Is it a ghost? Do I have a ghost? How can I tell if I have a ghost?
Ever think to yourself, “Is my place haunted? Do I have a ghost?” If so, it may be important to know what a ghost and a haunting is, especially when one begins to wonder, “How do I know if I have a ghost or not?”
First begin to understand the situation that puzzles you by ruling out all explainable phenomena. Is it truly paranormal, in other words, extra ordinary? Can the strange activity be explained if one takes a closer look at the evidence? This type of questioning will eventually lead you to some solid answers.
As human beings, our minds have a tendency to work over time and thus create situations that are very believable, and seemingly, paranormal at times. Look for natural causes of any strange events and be a little skeptical. This will help to keep you level-headed and calm while trying to conclude whether a place is haunted or not. A rational, but open mind, is the best tool in determining if the source of a possible haunting is indeed ghostly. So, don't jump to conclusions right off the bat. Calm your mind if spooked.
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What are Ghosts and Spirits? Is There a Difference?
The two words “ghosts” and “spirits” have been used inter-changeably for hundreds of years, but we have found there is a difference between them. The word ghost is derived from the Anglo-Saxon gast, while the word spirit is from the Latin spiritus.
As language developed, the term ghosts came to be used more and more in describing the manifestation of someone known (maybe a relative or friend), their soul appearing after that person's death of the body. A spirit, on the other hand, was typically understood as the appearance of an unfamiliar person, maybe an angel or unknown entity. Both might appear while the witness was awake, having a vision or experiencing a dream.
Ghost investigators, on the other hand, sometimes, look at ghosts and spirits differently. In the ghost hunting community, ghosts are disembodied people who remain “stuck” in this physical world, usually due to trauma or unfinished business here on earth. They have not moved on into the light after the death of their physical body and are still attached to people, things or events that occurred in the past. The key word with this is past, as the past seems to hold them here, not allowing the ghost to look to the present or future which might cause them to move beyond their prior physical life. For whatever reason, they cannot let go of the earthly realm and either need direction or are looking for assistance in delivering a message or fixing a situation. This ghostly activity is often referred to as an "intelligent haunting."
Furthermore, it should be mentioned that some ghosts are considered to be non-intelligent, meaning they are only residual energy of some sort, left over from a prior event. If true, this type of ghost would not be interactive with the living. As an example of a residual ghostly action, one might observe the same specter walking down a hall over and over, again. This type of ghost manifestation is sometimes called an unintelligent haunting. It is also plausible, though, that a traumatized ghost might not interact with the living, either, and could be destined to relive an event in some sort of hellish state. Take note.
In contrast, spirits live in the light, a higher, ethereal realm. To many ghost investigators, a spirit is someone who has moved beyond this world and death, having passed into the light and having undergone a life-review. Spirits understand the transition from one plane unto another and know they are spirit. Spirits are no longer full of earthly fears. Issues of their former physical existence have been worked through or are being worked out. Peace, love and joy are being experienced. We are watched over by spirits who exist from beyond the earth plane. They work to comfort us, guide us and observe our lives. These spirits tend to be loved ones, family, and friends – but, some are also known to be spirit guides or angels.
How to Tell if You Have a Ghost: Look for Ghost Signs
The following are some descriptions of ghost activity, and thus, are common phenomena associated with haunting. It is important to remain unafraid and understand that a ghost is a person who is most likely wanting to be recognized by the living for assistance. Know that the following ghost phenomena are not all-inclusive:
• Cold spots are often reported. The manifestation of a ghost is believed to require energy, therefore the area of haunting could be cooler in temperature from the ghost using the energy in space.
• Electrical disturbances, such as flickering lights and radios turning off and on, may occur.
• Movement of physical objects, such as doors opening or closing, possessions being moved, etc. may be experienced.
• Items missing or moved. Some report keys or important things disappearing or being relocated.
• Water turning off and on. It's weird, but it will get your attention. And, ghosts often like getting our attention.
• Goosebumps, chills, or the feeling that you are being watched. Some report being touched. Relax - it could be your grandma!
• Sounds, such as foot steps, music, voices, whispers, rapping, banging, something being dropped, etc.
• Balls or orbs of light that appear and float around.
• Shadows moving about a room or in the corner of one’s eye. This is a very common experience. Many ghosts manifest as a dark mass. You may also see the ghost as an apparition (a transparent, human form). Apparitions may be seen full-bodied, but it is not unusual to see the glimpse of a hand, foot or torso.
• Odd behavior from a pet is one of the most common haunting indicator. Animals are very in tune with spirits around them.
• Unexplained or known fragrances of the deceased may be noticed.
• Levitating objects have been witnessed, at times, though rare.
• Mists or vapors may appear. Be sure to rule out steam or cigarette smoke.