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Do’s and don’ts to survive the Ghost Month of August

By Ching M. Alano, The Philippine STAR Published Aug 11, 2021 6:45 pm Updated Aug 12, 2021 9:21 am

Who ghost there? You’re alone in the room, but suddenly you feel an eerie presence, like somebody is hovering nearby, and chills run up and down your spine. Be not afraid.  It could only be because it’s August, which is traditionally celebrated as Hungry Ghost Month.

For more info on this, let feng shui queen Marites Allen perk up your spirit. “Aug. 8 up to Sept. 6 this year marks the celebration of the Hungry Ghost Month in many parts of the world. It traces its origin to the Buddhists and Taoists who believe that during this month, the gates of hell are supposedly open and spirits roam among the living.”

She adds that these restless spirits may still be in limbo due to the swiftness of events that cut their lives short. “If not properly appeased, they may cause mischief; thus, it is important to be on their good side by making the necessary offerings and following safety practices. More importantly, we must assure them that they are remembered and honored in the most loving ways.”

It is believed that on the first day of the seventh month, hungry ghosts are released from the gates of hell to roam in the living realm for exactly a month to look for food (even souls go hungry) or to take revenge on those who behave badly or displease them.

Street performance for Chinese Hungry Ghost festival.

Through the years, this traditionally Chinese event has been embraced by other cultures. For instance, India, Japan, Taiwan, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand have their own unique Hungry Ghost Festivals.

So, to get into the spirit of this month-long fest, here are some do’s and don’ts prescribed by Marites Allen. 


  1. Burn incense to feed the spirits. There’s something about the scent of incense that’s calming and cleansing, which will surely please the spirits.
  2. Get rid of excess yinenergies at home. You can display mantra-inspired decor or sprinkle salt in hidden corners and along the main entrance of your home.
  3. Keep your living spaces clean. Ghosts love clutter. Ghost month or not, decluttering is one important life hack.
  4. Keep closed spaces well-lighted. Open your windows to let natural light in. Bright places ward off bad spirits. Remember that wandering ghosts are attracted to dark, gloomy spaces.
  5. Keep door hinges properly oiled. Thisisso that your doors don’t squeak, which could attract lost spirits.
  6. If faced with a scary or eerie presence, be calm. Tell the spirit it is not real, has no power over you and can’t harm you.
  7. Protect your front entrance. Ensure that the front and back of your home are brightly lit at night.
  8. If you feel you’re in danger, just chant hum, hum, hum. You can also wear the hum mantra symbol for protection to invoke heaven and earth.
  9. Like the Chinese, you may burn paper money or offer food. Foodofferings may include the favorite food of your dearly departed, cooked rice, a small glass of wine or maybe some spirit (a little spirit won’t hurt the spirits) or any hard liquor (just don’t get the ghost guest dead drunk), beans, fruits, peanuts, red candles, incense sticks. Even ghosts love to party!
  10. Play meditative, peaceful, relaxing music. Smooth classical music can scarethe ghosts away.


  1. Do not schedule major life events. Like opening a business, getting married (you may have “uninvited guests” crashing your wedding), buying or moving into your new house, having a medical operation or procedure.
  2. Do not schedule major construction. All the drilling and hammering could create noise that could attract wandering ghosts.
  3. Do not use a lot of black accessories. The color black attracts ghosts. Wearing back is an invitation for the spirits to follow you home. Also, minimize the use of solid black drapes, bed sheets, slipcovers during this month. This will lighten and brighten up the atmosphere in your home.
  4. Do not hang out clothes to dry at night. Especially if they belong to a pregnant woman or an infant.
  5. Do not go out late at night. Spirits get stronger from the yin energy of the moon. 
  6.  Do not engage in water sports or go swimming in the sea. Ghosts are believed to dwell in water especially at this time.
  7. Do not engage in excessive romantic gestures or PDA (public display of affection) in dark, open places. Especially by the beach because the ghosts might get jealous!
  8. Do not go forest trekking or go on a camping trip. You could be more vulnerable to physical injuries as spirits are believed to roam the jungles where the yinis strongest under the shades of trees.
  9. Do not sleep facing a mirror. In feng shui, mirrors are regarded as “soul stealers.” But then again, you certainly wouldn’t want to wake up in the middle of the night and see a reflection in the mirror that doesn’t belong to you, would you? Simply reposition your mirror. If it’s too big, just cover it with a shawl or blanket. 
  10. Do not ever say the word “ghost.” They’re not ghosts, they’re your “good friends.”

So, who’s afraid of the month of Au-ghost? 

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For “cures” for the Hungry Ghost Month, call or Viber Frigga Charmed Life at 09209509390.  Visit or email at [email protected].

Banner photo: Offerings in Ghost Month of Hungry Ghost Festival in Taiwan.