Interesting Ways to Get Rid of Ghosts and Demons

If you’re a paranormal or horror writer, an actual ghostbuster, or just exceptionally unlucky, you may need some creative ideas on how to banish ghosts and poltergeists, or exorcise or kill evil spirits and/or demons. Here are a bunch of ways I’ve read about to get the job done!

Because there are so many different versions of folklore out there, you might come across conflicting information. You may decide to combine a few of these in a badass banishing spell, or one of these may inspire you to come up with something you like better. Good luck!

Ask the ghost nicely to leave.

Tell them they’re dead (they might not know), explain that they don’t need to do anything else on earth, and encourage them to forget their mortal worries and move on.

Grab the salt.

A few different religious traditions ascribe purifying and protective qualities to salt. Scatter some outside the door for protection.

Splash some holy water.

This can be sprinkled in the home, or even on food before you eat it to protect you from within.

Use some herbs.

Scatter angelica or boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) in all four corners of a house for protection, or to get a malevolent spirit to clear out.

Burn St. John’s Wort and/or sage to help clear out demons and evil spirits. You probably know that with sage, it’s common to distribute the smoke all around the house, maybe using a sage stick–this is called smudging.

Pick your poison.

If a demon is possessing a human, getting it to consume food or drink laced with St. John’s Wort or boneset may get the demon to leave the human’s body.

Hang a wreath.

A blackberry or garlic wreath or garland on the front door will keep demons and assorted evil spirits away.

Wear an amulet.

Crosses, crucifixes, pentagrams, ankhs, and Saint Benedict medals are common ones. St. Christopher medals are usually used as good luck for travelers, but I’ve heard people mention them as supernatural protection. There are hundreds of protective symbols people have used over the centuries.

Have a good old-fashioned exorcism.

If someone’s possessed, you’ll probably want to do this. Obviously, you can hire a Catholic priest, and you can read all about the rite here.

But why should Catholic priests have all the fun? Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism all have traditions of exorcism, and I don’t see why people who follow other traditions couldn’t do it as well.

Burn black candles.

Black candles look spooky, but in a few different magical traditions, they actually drive negativity and evil forces away.

Turn to crystals.

Black stones like obsidian, onyx, jet, and black tourmaline are often credited with protective powers from all kinds of negative energies. I’ve also read that amethyst can help.

Wield a magical weapon.

One of my very favorite shows, Supernatural, features several examples of demon-killing weapons: a magic gun, an ancient Kurdish knife, the scythe of Death himself, an angel’s sword or blade, and the blade used by Cain to kill Abel.

Use your supernatural powers.

Maybe your character has the power to banish or even destroy a demon with their mind.


Just to be clear: I don’t actually believe in demons. I do believe in ghosts, but only because I’ve met two, and they weren’t that scary. Anyway, happy ghostbusting/demon hunting/writing!

9 thoughts on “Interesting Ways to Get Rid of Ghosts and Demons”

  1. writerggandrew

    Ok, this title was total clickbait for me! I love ghost-related things especially. I didn’t know about a couple of these, like sage. I think I have some expired sage around here… Also, I’m thinking of doing ghost stories on my blog for October, so I may bug you for yours if you’re willing to share!

  2. Pingback: One Haunted Apartment and Two Haunted Houses in Kansas City | Bryn Donovan

    1. Hi, Alexis! I am so sorry to hear that. I developed this list for fiction, but most of these are time-honored ways to get rid of a ghost or an evil spirit. Almost all ghosts are harmless, but they can still be a nuisance. I would definitely try asking the ghost nicely to leave, and burning sage or St. John’s Wort. Good luck!

  3. Help! I am a psychic medium who just went to a home of a couple and her three children. Their home has always been a safe place until a couple months ago. This woman married the love of her life two years ago and things were status quo until two months ago. Something, a ghost I believe, is targeting her husband in three areas of the home. I immediately thought of the bedroom before I went over to investigate. And sure enough, most of the experiences happen in the bedroom. They have felt chills, felt like they were being watched, had things fly off shelves, shadow figures appear, a huge weight was laying over both of them in the middle of the night, electric issue occurred, the bed would move in the middle of the night, and even their camera went crazy when something fell off the shelf. This happened in the three areas of the house, but mostly in the bedroom. No growling or strange smells…
    I believe that it was something that piggybacked into their home or a haunted object they recently acquired. I asked them if anyone was in their house in the past two months. They said that they had had a bed delivered into their home two months ago. I still felt that it was the bedroom with the most activity. I salted and saged the house and bed and they took their bed clothes and washed them in blessed salt. I asked them who delivered the bed and where it was from. They said that it had come from a mall that had been built over a battle ground. I understand that many of the stores in that mall have spirit occurrences.
    I am wondering if through your intuition, something attached itself to the bed….Please help me! I need to help these people! How does one get rid of an attached entity? I have been doing this for twenty years, and this entity doesn’t seem to want to leave, even though I attempted to banish it and give them coping skills to psychically protect themselves. They have sage, know how to assertively tell it to leave them alone and gave them a bag of my blessed salt.
    What is your take on this? Do you feel differently about what is there?
    Thank you for your help!

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