You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Poltergeists / Physical Manifestations :: Buddhist Prayers for Civil War Dead

Real Ghost Stories

Buddhist Prayers for Civil War Dead


I am a Buddhist nun, called an ani. I live near the Manassas Battlefields in Virginia, and I've frequently gone there to pray for the lives that were lost so tragically. The battlefields cover many miles, and some of the bloodiest battles of the US Civil War were fought in that area. Many Buddhists believe that praying for the dead can help them, especially if they died in confusion or misery. I wanted to help anyone trapped there if I could.

A couple of years ago I went to the battlefields as usual and did my prayers. This time I chose a new site, the location of a mass grave of unknown Union and Confederate soldiers. I thought how horrible it was that these young people died and were buried, without their families ever knowing conclusively what happened.

When I returned home that day, my television set turned itself on and off, twice. It has never done that before, or since. I prayed again, and asked forgiveness from any spirit I may have brought home with me.

I haven't been back there since. I've always heard that the intent of the prayers is what matters, not the faith. But I think maybe I offended a spirit out there, because when my tv turned itself on and off, I felt my hair stand on end and an awful feeling in my stomach.

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from Virginia

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, RaisesOrchids, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

WiniPu4 (207 posts)
9 years ago (2014-06-10)
I VERY MUCH doubt that you offended anyone. Regardless of their faith, I pray for trapped souls often. Mine is simply another opinion, but perhaps you were simply feeling the misery of a trapped soul that "connected" with you. You are obviously sympathetic, but perhaps you are also empathetic. You might have attracted the attention of a trapped soul that is afraid to move on and you felt his misery. Maybe he saw you as a "life preserver" or a beacon of hope. When I feel a single one connecting with me and I don't feel they are moving on; i.e., crossing over, my interpretation is that perhaps they are afraid and need more individual prayer and persuasion. Remember, many of the soldiers were just young boys that had been told all their lives that killing would send one to a bad place in the afterlife. I normally pray more for the individual and attempt to convince them that there is forgiveness and nothing to fear.
Kind Regards,
sagemizu (30 posts)
15 years ago (2008-05-26)
How many Buddhist prayers are there?
The only ones I know are the usual well known:
Nat mo dahsa bakawa do araha do sahm ha nat mo dahsa.

Also is it required that a child go through the monk initiation thing because neither I nor my older brother went through it.
yanatsu_petoryushu (1 posts)
15 years ago (2008-02-01)
i'm doing the same thing when I find a spirit...i'm a devoted buddhist and I believe that ghosts are suffering beings, just like us... I just recite and pray at buddha and bodhisattva, especially at ksitigarbha bodhisattva... You are a very nice person... 😁
whitebuffalo (guest)
15 years ago (2007-12-06)
What an amazing thing for you to do RaisesOrchids. I want to thank you for taking that step to free the lost souls there in that mass grave. So many times we get all wrapped up in our own share of life, that we forget that there may be places where someone else is trapped. Either that or we do not feel like walking out amongst the tombstones or brambles and sharing that there is more out there, if only they could go forward to where they are supposed to be. I believe what came home with you was an entity that saw through to your sensitive side and felt the need to thank you properly. I can imagine that is a tricky thing for a ghost to do. Be Blessed, RaisesOrchids, you did a truly unselfish thing, and I, for one, thank you.
Ohiowatha (11 stories) (415 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-29)
Mikey, no offense, but try to remain objective. Again, no offense, but you have no idea what you're talking about--nobody does when it comes to religion. Yours is no better or worse than anyone else's and there's no definitive proof supporting any. Are you a professor of "demonology?" Doubtful, your beliefs are yours alone; Orchids' are hers.
essiej (guest)
16 years ago (2007-11-23)
I don't think you offended anyone. I think what you did was very nice. Sometimes when I have to go to a cemetary I pray for the people there too. I thought I was just weird. Thank you for letting me know without knowing me that I'm not. My mom always says that language, time and religion does not matter, it is the combined faith of all that brings peace. Does this work for spirits too?
Athena (9 stories) (222 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-22)
Hi RaisesOrchids! Thank you for sharing your story and doing such an uncommonly kind thing, praying for lost souls. There are some wonderful visual meditations that can help lost souls move along and there are grounding meditations for restoring your energy. I only mention the restoring meditation as beings sometimes use the living as 'energy hosts'. I like the idea of meditation because it is one of the most powerful protective and positive things I do, and I am sure that you are much better at it then I am, so maybe more powerful for you? If you want I will hunt down the specific meditations and email you them. You can email me anytime! Happy Thanksgiving!
Martin (602 posts) mod
16 years ago (2007-11-22)
I had to moderate one post and now reading the one by mikey, I'd like to remind people that this site isn't about which religion is the true one (if there is such a thing, in my mind, it's a spiritually immature question) so please stay respectful of RaisesOrchids' religion and focus on her paranormal experience.

How would you like it if a buddhist came to one of your stories and started saying that christianity is an illusion and you needed to convert to see the truth instead of discussing your experience?

This isn't a christian site, it's a ghost site, open to all beliefs and cultures, with a preference for pragmatic investigations (suggesting what works and discarding what doesn't), and personal experiences over discussing doctrines and traditions. It's the 21st century people.
mikey (1 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-22)
hi RaisesOrchids, there is no lost soul of the dead there or anywhere, the souls of those soldiers are resting waiting for the lord to come, those ghost are demons deception and mimic of those dead soldiers, because they died an untimely death, like accident or murder, and your buddhist prayer only makes it worst, and now gives even more athority for those demons to be there and even to follow you home.
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-22)
RaisingOrchids, you are a kind soul. Too bad there aren't more people like you around who practice what they preach (no pun intended there). Once again, thanks for sharing and I'm sure you have comforted many souls through their journey to peace. You are truly a gift to all.
FRAWIN (guest)
16 years ago (2007-11-21)
RaisesOrchids you are right prayers is what matters, not the faith. Please keep doing what you are doing.

Be Safe and God Bless
RaisesOrchids (1 stories) (3 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-21)
Thanks mustang, KimSouth(), Bellisima. I never thought of this that way - that maybe it was a positive message from the spirit. I hope so. There is such a feeling of deep sadness at those cemetaries. My house is nearby, in fact I've found civil war bullets in my yard! After reading your comments, I did what we call 'protector prayers' for anyone that was hurt or killed where I live. This is tea and bread offerings telling the spirit, entity,? That they are prayed and cared about, that I will not forget they were here... I feel sort of settled now, hard to describe. I hope they feel better too!
Bellissima (12 stories) (792 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-21)
Hi RaisesOrchids. My first thought was that maybe it was a thank you from a spirit you'd set free. You don't mention having other experiences before this, so I think you had reason to be scared about what happened at home. It was, after all, pretty unsettling having that happen right after you left battle fields where many deaths occurred. Don't give up trying to help the lost souls, I think you're doing a really good thing. Thanks for sharing your story.
mustang (5 stories) (749 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-21)
I have to agree with what Kim said. I don't think that you offended or angered any spirit. I think that they either attached themselves to you or maybe that was their way of thanking you for your prayers. Thanks for sharing your story. ~Shelby ❤ 😊
KimSouthO (27 stories) (1960 posts)
16 years ago (2007-11-21)
I am not sure I would think you offended a 'spirit'. Perhaps with your sadness and prayers, one of the 'spirit' fel attached to you, knew that you were feeling remore fr what had happened to them. They may not be at peace yet to cross over, for what ever reason. Stay strong in yiour faith, pray for them to cross over, tell them, out loud to cross over.

God Bless!

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: