What to do: If the signs of haunting are auditory, first rule out animals by bringing in a pest-control expert (see crisis No. 1). "Raccoons and bats sleep all day and go outside at night, so you'll hear them moving around at dusk and dawn," says critter wrangler Tom Scollins. Although ghosts seem scary, they won't harm you, says Stephan A. Schwartz, a research associate at the Cognitive Sciences Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, and spokesperson for the Parapsychological Association. "They're entities that have become trapped in the home, and they really just want help to move along." Light candles or incense; join hands; pray; meditate. "The goal is to express your intention that the spirits leave the building," Schwartz says.
How to keep this from happening to you: Good luck getting a home inspector to check for ghosts before you buy. But consider this: Do-it-yourself exorcisms are kind of fun, and they make great stories.