Is There a Ghost in the House?
When spirits outstay their welcome, who you gonna call?
Shaman Flint Flintoft clears the air.
By GREGORY JACKSON
Asahi Evening News - Tokyo - Sunday, March 24, 1996
It's a cold afternoon in late February. Flint Flintoft stands by the window in my front room and blows three long blasts on a conch that sends vibrations shooting through the apartment.
"We welcome spirits from all directions. The spirit of the sky, the spirit of the Earth, the spirit of all healing in nature," he says.
This is spring cleaning in a different dimension.
I don't believe in ghosts and I'm usually pretty skeptical of those who do, but my new apartment doesn't have the most auspicious of histories.
The previous occupant was strangled in the bedroom last summer, and the killer still hasn't been caught. As a precaution, I decided to seek help in exorcising any unwanted presences from the apartment.
Flint leads a curious double life, working as a software engineer — what he likes to call his "Clark Kent" job — when he's not pursuing his more ethereal interests. After a world-circling journey of five years, Flint spent time studying shamanism and the discipline of Huna — which teaches that everyone can gain access to their Higher Self, a source of guidance in life choices.
Flint holds private "Guidelight" sessions for clients, a form of deep therapeutic spiritual exploration, in addition to working as a Huna shaman. When I told him about my apartment's history, he kindly agreed to perform a cleansing ritual.
Carrying a battered equipment bag and looking not entirely unlike Jason Miller's Catholic priest in "The Exorcist," Flint became uneasy upon entering the apartment. A particular spot in the bedroom seemed to disturb him.
"There are tremendous energies here — anger and fear," he said.
In the half-light, we placed candles and incense around the apartment, and cleared the table for the ceremony.
"The conch is a bit like a roll-call," he explains slowly, "It initiates the gathering of higher presences. The first part is to call for guidance."
The ritual drew on aspects of various faiths. Kukui nuts from Hawaii symbolized light, an American Indian rattle and a Tibetan brass bowl were used to clear some of the energy in the room, and a fern dipped in blessed water was later used to cleanse the walls and ceiling.
The idea of cleansing a residence for habitation is similar to certain Shinto rites, but in Flint's case the influences are much broader, from certain Shamanic practices to Christianity.
Clients hear about him through word of mouth, "usually when they can't solve the problem using other services. Some people call it ghost-busting, but I'd call it environmental healing," he says.
In such ceremonies, vibrations are central to the state of a room. "The physical apartment is not disturbed but the 'thought forms,' the energies that remain from emotional disturbances, are still in the room," Flint says. "You pick up on a frequency that's still there."
Scientific support for such beliefs is lacking, but in some sensitive, non-scientific experiments aimed at examining these claims, the results have been surprising. Kirlian photography has generated images from torn leaves that show up in their entirety on photographic paper — as if the leaf is projecting a whole energetic image of itself.
In the case of my apartment, Flint believes the previous emotions have remained at an energetic level. Smoothing this out is a process of bringing in other natural vibrations. Having balanced the energies in the room, he explained that the previous owner had ended her possession of the place.
"Sometimes ghosts need to be told that they have died to be released. They often retain a connection with the physical world they knew while alive."
It is not all house cleaning for Flint. He also responds to "spiritual emergencies," and offers a range of related personal services.
As we finish up the ceremony, he spends several minutes pacing the apartment, feeling the difference. He discusses the energetic makeup of the apartment as if it were vital to the architecture of the building, and advises me on how to improve the energy flow in the living area.
"That's better," he says, rechecking the spot in the bedroom that originally caught his attention.
Outside, the sun has all but disappeared — the entire process has taken nearly two hours. As he leaves, he tries to reassure me. "Phenomena like those seen in 'The Exorcist' are extremely rare."
"But stay in touch," he says. "I want to know how you're sleeping."
Flint Flintoft can be reached in Tokyo at http://www.awaken.cc.
FLINT'S AFTERWORD: After many spiritual clearings, this particular event was memorable in that the spirit of the murdered woman actually joined us (unseen to the reporter) at the end of the ceremony and sat very quietly and humbly on the floor on her knees in Japanese style. As I finished, she bowed so very deeply and thanked me for clearing the premises, as the remaining energies and memories could have kept her linked to the place. She was thankful to be released and helped to move on in her spiritual process.