Living With A Haunting
For a family or individual who is living with a haunting the stress and psychological effects of coping with the unknown can be devastating. Whether the perceived phenomena is natural in your opinion or something supernatural, the fear felt by some is very real and must be dealt with in an appropriate manner.
The following are things you can do if you are currently living with a haunting. It is followed by a warning about certain individuals that will attempt to take advantage of or con you if not careful.
First off lets look at these possible explanations because not all ghostly noises are easily explained. However, consider the logical answers first.
Maybe what you thought was paranormal actually has a rational, every day explanation. You should try to look at the situation from every angle before deciding whether the activity is paranormal or not.
Desert climates have the widest temperature swings between day and night, but even temperate climates have seasonal changes that can cause your house to shift slightly. And when a couple of floorboards rub against each other and echo in an attic, the noise can sound like someone in agony.
If your house is new, it may be settling. A hastily-poured foundation, or one poured at the wrong time of year, can produce outrageous noises for years after the house has been built.
There are other reasons why a house can "settle." If you've had an earthquake in your region, your house may now be settling back into place. If you've had unusually high rainfall, or a drought, the ground around your house will shift. A piano or waterbed moved in or out of a room can cause the whole house to re-adjust itself.
Critters in the walls or attic:
This can sound bizarre. The scurrying noises alone can sound like little ghostly footsteps. A bushy tail of a squirrel or raccoon, rubbing on all sides of a narrow passageway inside a wall or alongside a chimney... Well, you'll be convinced that a ghostly woman in a full Victorian skirt just passed you.
If two animals decide to argue or chat within your walls, in your basement, or overhead in your attic, sometimes they sound like ghostly whispers, or a full-fledged argument in a strange dialect! Check for even smaller critters, such as wood ants or termites. If they're weakening the house's structure, the house will moan and groan as it shifts its weight.
Is there construction going on near you?:
Perhaps rocks tumble from their recently-blasted niches, at a certain hour of the night when the temperature dips low enough to cause contractions and shifts. The roof of a new house can make astonishing noises, especially at night. Ask anyone who's put a roof on a house, or repaired one, about the nails that pop out overnight.
Does it happen at the same time every night:
It's not necessarily a ghostly hour. Temperatures and humidity change at night. When these natural effects reach a "critical mass" level, the house may shift. A loose shingle may pop up again. The mortar in your chimney may contract just enough to cause dust to echo as it tumbles to the ground or hearth. These kinds of things happen night after night. It's part of the natural cycle of a house.
This "critical mass" effect is usually at approximately the same time, each night. Seasonal changes and unseasonable variations can shift the hour back or forward, but it's still within the same approximate time period.
Do you live near a commercial area?:
You may live far enough from a shopping center that you don't hear the garbage collectors' trucks. However, when they lift one of those huge containers of trash and empty it into the truck... wow! If that noise echoes off a neighbor's siding or cement wall, it can seem as if something is crashing on your patio, or in an another room, particularly if the windows are open.
If doors are opening on their own:
Check to see if the door latches. Sometimes it may seem like a door is latched, but it isn't, and any gust of wind/draft or pressure from opening/closing another door or window can cause the door to open. If this is the case, simply replace the latch. Another reason doors may seem to open on their own is due to the material of the door itself expanding or contracting from the weather.
If doors are closing:
Sometimes the building may be just slightly tilted in one direction, which can cause doors to close simply from gravity, especially if the door is heavy.
If there is audio/visual activity:
Check the EMF (electro-magnetic field) levels in the area, using an EMF detector, which can be bought at a hardware store or online. You can also use a compass. The needle will turn away from north when placed near high EMF; just make sure to know which direction north is and hold the compass level. High EMFs can cause headaches, nausea, rashes, feelings of being watched, and hallucinations. Some ways to remedy high EMF are to make sure wires and electrical boxes are shielded. Also make sure to place appliances that give off high EMF away from areas where a person may be for a long period of time, or replace the appliance with newer ones that give off less EMF. Some things that typically give off EMF are: wiring, computers, refrigerators, TVs, radios, alarm clocks, lights, fans, some pipes, and other electronic devices. Also make sure the sounds are not something else, like the motor on a fan whirring, people talking in another room and the sound is carried through a vent, people talking outside and the sound is carried in through the window, etc.
Make sure that all doors and windows are sealed tightly and remember that windows are often much colder than room temperature, so the area around a window will naturally be colder. Also check the placement of A/C units or other things that give off cold air.
Feelings of being watched or dizziness:
Again check EMF levels. Also check for tilted or slanted floors, ceilings, walls, or stairs, as this can cause the "Funhouse Effect".
Some houses are just noisy, especially older ones. Old houses creak a lot; it's usually just the house settling. Another possible explanation for knocks and bangs could be plumbing/heating systems. Sometimes as a heating or cooling unit kicks on or off, it may make some noise. This can usually be remedied by making sure pipes are secured. Make sure scratching sounds aren't from pets or other animals, such as mice.
Faucets that turn on by themselves:
Check the seals in the handle. Sometimes when a seal is old or worn out, the faucet can "turn itself on"; this usually happens with the hot water, because the heat can make the seal loose. To fix this, just replace the seal.
This may be just a car's headlights shining in through a window, maybe even bouncing off something, like a mirror, and into view. Check to see if this could explain it. ("Orbs" caught on tape/in photos are usually just dust, bugs, or moisture on the lens. They seem to be illuminated and round, because the camera is trying to focus on the spec of dust etc.)
Silverware can for whatever reason become megnetized and the magnetism can pull them together. This could also be applied to other objects made of metal that seem to move on their own.
TVs that turn on/off/change channels:
This is often caused by a neighbor or someone in another room using a TV remote, other remote, or other device (like walkie-talkies) that cause interference with the TV, causing it to change channels, turn off or on, etc.
If you have concluded that the above natural explainations do not apply to your particular situation then you as a home owner or tenant can do is take ownership of the situation. After all it is your home! State out loud with firmness, but politeness that "This is my home now, you may stay, but the following behaviour is not acceptable ......" Again be firm, but polite. And please do not feel any shame or silliness when doing this. By taking charge not only will you feel empowered, but things tend to quiet down very quickly if not completely stop. Our clients have reported an overwhelming success rate with this seemingly simple method. One reason may be that the ghost has no idea it's causing you any fright!
Please remember that real hauntings are not like Hollywood films or Stephen King novels. The types of experiences described in popular media are fictional and designed to thrill and scare people even those so-called reality shows are usually sexed up to make them appear more exciting then they really are. The reality of hauntings is far more mundane and boring. Ask yourself if your fear is based on what might happen as opposed to what is really happening? Many people are quite happy to live with their resident ghost and once they get over their initial fear of the unknown are more curious about the phenomenon than afraid. I know several people that have nicknamed their ghosts and have expressed that they would be sad to see them go! Also most hauntings that involve poltergeist type phenomena, objects that disappear/reappear, footsteps, bangs and rattles, etc are of short duration. They almost always last only a few months and then gradually stop completely never to occur again. So, hang in there!
If you wish to have someone come into your home and offer a blessing ask your priest or minister to do so. It is their clerical duty, and they will be happy to assist! If you do not have a priest or minister, speak to one at a local non-denominational church and again they will be happy to help. All faiths have knowledge of the supernatural and no official will ever ridicule you or your situation. Blessings are almost always offered at no charge or a small affordable donation to the church may be suggested, but not required depending on your own financial circumstances.
WARNING: Be very wary of anyone who claims to be an "expert" in ghost hunting or ghost removal and wishes to charge you a fee for their services. Simply put, these types of phenomena are unknown and NOBODY can guarantee a clearing will work. There are many charlatans and con artists who will prey on people's fears and take advantage of them during troubled times. All Services should be FREE. If an individual ghost hunter or group claims they are just charging you for their expenses, Do not open your wallet.