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Paranormal Activity - Do Cremation Ashes Invite Spirits to Stay Around Home?

by Maggie Thompson

    Keeping ashes at home

Believe it or not, it is not uncommon for families to be uncertain about where to display, bury, or scatter the ashes of a loved one. When there is no rush to make a decision, what about a closet “for now?” becomes the approach. This indecisiveness springs from understandable emotions or circumstances.

  • Sometimes it’s a matter of family members coming to consensus.
  • Geographic logistics can delay the opportunity for a formal family gathering to bury or scatter the ashes.
  • Some believe the essence of their loved one is gone, and the ashes have little personal significance.
  • Others prefer having the ashes nearby, without making further plans, because they are not ready for a more final step.

There are countless ways to care for cremation ashes. But what happens when months, years, or even generations go by, and the ashes remain in the closet?

Cremation ashes at home in a closet

In an unusual example, psychic medium Lisa Guttierez-Haley relates her true story on Psychic-Experiences.com. Lisa was contacted by an exasperated family. They had been experiencing strange paranormal negative activity in their home - images of people walking by, a strong sense of aggressive behaviors and bad energy. Lisa reported that a pervasive, overwhelming meanness was coming from an elderly female spirit, dominating an elderly male spirit. This energy was strongest by the closet. Confirming the psychic’s sense, the family opened the door, and on the shelf were two boxes of ashes – cremains of the wife’s great grandparents. Lisa advised removing the ashes from the house right away. The husband did so and immediately, the air lifted.

However, Lisa could feel more spirits in the house. Yes, in another closet, two more boxes of cremains. These were of the wife’s grandparents, who evoked a gentle presence of love and pure intention. Lisa deemed it was good to leave their boxes in the closet, that the spirits were happy to be there, providing positive energy.

How long do the dead stay around?

This question, a relevant one given the story above, was posed to Jaime Licauco, who has been researching, teaching and writing on esoteric knowledge and the paranormal for 35 years. He responded to questions in his article on the Inquirer.net Lifestyles page.  Licauco says: 

When a person dies, their psychic connection with loved ones is not immediately severed. It can remain for a long time. Because of this, their energy can still be felt by the living. In truth, the dead never leave us, but are in another dimension of existence. There’s nothing wrong with keeping a loved one’s ashes in the house.

Ashes at home in a basement – and ashes in an alter

In writing this piece, I gathered a few stories from friends.

Gail and Arthur were making repairs in the basement of the family summer home, beloved by several generations. Tucked on a back shelf, was an old coffee can that neither of them recalled. Opening it, expecting to find an assortment of nails, nuts and bolts, they came to a startling realization: The contents, sealed in a plastic bag, were obviously cremains. But whose? Running through a mental list of deceased grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles provided no ready answers.

In our church on the back of the free-standing altar, there is a small locked door. Behind the door? Ashes. Several containers of cremains. This is not a columbarium, but rather an unofficial, safe holding spot, while families decide what they want to do. One box has been there 12 years, another, 8. The most recent has been there 2 weeks, with plans for burial in the church’s memorial garden next month. Some boxes with cremains have been there such a long time, that no one knows who the remaining family members of the deceased are, or how to contact them.

If you have ashes in a closet, what can be done with them, especially if family wants to keep the ashes at home?

  • Traditional options: Memorial urns designed for display are an aesthetic option for keeping ashes in the house. They come in a variety of designs made with ceramic, glass, marble and stone, metal, and wood. Smaller keepsake urns and jewelry pendant urns that hold a nominal amount of ashes are also satisfying choices.
  • Scattering solutions: A garden, forest, and water are meaningful places for scattering ashes. Although not always necessary, scattering urns are available to use during a scattering ceremony. Before scattering, a portion of ashes can be kept at home in a keepsake urn or ash pendant.
Think-outside-the-box options. Many creative options abound! A sampling includes:

Cremation offers the benefit of time -  there is usually no urgency to make a decision about what to do with the ashes. This allows families time to make plans and to grieve well. Cremation is an option that offers that space. Keeping ashes in the home is a comforting, and meaningful way to still feel connected to a loved one for many people. Will it be the same for you?

Maggie Shopen Thompson, MFA, is a freelance writer and writing workshop facilitator in Montpelier, Vermont. She has had experience as a caregiver for her mother many years ago, and for her husband and daughter during their recent cancer treatments and recoveries. She is a contributing author/artist in Healing Art & Writing – using creativity to meet illness, curated and edited by Patricia Fontaine, published in August 2016.


My mom pass just days ago and was cremated , the ashes will be turned over to me I was her caregiver and get confidant always . I have four brothers and one sister who were not there for her for what ever the reason . I plan to get a fund created to get her ashes in the same cemetery her mother’s is at and I told her that , she was ok with that, now one of my brother who was not there for her is asking for some ashes and I feel like he doesn’t have the right to ask for them because my plan is to bury her intact ., I’m I being difficult my mom suffered a lot due to my brother being in jail for 15 years .

My husband passed away last May. I’m struggling as we were together 37 years and had a lovely marriage. I spent all the time with him while he was ill but wasn’t with him when he died. I woke up at six in the morning and didn’t go to the hospital at that time. The hospital phoned at 7.30 saying my husband wasn’t too good. When I got there he had died at 6.32. I feel heartbroken I wasn’t with him at the time when I feel maybe he was calling me at six and he really needed me.

My husband of 16 years passed away November 7th of 2017. He shot himself infront of me n our daughter n died in my arms. Theres not a day that goes by that I dont feel my husband. He was cremated n sits on a stand in my bedroom. I’ve also had vivid dreams where I can hear him, feel him, smell him, n kiss him. I would trade those dreams. He was my soulmate, my bestfriend, my heart, my everything. I lost my heart the day he left me. I wont lie I still hurt everyday n it’s hard to sleep n I ask why is it fair my daughter has to live with this image for the rest of her life. I’d do anything to take it from her. I miss my husband so much n I know hes around keeping us safe because that’s what he did when he was alive. My husband was 34 years old when he passed n that stings that I didnt get more years with the love of my life. He will always hold my heart. Theres nobody else that I could love like I love him.

My 30year old daughter died suddenly this past August. I had her cremated and at first I was so freaked out about having her ashes in the house, I kept her in the cabinet for a month. Then I took her out and put her behind the TV. Then before I knew it I had purchased a beautiful urn and a glass curio cabinet and made a whole memorial corner in my living room. It really is beautiful. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My husband passed violently 5 years ago this May. I still wear my wedding rings, and have always worn a locket of his ashes and a locket of his hair around my neck, literally never took them off. Until today. I’m experiencing such heaviness and depression and oppression that has become unbearable and I’m wondering if this has anything to do with it

My oldest son passed away 28 days after his 15th birthday. There was no way I was going to bury him. I told him I’d never leave him. I have his ashes on my dresser surrounded by some of the things he liked. I talk to him everyday. Sometimes we her things, sometimes see things out of the corner of my eye.
It could be nothing but I like to think it’s him. Everyone mourns differently, take you time. I think it’s horrible to have someone’s shes in a closet or basement though. That’s sad.

I just went through my biological mom passing 6 days ago and I do not have her remains yet. I got 2 urns one for me and one for my moms sister. My mom left me at age 7 for drugs and men then came in and out of my life until 3 years ago she came and stayed..she was very sick and onky 46 years old. I am going to keep her remains in ny bedroom next to my bed..I dont want any bad vibes or things to happen and not sure if I will have any issues but it is concerning. Although I forgave her I believe that it would make her happy to be by my side again until I pass because I know she was sorry for the life she chose. She was my mom and will always have a special place in my heart. Does anyone think or believe I would have bad vibes or bad anything from keeping part of her with me?

I am really happy to say it’s an interesting post to read. I learn new information from your article related to Cremation Ashes, you are doing a great job . Keep it up!!

My best friend and soulmate died the day after Christmas 2017. We were planning a life together. We were best friends growing up and after so many years apart we reconnected and ended up falling in love and planning to be married. He was a man of God and we prayed and fasted together. He had a heart attack and died and I was left to have sum kind of service. I ended up having him cremated and I have a beautiful special ordered urn on my dresser next to my bed. I’m also gonna order these hearts for his mom, son and me too. I talk to him everyday! I have a few pictures of him on my dresser too. I feel close to him. I know he is gone and in heaven but I still feel his presence !! I am a Christian and this goes against what we believe but this love was truly God given! He would say he loved me because God first loved him. He had never been “IN” love before and this what we had was so different!! We would talk about this connection we had that was so deep!! It’s unexplainable!!! I’ve only had a dream of him talking to me and another dream of him sleeping by my front door waiting for me to come home!! I really wonder if there is some meaning behind that because that dream was so vivid!! I know there is more to come. I’ve had his ashes 2 weeks now and I feel our strong connection! He would always say if he died before me that I would be able to feel him all over me because he would be on me everyday all day LOL! Man i could never let his ashes go this man was my soulmate and so much more and my kids already know to bury his ashes with me!!

Mom died lady May. Her bother November before last since placing their urns in my ho.e we have experienced nothing but chaos on a consistent bases.ostly fire yly at me. Nothing I try to do goes smoothly there are always incredible hurdles thrown in my path or the project duffers miserably. My behavior has be one uncontrollably buzzard. This is and has never been like me. Everything I touch turn to crap. Are the remains a manifestation of evil imaging from these boxes. I think I’m going insane sometmes. I want to get them out of my house for goof

My boyfreinds grandpa passed in june they made neckalces out of his ashes and its in my house along eith his ring and a few shirts ive i caught otbes on my video on christmas and ever since then have heard foot steps lights that never work all of a sudden work and turn on in tbe middle of the night if we remove these things well it get better or is it best to keep them . its scareing me alittle

In response to Logan: Thank you for your comment, we are so sorry to hear about your dad’s loss. We can’t make any recommendations or offer any advice, but there are resources you can find to help children with the coping of a loss. This link is to one such resource: https://healgrief.org/helping-children-cope-deal-with-grief/
There are many resources out there that can help you. We are sending you good thoughts.

My father recently passed on the late night of 4 January early 5 January 2018 this year, my 3 yr old daughter has been experiencing some odd behavior over the last 4 weeks since her grandpas / dads passing, anything to Help my daughter get past this please

My ex- husband died in my arms. It was very spiritual and beautiful. I keep a small amt. In a glass reckless and the rest in a small urn on bedside table and I do talk to him. I am Roman Catholic and am I going against my religion? It feels right to me but I worry about what God feels about it .

I have urns of my mom & sisterI actually feel guilty about wanting to release them into a out going tide (ocean) yet w/my mother’s urn I definitely pick up on her behavior’s and though I love her its unhealthy for me to allow this.any thoughts on what i should say while releasing both together into the beautiful ocean &making sure they know how much i live them and i want its more my mom i feel to ne happy and free….

My fiancee passed almost two years ago. Within a couple of weeks of his passing I heard his guitar strum twice. I was woken up by my name being called, and a few other things. This happened before I received his ashes. Now that I have his ashes I am lucky if I have a dream about him. I talk to him every night and I kiss his urn every morning. Could his signs have ceased because his ashes are with me now?

My husband died unexpectly at age 62. He had never wanted to be buried. I have his ashes in a red rock urn. In a back bedroom. Not sure what my children will do when I die, I hope they will have me creamated and then bury both of us, mixed together in a cemetery plot I already have. I have never been uncomfortable with Mike’s ashes in the house, and none of my friends ever seemed to be either. Mike has been gone 7 1/2 years, until this summer I had the rock with his ashes in living room, but finally decided to move him.

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