This time of year can be very difficult for many of us who have lost a loved one. Holidays are not the same without their presence. But what if they never really left you? What if, on special occasions, they were very near.

My mom, who had crossed over back in 1995, has been an active vistor in my life lately. Without her love and advice on relationships, I would have been lost. Other visitors included my departed grandmother who has dropped in to give me the same crazy advice she would have given when she was in earthly form. And the appearance of Foxy, my beloved red dog, has been very comforting during times I've been overwhelmed with missing her. And, there have been some very unexpected visitors.

Last night a dead relative I had no name for visited me.

The irony of this visit was I was watching Paranormal State, the television show about college students doing afterdeath investigations. I got spirit hugged. My legs felt cold and tingling and a rush of energy ran up my body. I felt a presence in the room. I dismissed this as I was super-tired and watching a spooky show, and I have an active imagination. But what happened later, I couldn’t dismiss.

After the show, I nervously crawled into bed with Emma Lou, my beloved basset hound by my side, deep under the blankets and then Sarah, my other dog girl, quickly joined us. I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone else was present and it felt female.

As soon as I turned off the lights, I saw my very first shadow person. I have to admit, it was seriously creepy. The clock radio diagonal to me that usually blares its light all night long disappeared when the shadow stood in front of it. This dark thing gradually hovered over me on the bed.

I jumped upright immediately, and as calm as I could be, turned the lights on while screaming out a few expletives. Gathering my wits, I remembered all my psychic training and kindly let the spirit know that was a big no-no hovering over me while I slept. Then I did what every medium should do, I tuned in. The communication was so clear telepathically, it was unmistakable.

ME: Why are you here?
SPIRIT: To check on you after everything you have been through this year.
ME: Who are you?
ME: Why did you scare me like that?
SPIRIT: I thought you liked that kind of thing…the show you were watching. (It was obviously an aunt who has a sense of humor.)
ME: Please visit when I am awake and not so freaked out.

As I tried to fall back to sleep, I had a very clear vision sent to me from this spirit. I saw myself as a child lying in bed with a ton of stuffed animals surrounding me. There was a very small space left for me. The spirit was remarking how now I sleep with real animals covering my bed, and how some things never change. She obviously knew me well as I was a child growing up.

I thanked my aunt for the visit, and then called in Archangel Michael to act as a doorkeeper to make sure I didn’t have any other unannounced guests interrupting my slumber.

So, how do you know if you've been visited by departed loved ones this holiday season?

1.Your smoke detector goes off. The other day, I was talking out loud to my departed mom hoping for a response. Next thing that happened was my smoke detector started to beep and then wheeze. Ordinarily I would think this was a symptom of a dying battery, but my psychic spot on my head ached at the same time. Our loved ones can manipulate things in the environment especially electrical or mechanical devices.

2.Your head hurts. As I previously mentioned, if you are psychically in-tuned, you may have a part of your body that announces the presence of a ghost or other-world-ly. Some folks get chills, others stomach flip-flops, my head will ache. My head will ache a great deal if a spirit insists on my attention. I have a different head ache if a spirit that is around is negative. This is a good warning for me. The ache will also be present with the stomach flip-flop. (I've often felt this with spirits attached to people).

3.The dog acts weird. There’s been some nights where my home has been Grand Central Station with ghost visits. Emma Lou seems to flow with whatever is occurring, but Sarah, my little sensitive, will pace the hallways, agitated.

4.Intrusive, recurring thoughts. This could be your own active mind, or you have an intruder bothering you. If the thoughts seems very foreign to your own thoughts, even random, especially if it feels like a negative running commentary, simply ask your new friend to take a walk out the door or call in Archangel Michael like I did to be the bouncer.

5.Seeing shadows.

6.You hear them. If you are clairaudient (clear hearing), you may hear with your inner ear the ghost’s voice. (see #4). This is a great opportunity to ask the spirit what message he/she has for you or to find out who is visiting and why.

7.You feel a ghost hug like I did.

And remember, if you have a spirit visiting, if it feels like friend or foe, remember, you are in charge. Ghosts are just people in their spirit suits. You wouldn’t let anyone barge through your front door. Create boundaries. Let them know what is okay or not okay in your home, as I did with my visiting aunt.

Author's Bio: 

Ronni Ann Hall communicates with the spiritual world – Animals, the departed, Nature Spirits, and Angels --- and teaches/shares what she has learned in readings, online classes, art and stories. She's felt spirits in the room since she was a small child. Visit her site to sign up for a mediumship reading, her animal mediumship or people online class, or many other classes to choose from to develop your natural, psychic abilities. Visit