So You Think You Have A Ghost
If you feel you are experiencing paranormal events, start a journal right now. Everyone in the household having any experiences should do this. In the journal answer the 5 W's for each event:
-WHO was involved?
-WHAT did you hear /see/feel/smell/think/what were you doing/what moved?
-WHEN did it happen /date time/weather/humidity/temperature?
-WHERE did it happen / building/room/place in room ?
-WHY did it happen /was there a trigger event of some sort such as an
anniversary high emotions, stress, etc.?
Next, call us for help. Whether you call us ghost hunters, paranormal investigators, ghost society, paranormal group, just call us.
More times than not, when we are called to investigate a home or a building, most of the claims of activity revolve primarily around noises, and things that although they are not an everyday happening, may very well have natural explanations. They are attributed to the paranormal because the clients cannot explain them, or they may have just started after years of not having them, or they may be accompanied by some other truly disturbing phenomena. We will list some of the more common occurrences, that many times have a natural cause, to help you troubleshoot your experiences.
First and foremost, you are not crazy. Read this again, you are not crazy!
Even if you are experiencing something that is beyond a doubt paranormal, and very scary, keep your fear in check. It is very very rare that anyone experiences an injury, and even then it's rarely more than what you would do to yourself, accidentally,in the course of the day.For instance being scratched. You barely take notice if you do it by accident. So it's not the scratch, it's the fear of the unknown, that triggers the emotion. As some sensationalists would have you believe,a scratch doesn't necessarily mean that a demon has invaded your life.It may be a signal that something wants your attention urgently.
1)Scratching on the wall: This can be rodents or insects. The first thing I look for is rodent droppings and insect remains.On my hands and knees with a flashlight, looking along surfaces where walls meet floors, carpet meets walls, inside cabinets, on shelves,and especially in unfinished areas such as basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Just because you've never had them before does not mean they have not found a new home, in your home now.
2) Humming and vibration near walls: Could be bees in the wall. Inspect the outside of the building in areas where
you hear the noise. Sit and patiently watch for bees and see where they enter. Poor electrical wiring in walls can sound like a hum when overloaded.
3) Knocking on walls: If it is isolated, and not all the time, look for the obvious. Kids playing near by, a bird flying into a wall or window. There won't always be a dead bird lying there, many times they survive. Wood siding attracts woodpeckers, and they can sound like a machine gun on the wall.
4) Scratching, and scurrying, and footsteps, in the attic: Rodents. Walk the outside of the building looking carefully for any opening at or near the soffits, fascia, vents, uncapped fireplace chimney, looking for an opening. It does not take an opening the size of the rodent, bird or bat for them to enter. Go up there if you have access, and look for nesting materials and droppings.
5)Light bulbs burning out: The usual explanations are cheap bulbs, old fixture, bad wiring connections, unstable electrical supply from the utility, and poor electrical ground. Have your electrical system checked by a licensed electrician.
6) Plumbing issues : Toilets flush on their own. Check toilet components for leakage, or irregular water pressure. Faucets turning on by themselves. Check irregular water pressure or worn stems, washers, or o-rings. It usually occurs on single handle units.
7)Extremely loud bang: In the northern states with extreme temperatures, especially at night, in the winter, there may be an extremely loud bang that will rock the house and rattle the windows. Maybe twice in a row. Heat escaping from the home to the underside of the roof decking condenses and forms frost. As the temperature outside rapidly changes, the moisture in the plywood decking can expand or contract and cause the plywood joints and nails to move with a violent exploding noise. Older homes can also experience this in the walls.
8) Walls, ceilings, and floors, pops and bangs and clangs. Again usually but not always older homes with uninsulated HVAC ducting that expands and contracts, or is not properly and adequately fastened. Water supply pipes with air in them can also make loud noises called water hammer. Water heaters can bang, moan, growl, hiss, gurgle and wheeze, an indication there is sediment in the tank. Some toilet flush valves can make very eerie sounds.
9)Doors opening and closing on their own: Can you make them do it with a little nudging or walking around te room? Is there enough draft with certain doors or windows open to cause it? Does one door open or close when another is opened or closed in a different part of the house?
10)Voices or mumbling: Is it coming from inside or outside? Are you sure it voices? Are all radios, televisions, and sound devices turned off? Is it definitely a voice, or could it be from an appliance? I've heard a freezer compressor sound exactly like deep breathing right after it shuts off.
11)Being touched: Very dry homes may have enough static electricity to feel like you are being touched lightly and hairs are standing up. Look for cobwebs also.
12) Objects being moved: Did you see it actually move? Are you sure beyond a doubt they are not where you left them? Is it possible someone else moved them?
13)Computer monitor comes on by itself: Some will when automatic updates and scans occur.
14)Disc drive opens by itself: See 13.
15) See something out of the corner of your eye and it's gone when you look: This is a pretty technical and typical phenomena. Basically our eyes are always moving imperceptibly fast. The parts in the corner of the eye have poor resolution and are insensitive to color. Our brains want to make sense of all we see, and rely on visual memory for this. This is why out of the corner of our eye we see movement (eye is moving) usually a black or dark figure (there is little if any color perception in the corner of the eye) looks like a person or face (the brain trying to put a recognizable figure to it.) Also that area of the eye has poor ability to judge size. So when you look straight on at the shadow it is gone, and something else is there that is either smaller or larger, of color, and was always there and not moving. Are you wearing glasses? Any movement, from a TV screen, even your facial movements can cause the appearance of movement at the very outer edge, or bottom of the lens.
16) Seeing faces and bodies in objects: Same as above basically. Sometimes called apophenia. You look at the wood grain in an object and see a definite face, person, animal, etc. Your brain needs to make sense of the chaos, the lack of recognition of the shape, so it uses visual memory to put something recognizable to the shape of the wood grain.
17)ORBS. Orbs, Orbs. A). These are not paranormal. B). These are not paranormal. They are airborne particulate reflecting available light. (Period)
18)I want to spend some time on a sensitive subject. Young people, depression and suicide. More and more paranormal cases, revolve around young people. Typically these young people are under a great deal of emotional stress. They are having trouble in their relationships, are at some point in or near the age of puberty, which may be early or may be delayed, although this is not required and can happen at any age, may have alcohol or drug issues, money issues, school problems, self image issues, and list goes on and on. I have worked with kids experiencing all of these issues at the same time in their life. Many people, not just young people, do not yet have the coping mechanisms in place to deal with, or diffuse stress. Needless to say the stress will take its toll. It has to go somewhere. Please do not ignore our young people, who feel they have no way out, and are not being listened to or understood. Give them your ear! Get them help!
19)Poltergeist activity: This subject is part of #18." Poltergeist effect is energy, usually mischievous and sometimes malevolent, which manifests by loud noises, moving objects, and assaulting people and animals, seemingly without purpose. In most cases the phenomena seem to be caused by subconscious recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis on the part of an individual" (Guiley). Basically there are two schools of thought based on research. The evidence is leaning toward the idea that most of the poltergeist activity is caused subconsciously by an individual, (or agent) sometimes a young person early teens to young adult; but can be any age, under stress, and with diminished ability to resolve emotional tensions. It is usually short lived lasting a few weeks up to a couple of years. The activity usually revolves around this individual and stops when that individual is not present. The activity surrounding this phenomenon is on a very physical level, with contact ranging from a touch, to scratches, to being pushed to the ground and dragged without purpose, large objects being moved or thrown, small fires starting for seemingly no reason, and very loud noises. Apparitions are seen although this is pretty rare. It is essentially emotional energy under extreme pressure that explodes into physical action, and the agent is completely unaware that they may be the cause. It is unconscious mind over matter. Getting these individuals help in dealing with their emotional or psychological issues may help stop the activity. In contrast, cases of spirit poltergeist activity seem to be with purposeful movement, intelligent communication, and little if any violence. Usually there will be more than one spirit present in order to gather enough energy to move large objects or start fires. It appears that the two, #18 and #19 may go hand in hand.
CONCLUSION: Remember things are not always what they seem to be. Stay objective and stay calm.
You may be experiencing some paranormal activity, and then everything unusual starts to seem to be paranormal. We will help you sort these experiences out.
Guiley,Rosemary. (1991). Harper's Encyclopedia of Mystical & Paranormal Experience.
(pg. 455). Harper Collins Publishers: New York.