Theoretically, a ghost is said to be the apparition of a deceased person, frequently similar in appearance to that person, and usually encountered in places she or he frequented. The word "ghost" may also refer to the spirit of soul of a deceased person, or to any spirit or demon. Ghosts are often associated with hauntings, which is, according to less regular occurrence of paranormal phenomena associated with a particular locality (especially a phenomena may include apparitions, poltergeist disturbances, cold drafts, sounds of footsteps and voices, and various odors.)
Ghosts are a controversial anomalous phenomenon. According to a poll conducted in 2005 by the Gallup Organization, about 32% of Americans believe in the existence of ghosts. The term 'ghost' has been replaced by 'apparition' in parapsychology, because the word 'ghost' is deemed insufficiently precise.
What is the difference between ghosts and spirits? Both are referred to as discarnates, however the primary difference is that ghosts are earthbound, but spirits have already passed on and are able to travel between realms. There are several different types of spirits and ghosts, below is listed the different types.
Anniversary Ghosts - Anniversary ghosts do, as the title suggests, only appear on an anniversary of some significance like deaths, birthdays and other times that held some meaning for the deceased or are of historical significance to them. Since this type of ghost only appears on the anniversary of a special event, it seem likely this type of haunting could be a residual haunting, reenacting a certain event in time on that one day or night.
Apparitions - An apparition is the visual representation of a ghost or spirit. There are several different types of apparitions, but the mostly known form is that of seeing a transparent figure. Many apparitions look as real as any living person. Some have been known to hold conversations with people and even interact, but then will suddenly disappear. It has also been reported that certain odors have been smelled prior, during and after the sighting of an apparition. Apparitions are not limited to people, there has also apparitions seen of animals, cars, ships, trains, carriages, buildings. Simply put, an apparition is something that we see, that is often transparent, that suddenly disappears in front of our eyes or walks through solid objects like a door or a wall.
Atmospheric - This type of ghost is only seen in one location and repeats a certain action over and over again. Some investigators believe that they are projected images, brought about by the psychic energy stored in the area. Also referred to as replaying haunting or residual.
Black Dogs - They're considered to be the most persistent of all ghostly animals. Reported sightings of phantom black dogs in Britain date back to medieval times. Some believe they're protective creatures, others, an omen of death. Whatever their purpose, the phantom dogs have left an lasting impression on anyone who's witnessed them.The term ‘Black dog’ is used to refer to apparitions of creatures which typically resemble black dogs though it is also often used as a generic term for canine apparitions of other colours and types. The term does not usually include apparitions of pets however. Black dogs have been widely reported in Great Britain, especially in England, and are generally considered to be mainly a British phenomenon. However, they have also been reported in various forms in Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Italy, Croatia, Scandinavia, the United States and Canada.
Entities - These are the most intense of infestations, and fortunately, very rare. Many people have opinions on what this final level of ghosts are - some people think they are extremely violent individuals, murderers, psychotics, and just plain evil people. I tend to believe that they are something that was never human to begin with. Strangely enough, they are almost exclusively called forth through Ouija Boards, seances, and necromancy ceremonies. If someone else called forth an entity in a home - it can remain dormant for years - even decades - until circumstances are right for it to manifest. It is patient and will wait until it can emerge at it's strongest. It feeds on anger, strive, depression, arguments, and general turmoil. It makes these emotions worse and the worse it can make the situation, the stronger it actually becomes.
Family - These are ghosts that are connected to a particular family. Believed to appear to forewarn of a death or disaster.
Haunted Objects - A particular object that a ghost has a strong emotional tie to. This can be almost anything, such as a wedding ring, a favorite chair, a toy doll, etc.
Hauntings - These are events that are recording in time, either in a place or an object. A haunting does not show any “intelligence” or communication. Apparitions may occur with hauntings, but instead of showing any type of communication they will just go about their business without noticing anything around them. Behavior similar to apparitions may also occur; smells, sounds, voices, or objects moving. In the case of hauntings their never seems to be any motive the events or communication to the living. Hauntings may last years or decades, they may appear regularly or whenever the conditions are right for them to appear. There are many reasons and theories for hauntings to occur. Most popularly is the sudden or extreme death (the person is then cursed to roam the halls of where they died), this is not always the cause and in my experience is the least likely of explanations.
Historical - These are a lot like atmospheric ghosts, except these have been seen in multiple locations doing their business. They are also non-interactive, therefor they would fall into the category location based. These ghosts typically appear often to be solid and wearing period clothing. Battlefield ghosts would fall into this catergory.
Intelligent Ghosts - Unlike residual hauntings, these type of ghosts are not in a 'stuck in time' type of deal. They actually seem to have intelligence. These spirits are interactive, sometimes verging into the territory of the poltergeist. They may try and attract your attention by creating odors, moving things, making noises such as footsteps, slamming doors, or moving and hiding objects.
Marian - The appearance of what some believe is image of the Virgin Mary. These can also cover cameos by other saints or religious figures.
Modern - These ghost are like historical ghost, but these appear to resemble more contemporary people.
Phantom - This is the type of ghost that most closely resembles the living. These are often not even suspected of being a ghost until they do something like walking through a wall.
Phantom Hitchhiker - This is the type of ghost that many urban legends are centered around. The appearance of this type of ghost usually happens on the anniversary of their death. These ghosts will interact with humans by asking them for a ride, but before they arrive at the destination, they mysteriously disappear.
Phantom Travelers - Ghosts that are usually found along a certain stretch of road or along a certain route, this is usually the place of a deadly accident. These ghosts can be found riding in or waiting to board a train, plane, boat, car or horse. Again, these are the types of ghosts that usually manifest on the anniversary of their death.
Photographic - These can be all different types of ghosts, but simply are ghosts that are not usually seen with the naked eye, but are seen in the pictures afterwords. Some of these appears as orbs, vortexes, ectoplasmic mist, and other unusual light or optical abnormalities.
Poltergeist - The word poltergeist usually brings with it the fear of angry demons or “angry ghosts”. Poltergeists have been traced to psychokinetic activity of living under stress, referred to as RSPK, recurrent spontaneous psychokinetic activity by parapsychologists. It is the unconscious release of stress into the living environment of someone who can not release the stress any other way. At times the release is due to the relief of stress (arguing, yelling, difficult situations). The person causing these things is usually not aware they are causing these things to happen. Events surrounding poltergeists include; movement of objects, disappearing and reappearing of objects, electrical disturbences, water coming from no apparent source, objects raining down from the ceiling or from outside (rocks from no apparent source), apparitions, smells (usually unpleasant), and small spontaneous fires. Poltergeist activity is usually short in duration, as little as a few days or few weeks. They are usually thought of coming from children going through puberty, but can happen to anyone at any age.
Recurring - These ghosts usually appear at a certain time, most often on the anniversary of their death. See Anniversary Ghosts.
Residual - Residual Hauntings are "recordings" of an event in time that are left at a location, that are played back at a later time. You may hear residual hauntings on tape recordings or see them, endless loops of the same scene being played over and over, and they are usually always experienced in the same location. A couple ways these impressions are left on a location is: A traumatic event happening at the location, or by someone doing an action over and over at a location, causing it to be imprinted there. A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on a building or area, one example being Battle Fields. There are numerous accounts of people seeing soldiers fighting battles on old battle fields, only to learn later that day that there were no reenactments going on that day. By someone doing an action over and over in an area, they can leave an impression on the location also, example being: when people hear footsteps walking down hallways yet no one is there, or when people see apparitions walking up/down staircases. Another example of this is: In St. Augustine, Florida there's been a apparition of a woman who, every time seen, is always in the same location, and always doing the same thing. Her laundry, as if she is stuck in time.
Spirits - Spirits do not make noises and are not disruptive. They rarely haunt places and tend to be more attracted to people. They cause little clutter in your daily life and tend to appear when you are stressed or depressed. Strangely enough, I have found that spirits who are haunting you are rarely someone you knew in life. The only reason you don't want a spirit around is in times of stress or depression, a spirit can make matters worse by feeding off your energy and leaving you tired and thus leaving your defenses down.
Transportation - These are the appearance of some type of transportation that no longer exists. These are often associated with the final moments of a tragic event in which the mode of transportation appearing met it's demise. The wreckage itself can have energy attached to it in such a way that it has become haunted. There are certain types that are not necessarily relegated to one location, but can be seen anywhere that it would have normally been seen during it's pre-spirited existence. Some examples of these are cars, trains, ships, airplanes and carriages.
These are some places you can start your ghost hunting at. These are suggestions and you should not limit yourself to just these, spirits can be anywhere. Don't let the age of a building or area fool you. Also, remember, DO NOT TRESPASS.
Do you smell that? It smells like cigar and peppermint though I can't see any smoke from a cigar and I'm sitting in a hotel that hasn't allowed smoking indoors for two years. I get up and sniff around but the smell doesn't seem to be concentrated in one area and while I'm sniffing it disappears just as suddenly as it appeared. How does a smell do that? It isn't until a full day later that I learn one of the ghostly complaints in this previously private mansion turned hotel is the smell of cigars and peppermint, the first owner's signature. Though he died in the 1800's the smell still appears sometimes in all different parts of the original mansion. The staff tries to keep the ghosts very hush-hush but one did tell me that when they smell that they just say hello to him and go about their business. This is the nature of a certain type of activity commonly referred to as a perfume ghost.
While I have encountered several different kinds of "perfume ghosts" there are many more smells that I have yet to encounter, some of which I am grateful for. Even though the term has the word perfume in it the actual smell does not have to be that of a ladies perfume (though sometimes it is). It refers more to a particular smell that is thought to be caused by a specific ghostly presence. And though the definition of perfume is generally along the line of saying something is "sweet smelling" that is also not always the case when it comes to perfume ghosts. The best way I can describe this term would be to ask you to think of someone who you associate a specific smell with. For me I would pick my Grandma and the Oil Of Olay that she always wore. If I were to be driving in my car in the dead of winter with the heat blasting and get a whiff of that smell I would immediately think of my Grandma. The same thing works with perfume ghosts. Some just tend to bring a certain smell along with them as they pass by or enter a room. People who deal with perfume ghosts on a regular basis (such as a homeowner) might get to the point where they say hello when they smell that certain smell or conversely know to leave an area if that smell starts to become noticeable.
There are literally hundreds of well-known haunted locations around the world that include a perfume ghost. To name just a few:
While those cases are thought to be caused by a specific ghost there is also a phenomena that does carry a distinction and would not be labeled a perfume ghost. This different kind of phenomena does have to do with smells, which is what can catch some people up. The difference is that these smells appear to have more to do with being types of residual imprints left in the area at some time in the locations past. No actual 'ghost' is associated with these smells though an incident in the locations past may be the culprit. Here are some examples of non-perfume ghosts:
One interesting tidbit about perfume ghosts would be that they are rarely the only signs of a haunting. In the case where there is thought to be several ghosts only one ghost could give off the smell, thereby distinguishing it from the others. When looking into cases that claim odd smells it can be tricky to place the label of perfume ghost, as there are a lot of factors that have to be ruled out before hand. One example that I personally have dealt with would be a woman who contacted me about her basement smelling of roses at odd times of the day and night during the end of summer. She swore up and down that she never used rose scented anything (spray, candles, soap, rug cleaner, potpourri, etc.) and that she couldn't think of any logical explanation of why that smell would start every year near the end of summer. I went over a checklist with her of things she should look over including drawing a rough picture of how the room was laid out showing where the door, stairs and any windows were located. She ended up going a bit further and also drew how her landscaping was around the basement. (Are you thinking what I'm thinking yet?) She sent me her drawing and guess what I saw? She had a window that was placed less than ten feet from her rose bushes outside. When I mentioned this to her she swore that her window had no gaps but that she would have her husband check. It turned out that there was a little slit above the window that after being caulked stopped the mysterious rose smell in the basement. That example shows everyone that sometimes you have to think out of the box, or in this case out of the basement, when trying to rule out suspected paranormal phenomena.
As I said a little earlier, not all perfume ghosts are sweet smelling. In fact one smell that is associated with an entity is not thought to be that of a ghost at all, but a demon. Many demonologists will tell you that the smell of sulphur is a big hint to vacate the area. As with many things in this field though there is nothing definite. One great example would be one that a friend (and fellow investigator) in Arizona met with. He was investigating a home where a lady thought that her (deceased) husband was hanging around and making noise in the basement that was previously his workroom. The team got there and went to work. Almost immediately the smell of sulphur from the basement grabbed their attention. They all passed each other the "be careful" look and set out to find any more signs of this supposed haunting. Noises were indeed heard coming from the basement while the team was there. They stopped whenever a team member went near the basement door. Off and on through the night the team (as a whole and separately) would catch the smell of sulphur either in passing or strongly. At the end of the night they packed up and went home to review their findings. They had several EVP from a man and caught sounds on the camcorder from the basement that sounded like things were being moved around. When they went back to talk with the lady the lead investigator started off by asking about the odd sulphur smell. The lady laughed and waved it off. She said her husband often smelled of sulphur and the smell emanated from the basement while he was alive. You see, her husband was a licensed pyrotechnician and used to make his own fireworks (including sulphur) in their basement. Though she claimed that she never could stand the smell she always thinks of her husband when she smells it. Besides the semi-nauseating smell of sulphur perfume ghosts have been reported to give of the smell of decaying meat, excrement, vomit, body odor, sour milk and ripe garbage. While those sound bad we can temper them with the good, those being things such as roses, gardenias, lilacs, soap, sweet candy, butterscotch and lavender (to name a few).
One thing is for sure when it comes to perfume ghosts. Be they good, bad or horrible they are all distinctive in their own right. While some seem to blend smells most tend to stick with one, which is probably a good thing, as I can't imagine vomit and butterscotch smelling particularly good together. Keep perfume ghosts in mind the next time you get a whiff of something unexpected and unexplained.
What Is Attachment?
Simply put, Attachment (some people call it Spirit Attachment, Entity Attachment or Possession) is the invasion of one's body by a discarnate being, or an entity, or by negative energies.
What Are the Signs of Attachment?
Entities and negative energies can have varying degrees of influence over their host, ranging from a mild energy drain to almost total possession (which is extremely rare). Some tell-tale signs may be:
What Are Entities and Negative Energies, and Where Do They Come From?
Earthbound spirits and dark energy forces are the two most common
types of entities. The spirit is
the part of us that survives after death of the physical body.
Sometimes spirits just don't know what
to do when their physical body dies, so they stay in the earth plane
and can attach to living people,
or remain in a specific place (thus a haunting spirit or ghost). The
dark energy forces can be
termed demons. They have never been alive in their own physical
bodies, and are usually on a
mission to destroy. We don't really know where the dark ones come
from. Some say that negative
thought forms give dark forces--or Satan or Lucifer--the tools
needed to create these beings.
Another theory is that they may be fallen angels. Part of our
current research involves asking
these dark ones where they came from, or how they came to be.
How Do They Get In?
In order for entities to attach to a human, that person must be vulnerable in some way. An earthbound spirit may attach while the human is unconscious for any reason--be it trauma, anesthesia in surgery, a blow to the head, drunkenness, etc. Severe stress, exhaustion, grief, extreme anger, fear, or guilt can also open a person for attachment. Without proper protection, such things as channeling, mediumship, and automatic writing are open invitations for possession, as is being present at a seance, or using an Ouija board. Childhood abuse, rape, or incest can allow entities to attach. Sometimes, after the death of a loved one a person can unknowingly invite attachment of that loved one with thoughts such as "don't leave me. I don't want to let you go."
Once an entity gains entry, a "hole" in the aura is in effect
present, which allows for more attachments. Hospitals, cemeteries, and funeral homes are common
places to pick up entities.
Spirits tend to sometimes hang around the place where their bodies
died, or hang around the body
itself. The theory of "like attracts like" also applies.
Modern folklore and traditional native American beliefs. According to folklore, they appear as dark forms in the peripheries noticed.
Reports of shadow people occupy a similar position in the popular consciousness to ghost sightings, but differ in that shadow people are not reported as having human features, wearing modern/period clothing, or attempting to communicate. Witnesses also do not report the same feelings of being in the presence of something that 'was once human'. Some individuals have described being menaced, chased, or in some rare instance, attacked by shadow people. There have also been reports of shadow people appearing in front of witnesses, of which they stay there or lingering for several seconds before disappearing. Witnesses report that encounters are typically accompanied by a feeling of dread.
Accounts of shadow people typically describe them as being black humanoid silhouettes with no discernible mouths, noses, or facial expressions, though accounts also exist of them being child-sized humanoids or shapeless masses that sometimes change to a more human like form. The eyes are usually not described as being discernible but in some reports glowing eyes are mentioned. The color of the eyes, if any, is typically given as red. Their specific form is described variously as two-dimensional shadow to a vaporous or distorted three-dimensional body (as though made out of smoke or steam). Movement is often described as being very quick and disjointed. Some witnesses describe this movement as though the shadow entities they have seen "danced" from one wall to the next, or as moving around the room "as if they were on a specific track". Rarely, they are seen "standing" in the middle of doorways or off the wall. Often they are described as being seen staring at the floor. Some accounts describe what appears to be the outline of a cloak, and in some instances the outline of a 1930s style fedora hat. This last type is referred as the "hat-man".
Various depictions and artists rendering have been posted on the Internet.
What are shadow people and where do they come from? Several theories have been offered.
Demons or Other
There are many different questions that you may choose to ask during an E.V.P. session. If you find, or already have some, that you feel are getting good results then please share them with others so that we can all gain from the experience.
Try to start your session by explaining to the ghost or spirit (out loud) what exactly you are trying to accomplish. You want to explain to them how the device you are using is able to capture their voice or image and how the process works when you play it back. It may help to actually point to the microphone while explaining how it works so that they can try and direct any comments in that direction (if they can see you). You want to also ask, not tell them, to speak as clearly and loudly as possible so that you might be able to hear them better on playback. Allow about 10-30 seconds between each question before another is asked to give the spirit ample time to answer you. Please try to verbally note all background sounds that you may hear while recording so that you will not mistake them for actual E.V.P. when processing your recordings later.
Here are a few sample questions that are commonly used by investigators during a Q&A session:
Be sure to end your recording by letting the spirit(s) know that you are now going to listen to your recording. Let them know that if you hear anything from them you will return to communicate with them further (only if that is the truth of course). Make sure you thank them for their time and be sure to say goodbye at the end of your recording while allowing a wait for a possible response. I have had a lot of spirits tell me goodbye. It is a great way to end your conversation with them.
These are just a few questions used, your basics. When doing historical researches on locations, your able to get some good info on the location and will be able to ask questions pertaining to that particular location.
Dogs and the Paranormal
Ever wonder if your dog has that “sixth sense?” And why your canine can hear sounds long before you do and pick up scents that are impossible for you to detect. If you are like most dog owners, you’ve probably noticed that your canine companion is very astute in certain areas.
Just like humans, dogs have five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and scent. In some cases, the canine senses are far superior to that of humans. In others areas, we have dogs beat.
Take a look at your dog’s five senses and how they compare to a human’s senses:
The “Sixth Sense”
Old Hag Syndrome
Victims of "Old Hag Syndrome" awake to find that they cannot move, even though they can see, hear, feel and smell. There is sometimes the feeling of a great weight on the chest and the sense that there is a sinister or evil presence in the room. And like the above reader, they are often quite frightened about what is happening to them. The name of the phenomenon comes from the superstitious belief that a witch - or an old hag - sits or "rides" the chest of the victims, rendering them immobile. Although that explanation isn't taken very seriously nowadays, the perplexing and often very frightening nature of the phenomenon leads many people to believe that there are supernatural forces at work - ghosts or demons. The experience is so frightening because the victims, although paralyzed, seem to have full use of their senses. In fact, it is often accompanied by strange smells, the sound of approaching footsteps, apparitions of weird shadows or glowing eyes, and the oppressive weight on the chest, making breathing difficult if not impossible. All of the body's senses are telling the victims that something real and unusual is happening to them. Rather than ghosts or demons, however, there is probably a scientific explanation: "sleep paralysis" or SP (sometimes ISP for "isolated sleep paralysis").
Instrumental Transcommunication (ITC)
Transcommunication or ITC is a technique that involve the use of
electronic means to contact spirits, the term was coined by
Professor Ernst Senkowski. The machines used are typically
televisions, fax machines, tape recorder, video and digital cameras.
One of the pioneer of this kind of mediumship was William O'Neil, he
was able see and communicate with two scientists working from the
'dead zone'. Using a modified side-band radio the voices of 'dead'
scientists were captured on tape in intelligent and responsive
conversations. Skeptics think that ITC recording are hoaxes.
Skeptics believe that ITC is simply the free interpretation of