A haunting is a paranormal phenomenon of either the appearance of a spirit or supernatural being or the replay of an action or event that took place at a specific location in the past. Four common types of hauntings are given below. As yet, there are no scientific explanations for hauntings; however, parapsychologists continue to look for answers.
A residual haunting, also known as a place memory, is the most common type of haunting. In most cases it does not involve a ghost or spirit interacting with the people who are witnessing it. This type of sighting is a remnant of a past traumatic event that happened at or near the location prior to someone’s death. For example, an apparition of a woman may be seen repeatedly looking out of an upstairs bedroom window and pacing the floor. Or noises without a visual scene may be heard, such as footsteps. This same scene or sounds are repeated over and over again in an unchanging loop and often at specific times. Residual hauntings are records of energy that have been imprinted in the area in which the event took place. They are not a direct communication with the living, in fact, they are quite benign and harmless. Some people are more sensitive to observing these hauntings and typically they occur in older buildings, homes and battlefields. It is possible to do some historical research of a location to determine the event that might have caused the haunting.
An intelligent haunting is also known as a traditional or classic haunting. It is called an intelligent haunting due to the fact that the spirit is aware of and able to interact and communicate with those living in the physical world. These spirits want to get the attention of the living and they can move or hide objects, send signals or even speak to do so. The optimal time for ghostly appearances is during the late night hours, but the spirits who can muster up enough energy can make their presence known in the daytime. There can be many reasons why an intelligent haunting occurs. In many cases, some entities choose to stick around their loved ones, for example, grandparents around younger children. Some are unaware that they have died because it may have happened suddenly. In those instances, the assistance of a psychic medium may be necessary to help them cross over to the other side. Other times, the spirit may not be visible — a cold spot, experiencing chills and goosebumps or feeling as if someone is staring at you are signs. Sometimes the spirit refuses to cross over until a major issue or unfinished business is resolved in family, business or financial matters. Most of these ghosts are not malicious — they just want to be noticed and have their message heard.
The word poltergeist means “noisy ghost” and the term comes from the German words “poltern,” which means to make noise and “geist,” which means ghost. Poltergeist hauntings usually take the form of objects moved, hidden or thrown, disturbing noises, interference with electronic devices, physical attacks and even spontaneous combustion. Objects have also been known to disappear and reappear. Ghosts can be the culprits for these disturbances but some incidents are believed to be the result of psychokinesis (PK), the power to move objects with the mind, consciously or unconsciously. If PK is the cause of the haunting, the individual is most likely moving the objects — unknowingly and unconsciously, due to a compounding of some overwhelming stress or emotional angst the person is suffering in life. Poltergeist hauntings have been associated with young adolescent girls; however, they are not limited to that group. The haunting usually affects a person, female or male, who is possibly under great duress. However, it takes its toll on the whole household or group. Poltergeist hauntings can be sometimes playful or sometimes malicious. When the intent is malicious, objects might be placed in such a way that could cause harm. The hauntings usually start out slowly and increase in intensity until it reaches its peak. This is when the occurrences can be the most dangerous. However, sometimes the disturbances stop abruptly and are never repeated again.
In demonic hauntings, the main goal of the demon is to break down a person’s free will so that it can take over and possess the individual. The deceptive evil spirit enters a home or location to do harm and destroy all that is good and sacred. The demon not only can possess people, it can attach itself to objects. At first, these types of hauntings or possessions may seem benign or non-threatening. They can appear similar to poltergeist hauntings as they usually start out with slight disturbances, such as knocking noises, furniture being moved, etc. The demon may appear as a dark shadow in a location or may first show itself as a benevolent spirit. When the demon finally reveals itself, foul odors, extreme temperature changes and even physical attack can occur. Demons also have the ability to transform and shape shift from human to animal. The demon will try to convince the individual that it is no longer present; however, it lays in wait to strike at a time when the individual is weak or vulnerable. The demon becomes stronger when it senses fear and that is the time when a possession can take place. Another sign of possession is that the possessed individual becomes fluent in many languages, speaks in tongues or has gained knowledge in subjects you knew nothing about prior. The individual possessed will become a shell of his former self and become terribly cruel to those he loves. This type of haunting is not easily resolved — it requires an exorcism. Seek guidance and help from highly trained paranormal investigators, clergymen and others familiar with demonic hauntings.
In conclusion, due to the popularization of ghosts, hauntings and investigations by the media today, this topic has generated a lot of “buzz.” There are always going to be believers and non-believers. Paranormal phenomena co-exist with the physical world, and with the added media attention, hopefully more concrete explanations will be revealed and documented.