Earlier today we published a feature about Ghost Month and its beautiful origin story. At least, one of the common variations of how it came to be.
Ghost Month isn’t just about great food and family parties though, there’s some pretty intense ghost stuff you have to deal with.
The key thing to keep in mind here is that you’re dealing with ghosts that been sent to a pretty crappy place and they’re hungry. Really hungry.
Your goal is to feed them and give them presents but in between doing all that, you may have to deal with some cranky behavior.
Never fear creepers, we have your back. We present to you 10 tips and tricks to get you safely through the month, keep you out of trouble with those long dead relatives and keep everyone happy in the process.
10. Beware where you place your shoes and what direction you leave them in.
Leaving shoes in an entrance will tell the ghost how many people may be in a location and they might be more likely to cause issues at large gatherings. So hide your shoes. It’s also a good note not to leave them by your bed as its basically an invitation to jump in the sack.
Things might get weird.
Also, be careful to direct your shoes away from you. The direction of your shoes can point the ghosts towards you, basically a road sign. So just point your shoes towards your weird cousin Eddy.
9. Don’t hold an open umbrella indoors.
This one is pretty simple. Spirits come inside sometimes, you know, it’s cold out there. If you have an open umbrella, they caught inside, kinda freak out, you’re holding the damn thing, bad shit is going to happen. Your own damn fault really.
Why did you have an open umbrella in the kitchen to start with? Weirdo.
8. If you’re not a professional fisherperson, don’t go fishing.
Fish are cool and ghosts kinda like them, fishing is basically murdering something they think is cool. Which is, not cool.
The ghosts do make an exception if you make a living at fishing. Then, you’re basically just doing your job and they’re okay with that.
7. Don’t hang lanterns, actually, just avoid them altogether.
Like moths to a flame, ghosts will gather by a good lantern. The prettier, or more ornate, the more likely they are to come.
Sometimes, in the case of temples and graveyards, this is a very good thing. When it’s your home, backyard or your kids Nutcracker recital you don’t want hungry spirits causing a ruckus.
Aim for ugly-ass lighting. Maybe go to IKEA.
6. Stay away from streams and coastal areas.
The basic rule of thumb with Ghost Month is stay the hell out of the water. We get it, you like your morning swim, but maybe take up running for the next 30 days.
Hanging around / in water is basically a loaded gun with spirits who haven’t had a good meal in a while. They’re mad, you’re in the way, it’s an easy leap to drowning your well-fed, disrespectful ass.
5. Avoid any sort of dampness in your home.
Sort of like the shoe thing, dampness is an open invitation to bad spirits. A breading ground for evil. Keep everything dry and clean.
4. Don’t go into forests at night, especially alone
This is very similar to the water thing but with the added complication of a heavy spirit population. Forest and wilderness locations are sort of where hungry ghosts hang out during Ghost Month. Unless called by something else, a good meal, shoes, whatever, it’s home for now.
Going into their home, alone, is just a bad idea. Even with the best of intentions, arriving without gifts or food could be downright insulting and now you have a real problem. If you absolutely have to go into the forest (said no one ever) bring a pizza.
3. Don’t take the last bus of the night
The later it gets, the stronger the spirits get and fast moving objects on desolate streets is a pretty big beacon. Consider a less obvious, fly-under-the-radar alternative like a rideshare.
2. When staying at a hotel, always knock on the door before entering and step in sideways.
Okay, I know some of these have been pretty weird and this one… isn’t really any better but, there’s an odd sensibility to it.
Like big, empty forests, empty hotel rooms are often a home for spirits during Ghost Month. It’s just good manners to knock before entering in case Aunt Betty set up residence for the holiday in room 903.
Walking in sideways gives her room to slide out without hitting you. It’s good to be polite, especially when your taking someone else’s digs for the night.
1. This is the big one friends – never, ever speak a friends full name in a dark
Often considered the most dangerous of mistakes during Ghost Month, the accidental deal with an evil spirit.
Let me paint a picture for you: You and Brian are hanging out back the restaurant you both work at, taking a break from a long night of cooking fish. Brian says to you:
“Man, James Dungbutt is really a cool guy, we should hang with him more often.”
Meanwhile, the evil ghost hiding in the shadows behind Brian thinks Brians wants him to take out Mr. Dungbutt who the very next day has a tragic accident with a telephone poll entering his car at an unfriendly rate of speed.
Accidental deals with ghosts are a bitch, especially for that James guy.