What Do You Do When a Place Has Bad Vibes?

Try to figure out why. To do that, look for clues as to why you feel about the place the way you do.  It might be a profane space.

So you’re somewhere with bad vibes. Are there problems and troubling things you can see with your own eyes? Is the place rundown? Are there broken windows? Are boards popping out of walls? Do the buildings need paint? Does the area seem to attract riffraff for no obvious reason like area economic conditions? 

Or does the area look nice on the surface? Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on why the place gives you bad vibes. 

Sometimes the reasons that you feel the negative energy in a place don’t necessarily make any sense on the surface. Sometimes you and others should respond in a different way to a place. In another place with more neutral or positive energy, people would be happy and relaxed.

Sometimes there’s some kind of unseen force or energy that affects people. The force or energy will tend to make people sad, fragile, and maybe impatient. Even if the weather is nice much of the year and there’s an absence of other apparent stressors, it doesn’t seem to matter. Despite everything going for the area or place, people act depressed and oppressed. 

On the other hand, you should consider that it might be your imagination. Maybe everyone is having a bad day.

But maybe they’re not.

Downtown Ponce, PRI

Downtown Ponce, PRI, is one of those places. On the surface, the downtown is beautiful. It’s laid out like many places where the Spanish settled. A cathedral occupies the center square with a beautiful fountain off to the left. It has many architecturally splendid buildings like Parque de Bombas. Painted in red and black, it stands to the rear of the cathedral on Las Delicias Square. Other buildings ring the square.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Ponce, PRI.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral in Ponce, PRI.

 Go a block or two away, and attractive buildings with much potential sit unoccupied. 

Downtowns like this are very popular these days. People look for convenience. They look for areas where they can walk safely and not be so dependent on cars. Downtown Ponce is definitely not as popular as it should be based on its objective merits. A sadness hangs in the air. 

Parque de Bombas

One weekend night in March 2023, I walked around the downtown area. There were groups of people sitting in the open air. The night was fragrant, with various pleasant smells in the air. Yet a feeling of sadness permeated the area. It’s tough to put your finger on exactly what was wrong. It always is when dealing with a place with bad vibes. 

We call it negative energy or bad vibes and unlike other forms of energy, we can’t quantify it objectively (asking someone to rate something on a scale of, say, one to ten isn’t objective; it’s a subjective rating). People really don’t know what to call it. We don’t know how to describe it. Part of this reason is that we praise rationality these days. And objectively, you can follow the rules of design and form, and you should be OK if you’re designing a place that appeals to people. 

We can, for example, put a new coat of paint on a wall, scrub stains on various surfaces, and do other things to dress up an area where it’s hard to put your finger on what’s wrong with a place. 

It’s best to understand by contrasting a sacred space with a profane space.

Sacred spaces are uplifting and feel light. They can act make you happy in some abstract way. 

Empty downtown street in Ponce
Owing to trends, this downtown street should be bustling with small businesses.

Profane spaces make you feel the opposite. Downtown Ponce might be considered a profane space.

What was the matter? At first, I didn’t understand why I felt the way that I did walking around the downtown area. Was it some kind of witchcraft? I didn’t see any junkies. Nor were there any criminal elements. I’m no psychic, and I was puzzled.

You don’t always get an answer when you’re trying to find out why a place has bad vibes. In the case of Ponce, you do. The downtown area was the site of a massacre in 1937.  

The town also had a historic deadly mudslide in 1985.

What makes a profane space? 

It’s hard to tell. I’ve encountered places where devil worship took place, where shootings took place and, word had it, that someone took a long time to die. All of those places had an abundance of negative energy, making them a profane space. 

Should you get involved in trying to rehabilitate a profane space? 

It’s hard to tell. You might be getting in over your head, especially if you’re thinking of trying to rehabilitate a house for a profit. The potential profit in a house you can buy for 20 to 30 percent below market (or even more) is tempting. Getting in on the ground floor of a place like downtown Ponce is also tempting. Spotting opportunities, believing in your abilities, and working hard can pay handsomely.

Downtown street in Ponce.
Just a block away from the plaza in Ponce.

It also would be an act of mercy to improve life for many if places like downtown Ponce or houses with a lot of negative energy were rehabilitated. It’s a challenge.

Sacred spaces inspire love, beauty, forgiveness, calmness, and other positive characteristics.

Profane spaces inspire the opposite.

Being around a lot of negative energy can affect your demeanor. It’s complicated because you can’t see what you’re dealing with; you can only feel it. You have no way of measuring your effectiveness. And then regressions of the area are similar to dealing with a junkie who’s addicted to some substance. They relapse, and the cure rate is low. 

Why is it like this?

I don’t know. Nobody on this side of reality really does. If I had to make a guess, I’d say that it’s because God gives us free will. Sometimes it’s a challenge for one reason or another to choose him.

Before getting involved in any attempt to rehabilitate a profane space, what you have to ask yourself is are you patient enough? Can you avoid the temptation to act according to pressures when you’re being taunted by unseen energies? Is your faith in God strong enough?

The 19 people and two policemen who were killed in downtown Ponce, many of them shot through their backs in cold blood, had their lives cut short by police who were “just following orders.” If you and I had our lives cut short, we’d probably resent it too. They had plans for their lives, the people they loved, and are likely to have resented their loss. Who can predict how their souls would feel? God gives us free will. Free will has to be part of the equation when it comes to asking if the entities that occupy the area can or will move on.

Sometimes you’ll hear about smudging a house with sage to cure a haunting. This has mixed effectiveness. It might brighten the atmosphere for a while, but it’s sometimes not a permanent fix. You’re obviously not going to be able to smudge a whole area like a downtown.

So what should you do when a place has bad vibes? 

That’s a question with an answer that will depend on you. The least you can do is pray for them. They don’t have to remain on this plane; they can find some peace in the afterlife. Your prayers are the only thing that you can do to help them at this point. It’s up to God and the entities themselves as to what happens.

Further reading:

Rooting out lies from discarnate spirits

How to sleep in a haunted house (if you have to)

Does a lack of heroes affect our ability to sleep?

What does it mean when you dream about everyday life?

What nobody will tell you about your guardian angel (part 2)


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.


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