In a previous post, A Ghost in My House, we listed 13 signs of a haunted home. In this post, we’re going to explain how to rule out natural causes. You will need to play detective and be determined to find what is behind your apparent spirit infestation and discover the real reason for your haunted home.
Firstly, here are some clues that you suspect your home might be haunted.
Common Signs of Supernatural Phenomena
- Scary noises.
- Disappearing objects. When you are sure that you place an item in a certain place and it disappears only to reappear somewhere else.
- Weird impressions left on your quilt or comforter, like when a cat has been on your bed.
- Temperature variations in the home, in particular, cold spots.
- A strong feeling of being watched.
- ‘Orbs’ in your digital photos.
- Voices that don’t belong to family members.
- A ghostly apparition.
- Moving shadows.
- Your pet begins to act strangely.
- Unexplained scents and aromas.
- Your child has an invisible friend whom he describes with accuracy and who passes on cryptic or odd messages.
Rule Out Obvious or Not So Obvious Causes
Noises: put your detective hat on and root out the possible non-paranormal causes of the noise or other audible symptom. Could there be air bubbles trapped in the heating pipes? This is very common in older homes. Some of the noises old pipes make are akin to banshee shrieks. Have a plumber give your home a check-up.
Disappearing objects: are your teens moving items around? Is your spouse getting a little absent-minded. Teenagers and absent-minded spouses are often the cause of disappearing objects, so rule them out first.
Comforter/duvet impressions: has a cat sneaked into your bedroom? Maybe a family member sat on the bed, or placed something on the comforter to cause the indentation?
Temperature variations can be caused by gaps in floorboards or baseboards. Your hallway could be warm at one end, yet the other might be subject to a cold draft entering via an unnoticed gap or crack.
The feeling that someone is watching you is common. One of the main causes is that you recently read or watched something scary or disturbing on TV. If the feeling persists, check your windows aren’t overlooked by a neighbor. Make sure your blinds and drapes are drawn at night.
Orbs, which appear as strange bubble-like objects in digital photos may merely be dust on the lens. Try taking pictures all around the home to see if they only appear in one place.
Disembodied voices: sound travels in odd ways sometimes. Maybe you’re picking up scraps of conversation coming from a nearby vent or open window? Perhaps fragments of voices are coming in on a breeze? A neighbor might have their radio on a windowsill, or have moved their TV so that the sound is sneaking into your home.
A straight-up ghostly apparition is hard to explain away. Make sure you are not just coming out of a dream. Sometimes we think we are awake within a dream. Also ensure that it isn’t an item of clothing or a curtain wafting in a breeze. Look out for mirrors reflecting drapes or a dress.
Moving shadows can be caused by your dog or cat walking in front of a light source, or a trick of the eye/brain connection. Sometimes it’s someone walking past your house and their shadow is projected onto your wall. If it is a frequent occurrence, and you can rule out any natural cause, then you could actually be seeing shadow figures.
When your pet acts weird it is highly disconcerting. What can they sense that you can’t? If it’s a one-off, don’t worry too much. If it becomes a regular thing and takes place in one or two particular places, then it is likely your cat or dog is disturbed by a presence.
Ghostly smells: check if odors are coming in from the house next door or the restaurant down the street? It’s common for currents of air to move in a certain way that delivers scents and aromas into your home. If you are smelling a distinctive scent and there is no way anyone in your home is wearing it, or that flowers are the source, then it is possible you have a ghost.
Talk to your child about his or her invisible friend. Just be normal and matter-of-fact. Try to determine if the ‘friend’ is repeating stuff your child would have heard you talking about, or seen on TV. Only if the messages are way above your child’s understanding and you can rule out any other source of the information, can you assume they have been talking to a ghost.
Give it Time
If you are not overly disturbed by the thought that your home is haunted, then give it a little time. Often the cause is discovered to be innocuous or, if truly haunted, the spirit goes away by itself.
The Science Behind Disturbing Feelings of Hauntings
On a final note, if you are still experiencing the feelings that your home is haunted, or having those inexplicable feelings of dread, or you somehow have a chill in your soul, science might be able to explain it.
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory in England discovered that infrasound — sound played at extremely low frequencies — has the ability to cause sensations of spine tingling, hairs rising and those feelings of darkness and dread in a person’s being. These sounds are sometimes caused by vibrating underground pipes or other physical structures.
Professor Richard Wiseman, from Hertfordshire University, conducted an experiment with several colleagues. They inserted infrasound into music played at a rock concert and then conducted a survey of the audience. 22 percent reported experiencing disturbing symptoms such as uneasiness, anxiety, sorrow, fear, spine-tingling and revulsion.
Infrasound has many causes and can be produced by factories, abandoned buildings, industrial pipes, wind in trees and chimneys, ocean movement and underground caverns.
Next time, we’ll give you some ideas of how to 'clean up' your haunted home. Meanwhile, sleep tight.