Tales of Ghostly Treasures and Antiques

Are You a Soul Reader?

Ghost Image
Getty Images / Hulton Archives

Do you spend time with your antiques before you purchase them? In other words, do you really get to know your finds and let your “sixth sense” explore any negative energies present before lugging those potentially haunted antiques home?

Most people don't, but according to psychic Sylvia Browne in her book The Other Side and Back, that’s exactly what everyone should do.

Assessing Antiques for Potential Spirits

While Browne makes it clear that she loves antiques and buys them to decorate her home on occasion, she always spends several minutes with an object to see how it “feels” and how she responds to being near it before making a purchase.

“A spirit might have a lingering fondness for an object and want to come visit it,” said Browne in her book. “Every object is capable of holding an imprint that may or may not be a happy one.”

A Chair Haunting?

Bobye Syverson of Wisconsin once had a next-door neighbor, now deceased, who held a high position with the University of Wisconsin. She described him as an “extremely sensitive” person who often mentioned seeing a gentleman roaming around inside her house while she was out of town. Her neighbor’s description of that mysterious man, whom he had never met, fit Syverson’s long-deceased father perfectly.

One day, that same neighbor came over for a visit. When he walked past an antique chair Syverson had purchased at a local antique shop, every hair on his arms immediately stood on end as if the piece of furniture was electrically charged. When he moved away from the chair, the hair would lie back down again just as quickly.

After contemplating this spooky occurrence, Syverson decided it might be better to take that particular chair to her antique shop and sell it.

Cleansing a Spirited Ring

Still not convinced? Then you might want to consider a story jewelry collector Maria Roberts of Louisiana had to share.

Roberts once put a lovely antique sapphire ring up for sale in her antique shop and didn’t think too much about it at first. When she later took it out of the case to show it to a customer, a wave of overwhelming sadness and the sights and sounds of a Victorian lady weeping swept over her. This happened every time she touched the ring from that point on.

As a former resident of New Orleans, Roberts knew many “believers” who told her to hold the ring under running water to cleanse it or to place it in a tray with pieces of garnet jewelry to calm the restless spirit the ring obviously held. She finally sold the piece and, needless to say, was glad to be rid of it and the emotion that it held.

A Tale of Two Hats

In another conversation about eerie antiques, antique dealer Merrie Schonbach of Pennsylvania conveyed that she once bought a pair of hats that had a strong sense of negativity associated with them. In fact, that feeling was so strong that she experienced a distinctive burning sensation when she opened the original boxes where the hats were stored and held them in her hands.

Schonbach sensed that a traumatic experience of some kind was associated with the lady who originally owned and wore the hats—a sudden or violent death perhaps. “I’ve had to learn to turn my sensitivity off as I’ve gotten into selling other people’s things,” she added.

"Dr. Ghost" Weighs in on the Topic

When asked about these spooky tales, Joanne D.S. McMahon, Ph.D., also known as Dr. Ghost, described the phenomena these antique dealers experienced as psychometry. “In parapsychology, psychometry means the ability to read objects. The word actually means soul reading,” she explained.

People gifted with this ability are able to read an object and discern some of the history associated with it by merely by touching it. McMahon reports having had a ring "read" once and the person doing the reading gave her information about her mother he could not have otherwise known if the piece of jewelry had not spoken to him in some way.