Signs of a possible Haunting
The first step is to determine, as best you can, whether or not you truly have
a legitimate case of a haunting. Not all hauntings are alike, and they may exhibit
a variety of phenomena. Some hauntings feature a single phenomenon - such as
a particular door slamming shut that occurs repeatedly - while others consist of
many different phenomena, ranging from odd noises to full-blown apparitions.
Here's a partial list of phenomena that might indicate that your house is haunted:
•Lights turning off and on
•Items disappearing and reappearing (DOPler)
•Strange animal behavior
•Mild psychokinetic phenomena
•Cries and whispers
•Cold or hot spots
•Moving or levitating objects (severe psychokinetic phenomena)
•Other physical evidence
•Apparitions - physical manifestation of a spirit or entity.
Rule Out Rational Explanations
A person who has experienced some of these phenomena might have cause to
believe that his or her house is haunted. But maybe not. In fact, according to
most experts, probably not. The human mind and human senses (as any magician
will tell you) are easily fooled. And people can often mistake explainable
(if unusual) occurrences in their homes for the paranormal.
Before you decide there's a ghost in your house or move out from fear, do your
best to find rational explanations for what you are experiencing. Virtually all
of the phenomena listed on the previous page could have perfectly natural causes:
•noises could be house settling, plumbing or even vermin such as mice and squirrels
•opening and closing doors could be faulty hinges or caused by drafts
•DOPler phenomena could just be carelessness and forgetfulness
•shadows could be just that - shadows caused, perhaps, by a passing car's headlights
•as real as some of these things might seem to you, they really could be just products
of your imagination Of course, the more extreme the phenomena, the harder they are
to dismiss. And, as noted above, if multiple witnesses experience the same phenomena,
they are likely to be taken more seriously.
Get help in finding rational explanations for the phenomena. A plumber might help
you find the cause of that banging. A carpenter can fix that door from closing on its
own. A friend or neighbor might be able to look at your particular experience in a
different way and offer a reasonable explanation for your "haunting" that you might
not have though of. In short, make every possible effort to prove that your house
is not haunted.
Keep A Journal
If you feel you have ruled out rational explanations for the phenomena that are taking
place in your house, and they are still occurring on a more or less regular basis,
document them. Keep a journal of the phenomena as they happen. For example:
•Sept 4, 2010; 9:20 p.m. - Was sitting watch TV when the bathroom light switched
on by itself. Went in and turned it off again.
•Sept 5, 2010; 5:11 p.m. - Was in the kitchen and heard the footsteps crossing the
upstairs hallway again. No one was up there. Went up to investigate and could find
A journal such as this could help with any formal investigation of the phenomena by experts.
If you hear unexplained noises, attempt to record them with a portable tape recorder.
If there are physical phenomena of any kind, photograph or videotape them. Keep your
journal, recording and camera equipment readily available so you can document the
phenomena as it happens.
Call the Experts