Yes, Vintage Clothing Can Be Haunted — Here's How to Get Rid of That Bad Energy

There's nothing some herbs and little reiki won't fix.

Person hanging sheets to dry outside against a rural backdrop and an illustrated celestial overlay
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It doesn't make a difference if your vintage clothing has been dry cleaned and washed a million times, or even if you've polished that old piece of jewelry. The fact of the matter is that once a person puts an item on their body, their aura — aka the energetic field that radiates around all living beings — attaches to it.

There are different colors associated with the aura that dictate various emotions and moods, all of which are contagious based on our own personal vibes. We can pick up on that energy — be it negative or good — simply from touch and close proximity. And, what many may not realize is that they can also be transferred through your latest vintage purchase.

Our bodies are sensitive, some more than others, which is why we can feel this energy on a physical level. I have personally felt other people's energies while trying on a pair of vintage Levi's that haven't been properly cleaned, or even when I'm rocking a new dress from my favorite vintage boutique. Does that mean that clothing can actually be haunted by previous owners? Well, yeah, kind of (although in a way less graphic way than your favorite scary movie). In order to detach that energy, you might want to use tips from reiki healers and vintage curators, who have some experience with this very topic.

Think of it as ghostbusting for vintage designer duds 101.

Reiki healer Kesaine Walker states that "energy's everywhere, including on vintage clothing." However, if you're picking up on something while shopping, the best thing to do is try the clothing on. It's possible that the energy you feel isn't from the piece at all, but rather the store, the employees, or even other customers.

"Tune in to what you're feeling while touching or wearing the items," she says, before sharing a few virtual tips. "You may not be able to touch while online shopping, but you can still tune in to how the items make you feel while looking at them."

Reiki healer, psychic, esoteric life coach, and owner of The Fitness Witch, Christine O'Day, says she's definitely felt people's energies on vintage clothing, both from the previous owner and those who have handled these items.

"Vintage clothing definitely has energy attached to it, especially if it was worn often. It feels like a glimpse into someone else's mood. I can feel it as soon as I touch an item," she tells us.

According to O'Day, the quickest way to cleanse an item is to wash it like you would any other piece of clothing — only with an extra step using special ingredients.

"I would also use frankincense and myrrh," she says. These herbs are known to detox objects, spaces, and energies. Simply lay the items of clothing on the floor and burn the herbs as incense in the room to cleanse the items in question.

Vintage clothing curator and magical founder of The Psychic Life of Clothes, Julia Popescu, admits to having handled vintage clothing that may have been haunted by the previous deceased owner. To cleanse pieces like these, she suggests lightly spraying the clothes with lavender mist from afar.

"If you want to truly get witchy, you can also tuck a mojo bag of cleansing herbs into a pocket (parsley, rosemary, tobacco, lavender for example), or just sprinkle the herbs into cuffs, linings, etc.," Popescu says. "Cleansing clothes is highly creative, so you can pretty much use any cleansing rituals from your witch toolkit!"

You also won't want to underestimate the power of your words. In order to get rid of bad vibes on vintage, say things that you consider to be energy-shifting. Thank the clothing for fulfilling their previous purpose and then for destiny bringing you together. Thank them in advance for the journey you are about to embark on together. Our clothes can be sacred, and therefore, so is our relationship to them.

Walker also recommends setting an intention to release any energy that doesn't belong to you or serve you on the items and even using reiki on the clothes themselves. "I like to lay hands on each item for several minutes and visualize the old energy being released while I infuse the clothing with positive and loving vibrations."

Clothing can be our connection to the past and other realms, as well as to our psychic selves. So, before you slip into that new vintage coat or carry around a purse from Etsy, you might want to cleanse it — in more ways than one — first.

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