For those of you who want to know the basic lowdown on ghosts, here you go. Keep in mind that often when folks are convinced they have a haunting, what they are actually experiencing is old, stale energy and trapped memories in the home. Read over this information with an open mind, and see what you can discover.
To begin with, often a house that seems haunted is simply a home filled with negativity or discordant energy. If you think you are dealing with a haunted location, your first order of business is to have the homeowners clean the house. Seriously. Stale energy is trapped energy. Dust, dirt, neglect, and clutter create a residual energy and give all that old emotional residue nooks and crannies to hide in. Bless the home with salt, water, and sunlight. Fill the home with love and laughter. These simple yet powerful ingredients often banish any lingering negativity. They are simple fixes, true, and they work very well indeed.
Easy definition: “bad vibes.” This occurs when unbalanced or negative energy builds up in a location. Simple cures include cleaning house, utilizing feng shui, and family counseling. Encourage the home’s occupants to clear the air— to calmly discuss their feelings and work together to change the atmosphere of their home to a positive and healthy one. Now, discordant energy can be triggered by hoarding and unbalanced emotions. The buildup of discordant or negative energy hangs heavy in the air and creates a sense of being watched. Also, if the occupants have any psychic talent and are suppressing their anger, it may cause manifestations of minor violence such as objects falling and breaking.
A “haunting” where objects move about violently. Traditionally these events focus on a teenager or pre-teen with latent psychic talent. The manifestation is not truly a spirit; instead, it is a combination of the youngster’s burgeoning, uncontrolled energy and psychic talents.
These are like faint echoes of the past. When strong experiences occur, the energy gets “imprinted” on the vibes of a place; these can be positive or negative vibrations. They are usually minor, but the imprint may be noticeable to a sensitive person.
Etheric recordings (also called residual hauntings).
Sometimes the etheric imprints go deeper and are not only the emotions and feelings of a time but are actual events that are recorded. For example, hearing footsteps walking down the stairs or seeing a figure in the same spot doing the same thing over and over are residual hauntings. Though they appear to be “ghosts,” there is no consciousness, personality, or individuality in the experience. These are merely echoes of the past, aka etheric recordings, that have been recorded and are stuck on the playback here on our plane, or physical reality, for all to see.
Disembodied dead (or a traditional haunting).
This occurs when the spirit of the departed does not cross over for some reason. Some spirits are shy, quiet, and confused— and some are royally pissed off and do not understand what has happened. Their own intense emotions keep them bound to the physical world.
The two most impressive styles of haunts would be a residual-style haunt and an intelligent, or interactive, haunt. A residual haunt is believed to be activity of reoccurring or traumaticactions from past events that leave an imprint on the environment. This type is probably the most common type of haunting. Because its characteristics are similar to the intelligent haunting, people often mistake it for an intelligent, or traditional, haunting.
Like intelligent haunts, some examples of activity are phantom footsteps, sounds, images, and scents. Major differences between this haunting and the intelligent/ traditional haunting are that this type of haunting is not considered to be that of a ghost and there is no interaction with the living. One theory as to why this occurs is that the energy is stored or absorbed by the site due to repetitive or traumatic events of the energy expended while such actions were performed. Similar to a tape player, the energy is stuck in the current environment. Over time, that energy builds up and is discharged, showing a replay of the event, and then the cycle starts again. Some suggest that atmospheric conditions such as storms may initiate the ghostly playback.
Secondly, we have the intelligent, or interactive-style, hauntings. This type of haunting is what most people think of when they hear the word ghost. An intelligent or traditional ghost may interact with people. The most common belief is that the ghost is connected to the place or its people in some way. Here are the traditional reasons that a ghost may be tied to the location or to the folks who inhabit the site:
The spirit may have died suddenly and not realized that he or she died.
The living loved ones are so emotionally distraught that they can’t let go.
The spirit is emotionally connected to or very protective of their living loved ones.
The ghost may have some unfinished business.
The ghost’s death was a result of a traumatic event (murder, car accident, etc.).
They cannot rest due to an injustice done to them such as disturbing their graves or remains.
Fear of the other side or judgment.
These ghostly reasons are generally associated with voices, sounds, and physical activity such as slamming, opening, closing, or unlocking doors and windows. A strong presence, a scent, or a touch may also be experienced. People sometimes see a manifestation of the ghost in the form of an apparition or a mist. In my case, I see a person just standing there smiling at me—who then disappears in front of your eyes.
This article is written by Ellen Dugan, from her book,
Every Witch Way: Spells and Advice from Two Very Different Witches
Ellen Dugan; Tess Whitehurst