealing, some explicitly sexual, although the most common technique involves absconding with some of the victim’s hair. This, combined with proper technique and incantation, makes soul extraction possible. In this circumstance, the victim may be saved by getting the hair back, combined with shamanic intervention.

Another method targets a child, and also demonstrates why there is such a profusion of children’s protective spells.

The Operation for Drawing Out Life

Collect peach wood and “prime” it by concealing it in or near the home of a pregnant woman. It must remain until the baby is born and, for reasons that will become obvious, the mother cannot know of the wood’s existence.

When the baby is born, the wood is removed and the practitioner uses it to create a doll made to resemble this new baby as closely as possible. All the while, incantations are chanted, beseeching a spirit to come and enter the doll.

When complete, the doll is placed discreetly behind or underneath an altar. The practitioner will continue to invite a spirit to reside within the doll.

The baby’s spirit may thus be lured into the doll. Unfortunately, as it gradually enters the doll, it is gradually leaving the baby, leaving a weakened, listless child who fails to thrive. Should the baby die, the spirit will come entirely under the practitioner’s power.

The sorcerer desires such a doll because it can be used to serve him or her. It can especially be called upon as an agent of divination.

* Where there is ambiguity as to what is “ritually correct,” the expectations of the dead person set the standard.

* Substitute names as desired.