Types of Hauntings
What is a Haunting?
Well, a haunting is basically a series of unexplained events associated with the supernatural. There are 3 basic styles of hauntings: Residual, Intelligent, and Demonic, the most common style being residual. The residual haunting is typically the most commonly reported. For most researchers, they are usually the most fascinating. In the case of intelligent style hauntings, they are usually centered around a particular location, but have been known to be associated with a person. The general idea is that ghosts are causing the haunting of a location with intent. But in most cases, they're present for a specific reason, which can be the location itself, the occupants or an object, for example. Demonic, or "In-Human", style hauntings are very rare... but are the most frightening. They must be handled with precision and with a certain amount of quickness.
Residual hauntings are the most commonly reported type of ghostly phenomena. They are also one of the most interesting... and the most discounted by non-believers and scientists. Their very existence is what's so intriguing. The idea of our actions being imprinted in the environment is by itself a hard pill to swallow. But if you read below, we'll tell you how we believe this phenomena occurs. Remember, paranormal investigation, though scientific by nature, is not scientifically proven. What you read here is our theory of Residual Hauntings based on experience and scientific principles.
First and foremost, the theory of residual hauntings has been questioned and shot down many times by scientists and a few select paranormal researchers. A certain paranormal research website has claimed residual hauntings to be scientifically and hypothetically flawed, stating that they are not theoretically possible. I find this odd, especially considering that particular website is a paranormal related one supporting their organization. Discounting the residual haunting and stating that it's not scientifically possible is the same as discounting the paranormal altogether, as there is no "real" scientific basis to support it as well. As a whole, paranormal phenomena has been discounted for quite some time by the scientific community. Residual hauntings are no different.
The belief of scientists is to discount anything that they cannot explain with scientific theory. But we, along with most other paranormal researchers, as well as millions of people, have experienced the paranormal first-hand and know, without question, that it in fact does exist. Documented photos, videos, audio recordings and personal experiences exist to support the paranormal, including residual hauntings. So while the scientific part of how they happen has been questioned and is in fact uncertain, one thing is for sure: residual hauntings do exist. Everyone has their own idea and the subject will probably remain open forever. In the meantime, here's our own theory:
In essence, the theory of a Residual Haunting does at times seem to defy the law of energy and physics. But this type of phenomena DOES exist and has been documented, even though it remains unexplained. Technically speaking, residual hauntings aren't what we consider "actual" hauntings because there is no human or inhuman interaction involved. But for all purposes, we do refer to it as a haunting because it is paranormal related and does display past events.
Residual hauntings are more common than most people think, and this type of phenomena is the most widely reported type of haunting. This is also one of the most fascinating styles of hauntings due to its "film-like" nature, meaning that it has properties of a movie loop being played continuously.
So what is it? Well, no official explanation exists, but through many years of study and research, we have come to a pretty accurate conclusion:
Residual hauntings are visual or audible films, so to speak, of past events that have been imprinted in the environment by energy. I believe they are the result of Residual Emotional Energy Resonance (R.E.E.R.). R.E.E.R. is an extreme emotional experience, closely related to Significant Emotional Experience (S.E.E.), but is typically more powerful. R.E.E.R. is so powerful that the energy is able to leave an imprint of the event. Remember, our mind is the most powerful thing in existence, powerful enough to exert very strong emotions that are absorbed by the environment, especially in a traumatic situation.
Residual hauntings may be active all the time or may be triggered by an event, such as added energy of people moving into a previously vacant home. At times, renovations can cause the haunting to become active again, though it is not understood why this happens. When they are noticed, the person witnessing them are usually very frightened and can even begin to empathetically feel what the person was feeling at the time of the event. Here's an example:
A family had an abusive father/husband. Each night the father would come home after work and began drinking. In a drunken rage he would become violent and abuse the mother, then the kids. This pattern continues for years until the mother decides to stand up to him and protect her children. One night the father's drunken rage begins. After he beats the mother, he starts out for the children's room. The mother follows him with a gun and confronts him; a struggle ensues and the mother shoots and kills the father. This happens in the doorway of the children's room and they witness the entire episode. The father falls into the bedroom and dies at the edge of the children's bed. The extreme rush of fear and grief explodes, imprinting what the children saw and felt in the environment of the home.
Now let's say 25 years later, a family moves into the home, unaware of the past events. The daughter of the current family occupies the room where the children of the above family watched their father die. Her bed is in the same, or close to the same, location of the children above. One night, the daughter sees a man enter the room and stare at her. Then she watches as the man struggles with a woman, then grabs his chest and falls to the ground. She is struck with fear from seeing the ghost. This continues once a week. After a period of 2 months, her mood and demeanor begins to change. She becomes depressed and sad, which gets worse at night when she sees the haunting.
The above story is an extreme version of a residual haunting and is not a typical reaction from one who witnesses it, but its nature of cause is not uncommon. What's happening is that she is seeing the traumatic event and slowly beginning to feel what the children felt when they saw their father die? She could do something as simple as move her bed and the feelings could stop, as well as the vision.
Most of the time the phenomena will take place in the area, sometimes the exact spot, in which a sudden accident involving a death has occurred. This could be a fatal automobile accident, a suicide, murder, accidental death or environmentally-caused death, such as a fire, storm, or flood. Death has not always been the end result though. Documented cases exist of residual hauntings taking place in an area or structure where people have been treated horribly, like abuse, confinement or torture. This is one reason why so many residual hauntings exist in prisons or insane asylums. It can also exist in a home where an abuser and victims have been present, like the story above.
Although the events that cause a residual haunting are usually tragic in nature, this is not always the case. Reports have surfaced of residual hauntings in historic ballrooms where witnesses have described seeing people dancing, hearing music and smelling scents, such as perfume or cigars, at times when nobody is present. One of those reports came from The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, Ca. As research into this fascinating phenomena continues, maybe we'll one day have an answer.
Intelligent / Active Hauntings
Remember, there is no exact science as far as the paranormal goes. While there are professional paranormal investigators, there are no real "experts", per say, in this field. The information we have within our reach is the result of decades of research conducted by parapsychologists, paranormal researchers and investigators, as well as the documented experiences of millions of people, including inventors, philosophers and ordinary people.
Parapsychology has determined that the Intelligent-type of haunting does in fact exist. Their findings indicate that the entity or entities involved in an intelligent style haunting appear to possess, in limited scopes, human-like qualities, such as emotions, personalities and actions. They can often appear in human form, just as they were right before their death, and are responsive to the environment and any changes within, such as the occupants, investigators, visitors, and renovations and even rearranging of furniture. These human-like attributes suggest that they once were living human beings, giving credence to our beliefs.
The entities involved in an Intelligent or Active type haunting are usually attached to a particular residence or building, area of land, an object, or at times, even a certain person, although they are free to move around. They may have once lived in the residence, maybe worked in the building, may have owned a particular object that you now have and may even be present to be close to or protect a loved one. They may be tied to a place because it's where they were met with an unfortunate traumatic death, such as a suicide, murder or accident (also true in Residual Hauntings). In rare cases they have been documented in video or photo in the form of apparitions or mist-like shapes. Their disembodied voices have been captured on audio in the form of EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena).
The majority of the time, they have no desire in harming you and may not even be aware that they are causing you problems or frightening you. The entity may not even be aware that they have passed away.
An intelligent type haunting can be very stressful for a person or family. A lot of times the spirit may be trying to communicate with you. It may need help, may be afraid to cross over, may have unfinished business, may be looking for someone or may simply not want to leave. The spirit can also be present because a person that is sensitive may be able to see, hear or sense them, and in many cases this may be a child. They can even be present to warn you of danger or help you in another form. Whatever the reason for their presence, they are there, they realize they are being noticed and that makes them continue with their actions.
It is possible to help these spirits, although it usually takes an experienced investigator or medium to do so.
Again, we do not recommend that you try to help the ghost yourself. Experience is needed to do the proper techniques. But, if you are determined to try to help, do it the proper way. Here are some things you can try.
1) First, document your experiences. Document everything. This is also useful if an investigation is needed later on.
2) Learn the history of the home, building or area. Try to discover if anyone has passed away or if there have been any accidents or unfortunate deaths in the home, building or nearby surroundings. This, along with your documented experiences, will assist you determining the possible identity of the spirit.
3) Talk to the spirit, tell it that you know what happened to it (if you've discovered), that you're sorry but they have to cross over. Tell them to follow the light, that loved ones will be there to help them and that everything will be fine. Let them know that it's better for them to move on and that they will be met with love, affection and forgiveness, regardless of what they've done. Most of all, let them know that they have passed away and they don't belong in the physical world any longer.
If you feel like the entity may be of a demonic or "nasty" form, DO NOT make contact. DO NOT acknowledge it. Doing so will definitely increase the activity.
When dealing with this type of haunting, it is imperative that you seek the help of a competent paranormal investigator or group. It is difficult to determine on your own the difference between a Poltergeist type haunting and a Demonic one. We have provided a lot of information here in our web site which describe the differences between the two, however, more information based on your unique situation may be needed. A Demonic haunting can be very dangerous, especially if it attempts to attach itself to a person. If you ever feel that you, a friend or loved one may have a negative entity attached then you need to immediately seek help. A Demonologist will also be able to offer assistance, but you will need an investigator to make the connection. Time is of the essence. You can also contact us via email if you are experiencing a haunting and don't know where to turn. Click on the "Need Help?" link below.
Demons are evil inhuman supernatural beings of intelligence, wit and power. They have the ability to invade our homes, attach themselves to objects and humans and cause both mental and emotional torture by attacking or possessing humans. They can morph into any shape they wish, from humans to animals, before your eyes. They are neither male nor female, but will change to whatever meets their need at the time. Demons are most commonly seen as black masses standing in doorways or in corners of the room and contrary to most belief, you won't see them as long-horned, "goat-looking" or "Ram-headed" creatures. They have a hatred for mankind and think of us as lowly and stupid. Most demonic entities like a challenge and are incredibly conniving; they may have you believing they are good spirits or may appear to have gone away, only to confront you again at the least expected and most vulnerable moment. Their main goal is to break down a person's free will in order to make way for possession, beginning as oppression. This can take days, months or years, but time is of no concern to them... they don't give up easily.
Demonic hauntings usually start in a subtle way: Faucets dripping, scratches in the walls, thumping sounds, knocking. These behaviors typically share the characteristics of a poltergeist haunting, but will become more extreme. As the seriousness progresses, your blankets may be pulled off the bed, things fall off the walls, perhaps the bed shakes violently, maybe you begin hearing growling sounds. Why is it doing this? Because it wants you to know it's in control and wants you to fear it. They feed off this energy... and believe me, it can be taxing if you are off guard.
The fear is what the demon needs, so the more you fear it, the stronger it becomes. Once they succeed in creating an atmosphere of fear, they start to exaggerate their powers, then the personal attacks begin....scratches on the skin, pushing, shoving and hitting. One mark often associated with a demon attack is a scratch of three lines, which is believed to be the sign of the mocking of a Trinity. The air in the affected area will feel thick like fog and the temperature will drastically change, usually becoming warmer, which is the opposite from a human entity attempting to manifest (although decreasing temperatures have been noted with demonic hauntings as well). It's common for several entities to exist in one location with a strong evil presence seemingly controlling the others and not allowing them to cross over. These demons come into our world through a gateway.... and it's often either a cave, a well, or natural hole in the earth...and normally not more than 10 or 20 feet away from a haunting. Places that are believed to have crossing "Ley Lines" also act as a magnet or portal for demons, as well as other entities. Another way for them to enter is through a "door", usually opened up by using an Ouija Board or delving into some form of black magic, witchcraft, or demonic worship that the person shouldn't be meddling in. In this case, the person most likely doesn't know what they have gotten themselves into unless it's done deliberately. It's always a safe bet to stay away from these temptations; yes, that includes Ouija Boards that seem harmless.
A demonic haunting requires immediate action; the longer it's allowed to remain, the stronger it becomes. You will need to seek the help from an experienced paranormal group, demonologist or a local church. In most cases, it will usually take the exorcism by an ordained priest to rid your home of the demon. There are, however, other methods that may work.
It is believed that you can possess the ability to drive it away on your own. You will have to gather the strength within yourself and "Command" it to leave. Yes Command. Don't taunt, don't confront, don't get angry, and most of all, do not show fear. It's believed that it's like a code of conduct with them. Sometimes they will leave, not right away, but with persistence and with NO FEAR. Also, it's been said that demons don't like to be ignored. If it can't get you to fear it, then the game is over. Like they say, ignore it and it will go away, unless it is determined to attach itself to a person.
Something else that might help is smudging. To smudge your house, open the windows and light a bundle of dried sage or smudging sticks (available at most health stores). Sage is believed to clear away negative energy and spirits. Catch the ashes with a plate held underneath the bundle and walk around your home to cleanse it with the sage smoke. Make sure the smoke covers every part of the home, especially corners, closets, basements and attics. It is also said that sprinkling holy water throughout the house might work too; although this is not always successful if not done by a priest. All Catholic Churches will have Holy Water available, as well as many other churches. When obtaining Holy Water it is customary to leave a small donation, if possible. You will also need to recite a prayer when smudging or using Holy Water.
There is one thing that you should understand: These methods will not always work. If you truly suspect a demonic haunting, we highly suggest that you DO NOT use any method in any attempt to rid it yourself. A very common belief is that if you hold up a cross or splash Holy Water around, the demon will not harm you and will leave right away. There's not an ounce of truth in this. Yes, these may help in an emergency situation, but it's more likely that it will just anger the entity. Again, this is better left for Priests or a qualified demonologist.
Once again, you must understand that this is a very serious situation and you must seek the help of a professional. We don't recommend attempting to rid this one on your, but we have included some techniques that you can try. These techniques are intended as a temporary solution, not a permanent one, until you are able to seek professional help from an investigator, Demonologist or church. Time is of the essence, so make arrangements immediately.
The word Poltergeist is a German word loosely meaning "Noisy Ghost". The poltergeist phenomena dates back to the 17th century when one of the first accounts was printed in a pamphlet by Richard Chamberlin. Poltergeist experiences have been reported on a continuous basis ever since.
Poltergeist phenomena has traditionally been credited to mischievous spirits, ghosts or demons. More recently, research into the phenomena by the Rhine Research Center has provided us with another explanation, one that I tend to believe in. Their research has concluded that the Poltergeist phenomena is associated with psychokinesis, which is the ability to move things by power of the mind alone. This kinetic type of energy remains somewhat unexplained for the most part, but even some mainstream scientists are starting to explore the idea that it does exist and is related to Poltergeist activity.
What we believe happens during a poltergeist haunting is that there is an agent, a person in which the activity centers around. In many cases this agent is a child or young adult. Even more interesting is that in almost all documented cases the agent was going through a particularly stressful time in their life or may have gone through a recent tragic event. The agent may be trying to elevate the stress or the stress can simply be unresolved or repressed, but ineffectively dealing with or ignoring the emotional issues causes’ poltergeist activity through a form of psychokinesis called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, or RSPK. The agent isn't aware that they are causing the poltergeist phenomena and has no idea when or how it will occur. Many times they themselves can actually be the victim, especially when their stress is coupled with self-targeted anger. Other cases have determined that more than one person can be involved, thus pooling RSPK energy and increasing the intensity and frequency of the activity. Research has also show that people with Epilepsy or people with a history of seizures are sometimes associated with Poltergeist activity.
Considering the new research at hand, we do not consider Poltergeists to be spirits, but instead lean towards the theory that poltergeists are mass forms of energy that a living person is unknowingly controlling, as stated in the paragraph above. Poltergeist hauntings may be the most misunderstood, most terrifying, and rarest type of haunting, and some believe that poltergeist hauntings are not even a haunting at all. In some very rare cases, extreme poltergeists activity has even been linked to demons. A key question of researchers that comes into play with poltergeist cases is whether the psychokinesis is causing the activity, or if it is actually occurring from an unseen troubled spirit or ghost... or perhaps a combination of both. Determining the difference is sometimes difficult.
In a typical poltergeist case there is most likely a variety of phenomena taking place. There may be knocking and tapping noises, sounds with no visible cause, disturbance of stationary objects like household items and furniture, doors slamming, lights turning on and off, fires breaking out and much more. Chairs have been known to move around by themselves and walls can shake from loud, unexplained banging. Water drips from a ceiling or liquid may ooze from the walls. Things like hairbrushes and jewelry disappear, only to reappear at a later time right where they should have been in the first place.
Usually, after a subtle and somewhat calm start, the poltergeist activity will become more intense, sometimes manifesting itself through voices and even the appearance of full apparitions. Furniture may slide across the room and beds may shake. Most of the time the effects of a poltergeist are more playful or mischievous than harmful, but sometimes the activity has been known to be downright nasty. Reports of scratches, bites, harmful objects being put in one's way such as glass shards on a pillow or tacks under a bed sheet have been noted, as well as possession. But, in these extreme cases, we really feel that it most likely started with a poltergeist but then spawned into a demonic haunting, thus leading to the determination of some paranormal researchers that a poltergeist is nothing more than a demon. In its initial phase, we don't feel that's an accurate conclusion.
Note: One of those conclusions came from a very well respected paranormal researcher, Ed Warren. Ed believed that Poltergeist's were demons in disguise. While we have much respect for Ed and the contributions he made to the field of paranormal research, we, however, completely disagree with his assertion of poltergeist's being demons in disguise.
Poltergeist hauntings are sometimes difficult to get rid of, especially since the negative energy can center around one person. If the person removes the stress and negativity in their life, the haunting will typically go away. But in some cases, this will not work. Your best it to seek the help of an experienced paranormal group, researcher, Parapsychologist or Psychologist, and in extreme cases, a Demonologist or local clergy if you feel the activity may be escalating. Since we feel that it is possible for a poltergeist haunting to transition into a possible inhuman haunting by opening a doorway and being succeptable to negative influences, it is very important to end it as soon as possible. You want to do whatever it takes to prevent it from ecalating.
Since poltergeist cases have psychological stress and emotional dynamics at their core, investigations involve detailed observation of the human interaction present in such cases. All family members or co-workers are interviewed separately and en masse in order to assess the nature of the disturbances and the emotional interplay. Many personal questions are asked, and in some cases, medical information may be requested. Patterns in the disturbances are noted and participants may be asked to re-enact scenes when the disturbances occurred. Because the investigation may alter the emotional dynamics, leading to difficulty in finding the agent, on some case the investigator(s) may request an extended stay on the premises in hopes that the dynamics return to their usual state. Throughout the study, "normal" disturbances are separated from those that may be "paranormal." Often the participants believe the disturbances to be the result of a ghost or outside entity. Because stressful emotional dynamics are at the core of such cases, this "ghost" is used as a scapegoat for the occurrences and even for the events or issues that are causing the stress in the first place. In addition, people are often more sensitive to anything out of the ordinary in the environment during such situations.
Well, the good news is that the poltergeist activity will typically only last for a few weeks and will usually leave as quickly as it arrived. You can try to recognize stress that may be in your life, especially those that may be underlying or repressed. If you are unable to deal with it on your own, we suggest seeking the help of a Psychologist or Therapist. And remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving emotional help. Millions of people do it every day and there's certainly no shame. Always keep in mind that stress can cause all sorts of physical, psychological and emotional problems, which is why it's called a killer. Get rid of the stress and the poltergeist will usually move on as well.