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Mistaken Hauntings: Is It a Ghost or a Fairy?

Updated on July 3, 2017
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Kitty has had paranormal experiences her entire life. These experiences have fueled her passion to write about all things supernatural.

Do you have a ghost or an elemental haunting?
Do you have a ghost or an elemental haunting? | Source

You're Being Haunted...But by What?

You've moved into a new house and realize it's haunted. You hear disembodied voices or footsteps; wisps of light or shadows move in your peripheral vision. You might even notice bad smells or get tingles when you walk into certain rooms. Perhaps the temperature changes drastically without a logical explanation. Maybe you've even seen a figure in full-form standing at the foot of your bed or in your hallway. You've felt a ghostly hand on your shoulder or heard it whisper in your ear. But how do you know what kind of haunting you actually have? There are different kinds of hauntings, including ghosts but hauntings go beyond the lost spirits of human beings. There are other kinds of spirits in this world that are completely different than your regular run-of-the-mill ghost. Is it possible the haunting you are dealing with isn't a ghost at all but actually one of the wee folk or what people call a fairy? Find out here.

A ghost will show human-like signs and will usually stick around in the place where it died.
A ghost will show human-like signs and will usually stick around in the place where it died. | Source

Signs It's a Ghost

Often when people realize they have a haunted house or building, they automatically think "ghost". A ghost is a disembodied soul that was once in a human body. Most of us know this as the definition. And depending on the ghost and the person it was/is and whether it is angry or not will determine what kind of experiences you'll have inside of the haunted home or building. For instance, typically I tell people to use their five senses to determine what types of manifestations the ghost is projecting.

  • Sights - full-form of a person seen in your home/building, odd lights/shadows, etc.
  • Sounds - disembodied voices, whispers, giggles, etc.
  • Smells - bad smells like sulphur or rotten meat or good smells like food or perfume.
  • Touch - tingles, goosebumps, drafts, intense heat, ghostly touches, etc.
  • Taste - an inexplicable metallic taste in one's mouth

You should also take into consideration any history of the haunted home or building, particularly if there was a tragedy such as a suicide, homicide, or accidental death of any kind. Even if there was no particular tragedy, you should also consider whether a previous owner or resident died in the home or building. If you can confirm any of these events, you most likely have a human spirit haunting your home or building.

Another way you can tell is whether you are able to smudge the home or cleanse it spiritually and have the activity end. If it continues even after a home cleansing and blessing, you have something other than a human ghost haunting your home.

It is most likely that the haunting you are experiencing is a ghost if you have signs similar or the same as the signs mentioned above. HOWEVER, you may have some of these signs or even all of these signs but a few more which may determine that your haunting is something other than just a ghost.

Ghost vs. Fairy Hauntings

Ghost
Fairy
Smudging works
Smudging doesn't work
History of Tragedy in Place
Ancient History of Land or Place
Items in Place
Items Go Missing
Previous Owner/Resident
Recent Construction/Demolition
Human-like Form
Invisible or Balls of Light
Fairies are land spirits, guardians of the land, and will sometimes retaliate if they feel disturbed or wronged.
Fairies are land spirits, guardians of the land, and will sometimes retaliate if they feel disturbed or wronged. | Source

Signs It's a Fairy or Elemental

Most people don't realize that the stories of fairies date back to ancient times and actually refer to spirits of the land. These are also known as the genius loci, land spirits, the wee folk, the sidhe, elementals, and more. These spirits have hundreds if not thousands of names and will be called something different depending on the country and culture. While many of the land spirits have been pushed into hiding in the wildest of places yet to be desecrated by human hands, there are those who feel wronged in some way and will stick around their home or sacred place in order to retaliate against any who have harmed them.

In these cases, there might be a fairy or elemental haunting. How can you tell if what you have is a fairy haunting instead of a simple ghost haunting? The fairy might manifest all of the classic haunting signs as mentioned in the ghost haunting section above, but you will be able to tell by determining a few things. First research the land or place upon which your haunted home or building sits. Was it once a sacred pagan or native site? Is it surrounded by woods or was it recently an undisturbed piece of land or forest that has now been mowed over in construction? Is there maybe a river or creek nearby that is being affected by the building or home in some way? When fairies (land spirits) are displaced, often they will become angry and will seek revenge against those they feel have invaded their territory.

In addition to seeing signs like the typical ghost, fairies will typically manifest in the following ways:

  • poltergeist-like activity: items being blatantly moved, slammed, destroyed
  • personal items going missing or being moved to odd places - jewelry, keys, heirlooms, etc.
  • aggressive physical touch - being grabbed, pushed, hair pulled, bitten
  • often invisible but sometimes will show as balls or wisps of bright light

These are all manifestations of a fairy haunting and can be attributed to the fact that they just want their land or sacred place back the way it was. They don't want humans or their buildings interrupting their special places in nature. This happens so often and people pass these hauntings off as ghosts or demons when in fact they are the elementals seeking revenge. Something you'll notice too is when you use sage in a smudging ritual often it will not work to stop the activity. Land spirits are of the earth and therefore sage should not usually bother them.

While many of the land spirits have been pushed into hiding in the wildest of places yet to be desecrated by human hands, there are those who feel wronged in some way and will stick around their home or sacred place in order to retaliate against any who have harmed them.

— Nicole Canfield

What to Do Next

Hopefully you've determined what type of haunting you have. Now you can find a solution to the problem.

If you've determined you have a typical ghost haunting, you can do one or more of the following:

  • if the ghost is bearable and relatively harmless, live side by side with it peacefully and move on with your life
  • if the ghost is unbearable, a full house cleansing and blessing is a must (this includes a good physical cleaning and de-cluttering as well as a spiritual cleansing with sage, holy water or protective oils and symbols)
  • if none of the above works, contact a religious/spiritual official experienced with spiritual activity

If you've determined you have a haunting of the elemental type, the above methods may not work to rid your home or building of this kind of spirit. You can try the following:

  • leave an offering (traditional offerings include milk, butter, cream, cakes, wine, mead, ale, etc.)
  • apologize and ask the elemental for a peaceful working relationship
  • hang windchimes around your house
  • hang iron horseshoes around your house (any kind of iron will ward off the wee folk)
  • ring a bell as often as possible to scare it away (make sure you open a door or window to allow the spirit to escape)
  • wait it out or move
  • seek to appease it by setting up a garden in your yard or honoring nature in some big way

© 2017 Nicole Canfield

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  • profile image

    Dugitron9001 4 months ago

    Perhaps something else entirely...

  • profile image

    Lynsey1879 4 months ago

    Hi all, I'm experiencing some kind of paranormal activity at my home as we speak. I don't know about it being a fairy haunting & I don't know about the history of my home, I have lived in the property almost 19 yrs now & I do no that there used 2 b a lot of monks around this area many many yrs ago. Since IV stuck rock sea salt outside my door of my bedroom it's stopped entering my bedroom an touching me, but my husband & I still suffering with the odd night terror, b4 I put salt down my husband & I kept hearing disembodied voices & a gas like smell, I'V wrote a little article myself somewhere on here plus I've managed 2 catch a picture of something when it was walking around my bedroom, which looked like my mum,but I don't c this being my mum as she wouldn't want 2scare my husband & i.My husband was sitting on the toilet an felt his hood on his jumper being tugged, a he got a big fright lol, I definitely think its mischievously. Every now&again it goes quiet, & then it can all go off

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 4 months ago from Chicago Area

    Way interesting! Thanks for always providing intriguing stories and info!

  • Karl Bland profile image

    karl 4 months ago from marlesford suffolk u.k

    Ryan Fuller you may like some of mine then the writting not tpo as high a standard as this though

  • Karl Bland profile image

    karl 4 months ago from marlesford suffolk u.k

    good read i have been witness to poltergeist activity twice in my life had shoulder dislocated during 1 attack bt i dnt think they are demonic

  • Fullerman5000 profile image

    Ryan Fuller 4 months ago from Louisiana, USA

    I have had one paranormal encounter at my aunts old childhood home. It was awesome. Ever since then, I have been a fan of the paranormal and always looking for more evidence. This was a great and interesting article. A lot of good facts and advice.