How to Tell if Your House is Haunted by a Ghost
Do You Live in a Haunted House?
It’s unfortunate, but some homes have ghost problems. Hauntings occur when the spirits of the dead refuse or are unable to move on, and become trapped in a location. If that location is your house you might be a little nervous right now.
But just because you suspect you might have a ghost in your house doesn’t mean you do. There are plenty of explanations for events that may seem paranormal on the surface, but when we dig a little deeper we can see how, perhaps, our imagination had gotten the best of us.
In fact, those who refuse to believe in ghosts will tell you all paranormal events can be explained away in such a manner. Personally, I’ve seen too much to believe that’s true, but I do think it’s worth taking a step back and looking at all possible explanations for paranormal activity before deciding a house must be haunted. Aside from maintaining your peace of mind, it’s just good science.
This article will help you learn more about how to tell if you have a ghost in your house, or if your imagination and other factors are simply getting the best of you.
Occam’s razor is a principle of logic that tells us the simplest, least complex answer or theory is usually valid. Of course that isn’t always true, which is what makes genuine paranormal events so unusual. In this article you’ll be presented with a few explanations for the events that have been occurring in your home. If you can rule them out, your house may very well be haunted.
Haunted House Poll
Do you believe your house is haunted?
Have You Witnessed an Apparition?
It is hard to dismiss claims of ghost sightings, and if you’ve seen one yourself you may need no further evidence that your home is haunted. But the human mind is a complicated machine, and in some cases you can’t always believe what you see.
A friend of mine lost her husband at a young age, and for months afterward his spirit would visit her. She was terribly grief stricken, as well as confused about how to get along without him on practical things like income and household maintenance. Only months after his passing, when she started to realize things would be okay, did the haunting stop.
If you are experiencing something similar after losing a loved one it is a good idea to talk to a professional about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. But the question on the table is: Do such hauntings mean your loved one is visiting you after death, or is it a coping mechanism developed by your subconscious mind?
On the other hand, if you are witnessing the spirits of people you don’t know that’s a different situation altogether. Lack of sleep, exposure to certain environmental contaminants, and a runaway imagination can surely explain some sightings away. It’s a good idea to think back and try to assess what you really witnessed.
Ask yourself a few questions and try to answer honestly. Did you get a clear view of the spirit? Was it a full-body apparition, a shadow, or some kind of hazy humanoid form? How far away were you? What was it doing, and what were you doing when you saw it?
Sometimes our mind can fill in blanks, where what we really saw wasn’t all that clear. Especially as time passes, and memories get murky, our brains may fill in details that were not really present. We can end up totally convinced of things we didn’t exactly experience the way we think we remember.
Does any of this a sound like a reasonable explanation for apparitions you've seen in your home? If the answer is no, your house might be haunted.
Some people choose to use a Ouija Board to attempt communication with spirits in their homes. A successful session can help you understand why a spirit is haunting your house and what they want.
Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.
The simplest answer is often the correct answer.
Have You Heard Disembodied Voices or Strange Sounds?
Like visual images, strange sounds can be the products of an overactive mind, or misunderstood stimulus from very worldly sources.
One of my relatives likes to tell the story of when demonic growls started to emanate from the walls of his home. It was a horrible, snarling, wheezing, ungodly sound that continued for days. Obviously he was terrified, but then, as quickly as they had begun, the sounds stopped. But a day or two later a horrible stench filled the room where the sounds had been coming from.
See, the sounds weren’t demonic at all. Something, maybe a rat or squirrel, had died in the wall. The demonic rumblings were just the poor critter breathing its last. And, by the way, if you’ve ever lived in a home where a rodent has died in the wall you probably know you’d prefer the demon.
Even field mice can make a racket in your walls, and sound like something is in there knocking. Appliances like refrigerators can make gurgling, hissing and even knocking sounds you may not even notice during the day, but they sure get your attention in the middle of the night.
Silly things like a radio, telephone or baby monitor accidentally left on can scare the life out of you if you don’t figure out where the sounds are coming from. The point is it’s smart to consider all possibilities and investigate logical explanations before jumping to conclusions. Remember Occam's razor.
Voices that are speaking directly to you are another matter. Disembodied voices, real or imagined, are rarely on your side, so if they are telling you to do strange things you probably shouldn’t listen to them. In fact, if this is happening to you, it’s a good idea to see a doctor and tell them what is going on. It doesn’t mean you are crazy, but it’s smart of be sure you aren’t suffering from excessive stress or other issues.
If you thoroughly exhaust all possibilities and can come up with no other explanations for the sounds you are hearing, you very well may be living in a haunted house.
TAPS Investigates Strange Sounds on Ghost Hunters
Have You Encountered Objects that Move on their Own?
Witnessing an objecting manipulated by an unseen force is an unnerving experience. I can think of a few times in my life where I’ve encountered appliances that turned on and off by themselves, and objects that moved on their own, and it is a very uneasy feeling. Coupled with the disbelief your mind goes through to process such an image is the feeling that whatever invisible thing is moving the object is right there with you in the room.
But maybe not, or at least not in the way you are thinking. Naturally the first thing to consider when an object moves by itself is whether there could be a breeze or a hidden slope that had caused the thing to go. But there is another, stranger idea that could be at work here.
Telekinesis is the manipulation of objects by the power of thought. Think of Luke Skywalker concentrating on his lightsaber and causing it to fly into his hand before that crazy snow monster could eat him. There are some people in the real world who have allegedly done similar things, such as bending spoons or moving objects with their minds.
You may be thinking that those objects you’ve seen flying around your house aren’t your fault, and even if you did have such a power you definitely weren’t concentrating on them to make them move.
This is where it gets really interesting. One theory is that it could actually be your subconscious mind that has the ability to move objects without you even knowing you are doing it!
This theory is often used to explain away poltergeist activity, and some researchers say adolescents in particular may be able to cause such havoc without even realizing it. So, could the objects you’ve seen moving in your home have been set in motion by your own subconscious thoughts or those of another member of the household?
Is the idea of telekinesis any less bizarre than the existence of ghosts in your house?
Do You Feel an Unexplained Sense of Foreboding?
Years ago my family and I went on vacation and stayed in a small rental home. It was a beautiful house, cheerful and bright, and fairly new. But somehow something about it just seemed wrong. The entire time we stayed there I had flashes of dark, menacing feelings, like something bad was about to happen. Sometimes I felt like there was someone or something watching, even when I was alone. Our vacation was a blast, but I was happy to leave that house for reasons I couldn’t really explain.
Was that house haunted? Maybe. But there could be other reasons I was feeling that way. One of them has to do with electromagnetic fields.
High EMF readings in a home, or in certain parts of a home, can cause a whole bunch of negative reactions, including feelings of dread and paranoia, and even hallucinations. This is often the result of old or poorly shielded wiring and it could be one of the reasons your basement feels so creepy. You can buy a gauss meter and test the EMF readings in your home yourself, or hire an electrician to come and check out your wiring.
When it comes to uneasy feelings there is also something to be said here for the power of suggestion. If you believe your house could be haunted, there is a much better chance you are going to feel like your house is haunted. If you’ve just seen a paranormal documentary where some kind of demon lived in a basement, all of a sudden you’re not so keen on going down into your basement by yourself.
Does this sound like what’s happening to you? If you can rule out crummy wiring and horror movies as the cause of your feelings, maybe your house really is haunted.
An EMF Meter is a modern tool used by ghost hunters to detect the presence of spirits. Strange and unexplained readings may indicate a ghost is nearby.
Have You Researched the History of Your Home?
I love history, and I recently acquired a map of my neighborhood dating back to 1869. It shows where houses and businesses were located, and even lists the names of the families who lived here. Of course those houses are long gone, but it’s easy to see how the layout back then is still reflected in the way the landscape looks today.
I then referred to the 1870 census records from the time and got the names, ages and occupations of all the people who lived in each house. It’s truly fascinating to realize those people, who now seem no more real than words on a page, existed on the same land where I tread today.
I’d love to go back and talk to them, and in my mind I picture them all as kindly country folk who would invite me onto their porch and offer me some cider. In reality, they were probably just like people today. Some were nice and some were not, and some surely had dark secrets.
The land you live on has a history, and you can probably find out a lot about that history if you want to. People lived there before you, and other people before them. Most were normal people like you and me, but over the course of decades and centuries surely some bad things occurred on or around the land where your home sits today.
If you think your house might be haunted it’s worth it to do some investigation and find out what might be causing it. You can possibly find some online sources that will help you, but if all else fails you can visit your county or municipal courthouse.
It is widely believed that hauntings are triggered by traumatic events such as murders, battles or death by freak accidents. If you can uncover such an event that happened on your land, you may be closer to discovering if there could really be a ghost in your home.
What Do You Do If Your House is Haunted?
If you’ve gotten this far and still believe no worldly cause can explain the things you’ve been seeing and hearing you may very well be living in a haunted house. So now what are you supposed to do?
It’s important to realize there are a few different kinds of hauntings. One is an intelligent haunting. This is where the apparition appears aware of you or its surrounds and acts accordingly. This type of haunting is most closely associated with the idea of a human spirit lingering after death.
Another kind of haunting is called a residual haunting. This is where you witness an entity that appears to be acting out as though it were still alive and back in the time it lived. It won’t pay any attention to you, and doesn’t appear aware of present-day objects or even changes in the layout of the home. Residual hauntings are considered like recordings on the environment. It may be possible there is no human spirit present at all, but simply a scene that plays out over and over.
Finally, there is the possibility of an inhuman presence in your home. Inhuman spirits have never walked the Earth in human form. They are not the ghosts of people who were once alive. Some cultures call them demons.
Getting Help With the Spirits in Your Home
Each type of haunting requires a different approach for resolution, but it all starts with figuring out what is going on. You may wish to call a local paranormal investigation team and see if they are willing to check out your house and give their opinion. Once you know what you are dealing with, you can go from there.
In the case of an intelligent haunting, and depending on your belief system, you may call upon your faith to attempt to help the spirit cross over to a better place through prayer. You can look to religious leaders for help. Obviously some belief systems are more open to this than others.
If the presence is deemed to be demonic you need to find a way to cleanse your home. Again, let your belief system be your guide. Catholicism has exorcists, but you may also wish to explore other options.
You must always exercise caution if you attempt any contact with the spirits, and often this is better left to people with more experience. You may have dear departed Uncle Joe living in your home, or you may have a demon from the seventh circle of Hell. It’s better not to open the door if you don’t know what is on the other side.
Above all, if you think you house is haunted, don’t panic. Continue to learn as much as you can and educate yourself on the paranormal, and seek expert help where you need it. Good luck!