If you’ve had a loved one pass away, you’d probably give anything just to talk to them one more time. People resort to all kinds of techniques that are rumored to allow you to communicate with the dead. But are they real, or nothing more than scams and pseudoscience?
How can you talk to the dead? Different cultures and belief systems all have their own techniques and methods for contacting the dead. Some of them are more effective than others, and none of them seem to work 100% of the time. But most don’t hurt to try either.
In this article, I’ll provide several techniques for communicating with ghosts and spirits. They can either be loved ones you know, or just random spirits that happen to be in a particular place. We’ll talk about how to communicate with dead pets as well. Plus touch on whether contacting spirits is really a good idea or not.
1 How To Communicate With Ghosts, Spirits, or A Dead Loved One
2 Use Various Techniques
3 Try A Ouija Board
4 Use A Voice Recorder
5 Watch Your Dreams
6 Use A Psychic Medium
7 Get In Touch With Spirits Through Meditation
8 Automatic Writing
9 How To Communicate With Dead Pets
10 Why Trying To Contact The Dead Might Be A Bad Idea
11 Trying To Make Contact With Ghosts or Spirits? — Don’t Use Sage!
12 Ways The Dead May Send Signs To You
12.1 Coins, Stones, Numbers, Feathers, and Other Signs
12.4 Electronic Devices
13 Are Dead Loved Ones Always Watching Us?
How To Communicate With Ghosts, Spirits, or A Dead Loved One
People offer up all kinds of different methods and techniques for communicating with dead spirits. Each culture has its own ideas about ghosts and how to talk to them. If you’re trying to get in touch with a dead relative or make contact with some other kind of spirit, here are some tips to increase your likelihood of success.
Use Various Techniques
There’s no single foolproof way that will allow you to get in touch with a spirit 100% of the time. It’s hard to say why this is.
More skeptical people will say it’s simply because ghosts aren’t real, so then talking to them is out of the question.
But for a believer, there are other explanations. You could think of some of these techniques like making a phone call to a friend. If your friend isn’t home to hear the phone ringing, they won’t be able to answer and communicate with you! If there is an afterlife, it’s naive to think that spirits are just waiting around to answer our call.
So by using the various techniques for communicating with spirits that I’ll discuss below, you can kind of think of it like fishing. You can pick the right bait and cast out your hook. But if there are no fish in the area that day or they just aren’t hungry, you aren’t going to catch one!
For whatever reason, some spirits may find it easier to communicate through different mediums than others. Some might be able to make themselves shown with a scent, or through liquid or flame. Others might be better at being heard on video or audio recordings. Just like living people might prefer to text or email instead of picking up the phone, spirits can have their own preferences as well.
Keep technology in mind too. If you’re trying to communicate with a spirit from hundreds of years ago, it might not make sense to use a modern piece of technology like a digital audio recorder. They have no perspective on what that object is or how it works from the time that they were alive. So you may need to explain specifically that you want them to speak into the device and explain how it works in advance.
Try A Ouija Board
Ouija boards are rather infamous for their ability to communicate with spirits (as well as potentially other entities like demons as well.)
To use one, you’ll need some other friends to help you out. Most of the time you can’t operate an ouija board all by yourself, or at least it won’t be very effective. So if you’ve got a few friends who are also interested in talking to spirits, you can give it a try.
If you don’t know what it is, an ouija board is a board with various letters on it, as well as some phrases like yes, no, hello, and goodbye. You can buy one at a store, or make your own. In stores they’re normally sold in the same area with other board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.
Use A Voice Recorder
One of my favorite techniques for communicating with spirits is to use a voice recorder. It’s also the technique that I’ve personally had the most success with.
The voice or other sounds of spirits recorded on an audio device are usually referred to as EVP, or electronic voice phenomenon. You can record them using tape recorders or digital recorders.
As opposed to using a medium or other techniques that allow you to communicate with a specific spirit, I find that using a voice recorder works in a more broad sense. You may or may not pick up whatever spirits or entities happen to be in the immediate area, but you can’t necessarily call on one in particular.
To try and capture a ghost’s voice on audio, simply turn on your recording device and start asking questions. Usually you won’t hear anything at the time of recording, but voices will show up on the audio once you play it back later. So it’s best to ask a whole list of questions, even if you don’t feel like you’re getting any reply at the time.
The quality of EVP recordings can vary a lot. Sometimes it’s crystal clear that you’re hearing a voice and you can understand every word that’s coming through. Other times sounds are muffled and a lot more open to interpretation.
There are also special devices called ghost boxes that can be used to hear spirits. They’re basically modified radios that will go through the whole AM and FM bands. As they go through, they’ll pick up little bits of music or words that are being spoken. So you might hear a name, or one or two words at a time. Sometimes you may even get the various clips of sound pieced together as an answer to your question.
Watch Your Dreams
Our ancestors have always given significance to messages received through dreams. Sometimes dreams are used to get predictions or premonitions. Other times they’re a way to communicate with spirits, or even with God itself.
After a loved one has passed away, it’s worth paying extra close attention to your dreams. You might have a message come through. Either them talking to you directly, or through signs and symbols in your dreams.
People who believe that the dead can communicate through dreams say that being asleep lowers your guard, so it’s easier for spirits to reach through to you.
Use A Psychic Medium
If you don’t want to learn and master any specific techniques for communicating with spirits on your own, it might be best to hire a psychic medium.
Some psychics specialize in using tarot cards or crystal balls to help give insight into your future. But others specialize in communicating with loved ones who have passed on. Try to find a medium that is specifically focused on the latter. If it makes up the bulk of their work, then they’re likely to be more experienced and trained in speaking with spirits.
Sadly, there are a lot of fake psychics and mediums out there. So it’s important to do your research to make sure that one is legitimate before you work with them. You can check reviews online. Getting a recommendation from family members or friends is also usually a good way to go. Most importantly, don’t allow your grief after a loved one has passed to cloud your judgment and make hasty decisions.
Personally I like to take a skeptical approach to psychics and give them only the minimum amount of information needed, and see what they can come up with. Any psychic who has to lead you on, or just tries to tell you what you want to hear, probably isn’t worth working with.
Get In Touch With Spirits Through Meditation
In the modern world, it can feel like we’re constantly moving. And our minds never really stop thinking. One of the main goals of meditation is to help to slow down or stop your thoughts entirely. It also gives you a chance to just stop and be receptive, and take in the moment.
In a meditative state where you’re just sitting calmly in silence is the perfect time for a message from a spirit or deceased loved one to come through. It’s usually not as clear as hearing a voice or anything blatant. Normally it’s very subtle and the signs can be easy to miss. But being in a focused state of meditation where your mind is quiet and you’re focused will increase your odds of getting a sign.
There are dozens of different meditation techniques. But if you’re new to meditation, keep it simple. Just find a comfortable place to sit. Clear your mind and try to relax. You might want to take some deep breaths to help center yourself in the present moment. You may also choose to focus on a single thing, like a mental image of a dead loved one who you are trying to reach.
Meditation takes practice. So don’t be surprised if you struggle to do it for more than a few minutes at first. After a while you’ll be able to focus for longer and longer.
Automatic writing is where you take a pen and piece of paper, and start moving the pen without looking at it. At first you’ll probably just make scribbles on the page that don’t look like anything. But with enough time, automatic writing can become an effective way at communicating with spirits.
If automatic writing works, you can think of it like a type of possession almost, where the spirits will work through you to convey their messages.
You can also try automatic writing on your computer by opening up a blank word document and pressing a bunch of random letters without looking, and see if any messages come through.
Want to see spirits? Check my article Scrying Mirrors: What Are They, and How To Make and Use Them
How To Communicate With Dead Pets
So far we’ve mostly assumed that the dead loved ones or spirits you’re trying to communicate with are human. But what if your beloved family dog or cat is the one who has passed away, and you want to communicate with them?
Many of the techniques of speaking with dead pets are the same as for communicating with human spirits. Except of course, animals can’t speak, which adds another layer of difficulty in communicating with them.
Your best option for communicating with dead pets is likely to use a medium that specializes in such communications.
If you can’t find a pet medium, simply look for signs yourself.
Your pet might come to you in a dream.
You may hear sounds associated with your pets even though they’re gone. Things like the sound of their paws on the hardwood floor, the sound of their cage rattling, or the affectionate meows and purrs that you remember especially around dinner time.
You might be able to smell your deceased pet. Just like human ghosts sometimes give off the smell of perfume or their favorite cigar, your pet might have a lingering odor associated with it too. If you smell your pet’s breath when you wake up in the morning, or you catch a whiff of what their wet fur smelled like after a rainstorm, they might still be around.
You might also just feel a feeling of love. Or you may get chills or tingles, or feeling of static electricity when they seem to be around.
Can pets sense ghosts? Check out my other article to find out! —
Why Trying To Contact The Dead Might Be A Bad Idea
Just because you can communicate with the dead doesn’t necessarily mean that you should.
Talking to the dead can be a bad idea. Many people believe that using things like ouija boards or other techniques for communicating with the dead can open gateways that you won’t be able to close. You might be inviting in unwelcome guests that will be hard to get rid of later on.
If you’re religious, communicating with the dead might be a sin or against your religion. And perhaps there’s a good reason for that.
A big reason to avoid communicating with the dead is also because you never really know 100% who you’re talking to. People often report deceptive spirits who may impersonate the person you’re trying to communicate with. They might talk and sound just like the person you remember, but it’s just a trick. They might even be able to draw from your memories and tell you secrets or things that seem to prove they really are that person.
So personally while communicating with general spirits who happen to occupy with an area might be okay, I would avoid seeking out specific spirits to talk to. You might find yourself being manipulated or fooled, or it might just lead to heartbreak.
Trying To Make Contact With Ghosts or Spirits? — Don’t Use Sage!
Using sage is a common spiritual technique to cleanse and purify a space. Doing a sage smudging is a commonly used part of many different spells and rituals. But if you’re trying to make contact with a ghost or spirit, it’s a bad idea.
When a sage smudging ritual is done, the goal is to get rid of any spirits in the area. So the chance is that you’ll drive away any spirits who might be in the room and willing to communicate. If you don’t drive it away completely, it might be frustrated or annoyed by the sage.
Ways The Dead May Send Signs To You
You don’t necessarily need to use a psychic or actively seek out communication with a dead loved one or spirit yourself. They will often attempt to communicate with you, without you having to do anything at all.
Coins, Stones, Numbers, Feathers, and Other Signs
The deceased may send you a sign by having lucky pennies or other coins appear on the ground or in random places. Pay special attention to the year of the coin or any markings, as this may give extra information. For example, a coin may have the same year as the year that a loved one was born or passed away.
You might also find white feathers tucked under the wipers of your car or in other random places, which some people interpret as being from the wings of an angel. You might also start to see heart shapes in random places, or see your loved one’s favorite lucky number popping up everywhere.
For more information, check my article 11:11, 444, 777 and Other Repeating Numbers: What Do They Mean?
The dead are believed to be able to communicate, either intentionally or unintentionally, through different aromas. Your grandpa might have a specific brand of tobacco that he smoked. Your mom might have a certain perfume that you recognize. Even the smell of a specific type of food that your loved one always used to make, or a flower that they always had in their garden, can be a sign.
I can personally attest to the fact that birds seem to have some unexplainable connection to the dead. I frequently see unique birds that seemingly aren’t native to my area after a loved one has passed, as a sign. I’ve even had birds crash in to the windows of my house around the same time that loved ones have passed away.
Spirits seem to have a special knack for interfering with electronics, for whatever reason. So if your lights are flipping on and off, or the phone is ringing and nobody is on the other end, it might be a deceased relative trying to reach you.
Are Dead Loved Ones Always Watching Us?
Is your grandma who passed away watching you in the bathroom, or judging what you’re doing in the bedroom? Maybe! But honestly, they’re dead, so does it really matter? Who are they going to tell?
If it motivates you to be a better person for fear that your deceased relatives are watching over you and judging you, then all the power to you. But personally I wouldn’t get too anxious or hung up on the idea.
There are dozens of different techniques for making contact with the dead. None of them will work consistently 100% of the time. Some methods might be better for you, and others might make more sense specifically for the spirit you’re trying to communicate with.
Be sure to take the time period of the spirit you’re trying to communicate with in to account. A spirit who was alive 200 years ago might need a detailed explanation of what a digital voice recorder is, or how it works. Even my grandma would probably struggle with using such a device!
And of course, be aware of the potential risks and dangers of making contact with spirits. There’s the possibility that you may open a door or gateway that you can’t easily close afterward. When in doubt, get help from a professional medium or psychic.
Can’t get enough information about ghosts? Read my article What Are Poltergeists? (The Difference Between Them and a Haunting) next!