Lori Bruno is a Salem, Massachusetts psychic, who is healing the local residential real estate market with her brand of empowerment-based witchcraft. She performs house blessings on foreclosed homes to cleanse the residual negative energy from the distressed properties.
The thing you notice first about Lori is her arresting likability. Our interview had to wait until her five rescue dogs were settled down, including the Pomeranian insisting on sitting on Lori’s lap.
OOTS: Tell me about the house blessings.
LB: So we decided to do these house blessings to create good energy for people because whenever there’s a house that has sadness, there’s residual unhappiness in it. The wood in the house will soak up energy. It’s like a sounding board. So if somebody who cries that a home was lost, naturally, there is sadness there. And when the new people move in, that sadness has not dissipated, so what I do is a blessing for the house. And I also don’t forget the people who left, and I ask that the spirits of light and good will help them, too.
OOTS: How have the results been?
LB: The results have been very good. There was a house that could not be sold, and my friend Janet Howcroft, who’s a real estate broker, came to me. I did a house blessing on it, and sure enough, in a couple of weeks, it sold. It comes from a higher power than me. There’s a much higher power out there; I just call into it. I knew how to do this even as a child. I ask to help people, and it happens. Then I asked that the people who lived there before, who had lost their home, would be helped by all the forces of light. The woman who had lost the home came to see me. She said, “You blessed my home, that I had lost. I had cried so hard. I went to live with my mother, who ended up turning the house over to me. And now I own the house, and I live in peace and happiness. So the blessing you gave to the house I left also filtered over into my life.”
OOTS: You knew you could do this as a child. How did you find out?
LB: Because my family has been into the art of magic for generations. I am descended from Giordano Bruno, who was a philosopher born in Nola, Italy in 1548. He was executed during the Inquisition in 1600 as a heretic, and he was burned alive.
My family has been doing this for years. We come from Sicily, and people came from all over the Mediterranean to speak with them because they could see the future. We feel very akin to the life force of people and make it work for them and make it work for humanity.
I do this in the houses. I ask the forces of light to help people, and for example if they are Christian, I will use Christianity for them. I study Christianity, Judaism, the Muslim faith, and Chinese Buddhism so I can understand all people and never have bigotry in my life.
OOTS: I know you have done a lot of studying, but when you were a little girl, did you feel inside you that you had this ability? Is this innate?
LB: Yes. When people would come over they would sit next to me and feel so much better, happier.
OOTS: Where did you grow up?
LB: I grew up in New York City. I moved to Alabama, where I worked at Marshall Space Flight Center. Then I moved to Florida. I was a technical illustrator.
OOTS: Were your parents in the magic business?
LB: Years ago, people were afraid to come out. My father was a builder, but he had the magic, which was kept in the family and not broadcast. My family helped anyone who would come to the door. I used to see my father make an egg stand up. He taught me the rights of exorcism; he taught me how to bless homes. He taught me not to be afraid.
OOTS: How old were you when he was teaching you this?
LB: 7 years old.
OOTS: Did he see something in you?
Yes, that I had no fear. For example, I was never afraid of the dark. I didn’t want to sleep with the light on.
OOTS: Do you find people who are biased against you?
LB: I don’t care. I carry the light within me. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake and he was still talking. They had to put a piece of wood in his mouth.
OOTS: But you find people who are skeptical?
LB: They are free to be as skeptical as they want. But the proof is in the pudding. People find that their houses have never been as peaceful. I don’t charge to do the house blessings. I ask the people who buy the house to give the money they were going to pay me to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital to help a child, which helps your home. I’m not a saint, but I am not greedy. I try to do the right thing by everyone.
OOTS: Let’s say you’ve spoken to a couple that is buying a foreclosed house, and they would like you to bless the house. Describe what you feel when you walk up to the house.
LB: I walk up to the house, and I feel the tears that are there. As I’m walking up to the house I bring within me, “Cleanse this house from any and all sadness. Bless those people who walked in the house and had to walk out with sadness. Wherever they are, let them have prosperity.”
Then when I go in the house, I do my ritual of cleansing and a blessing.
OOTS: The problem is the wood?
LB: Wood soaks up things. Just like it does with water, it soaks up residual vibrations. The sadness is there. The earth is salt; I use kosher salt, same salt used by a rabbi. I use spring water I add the salt to it and bless it. Because holy water is salt mixed with water. Then I use the incense, which is a symbol of air. Then the archangel Michael candle to symbolize fire.
And then I call in the spirit, the fifth element. I ask the spirit to make everything correct in this house and that it will be blessed.
OOTS: Does the house feel different to you after that?
LB: It feels different to everybody. Janet even has a job. She rings the bell. The sound of a bell negates any negativity. That’s why you have church bells and rattles in voodoo rituals.
OOTS: Do you ever check back with the couple?
LB: Yes, I do. I call them. Nine times out of ten they’re doing very good.
OOTS: Is there ever a case you can’t solve?
L: No, but one time I had to perform and exorcism on a house. It belonged to a friend of mine in Middleton, Massachusetts, a lawyer. The first time I went there, something grabbed me and threw me in a chair. I was not well; I had just gone through cancer, surgery and everything.
I went back there after she had moved out and they were selling the house. I went from top to bottom in that house, performing the Roman ritual I had learned as a kid. They took pictures on a digital camera, where you cannot make a double exposure. In that picture, there’s two of me. One with my feet on the ground and the other elevated.
My back had scratches on it from this thing. It was like Ghostbusters.
OOTS: Were you afraid?
LB: No. It had to be afraid of me.
OOTS: So exorcism is just for a really tough case?
LB: Yes, that thing had lived in that house since the 1600s. It had to go. But then about 3 months later that house burned to the ground. Strange. But fire does purify.
A house blessing is a clearing of residual energy. The tears have to go and the joy has to come in. It’s to make things right.
OOTS: So essentially, you are helping people to avoid living life in the rear view mirror?
LB: Yes, as we say in Italian, “Avanti!”
OOTS: Where does the negativity go?
LB: As soon as you let go of it, it is gone. It has no effect on you if you let it go.
Every day you encounter negative energy. For example, a guy flips you the bird when you are driving. If you go home and take a shower, with a little kosher salt under your feet, you should envision all that negativity going down the drain. You’ll notice the difference in the way you feel when you go to bed.
I don’t wear a watch. I live sunup to sundown. I don’t even own a home, maybe someday, but my home is my soul.