This question is a doozy! With several different issues and a long and detailed answer, I'll keep this post limited to the one question this time. I want to empower you to help yourselves, but sometimes things can be beyond our scope of ability. Always proceed with protection, and don't be afraid to ask for further help when needed.
My brother (who lives out of town) has opened up to me over the last few months about a dark spirit that has been following him for many years now. I recently called to the spirit, asking if it had a message for my brother that I could pass along, because I believed the spirit had some unfinished business with him that it was trying to bring closure to. I did a ceremony before I called out, but I didn't do any sort of protection ritual. That night I had a very intense nightmare of being pulled into a bright pink room, and there was a body in the bed. I was being drawn closer and closer and I was so scared and my dog who was in my arms was growling at the entity. My partner woke me up because I was screaming in my sleep. Just last night I told my brother about this encounter. Come to find out that there is a whole other spirit he has been dealing with since he moved into his house. It resides in the bedroom that was painted entirely pink when he moved in.. It has been haunting his daughter, and our other brother apparently had the "scariest night of his life" when he stayed over and slept in that room. That night and the next few nights I energetically built a white light around myself, my dogs and my partner before I went to bed and I've been doing this when I have a feeling I need extra protection before sleeping. Is there anything I can offer my brother, or any work that we could do together from afar to help clear the space for their family? He is a bit resistant but I know he is also reaching out to me about this for a reason..Haunted
There are several things to address here, so i’ll take them one at a time. This is some pretty heavy and advanced magic, so while I’ll do my best to give you tools to try to work with this on your own, I will continually advocate for employing a shamanic practitioner or witch (like me). It is better to get help then to get in over your head with forces you don’t understand.
First, I believe your intuition is correct and the spirit that has been with your brother for years probably does have a message and/or needs closure. Entities attach themselves to us because there is some sort of affinity there-either it is a passed loved one needing communication or it is a lost soul looking for a host. While a person could possibly let it go on their own (I’ve seen it happen), it would take a lot of awareness and dedication. If he has any sort of meditation practice he could journey inward and try to make contact to receive more information on how to proceed; it is possible he will get answers. The best thing for your brother would be to reach out to someone who has training in the removal of entities. Depending on the nature of the spirit, it could be quite a battle.
Second, as I’m sure you’ve realized, meddling in the mysterious can be dangerous. I always teach protection as the first step when working with unknown elements and entities, and I know from experience that we can’t be too careful. I’m glad you’ve found a ritual that helps keep you and yours safe as you sleep, but ideally you would enter something with protection to keep you safe from the beginning. I always start by opening sacred space and calling in the allies I work with- the elements, directions, ancestors, animals, and heavenly bodies that keep me protected and assist me with their power. Casting white light and clearly setting a boundary that your energy field is impenetrable is a good idea too. If you start to sense that you are being haunted, my advice to you is the same as to your brother- find a witch or shaman who knows how to handle uninvited spirits.
Finally, as for helping your brother and his family with their current haunting, you were on the right track. You can do this kind of work from afar (since time and space are an illusion, we need only to close the imagined distance between ourselves and the situation we are working on), and it is possible to bring change. You must start as I’ve illustrated above, by opening sacred, protected space, and declaring your intentions (where you’ll be working and your boundaries). Reach out to the energy in the home and ask what it wants; spirits often have needs just like the living, and they’ll usually appreciate being regarded respectfully. There are many possibilities here- the spirit could be stuck and unable to move on, it could have been awakened by the presence of the family and is disoriented, angry, or afraid. Maybe it is lost and unaware that it is ghost, haunting the living. Regardless, the outcome is the same, and you need to be firm here. The spirit cannot stay; for the good of all (itself included!) it needs to move on. You may or may not be able to help- I have tools and rituals I use for extraction, things that take study and training to employ, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to teach such an involved practice here. If all the entity needs is to feel heard and pass along its story/message, then you can be the receiver, honoring its experience so it can be liberated. If, however, it isn’t so easy, it is a good idea to bring in a professional. There are practitioners of the arcane with the ability to remove stubborn guests. There is no reason for the family to spend another moment living in fear.