Guide to Hauntings

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The term “Haunting” generally refers to any form of persistent, involuntary interaction between a disembodied spirit and a living person.  

1.  Prognosis

Most cases of suspected hauntings end up having normal, earthly explanations; houses creaking at night due to temperature changes, pipes banging, winds rustling, etc.

WARNING:  Although cases of hauntings by malevolent spirits are very rare, it’s best not to take anychance.  If you think your house might be haunted by an entity, your best course of action is always to contact a reputable expert.  

There are various types of hauntings and different types of entities that may haunt humans.  Determining the type of haunting should be the first step if you suspect that you or someone you know is a victim of a haunting.

Residual Haunting

A Residual Haunting is the most common and most benign type of haunting. In fact, it’s not really a haunting in the sense that people think of a haunting. Residual Hauntings occur when the energy of a certain event – usually involving an extreme emotional situation – gets imprinted in the environment and is played back on a regular interval, almost like a movie being projected on a certain anniversary.

For example, a young bride is nervously pacing in her house, awaiting her husband’s return from war.  She gets word that he lost his life in battle and she breaks down sobbing uncontrollably. The event’s energy is imprinted in the environment and is “played back” every year on that same date.  One might see a ghostly image of the bride pacing back and forth and hear the sound of her footsteps, and her cries.  In some cases, people who witnessed Residual Hauntings also detected traces of fragrances associated with the haunting such as the smell of perfume, roses or cigarettes.

In more extreme cases, they also experienced the subject’s feelings such as sorrow or fear.  There is no way to interact with a Residual Haunting, and they never pose any danger, although witnessing them may be a very unsettling experience.

Intelligent Haunting

The term Intelligent Haunting refer to a haunting by an entity, which may or may not be of human origin.  The word “Intelligent” doesn’t necessarily imply that entity is smart, only that it has some degree of intelligence and can be interacted with.

Intelligent Hauntings are the most rare and intriguing types of hauntings.  They can range from a deceased spirit watching over living relative, or a demonic entity that intends to harm or possess a human.

There are two types of Intelligent Hauntings:  Human (ghosts) and Inhuman (demonic).

Human Spirits (ghosts)

Human Spirits are commonly known as Ghosts.  This refers to the spirit of a human that for some reason is sticking around in our realm, before, or instead of “crossing over”.

The spirit retains the personality of the person.  A good person’s spirit may want to watch over a loved one.  The spirit of a mischievous kid will become a mischievous ghost.  A bad person’s spirit may want to exact revenge on a living person.

In some cases, ghosts are confused and not even aware that they’re dead. Other times, they are attached to a specific location or an object, and try to protect it from the living.  A common scenario is when a person died in a house they lived in for a long time, and they refuse to leave after their death.  They regard the new living habitants as invaders and use different tactics to scare them into fleeing.

Fortunately, most ghosts are not very powerful.  Even angry ghosts have limited capacity to harm people.  

When ghosts materialize, they usually resemble the way they looked before their passing, in many cases recognizable enough to be clearly identified.  In most cases, even wearing the same clothes and accessories they had at the time of death.

People that experienced hauntings by ghosts also reported hearing sounds such as footsteps, whispers and words.  Cold drafts are commonly associated with the materialization of ghosts.

Inhuman Entities (demonic)

Inhuman hauntings refer to powerful entities of unknown origins.  These entities’ main and only goal is to harm and possess humans.  They are very dangerous and have caused harm and even death to humans.  They are far more powerful than ghosts.

Demonic entities have been part of the human experience since the beginning of recorded history.  Different cultures have reported eerily similar occurrences of violent, disembodied entities preying on humans.  

As religions evolved, they would incorporate these stories into their writings.   Most religions have references to evil demonic beings, with a back-story to explain their existences.  In reality, no one really knows what they are, and where they come from.

Demons are extremely dangerous.  They are evil by definition, and their only purpose in preying on humans is their own amusement and empowerment.  Since demons are incorporeal beings that have never lived in a body form, they hate and envy humans.  They want to control a human body to experience the pleasures of the flesh.

Demonic entities are generally attached to a specific person.  They are very persistent and can stalk a human for decades.  Time exists differently in their realm – for them, ten years can pass in a blink of an eye.

Demonic Hauntings are generally accompanied by manifestation of black shadowy figures, and sometimes they take forms of departed relatives to trick their victim. Their manifestation is sometimes accompanied by foul smells, described as rotting meat, and inexplicable noises such as rapping and scratching on walls, and in more extreme cases, whispers or breaths.  
The whispers and voices during a Demonic Haunting are sometimes in a foreign non-human language, and have a distinct ominous tone, often in a deep growling voice.

Demons use various tricks to break the spirit of their victims:  scaring them at night to instill the victim with fear, keeping them up with noises, pretending to be a deceased relative, and in more extreme cases, physically harming the victim by scratching or biting, or even punching and pushing.

Demons may manifest themselves to only one person in the household to create discord.  That person will either think they’re losing their sanity, or if they share their experiences with others, they risk facing ridicule and isolation.

2.  Surviving a Haunting
Living through a haunting can be a traumatizing experience.  Fortunately, most types of hauntings are not dangerous.

Handling a haunting depends on the particular type of haunting.

Residual Haunting

There is no known “fix” for residual haunting, but since they are non-violent, they should be of no real concern.  Sometimes, cleansing ceremonies such as burning sage can help.  

Since Residual Hauntings pose no danger, some just learn to live with them, and even enjoy the novelty.  Others find them too unsettling and when all else fails, move away.
Human Spirit (ghost) Haunting

The best way to deal with a Human Spirit is to have reputable medium or psychic communicate with it to help guide it. We are not talking about the kind of “psychic” that you might find on the other end of a 1-900 number.  There is no shortage of charlatans that call themselves “psychic” and take advantage of grief-stricken relatives that want to communicate with a recently departed loved one.

Reputable psychics and mediums will only charge a nominal fee for their time, or may not charge anything at all.  They make their living by writing books and collecting speaking fees on the lecture circuit.  If a psychic tells you that evil spirits are about to harm you or your loved ones and your only option is to pay them thousands of dollars to rid of the spirits, contact your local police department or your state’s Attorney General office immediately.  These people are criminals.

A real psychic or medium would communicate with the spirit and try to ascertain the nature of the entity, what it is, who it is, and what it wants.  It may be a loved one with a message, or a confused spirit that needs guidance.  Either way, a good psychic may be able to guide the spirit towards their next destination and stop the haunting.

If a psychic a not available, you may try to assert yourself as the legitimate owner of the house.  Claim loudly that the spirit is not welcome here and that this is your, and only your house.  Symbolic cleansing ceremonies, such as burning sage many also help.

However, if the spirit is not a ghost, but rather a demonic entity, the above steps may only escalate the situation.

Demonic Haunting & Exorcisms

Demonic Hauntings are dangerous and there is no sure-fire way to get rid of a Demon if it is determined to stalk you.  They are not bound by time or geography.  They are methodical and persistent.  They enjoy tormenting people, and can be very patient.

The only people qualified to deal with a demonic haunting are Demonologists and Catholic Church sanctioned Exorcists.

In preparation before going into any situation where demonic forces are involved, it has been suggested to put on the ‘Armor of God’, as described in Ephesians 6; I feel this is extremely important.

An exorcism is a religious ritual where an exorcist tries to command a Demon to leave a house, or to leave a body it has possessed.  There is much debate about the success record of exorcisms.  In some cases it was claimed that exorcisms were completely successful, and the demon left the victim never to return, but in many other cases, the exorcism was only temporarily successful; after a long battle, the demon finally left, only to return a few months or years later and resume the haunting with greater intensity.

In a few cases, the demon got so enraged by the presence of an exorcist that it increased the level of attacks, resulting in severe physical injuries to the victim, and sometimes resulting in death.

The alternative to contacting an Exorcist or Demonologist is to try to remain strong and persevere though the haunting.  If the Demon fails to break the spirit of the victim and can not gain control over them, it may back off temporarily, or move on to the next victim.

3.  What NOT to Do
If you suspect that you are experiencing an “Intelligent Haunting” and not sure of it’s a human spirit, or a demonic entity, it’s best not to take any chances.  Contact a reputable psychic right away.  If you have reasons to think that the haunting is of a demonic nature, contact the Catholic Church or a Demonologist.  You don’t have to be a practicing Catholic to receive help.

  • Do NOT try to communicate with the entity in any way.
  • Do NOT try to perform any rituals on your own.   
  • Do NOT taunt or speak directly to the entity.
  • Do NOT use talking boards or Ouija boards.
  • Do NOT show fear and let the haunting break your will.
  • Do NOT believe anything the entity says, even if it appears to be the spirit of a relative.

4.  Conclusions
A haunting can be a terrifying experience.  Hearing inexplicable noises in the middle of the night or witnessing apparitions of deceased relatives can be more than unsettling.  People react to hauntings in different ways: fear, panic, curiosity, denial, anger.

For some people, a haunting can have a detrimental effect on every part of their lives, including family life, relationships, work, mental state, etc.  Whatever you do, remain strong, and if the target of the haunting is someone you love, support them as much as you can.

Most hauntings are benign and pose no threat to you or your family.  Most people persevere through hauntings, and are unharmed in any way.  Violent hauntings by malevolent entities are extremely rare.

Disclaimer:  All the information contained here is for entertainment purposes only.  We do not make any claims of accuracy, nor will we be liable to any damages occurring as result of using this guide.  If you suspect your home is haunted, contact a reputable professional!

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