When it comes to paranormal investigations, it’s hard to find any widely accepted precedence to go on. The entire field of study is shrouded in skepticism and conflicting ideas. But there are a few things that are mostly agreed upon. Most experts believe that there are three major types of hauntings that can be plaguing a person or household when things start to go bump in the night with no explanation to be found. These hauntings are referred to as residual, intelligent, and demonic.
A residual haunting is the most common type of haunting. It also sometimes referred to as a place memory. The idea behind residual hauntings is that during life, or at the moment of death, a person may release enough energy to imprint a recorded version of themselves on their surroundings. This is commonly caused by traumatic experiences. The recorded image or sound will always appear in exactly the same place and in exactly the same way. Seeing an apparition walking down the stairs at midnight every night could be a residual haunting. Sometimes it’s not visual at all. It could be a sound that appears to be on a loop or a smell with no logical source. Residual hauntings are not ghosts by normal standards. The apparitions that are witnessed through residual hauntings are not the lost spirit of someone once living and they cannot affect the world around them any more than by merely existing. They are simply the memory of a person etched into the walls, trees, or any worldly object around them.
An intelligent haunting is what most people think of when they think of the word “ghost.” People don’t always agree on what might make a person linger in this world after death but it is commonly believed that intelligent hauntings are the product of some sort of human energy that remains and maintains its cognitive processes. Even if only in a diminished capacity. Intelligent hauntings will often manipulate the world around them when they can and sometimes even acknowledge the living. Some experts speculate that spirits involved in intelligent hauntings actually want to get the attention of the living and try to make themselves known for that reason. Sometimes a spirit can’t be witnessed in any traditional way. The only sign of their presence may be a cold spot in the air or a feeling of being watched. While intelligent hauntings can certainly be frightening, they are very rarely dangerous in any way.
Demonic hauntings can be quite dangerous, however. A demonic haunting is believed to be caused by a powerful entity that was never human to begin with. A demon involved in this kind of haunting typically only has one goal. It wants to posses an individual’s body. Non-human entities are known for being deceptive and will often pretend to be part the spirit involved in an intelligent haunting. They may take on the shape of someone you know and trust. Demons are known for having knowledge and abilities that seem impossible. Demonic hauntings are never benign. For this reason, experts agree that you should seek help if you have even the faintest suspicion of a demonic haunting, or even an intelligent haunting, as it may be in disguise.
Although it’s hardly considered a “haunting,” an honorable mention should go out to poltergeist hauntings. The name poltergeist translates to “noisy ghost” in German. This phenomenon becomes visible when objects begin to move or operate by themselves. Perhaps a children’s toy is playing music with no one to turn it on or pots and pans are rattling in an empty kitchen. It is believed that poltergeist activity is not caused by a spirit or any otherworldly source, but instead by the psychokinetic energy of the living. The idea is that a person can have so much unexpressed energy and emotions that it found another way out. Poltergeist activity is often associated with young girls but that’s not always the case. In theory, anyone could create this occurrences under the right circumstances.
It seems that there will always be skeptics and believers. People will always disagree on anything that hasn’t yet been proven one way or another. Sometimes people will disagree even with proof. But once people with conflicting ideas start to come together in agreement, it’s time to start taking notice.