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Spirits Who Visit During The Time of the Dead

It is believed that the spirits of the dead can return to earth during the time known as "the Days of the Dead" (November 1-2 & November 2-3, depending on tradition). During this period of time people leave snacks and glasses of water near their loved ones' graves for them to consume once they find their way home.

November 1 also marks the beginning of a three day spiritual retreat to clean out bad energy from all previous months and start this month anew. This includes any unresolved feelings one might have had with those who have passed on, no matter what the cause might be. The first day is devoted to ancestors, the second to personal loved ones, and the third to the community at large.

Spirits of those who have passed on can return to visit their families for a few days around this time, as it is important for them to do so before continuing on with their spiritual journeys. The spirits are said to rest from the difficulties and travails they encounter as they learn how to function in the spiritual realms. They arrive at their respective homes sometime during the Day of the Dead celebration and stay for a few days before carrying on with their journeys.

Some people believe that spirits show themselves in certain circumstances:

  • To warn about an impending or upcoming danger or accident involving themselves - or someone close to them, especially when children are concerned.

  • To counsel and advise those still on earth, particularly in the area of emotional and moral development. This may be especially true for souls from a previous generation - grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. - who wish to leave some words of wisdom before passing on themselves. In this case it is not uncommon for the spirit to remain in close association with the family.

  • To communicate their love and affection - to offer comfort, advice, or encouragement.

The following are some possible signs that a spirit has visited during this period:

  • Objects move or disappear without any apparent cause. Another common occurrence is for clocks to tick erratically at night when no one is around to interfere with them.

  • Photographs of the deceased taken during life as well as those taken after death may show some sort of discoloration or be affected in some way by an unseen energy. Sometimes closed eyes, covered faces, blurred features and other disturbances can be evident.

  • Objects such as flower arrangements following a visit from a deceased loved one may have turned slightly towards the visitor's location in the room.

  • Music that only the family member or person visiting could hear being played through an apparently non-operating stereo can be another indication of a visitation. In many cases, if the music is listened to closely, it will stop and begin again as the spirit leaves.

  • The appearance of visible images in photographs can also be an indication of a spirit's presence, especially if they are not included when the picture is taken.

  • The appearance of visible marks or scratches on furniture, carpets, etc., which cannot be accounted for in any rational way may also be signs that a spirit has visited.

  • Unexplained changes to the environment - such as new footprints or misplaced items - are possible indications of visitation. So are objects moved from one place to another - especially in the case of children who have passed on. In some cases, a spirit may move an object from one room to another or even outside without touching it.

The following, for the most part, is a list of souls that could make these visits during this season:

  • Spouses and life-partners

  • Grandparents

  • Great-grandparents

  • Uncles and aunts

  • Cousins (of all sorts)

  • Friends

Any of your loved ones or deceased friends who you do not wish to forget, even though they may be dead. People of note during this time period - heroes, heroines, martyrs, musicians and other famous people from the past who have made a significant contribution to the world.

This is a time to celebrate the lives of those you love and miss, living or dead. It's a holiday that focuses on togetherness and family, which can be both comforting and painful for those who have lost someone close to them. This is also a time when ghosts may visit because they feel more comfortable coming back from the Other Side during this time because of the heightened emotions associated with All Soul's Day, Dia de los Muertos and Samhain - a celebration of life as well as death. Since much thought is given to the people who have died, they may feel more welcome than at other times.

According to Hispanic traditions, the spirits return in search of living loved ones that have passed away. This is why people typically try to spend this time with their families. It's also common during this time period for family members who are still alive but live far away to travel home so they can be together for this very special occasion.

People will also decorate their graves with marigolds and candles, while asking for special favors from the dead. In some parts of Mexico, bones are cleaned from all the remains in a given cemetery to make sure that all potential spirits can return home.

People will also leave small gifts for Santa Muerte (Saint Death) at crossroads or her shrine located inside the cemetery, so that she may pass them over to their dead relatives.

In some traditions it is believed that if you visit a graveyard and eat snacks with your family on the first day of "the Days of the Dead" that you will be protected from any harm or evil for one year. The second day is considered even more special by most people. It is believed that if you spend this day with family, you will be protected for two whole years.

But perhaps the most important part of celebrating "the Days of the Dead" is to remember your dead loved ones. Although it might be tough for some people, it's very important that you take a moment to sit down and spend some time thinking about their lives.

Do you think celebrating "the Days of the Dead" is a positive experience? Why or why not?

A seven day journey to honoring loved ones, ancestors and spirit guides.

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Oct 29, 2021

Thanks so much for this article Taren. Happy Samhain. 🎃


Oct 29, 2021

What a dilemma. 😧 if you don't mind, what is your husband's culture?? I was fortunate that my husband and I have always been on the same page, but I know from experience that differences can cause a lot of discomfort and miscommunication.

Taren S
Taren S
Oct 29, 2021
Replying to

My husband is Hungarian but doesn't really follow the culture. He does his own thing.


Oct 26, 2021

This article has sparked a new bunch of ideas I’m doing good with connecting to my family , while for my husband their family approaches remembering in a complete different way This article gave me new questions for conversation with him I would love for him to know his mother can still be spoken to , and heard The difference in our cultures is so clear right now and is leaving me a lil sad for the family Thank you for sharing this with us

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