Those are the kind that psychic Saphira, host of the call-in "Psychic Break" show on KKFI 90.1, dreads dealing with. She is often hired to chase them away. "Those are lower entities. They've never been human," she says. "But they can influence people in a home, especially teenagers."
Saphira feels more comfortable with the spirits living in the Gothic stone home now known as the Writers Place, which has such a checkered history it would be shocking if it weren't haunted. The 1903 mansion was a discreet brothel in the late 1950s and then, by the 1970s, a holy-roller church. Today the restored house is a literary meeting place.
Employees and frequent visitors of the Writers Place have identified a handful of ghosts: There's the dapper one up on the third floor who wears an intensely potent cologne, and "Stinky" is the baby with the dirty diaper on the second floor. (It was here that a ghost asked Saphira for help, and the good-natured spiritualist said, "Not today, dear. Later.") The most popular ghostess is "Clara," the one-time hooker who likes to tease unwary visitors by noisily following them up and down the interior staircase.
When Saphira leads a fundraising séance for the Writers Place on October 28, she hopes all its spectral residents will come out to play. "Not everyone can experience psychic phenomenon," she says, "because it can be very subtle. But this house has a very strong energy. It's on the vortex of ley lines, the magnetic lines that cross the earth." Saphira can't promise that the ghosts will reveal themselves, but she is hopeful. "We can only ask them to come. They don't have to do it."