Paranormal experts have suggested seven signs indicating that your house is haunted:

  • Mysterious sights and sounds.
  • Deposits of ectoplasm.
  • Feelings of being watched.
  • Inexplicable movements of items.
  • Personality changes experienced only while in the house.
  • Discovering the on-premises death(s) of one or more previous homeowners.
  • Physical and emotional disorientation when entering an area of the house.

If you’re experiencing those things in your house, apartment, dorm room, hotel room or whatever else you call home, congrats! You’ve made contact. But even if those signs aren’t there, don’t think that the paranormal entities themselves aren’t there. In fact, theoretically, if you got the timing and conditions right, a seemingly un-haunted house could prove itself to be very much haunted. Let’s explore how … 

Ghosts don’t require your ability to detect them, nor your belief in them, in order to exist. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

First, a word of caution though: The following hypothetical experiment is extremely dangerous – life-threateningly dangerous, in fact. I explore it here simply to hypothesize about the fascinating nexus of time-tested lore and empirical data on a highly potent psychotropic substance. So, the following is a semi-scientific analysis, not an instruction manual. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.


The Best Day of the Year for Revealing Hidden Ghosts

According to the shared legend of many ancient, geographically dispersed cultures, such as the Celts and Aztecs, the halfway point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice forms a vortex. At that time of year (originally dateless, but what later became Oct. 31 on the Gregorian calendar), the metaphysical veil dividing the earthly plane for the living from the spiritual world for the dead is at its thinnest. As a result, the dead seem to come out of hiding and mingle – voluntarily or unintentionally, and pleasantly or dangerously – with the living. So, if you want to see the invisible entities living with you in your home year-round, that’s when your odds are at their best.

Snap-Apple Night, painted by Daniel Maclise in 1833, shows people feasting and playing divination games on Halloween in Ireland. The belief that the dead walk openly among the living at the halfway point between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice isn’t confined to any single culture, continent or millennium. Image in Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The One Way Shown Consistently to Put Someone in Contact with the Beyond

So, it’s Oct. 31, which means you’ve got the timing right. But in order to guarantee that the conditions align perfectly with the timing for revealing hidden ghosts, you need to metaphysically pry open the doors of your mind as wide as they’ll go before snapping your mind in half. Otherwise put, you need to get fried.

Of all the common hallucinogens – acid, mushrooms, peyote, PCP, etc. – the one most likely to make you see reportedly legitimate ghosts is dimethyltryptamine (DMT). As Top Psychedelic says, DMT is popularly known as “the spirit molecule” because it has that effect. And even though everyone trips differently due to a variety of factors, research has consistently placed DMT at the top for not only witnessing but also interacting with paranormal entities while tripping on it. For instance, an article published in April 2020 by the British Association for Psychopharmacology found that:

Respondents reported the primary senses involved in the encounter were visual and extrasensory (e.g., telepathic). The most common descriptive labels for the entity were being, guide, spirit, alien, and helper. Although 41% of respondents reported fear during the encounter, the most prominent emotions both in the respondent and attributed to the entity were love, kindness, and joy. Most respondents endorsed that the entity had the attributes of being conscious, intelligent, and benevolent, existed in some real but different dimension of reality, and continued to exist after the encounter. Respondents endorsed receiving a message (69%) or a prediction about the future (19%) from the experience. More than half of those who identified as atheist before the experience no longer identified as atheist afterwards. The experiences were rated as among the most meaningful, spiritual, and psychologically insightful lifetime experiences, with persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning attributed to the experiences.

This was reinforced by findings from a 2020 study done at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (which validated findings in a 2019 PLOS ONE study):

Many of the respondents said DMT brought them into contact with a “conscious, intelligent, benevolent, and sacred entity,” most commonly described as a “being” or “guide,” in an interaction that oozed joy, trust, love, and kindness. Eighty percent reported that the experience had fundamentally altered their perception of reality, and 72% said that the entity continued to exist after the experience “in a different plane of reality.” Perhaps most startling was that more than half of those who had previously self-identified as atheists—28% of the sample—described some type of belief in a higher power or God after taking DMT.

More recently, a study published in December 2021 by Frontiers in Psychology found that:

Invariably, profound and highly intense experiences occurred. The first overarching category comprised the encounter with other “beings” (94% of reports), encompassing super-ordinate themes including the entities’ role, appearance, demeanour, communication and interaction; while the second overarching category comprised experiences of emerging into other “worlds” (100% of reports), encompassing super-ordinate themes of the scene, the contents and quality of the immersive spaces.

The Risks of Using DMT to See the Dead in Your House on Halloween Night

Legal Risks Comparable to Cannabis

Like THC in cannabis, DMT is a naturally occurring substance in plants, but it is also the only psychedelic known to occur naturally in the mammalian brain as well. And like THC, DMT is classified as a Schedule I drug under the U.S. government’s Controlled Substances Act. Accordingly, for those subject to that act (certain religious groups and researchers are exempt), it is illegal to buy, possess, distribute or manufacture DMT.

The top five plants containing DMT are, in descending visual order above: Chacruna, Jurema, Yopo, Chaliponga and Acacia.

DMT is also illegal at the state level nationwide, but several cities have decriminalized the use of DMT for personal and non-commercial use and in small quantities: Santa Cruz, California; Denver, Colorado; Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Washington. Debates are ongoing in state legislatures in California, Colorado, Maine and Vermont to decriminalize DMT at the state level, and Missouri’s state government is considering decriminalizing the DMT equivalent of medicinal marijuana.

Scientific studies have traced the mammalian brain’s production of DMT to the Pineal Gland. Images are generated by Life Science Databases(LSDB). via Wikimedia Commons

Health Risks Comparable to Acid

The health risks of consuming DMT depend on such things as the dosage, means of consumption and other factors identified by Verywell Mind. Generally though, according to Medical News Today, DMT’s most dangerous side effects stem from its structural relation to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Having too much serotonin in the body can cause high blood pressure, loss of muscle coordination and other high-risk health issues. At higher doses, DMT can even cause seizures, respiratory arrest and coma. And although the National Institute on Drug Abuse concluded that DMT does not cause tolerance or physical addiction, it could lead to psychological addiction. So, there is plenty to contend with for your mind and body.

Final Thoughts

Illegality and health risks notwithstanding, DMT is still the psychedelic of choice for plenty of people. (How else could all those studies I cited be done?) American Addiction Centers points out that people seeking a psychedelic experience tend to prefer DMT to acid or mushrooms because the effects are almost immediate and are short-lived (30 to 45 minutes), relieving them of prolonged intoxication. So, in the context of my experiment, you’d know whether your house is haunted in the time it takes to have Halloween munchies delivered.

Ultimately, people will do as they please anyhow, not as they should. And for that reason, certain organizations focus not on prohibition but on safe practices. For instance, a governmental organization in Canada published “Safer Tripping: Magic mushrooms, LSD, and other hallucinogens.” So, if your physician has given you the go-ahead to get spun on Halloween night for a ghost stakeout, you do have that checklist as a handy resource.  It bears repeating, though, that casual forays into whatever “the spirit molecule” might lead you aren’t meant to be advocated or trivialized here. Readers are expected to make mindful, informed decisions concerning any substance, DMT or otherwise.

One last thought: The next time you’re home on Halloween night and see something moving out of the corner of your eye, or you find that you become dizzy in a certain corner of a certain room, just know that the veil is at its thinnest then. You might be in the middle of a crowd that sees you even if you can’t see it. So, never assume that your house isn’t haunted just because you believe it isn’t; as cultures spanning thousands of years confirm, your faith isn’t the final authority on that reality.

Kathleen Hearons is an editor, writer, voice over actor and avid cinephile. She lives and works in the greater Los Angeles area.

Disclaimer: This article is for information and entertainment. Please contact your doctor or medical practitioner before using any controlled substance.