We’ve all laid wide-awake, covers drawn with pillows perfectly positioned beneath our heads, ready for a good nights rest. Then the walls begin to creak, the pipes begin to rattle and a constant drip can be heard coming from the kitchen sink. Are these symptoms of paranormal activity or just a reminder of an aging house? The answers may surprise you. Below is a list of possible symptoms of a haunting with ways to handle strange events.

Feelings of being watched are common, but may warrant a second thought. If these feelings persist, are more prevalent in a certain part of the house, or cause erratic behavior among roommates, you may be on to your first clue. Logically, there could be a high electromagnetic field in a section of the home and that can cause this feeling, even hallucinations if the electromagnetic readings are high enough. Radon can also cause these types of feelings. You can buy a radon detector or a machine that measure electromagnetic energy to see if your home has high levels of either.

There have been scientific tests to see if people can tell if they are being watched. The results of those are fifty-fifty, which indicates it is possible for your brain to see something different than your peripheral vision.

Pets acting strangely are another indication of a possible ghostly presence. Animals are very perceptive to sight, smell and sound. A dog can hear higher frequencies and can detect delicate movements with its eyes. A canine’s sense of smell can be up to 10,000 times greater than that of a human being. Feline senses are also razor sharp. Cats have long been revered as a link to the supernatural. So be warned… Fido or Fluffy might be trying to tell you something!

The difficult part in understanding your pet’s response is comprehending what they are feeling. They could be reacting to a natural sound, like a trash truck or dog barking, in another neighborhood. Some animals feel storms, or even earthquakes, long before we can see or feel them. Some things you can do is document when these incidents occur to see if there is a pattern. Events occurring at the same time of day or week may indicate there is a natural cause.

Items disappearing, then showing up again is known as the DOPler effect, (Disappearing Object Phenomenon). It’s like when looking for something in a specific spot, followed by looking somewhere else, then finding the object is in the first place after all. Perhaps you’re just not good at finding things… then again maybe someone else needed what you were searching for.
Document when these incidents occur. Mark down what you were doing when you lost the object. You may find this occurs most when you are in a rush. Or you may also find a common denominator among the objects. If you do need to call a haunting professional, documentation will be key in an investigation.

Shadows in the corner of the eye can be very scary. Numerous reports verify the existence of shadow people. While some believe these are ghosts, others are open to the possibility of time travelers. Whichever the case, they either dart by when you least expect it or shuffle pass in your mind’s eye. Neither makes sense and could indicate uninvited visitors.

Again, this symptom could be connected to things like radio or a high electromagnetic field. It is also possible that deep sleep causes confusion between dreams and waking hours. Document when and where this happens. If it happens in a certain room or corner, you may have a haunting.

Residual Hauntings can be as frightening as any other paranormal activity, but don’t involve ghosts. These are more like scenes playing over and over again, as someone doing an action they did while living. These sounds and visuals happen the same way every time, like the involved parties are stuck in a time warp. These are harmless and these types of hauntings never interact with people.

The most important thing in any of these situations is to document. What seems trivial now may not be in the long run. Remember to be aware of your surroundings and remain alert of strange changes. This isn’t to promote fear or paranoia, but will give you a better understanding of what is happening and, ultimately, gives you more control.

Keeping a journal of occurrences is never a bad idea. A recording of strange noises will also help to strengthen your case. Make notes of repeated happenings. Identifying a pattern of events could prove helpful in a bigger scheme of things.

Securing a complete history of the premises will give you information otherwise overlooked. If you own the home, your title will have the age. You can also find histories of homes and properties at the tax assessor’s office or the local library. Sometimes, community newspapers have back issues you can look through, but most libraries have old publications on record. Whenever possible, speak to previous occupants and owners.

So you’ve heard the rumblings in the basement. You’ve recorded sounds from the top of the stairs and penciled in the dates and times they’ve happened. Now what?

Know you are not alone! Gallup polls show three out of four Americans believe in the paranormal. Once gathering data to substantiate your claims, a call to a qualified professional is in order. There are many of these listed on the Internet, but a proper vetting is of the utmost importance!

Make sure your expert is a serious adult with a long list of credentials. Testimonials from previous clients are a plus and they should possess a healthy skepticism. Stay away from Ouija boards and séances because they could open portals that shouldn’t be opened and bring unwanted spirits into your life. Priests and psychics should be used as a last resort, as it is best if the research is scientifically handled. In short, all reasonable explanations should be ruled out before embarking on a full-scale paranormal investigation.

Like the living, not all spirits are bad. A ghost is still a person, just a different form of energy. If they were decent people in life, they will likely do no harm to you in the spiritual world. Others who were evil in life could pose a danger to you and your family, even though they are deceased. Many doing this type of field work believe there are other types of spiritual beings as well that could pose either a series of problems or offer protection. Qualified personnel are always the best bet to determine who and what you’re dealing with. Above all, be safe and good luck ghost hunting!

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