Reality Meets Fiction: Communicating with Spirits

by Barry Pirro

Don’t you just love spiral staircases? I know I do. You don’t see many in houses these days apart from the narrow, metal ones that are installed as an afterthought when converting a garage or some other such space into a proper room. But the spiral staircase I was climbing down this particular day was a real beauty. It was broad, carpeted in a deep white pile, and it was in a house in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

The young couple who contacted me were experiencing a lot of unusual, disturbing activity — the sound of phantom footsteps in the night, objects moving by themselves, and sighting of the ghostly figure of a man in a blue plaid shirt. They asked for my help in figuring out what was there, and hopefully to get rid of it. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

As I continued making my way down the staircase, a feeling of apprehension began to build, as if someone was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs. The feeling didn’t frighten me because I’ve felt this kind of thing many times before. I’m never afraid during investigations, but I’m always curious. ‘Knock-Knock. Who’s there?’ I thought. 

I made one last turn of the helix, and as my foot left the last step and set down on the hardwood floor, I knew. Something was in the room with me, and it wasn’t happy to see me. This wasn’t exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle.

I stopped for a minute and scanned the beautiful finished basement with hardwood floors. A leather couch faced a large stone fireplace, and sliding doors led to a deck overlooking a sunny, spacious backyard. Overall, it was a bright, cheerful space that anyone would love to spend time in. The only problem was, the place was haunted as hell. How did I know? I could feel it.

As I stood there allowing my intuition to take over, the thing in the room crept closer and closer to me. Then, it suddenly rushed at me and gave me a message loud and clear — You are not wanted here.

‘That may be the case,’ I thought back calmly. ‘But whoever you are, there’s something you need to know — I never back down. You don’t frighten me, so don’t even try. I’m here to help you. Why are you here, and what is it that you want?’

Although people’s stories about the ghostly activity in their home is interesting, I don’t really need to hear them. If a house is haunted I’ll feel it right away. What does it feel like? Each experience is different, but more often than not it begins with a feeling of being watched, observed, studied.

Imagine being in a room where there’s a security camera in the corner, and every time you take a step the camera follows your every move. It’s that kind of a feeling; as if I’m being scrutinized by someone I can’t see, but I know that they’re there.

Next comes a flood of emotions that usually have nothing to do with the way the surroundings look. I might walk into a warm, sunny room and suddenly feel sad, depressed, or lonely. Likewise, I can walk into a dark, dingy basement and be flooded with feelings of happiness.

Then, I begin receiving intuitive information. Sometimes the messages come in the form of names or dates, other times I see visual ‘snapshots’ of the past in my mind’s eye. One common thing about these clairvoyant messages is that they are always extremely persistent.

During one investigation, I kept “hearing” a voice say, ‘I’m Elizabeth. Ask them about Elizabeth.’ I pushed the message away, in case it was just my imagination, but it kept coming back and repeating over and over again — ‘I’m Elizabeth. Ask them about Elizabeth.’

Finally, I said to the homeowner, “I don’t know if this means anything to you, but I’m supposed to ask you about Elizabeth.”

“Elizabeth?” the homeowner said with a start, “Why, she’s the woman who lived here before I bought this house. She was very old, and I was told that she died in a nursing home. I never met her, but I’m certain her name was Elizabeth because that name was on all of the documents we signed when we bought the house. How did you know?”

“A little bird told me,” I said with a smile. “A little bird named Elizabeth.”

Most times, intuitive information is very brief. Just a word or two, then it’s gone. But other times it’s extremely detailed, as if I’m watching a movie. Once while taking a tour of an historic home, the group stopped in a bedroom on the second floor. The room was tiny with a small bed pushed into a dark corner. The tour guide was talking about the history of the house, but I was barely listening. I was beginning to receive intuitive information, and it was very strong.

As I stood there looking around the room, waves of happiness washed over me. In my mind’s eye, I could see lots of very young children running through the door and around the room. All of the children were barefoot. The boys wore light colored, loose fitting pants that went to the knee, and shirts with buttons. The girls wore simple, light colored dresses that went down to their ankles. They were running in circles through one door and out the other. Then they would loop back and run in again. There was a man sitting on the bed, and as the children ran by he was pretending to try and catch them. The scene was extremely vivid and filled with laughter and joy.

There had been no mention of children up to this point in the tour, so before we moved on to the next room I casually said to the tour guide, “There were a lot of children in this house, weren’t there?”

“Yes,” she said with a smile. “There were a LOT of children in this house. Eleven! And they were all born in this very room. You wouldn’t think that a house as small as this could hold so many kids, but somehow they made it work. They were a very happy family.”

Not all of the sensations I get are intuitive. Sometimes they’re purely physical. These include feeling pains and other feelings in various parts of my body. The pains usually correspond with what the spirit was feeling during their lifetime, or when they died. Sometimes I’ll feel sharp pains in my head or my chest, or I’ll feel short of breath. Once during an investigation, my legs suddenly became stiff and leaden, as if I had arthritis. It felt as if I could barely walk. I later learned that the person who lived in the home was an invalid, and that she walked with the aid of a walker.

Then there are the ghostly touches; soft caresses on my arms, face, and hands. And if you’ve never been poked by a ghost, I highly recommend it. Poking seems to be their favorite way of letting me know that they are with me. I’ll be walking down a hallway when all of a sudden I’ll feel a very strong jab in my arms, back, or shoulders. It feels exactly like someone is poking me a few times with two or three fingers. I usually only experience this once or twice during an investigation, but in very active houses I’ll get poked several times.

One of the most striking examples of a spirit communication happened during an investigation I conducted at a haunted day spa in Connecticut. The owner contacted me because she and her employees had been witnessing very disturbing paranormal phenomenon at the spa.

One morning two of the workers watched as a large, heavy metal bowl levitated off of a table, then floated down to the floor. Another day, one of the employees caught a glimpse of a man walking into one of the treatment rooms. When she went to investigate, the room was empty. Every morning, the person opening the shop finds objects thrown on the floor in the gift shop area. But the last straw was when the owner and another employee heard the blood curdling scream of a man coming from one of the treatment rooms. Needless to say, they investigated and there was no one there.

After interviewing the owner and staff, I did a walkthrough of the spa. I immediately felt a male presence in one of the treatment rooms. As I tried to communicate with him, the spirit would move to another room. After following him from room to room, trying to get him to tell me what the problem was, I decided to conduct a clearing and send him on his way.

The two women came into the room to ask what I had come up with when all of a sudden, soft music started playing in all of the treatment rooms. The owner was shocked, and totally baffled. The only way to turn the music on in the spa was to login to the computer with a password, login to Spotify, then choose the Meditation Music station. But neither of the women had touched the computer.

As we were talking about this strange occurrence, the music started playing louder, and louder. The ghost was actually turning the volume up on the speaker that sat on the shelf. The music in all of the other rooms remained quiet. He clearly wanted us to know that he was there.

The shop owner and her employee went back to the front of the spa while I conducted the clearing. To clear a space of a spirit, I talk to them and try to make them realise the situation they are in. They are no longer living, they don’t belong here, and there are loved ones waiting for them on the other side.

“It’s time for you to move on,” I said out loud. “You don’t belong here any longer. There is a beautiful place waiting for you filled with light and love. Your friends and family have been waiting for you for a very long time. It’s time for you to go to them.”

Suddenly, an overwhelming sense of sadness and abandon washed over me, and I could hear the spirit’s voice in my head. ‘There’s no one waiting for me,” he said. ‘I have no one. No one is waiting for me.’

The feeling of despair and hopelessness was so powerful that I felt it to my core, and the sadness and loneliness that came over me was so strong that I actually started to cry.

A few minutes later, the women came into the room from the front of the store. I told them that I finished the clearing, but that the spirit was refusing to move on. I didn’t share any of the details about the emotional exchange I had just had.

“I have to tell you,” the owner said. “While you were back here doing the clearing, we both got very sad. We both felt like we wanted to cry.” I was amazed. They had picked up the same feelings and emotions from the spirit that I had.

The most important tool in a paranormal investigator’s toolbox is his intuition. Cameras, recorders, meters, and sensors can give you a clue that a ghost is present, but the real proof comes from direct communication with the spirit.

My advice to anyone wishing to have these kinds of experiences is to stop blocking thoughts and feelings. If you walk into a room and it doesn’t feel quite right, let that feeling sit with you for a while. Silently ask, ‘Is there someone here with me? Can you tell me your name?’ Just don’t be surprised if you get an answer. It’s not just your imagination. Chances are, you just communicated with a spirit, and you’ve just taken the first step toward a new and amazing journey.

UPDATE: Due to lack of reader interest, Reality Meets Fiction will be ending in two months. That means, just two more stories will be published (October and November). If you’d like for the series of paranormal investigation stories to continue, please let us hear your voice in the comments.

“Reality Meets Fiction” is a series on non-fiction, real-life stories as experienced through personal accounts and investigations conducted by Barry Pirro, a paranormal investigator known as the Connecticut Ghost Hunter. Barry has over a decade of paranormal investigation experience and will share his stories every 4th Friday of the month. Don’t forget to catch the last article on November 26th. To learn more about the Ghost Hunter, visit

READERS: Have you had or have heard of spirit communication and encounters? If so, tell us about it in the comments. Better yet, write your non-fiction story and send it to us: (subject: Spirit Communication). Your story may be picked to appear on our blog as a follow up to Barry’s.

WRITERS: Use Barry’s real-life story to inspire your creativity! Write a story using spirit communication and then submit it to us for publication consideration:

As always, thanks for supporting THE DARK SIRE! If you’re not following us, please do. We are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram under @DarkSireMag. And, of course, you can pick up a digital copy of our issues on the TDS website or paperback copies through AmazonThe Bibliophile Bookstore (Dover, Ohio), and now Poe’s New & Used Bookstore (New Berlin, Pennsylvania).

Until we meet again, take care!

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