Truth be told I come from a long line of hoarders. The definition of a hoarder is anyone who holds on to items that are worthless and unnecessary. When I was looking for an image for this post I started shaking my head because my own mother’s house looks almost as bad as the photos I was finding online. Hoarding is a mental illness, related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Therefore some of what I describe here may be unbelievable or shocking.
AETV’s show Hoarders has been on the air for 9 years. Season 9 Episode 5 of Hoarders, which aired earlier this year profiles Shannon who believes her home is cursed with negative energy. The shows description explains “Shannon is convinced that her hoarding is caused by demons possessing her home. She is so frightened by the entities and the severe clutter that she and her three children are living in a shelter.” As both a magickal practitioner and a television scholar I was interested to see how the show was going to handle these topics. I’ve watched all 9 seasons of the show and very often the cases they take on are extreme.
As the show begins we learn of Shannon’s traumatic brain injury and how during her time of need, when she was most alone and afraid, a cat skull appeared. She tells us the skull is named Friend and it was there to guide her and keep her company. Shannon leaves Friend offerings or presents and listens to what it tells her. Honestly, I’ve met a lot of Pagans and their “Friends.” Who am I to judge. Next to Friend in Shannon’s cabinet are several jars of vacuum dust that she believes holds magickal significance. She explains that when things are going well she keeps the dirt from the vacuum bag to sprinkle around later in the hopes of changing her luck. In theory all of this sounds kind of possible. There are probably much better ways for her to protect herself and her home. (She could try my post on Black Salt, White Salt and Red Brick dust all over for a start.) The problem is this is only a small part of her hoard.
As the show progresses (spoiler alert,) they work with the psychiatrist and the team of experts to clean out her hoard. Then they call in an exorcist. No disrespect to this person. But he seems to be smudging with a cigarette, trying to trap ghosts in gourds, and not doing a very effective job with all of that. However in the end Friend gets a proper burial and they sprinkle the vacuum dust in a ceremony with guitar music and tears. Finally, Shannon and her family move back into the home. I still think they could have handled it better….
An Open Letter to AETV Hoarders producers and staff,
I appreciate your attempt at sensitively handling the Hoarder Shannon and the exorcism of her premises. If you are ever in need of a psychic professional again I would like to offer my services. Paranormal phenomenon, just like hoarding can be a delicate business and you need people trained to handle the job.
-As always if you have enjoyed what you read here please remember to comment, like and share !