What causes hauntings

What causes hauntings?

This question has been on the mind of every ghost hunter and paranormal investigator for decades. The popular belief is that extreme emotion is the basis for people’s spirits to hang around long after the body has died. The extreme emotion being a violent or death too soon. We cannot be sure, as we are still alive. There are varying theories, some plausible, some not so much. I will go over the types of hauntings and give my ideas. As always use your own judgment.

Residual hauntings.

These are the types of hauntings that seem to re-play over and over again. A ghost is seen walking through a house, showing no evidence that it sees anyone else there. The living are often startled by these events, and seek to discern why the ghost is there, or they try to make contact with them. My theory is the place is where the ghost was most comfortable. It was their home for so long and they are happy there. There is no poltergeist activity in these types of hauntings, no objects moving on their own and the like. One theory posited for this type of encounter is The Stone Tape theory.

The Stone Tape Theory is thought to happen because mental impressions can be projected during emotional or traumatic events as energy. This energy is then absorbed into the very fabric of a home and replayed over and over under certain circumstances. Just what those circumstances are is still up for debate. It could be seasonal, like around the Holidays.

I had an experience once, while living in Chicago just before The Thanksgiving holiday. My mother, stepfather and I were in the family room of our apartment, just chatting about the upcoming family gathering for the holiday, when a figure of a man walked past the doorway of the room. I saw the figure, as did my mother and stepfather. He got up grabbed a baseball bat and started to look all around the apartment for this “person”. Now all of the doors leading to the outside were securely locked, and no window was broken. After a few minutes of searching my stepfather came back into the room where my mother and I were sitting, he was frustrated and angry.

“Did you see that guy walk through here?” My stepfather asked.

“Yes.” My mother and I answered in unison.

“Where did he go?” He asked, angrily.

“Did you check the doors and windows?” My mother asked.

“Yeah,” He answered, his temper cooling some.

“And they were all locked up tight, right?” My mom asked,


“And the windows aren’t broke?” I chimed in.

“No, nothing ‘s broke.” My stepfather said

“And no other person in the apartment, right?” My mom asked.

“No, but this guy just waked through the hallway right in front of us…”

“That was a ghost.” I said.

“There’s no such things as ghosts, come on.” He spoke.

“Well, where is he then?” My mom asked.

Was it just because of the time of the year that we all saw this figure walking through our apartment? I cannot say for sure, but he was there. Maybe it was because he was comfortable there. Maybe it was the time of year that made this figure present itself to us.

To me, in my not so scientific mind, would be the very essence of the Stone Tape Theory, a life of pleasant memories turned into energy and absorbed into the walls of our, then, apartment allowed the vision of this person to be revealed to us due our collective excitement for the upcoming holiday adding to that very energy. In my opinion, not all ghosts or spirits reveal themselves due to traumatic events, sometimes they are just happy where they lived.


Intelligent Hauntings.

These tend to be more “active” events, with knocks in response to direct questions or objects moving about seemingly on their own. In my last posting I told the story of a philosopher in ancient times seeing a sprint, who was chained and buried in a garden. This is an intelligent haunting. The spirit needed help, and the philosopher gave it, and the spirit was never seen again.

 Some type of unfinished business, or traumatic event, holds these souls on our plane. The spirit could have unfinished business, or they could have died so suddenly that they do not realize that they died. Living members of the family could be so emotionally distraught that the spirit cannot move on until the living come to terms with their demise. Sometimes there is the fear of Judgment in the afterlife that holds the spirit here.  Whichever the reason the specter of a human soul still holds some degree of consciousness and interacts in ways with the living, this is the very definition of an intelligent haunting. The main thing to remember is that in either of these types of hauntings the spirits/ghosts/souls were once human, they are not demonic as some tend to ascribe to these events. Demonic entities, poltergeists, doppelgangers and the like are not, nor have they ever been human souls, and therefore are a whole different ballgame.


In conclusion, Dear Reader, please try to understand the difference between Residual Hauntings, and Intelligent Hauntings, and always keep searching for your answers.


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