A Haunting... All of them. I'll admit, some of these programs can be mildly entertaining, a few episodes of Paranormal Witness have even been down right good. But as a whole, these programs just annoy me!
Don't get me wrong, I find the stories fascinating, when they're true. But as someone who's dealt with the Paranomal personally for most of her life, I find most people's stories to be tainted with fear and anger, and some are downright lies. I think for the most part though, people genuinely are afraid, but because they don't look for answers and because they don't understand haunting & spirits in general, they are much more afraid than they need be.
People tend to jump to conclusions. They see a door swing open when they walk past it and they go running for the light switch. Or they walk in the room and hear their music box start to play, all of a sudden they start sleeping on the couch. Or, my favorite, they find "orbs" in their photographs and start posting them all online with the caption "There are ghosts in my house!" I swear if these people ever actually saw a ghost they would shit their pants and leave their house, never to return.
Real hauntings are not entirely uncommon, but they aren't exactly as common as A&E would have you believe either. And while there ARE hauntings which fall in to the "dangerous" category, as a whole though, they are few and far between. Even those aren't normally has horrid as people would have you believe.
Before you can "deal" with a haunting though, you need to know what you're dealing with...
There are a few different kinds of hauntings.
- Residual / Energetic - These types of hauntings don't actually involve a ghost or spirit being of any kind. Instead, they are am impression on the energy of the place. Just like electro-magnetic energy can be used to imprint recordings on to tape, moments of high electro-magnetic energy or high emotion can imprint on the energy of a place. This, again like a tape, can be played back, sometimes over and over.
- Ghostly - A Ghost is the Mental, Etheric, Astral or Spiritual body of a person or animal who's physical body has died, but who's non-physical body remains attached to a space, item or person, preventing them from passing on to the next stage in their life.
Generally, Ghosts are non-violent and completely non-dangerous. However, it is important to remember that Ghosts are people and can harbor anger, jealousy and other negative emotions just as we can.
- Demonic - Although rare, demonic hauntings, and/or possessions, do happen. Although this is not the proper place to explore what a demon is or isn't (that's another post entirely), simply put, a demon is a lower form of spirit being than we are. While it's usually believed that Demons are evil, this is not true. Demons are not unlike humans in nature. They can be very good, they can be very bad, but for the most part, they are a balance of the two. However, because demons are usually equated with evil, any time there is a nasty, violent or malevolent spirit in a place it gets the label of Demon, whether this is factual or not. What truly sets Demons apart from Ghosts is their ability to manifest and manipulate. Because demons are pure energy beings, they are much more adept at being spirit than a Ghost, who has spent the last portion of it's life in a physical body.
- Fae - There are numerous kinds of Fae, each with their own personalities, traits and habits. Fae such as Brownies are common indoors, preferring it to the outdoors. They are generally not harmful, but if insulted may be. For the most part they are curious rather than mischievous, and can even be helpful if treated well. Items being moved or simply vanishing, or a lot of items being found between walls during renovations can be signs of this type of Fae being in the home.
Other Fae, which prefer to be out of doors, such as Dryads, are rare indoors, and usually enter a home with a plant. However, upon the death of the plant they can become trapped within a home. These Fae can be downright dangerous as they are known to lash out against anything or anyone whom they feel could be a threat, or whom they see as destroying or removing their home (the plant.)
- Other - While it is extremely rare that a home would be inhabited by anything other than those things listed here, there are a great many forms of spirit being out there... Any of which can form connections to people, places and items which may cause them to manifest their presence.
- Psychic or Astral - Often referred to as "Poltergeist activity," items being moved or stacked, or the apparition of household members are often not hauntings. Instead, these occurrences are usually connected to the unidentified psychic ability or uncontrolled astral travel of the homes inhabitants. Once the source of such activity is identified, individuals can train such abilities and learn to control them, ending activities within the home.
- Fictional - What I feel is most likely the most commonly reported of all hauntings are those which do not exist. Mysteriously opening doors, the sound of footsteps, creaks & pops in the house, and even things falling to the floor when no one seems to be near them, can often be attributed to very non-paranormal activity. Houses are not as solid as we would all like to think. Over time, the materials used to build them shift and deteriorate. As this happens doors no longer fit in their setting well and can swing open or closed due to people walking past them, gusts of wind from open windows or even from cars or trains passing by the property outside. "Footsteps," creaks & pops are often caused by the subfloor or the flooring itself settling after being shifted and bent by household members walking around and moving all day, other causes can be heat or cold expanding or contracting building materials, or vibrations from cars, trucks, trains and/or seismic activity. Similar explanations can be applied to falling or otherwise moving items.
To identify the type of haunting you're facing, you must FIRST rule out physical causes for things. Jumping to the conclusion that the building is haunted by something else can lead to unnecessary fear and discord within a family, as well as increase negative energy within the home.
Only after normal causes are ruled out, should the paranormal be explored. Deepening on your abilities and understandings of the paranormal, you may choose to do this on your own, or you may wish to call in a local group of "experts."