Kid won’t sleep? Perform an exorcism.

My 15 month old has been waking up for the day at 4:30am or 5am for months and months now. It’s as soul-destroying as it sounds, particularly because he has a three year old brother who tends to get up not long afterwards as a result, making for very long days because my husband leaves for work at 5am and gets home 12 or 13 hours later.

No matter what the weather is like; no matter that it is completely silent and dark outside because we live in the middle of the bush and the birds aren’t even up yet; no matter if he is sleeping in his own cot or in bed with me; no matter if he has gone to sleep at 6pm or 9pm or anywhere in between the night before; no matter if it is the weekend and my husband  is still in bed instead of getting up to go to work. Using heaters hasn’t worked. Later bedtimes haven’t worked. Co-sleeping hasn’t worked. Resettling hasn’t worked. I’ve even joked about it here.

Well, it stopped being funny a long time ago and now it’s time to resort to desperate measures.

I am going to do an exorcism on my house.


We’ve had issues with ghosts in this house before. We don’t live in some gorgeous old Victorian house or any kind of historic dwelling with gothic/romantic appeal. We live in a bog-ugly 40 year old weatherboard shack with zero architectural flair. Not long after we first moved in with our 11 month old, weird stuff started to happen. I’d find kitchen cupboards ajar all the time even though I knew I had closed them; one time I put a bowl in the fridge and it literally jumped; I’d hear footsteps down the hallway that were so distinct I’d walk out to meet my toddler only to realise he was still in the middle of his afternoon nap; one time I woke up at 3 or 4am and the whole bed was shaking.

The final straw came one night when I woke up violently because it felt like someone was choking me, hands closing around my neck and squeezing tight. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t scream. It literally felt like someone had invaded my home and was assaulting me, the presence of this “being” or ghost or whatever was that purely physical. It’s not something I typically refer to and I’m not even sure if I have ever mentioned it to anyone I know in real life, so I’m sure this anecdote will be met with equal measures of disbelief, mirth and concern for my mental wellbeing.


I do realise that this all makes me sound tremendously deranged but it was terrifying and I started to dread going to bed at night, every tiny little sound I heard in the darkness had me on edge. She was clearly escalating and I decided I’d had enough of that scary shit and that it was time for her to go. She? I dunno, I always just had a feeling it was an older woman, maybe in her late-forties or early-fifties.

I don’t know what her problem with me was, but she wasn’t exactly a friendly ghost. I would even go as far to say that she became a distinctly “unfriendly” ghost. Maybe she was going through a phantom menopause or something. Maybe she didn’t like me displacing her as the house matriarch. Maybe she was just a bitch. Who knows? That weekend I smudged the whole place with sage, told her that the house had new occupants, that she no longer lived here and that she needed to go towards the light. We had no further issues after that.

Ghost. Busted.


And this all relates to my kid not sleeping how…?

This morning my toddler woke up at 4:45am. He was in bed with me, so I tried unsuccessfully to keep him quiet for a little while as I struggled to come to terms with the fact that he was up before 5am again despite having a really unsettled night with lots of awake time crying and thrashing about in my arms. Poor little sod has three molars coming through at the same time, so happy and content he is not.

So it’s 4:45am he’s whinging already, I’m tired, frustrated, resigned to another day. I distinctly saw the shadow of a small boy moving – twice – on my bedroom door and waited for my three year old to join us in the bedroom, dreading the prospect of yet another super-long Friday with two tired, feral kids. When my three year old didn’t enter the room I got up and walked into his bedroom. He was still in bed.

He… was… still… lying… in… bed.

What the @#%!?

So, now my theory is that we have a small male ghost child in residence who keeps waking my 15 month old up early every morning to play. It makes perfect sense.

When all else fails blame ghosts and do an exorcism.

I am going to smudge the shit out of that little sucker this weekend.

Stay tuned.

Read about the exorcism HERE.

Read about the results HERE.


6 thoughts on “Kid won’t sleep? Perform an exorcism.

  1. Good luck hun. If you do it on Sunday around lunchtime, can we come watch you perform the exorcism? We’ll bring our own cross/stake spew-bowl. Can get a babysitter for then. I’m sure Pedro has some good ideas for you as a horror-film buff (and former warlock- yes that’s right!). lol

  2. P.S. Can you find out the history of the house? I’d be interested to know. Also, I have felt the same feeling before like you, when I rented in Wollongong and have also felt the ghost of my mother around.. not so strange.

  3. lol I’d be interested to hear how that goes! I feel your pain with the sleep thing though. Well not really, as you have it far worse than me, but I have an idea of what it must be like. Today Mr almost 2 woke at 415am and would not go back to sleep. I too did a bunch of that shit you talk about (resettling, bottle, co-sleeping) and none of it worked. I was furious and it is only happening to me on one day so I can only imagine how you must feel .How you are keeping it together I’ll never know. Good luck! Hope the sage works!

  4. Thanks for the moral support and shared sleep deprivation misery. The sage really did seem to work last time so will try that for starters again. Have no idea of the history of the house other than the fact that the guy we bought it from was a right knob, so I would have smudged the place anyway. LOL. I might have a google and include any information in the triumphant post-exorcism follow-up post when my kid starts sleeping in until 7:30am every day.

  5. If I found out there was a ghosty-thingy in my house I would seriously shit myself! You’re far braver than me, I’ll stay here under the doona
    (First time reader and I love your blog, your words, your post titles and the design! subscribed!!)

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