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Types of Paranormal Activity & Haunts

 

Most people lump all paranormal experiences into the term “ghost”.  While this is fine, there are differences and most paranormal investigators will split the paranormal into the following categories: 

Ghost – An image or sound that is comparable to an audio or video recording.  A ghost is simply the residual energy of a person or animal.  There is no intelligence within the energy – it’s a recording that replays over and over.  The energy may diminish in time but can actually recharge itself.

Spirit – A spirit is the soul or a person or animal which has remained in this world after the death of the body. 

Poltergeist – Paranormal activity centered around one individual (usually a pubescent child – but can center on adults who are going through a great deal of stress). 

Entities – This paranormal activity is associated with beings that have never been human at any time.  The entities can be good (angels) or evil (demons).  Most people confuse the intentions of a spirit to communicate as a demon.  Entities are very uncommon. 

Portal/Vortex Hauntings – The existence of portal/vortex hauntings are controversial in the paranormal community. The idea of this type is that there is a doorway in which entities can enter this realm.  The entities can be with human or non-human. Our view is that if a portal or vortex truly exists, it brings about human or non-human entities (categories that we already recognize). So why add another category? We consider portal and vortex to be paranormal “features” and not types of hauntings. We discuss here as you may encounter this on other websites or books.
 

Types of Hauntings

What defines a haunting?  Like snowflakes, no two hauntings are exactly the same.  Most people associate a haunting with an appearance of a full-body apparition.  In reality, the appearance of an apparition is rare.  Hauntings can occur at any time (not just at night) or for periods as short as a few days to as long as millennia.  Hauntings can occur on a certain date, a certain time, or a certain anniversary.  Hauntings can happen during ideal paranormal weather conditions or for no reason whatsoever. 

Hauntings usually involve most of our senses – sight, sound, smell, and touch.  Thank God there is no taste – that we know of.  Most common are noises including footsteps, period music, strange sounds, voices, and knocking.  Hauntings can be felt as an unusual cold or hot spot, a touch, unexplained breezes, or a strange static.  Hauntings may involve a strange odor – such as cigar smoke or perfume – anything associated with the person that was alive. 

Hauntings can also affect your emotions and give you a sense of hopelessness, dread, or unexplained anger.  Some may involve happier or benign feelings.  Hauntings can be split into different categories - intelligent hauntings, residual hauntings, poltergeists, and entity. 

Intelligent Hauntings

We can further break this down into two categories – trapped spirits and free spirits.
 

Trapped Spirits

This is the most discussed type of haunting, but in reality does not occur as often as people think.  This type of haunting is called “intelligent” because the spirit is aware of its surroundings, is aware of you, and often will interact with the living.  The spirit involved has a connection, either through the property or the people who inhabit or work at that property.  Or a spirit decides to take residence at a particular location.  A spirit can think, reason, feel, and act. 

There are several reasons as to why spirits stay behind.  Most are usually associated with tragic events, but some just choose to stay behind. 
 
  • Unfinished Business -A spirit may stay behind if there is unfinished business to attend to at the time of their death.  There is really no “convenient” time to die for many of us.  Unfulfilled goals or the need/want to take care of a loved one or property may anchor the spirit to this world.  A spirit in this condition will remain for as long as that business is unfinished.  If this spirit tries to communicate with you and fails to gain your attention, the activity becomes more numerous and more intense until attention is received.  This is the basis of the confusion between an evil entity and a spirit trying to communicate.  In order to remove this type of haunting, one must discover what the unfinished business is, and help complete that task or convince the spirit that everything is okay.  A simpler method is to try to convince the spirit that the task at hand is not as important as moving on.
  • Confusion - The spirit does not realize that they are dead.  In cases of sudden and tragic deaths the spirit is confused as to what is going on.  If this is the case, once the spirit has realized that they are dead, they typically move on.  The good news, this is the easiest haunting to end.
 
  • Need to say farewell -The spirit attempts to say goodbye to loved ones.  This is the most common and short in duration.  People who are open-minded to the paranormal are most likely to experience this phenomenon.  Most visitations occur when people are asleep, but can occur during full consciousness.  Most non-believers will dismiss this activity as a dream; however, most instances occur when people do not know that the visitor has died.
  • Need to help a loved one - The spirit wishes to consul or help a loved one.  This most often occurs when people are experiences a particularly troubling time in one’s life.  Most visitations occur to those that are asleep because of the ease of communication.  The interesting thing about this type of haunt is that it cannot be dismissed as just a dream because information is usually passed down that the receiver has no knowledge of.  In most cases, the spirit will do what it can to confirm that it is in fact, them.  Many times a phantom scent is present – be it smoke, perfume, or another scent associated with the spirit.  This scent is usually strong enough to wake you and can remain for several minutes.
  • Fear of judgment - If a person lived a life that they feel may jeopardize their entry into Heaven; they are less likely to move on.  It can be very difficult to convince this spirit to move on as fear is a strong motivator to those that are living and to the dead.
  • Fear – The spirit may actually be afraid of the light or afraid that their very existence will end once they enter the light.

Intelligent hauntings can be unnerving to some, since these spirits can interact with the living.  However, it is important to remember that these spirits were at one time human beings like you and I.  They had family, jobs, hopes, dreams, and concerns.  They typically maintain their personalities they had when they were alive.  Kind, warm people turn into benevolent spirits.  Angry or bitter people turn into troublesome spirits.  It is important to note that these so-called troublesome spirits will rarely cause injuries to the living.  Most injuries to the living are the result of careless fleeing because of fright.  However caution is recommended with the real cranky ones!  There are even spirits that can be a little mischievous for their amusement. 

Most people associate intelligent hauntings as one that has evil or bad intentions.  In fact, most intelligent hauntings are seeking just one thing – attention.  They do what they can to get your attention – they open and close doors, move things, turn electronics on and off, try touching you, and make noise.  Their intention is often misunderstood, most are not trying to scare you, but get your attention. 

In order for an intelligent haunting to cease, one must convince a spirit that it is time to move on.  But not all spirits will want to leave and they may not be convinced to move on. 
 

Free Spirits

This cannot be classified as a haunting at all – it is a visitation from spirits that have crossed into the light and returned to visit for a particular reason. They can choose to visit to:

  • Help us get over their passing. They often let us know that they are fine so that we can move on from our grief.
  • Help us during times of crisis. Our loved ones who have passed into the light are aware of our condition and can visit us to offer support when times get tough.
  • Help trapped spirits into the light. We have witnessed and even call upon these spirits during our investigations. Quite often, when a trapped spirit is present, there are other spirits that are trying to help them into the light.
  • Celebrate special events. During occasions such as weddings, family reunions, birthdays, holidays, or any special event, spirits can come back so they can be there with their loved ones. How many photos have come to light with a manifestation during special events – happens often, 
  • Assist a loved one who is dying. Free spirits often comfort dying people in order to help them enter the light.
 
Crisis Apparitions

These images or sounds appear most often to their loved ones at a moment of great crisis or death. Typically, the images or sounds appear only once to a special loved one who may be many miles away at the time of the accident. In the case of a crisis apparition of a living person, the person typically is unaware they somehow contacted another person.

 
 
Residual Hauntings

The residual haunting is the most common paranormal activity.  The residual haunting is energy from the past trapped in time.  It’s basically similar to a recording that is played over and over again.  Events in the past can leave an imprint that can be released at random or at specific times. 

Residual hauntings can be visual, auditory, or olfactory in nature.  Residual hauntings differs from intelligent hauntings as the ghost is not aware of the living around them and cannot interact with them.  Windows and doors can open, and items can move, but they do so because of the energy and not by an intelligent spirit. 

Residual energy can be imprinted on items as well as structures.  A large number of new hauntings can be attributed to the purchase/acquisition of used items and antiques.  You just may be bringing home a residual with your purchase of an antique! 

Again, there is no definite answer on how residual hauntings occur.  There are as many theories as there are paranormal investigators.  The idea of imprinted energy is baffling to many.  Remember, no one can call themselves a paranormal expert; the paranormal has no scientific explanation as of today.  Theories include the presence of limestone to the conductivity of water.  Thunderstorms generally provide energy for residuals to manifest. 

Residual hauntings gradually fade over time, however, that time can be lengthy, and the energy can be recharged.  Since this is an imprint of energy, there is no way to convince the residual energy to stop.  Residual hauntings can be very unnerving since the image or recording displayed is usually a moment of extreme agony or sorrow, or death. 

Some also theorize that what may appear to be residual in nature may also be a spirit that is experiencing such unbelievable trauma that they are unable to communicate, recognize their surroundings, or act in a logical manner. Their emotional distress is so great that they created their own personal Hell that served as a sort of prison. It is possible that some activity that is categorized as “residual” is actually a spirit that is cannot comprehend what is going on around them. 

 
 
Poltergeists

Poltergeist is German for “noisy ghost”.  This term may be misleading because spirits and ghosts can be “noisy”.  What distinguishes a poltergeist is that the activity is centered on one particular person called the epicenter.  The epicenter has long been said to be adolescents going through puberty, typically girls, or adolescents going through a great deal of emotional distress.  However, recent studies indicate that adults can be the epicenter. 

Most adolescent epicenters are generally quiet individuals that are often loners.  They usually have an average to above-average intelligence level.  Most researchers see a pattern in which the epicenter is battling psychological effects from physical or mental abuse, neglect, molestation, bullying, among other causes.  It is theorize that the epicenters pleas for help are ignored – either willful or unintentionally – and the epicenter begins to hold intense emotions inside. 


After the “tipping point” has been reached, the epicenter subconsciously lashes out to release emotion.  This release can be so intense and concentrated that a poltergeist can form.  Poltergeists have an intelligence aspect to them.  Whether or not they are actual spirits feeding on negative energy or are caused by kinetic energy is hotly debated among the field.  It is our opinion that both can occur, but most cases involve kinetic energy by the epicenter.  Some spirits may be able to feed into this negative energy and become poltergeist-like entities. 

Knocking and rappings are common in poltergeist cases, and at first there is no rhyme or reason.  After some time, a form of communication can develop with the knockings.  The most common – and troubling – aspect of a poltergeist is the movement of objects on their own.  In the beginning, items simply disappear and are found in odd places.  As the poltergeists grow in intensity, movements grow stronger as well.  Heavy furniture, appliances, and other items can be quickly moved.  If the poltergeist continues to grow, objects can be thrown towards the epicenter or anyone else.  This is where activity becomes dangerous – but luckily is rare.  Most times any risk is to the epicenter themselves. 

If activities such as those above only occur when a particular person is present, it is most likely a poltergeist activity.  An easy way to diagnose the problem is to see if activity ceases once a suspected epicenter is removed from the location. 

Poltergeist activity can last from weeks to a few years.  Most of the time, it is short in duration.  Once activity diminishes and ends it typically does not reoccur.  If one suspects a person in the household is an epicenter, please make sure they receive appropriate help to ease the underlying problems that created this situation.  Most epicenters do not know they are the cause of the activity. 

Poltergeist activity was never really thought to occur in older adults; however, recent investigations in the field have found poltergeist activity where the epicenter is 40, 60, and even older.  In some cases, repressed memories can cause activity.  Even energy within a certain household, such as financial and marital problems can create enough energy where activity begins.  There is even a famous case in Connecticut that had neighboring homes affected because of negative energy within adjacent properties. 

 
 
Entity (Angelic or Demonic) Haunting

This is by far the rarest type of haunting.  These entities were never a human form.  One of the distinguishing characteristics that you are dealing with an entity is an overwhelming sense of good or evil.  It is highly recommended that you listen to your gut feeling on this one! 

Angelic entities are messengers or protectors.  Generally, other people do not see this entity, only the one who is meant to see or hear it.  Upon the presence of an angelic entity there is a very strong feeling of well-being and peace.  These are encountered during near-death experiences or times of very severe distress.  People who usually experience this phenomenon experience a massive lifestyle change and become deeply religious. 

Demonic entities, thankfully, are not all that common.  Demons enter an area only if they are invited in.  This invitation does not have to be intentional.  The most common invitation is through divination without training.  One common cause – the Ouija Board!  Destroy it and throw it out! 

While the board is just a piece of cardboard, the action of inviting spirits to communicate may not be without risk.  The demonic entity will target someone with a weak psyche and slowly gain the trust of that individual.  The entity can answer basic questions and even seem helpful in order to gain trust.  The more the user utilizes the board, the higher the odds the entity can enter to cause trouble.  It’s not just Ouija Boards, its other types of divination. 


Once a demonic entity enters, it is very difficult and extremely dangerous to send packing.  If you attempt to contact spirits, you can be opening a vortex for bad spirits as well.  In general do not practice divinity - which includes séances and Ouija boards!


 

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