Have you ever visited a place which just makes the hairs go up on the back of your neck so much you never want to go there again?

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That’s precisely the feeling this weekend when the crowds of people out enjoying the sunshine sent me off in a new direction – along a local path I had never walked before.

As an Interiors Therapist, I talk a lot about the way a place makes you feel. Those goosebumpy moments happen more often inside a building than in the great outdoors… and just on that subject for a moment, they often occur in homes where people live with the feeling of unease for so long it becomes normal to them – and creates difficulties with ill health, emotional wellbeing, accidents and all the associated challenges with relationships, income and feeling safe in your own home. That’s another story, but as always, if anywhere in your home ‘doesn’t feel right’ please do something about it because it’s draining your energy bit by bit.

Anyway, I digress.

I set off along a footpath out of a pretty village which I hoped would take me on a back to my car. But just outside the village, the track became darker, the temperature (so warm I was in a t-shirt) dropped away and the birdsong disappeared. It’s like the moment in Harry Potter when the dementors appear – Weird.

During my Feng Shui training the impact of Yin and Yang spaces was taught as an essential tool in diagnosis of an unhappy building. This footpath was so oppressively dark and dank and heavy (a sign of too much Yin energy) I was ready to turn straight back. I didn’t though, because just like when the music gets creepy in a movie, I couldn’t look away… it fascinated me – why was there a flint-lined cutting deep into this hill in the Chilterns countryside. What was the almost hidden bridge for and where did the path go?

So I pushed on through the sensation of dread and around 100m later the path escaped the prisonlike flint walls and became ‘just another footpath’.

Here’s an odd thing, generally when I walk I’m relaxed and connected to what’s going on around me. This time – not. I was discombobulated, uncharacteristically grouchy and burdened. The paths I chose all seemed to fade away or be blocked with ‘no entry’ signs.  I had to go back on myself, towards that very spooky place. No matter where I tried, there was no clear route back to the car.

As I got near, I found a field path which took me alongside the lane in sunlight. It felt better up there, but still not great. The track crossed what I realised must be the hidden bridge and twisted downhill through brambles and onto steep slippery steps.

I had avoided the flint walls and the dread. And that was a good thing, but my energy was so depleted I could barely put one foot in front of the other.

I still wanted to know why though – why was it there? And that’s when the Law of Attraction presented me with the answers. A local guy said Hello, we got chatting about the path.

It turns out this was a Roman road and at one time went up over the hill between two villages and forming a direct route to the nearest town by horse and cart… But the local landowner preferred not to see peasants traipsing over the hill, and using skills developed building canals, a cutting was created to hide the lower classes whilst visitors to the big house travelled in sunlit carriages over the bridge and along the valley to their destination.

All well and good, but that didn’t explain malevolent sensation.

“Ah you felt it” he said “They used to hang highwaymen off that bridge, the locals didn’t bother waiting for the law, they just strung them up and left them there”. 

So yes, that would do it. That’s more than enough to create a really nasty energy.

“We don’t ever go that way, the dogs go loco and the horses don’t like it”. 

Who can blame them? You can be sure I won’t be going there ever again either!

And the thing is, that kind of energy also sits in buildings – converted Victorian asylums are a great example. One I visited was full of luxury apartments off a long, wide corridor. These places cost a fortune but residents complained of a constant chill and many had heard footsteps and rattling keys when they were in the corridor alone. Unsurprisingly depression was rife and there was a high turnover of sales on the part of the site where the wards had been. My client sold up and moved too.

Your intuition, your gut, will tell you when the energy of a building is unfriendly, but if you force yourself to stay in it without doing anything to rectify the problem, it will gradually overwhelm you. Irritation and bad temper, irrational actions, lashing out, descending into melancholy and seeing no way out of the darkness are prime examples of living in an unsupportive space. Better to fix it and feel brighter and happier before it’s too late.

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