You swore you never believed in ghosts. Ghost stories? Haunted houses? Ha! You’re no fool. But the other day, something happened that made you start to question your doubts.
You awoke last night with a start, sure you saw something flitting just out of range of your peripheral vision. It appeared wispy, white, and still somehow… tangible? Was it a ghost? No, you thought. It can’t be. But according to some mediums and empaths, these spirits and entities are very real. And they can possess a home or a room with some subtlety and ease.
Many enthusiasts and intrigued followers of spiritual lore have taken to studying the tendencies of these presences. They investigate eerie sightings and inexplicable occurrences, deciphering whether there’s really a supernatural force at work or these strange events are simply superstition gone awry.
That flash of light reportedly seen in the mirror — was it the reflection of a spirit or the sun? The voice heard from the recesses of the attic — from the mouth of a ghost or the creak of a wooden board? A number of experts shared their thoughts with The Daily Meal to provide some insight. What are the signs that your house is haunted? What are the signs it’s probably not, and you’re just being paranoid?
Depending on how cunning of a ghost you’ve come into contact with, it may take you ages to discover the presence of the dead. But the experts we consulted swear that these interactions are possible — and, if a ghost really has inhabited your home, inevitable. You simply have to know the telltale signs of a haunted home.
Don Allison never used to believe in the paranormal — until he restored a historic home from the 1830s and he and his wife discovered it was haunted. As a result of this close interaction, he’s seen many signs of haunting firsthand. According to Allison, missing personal items may be a sign of a ghostly presence. “Items may come up missing, when you are sure where you left them, and they will inexplicably show up later in odd places,” Allison told The Daily Meal. Really think about it — are you just forgetful, or is the strange shuffling of your belongings the work of meddling spirits?
According to Milana Perepyolkina, a self-described gypsy and author who specializes in teaching people how to connect with spirits in their homes, items may frequently break and require repair if a ghost is present. “More and more things will need fixing,” she said. “People may also drop and break lots of items.” A haunting can literally make things fall apart.
If the electronics in your home have been acting up, call an electrician. But if they can’t find a reason for the malfunction, you might consider consulting an expert of the paranormal. “Radios and TVs may turn off and on by themselves, or change stations on their own,” Allison explained.
You might think that a ghost would remain entirely separate from you, but a spirit’s presence could mess with your internal life as well as your external. According to Amy, it’s common for people who are normally happy and unaffected to become depressed, distracted, and introverted when a ghost is present. Other experts agree. “Hauntings can often be very subtle, so pay attention to your thoughts and compulsions,” advised Tracee Dunblazier, spiritual empath and author of the “Demon Slayer’s Handbook” series. “If you find yourself having thoughts that are traditionally unlike you, you may be in the presence of a ghost or other-worldly entity. It’s common to enter a haunted home and feel the pain of previous trauma that occurred in the space.”
Do you feel a sudden coldness upon entering a room? Some people experience this as chills, a rash, or a suddenly racing heart, Amy advised. “You can feel the presence of evil,” Amy insists. “Demonic energies often leave a foul smell, intense cold spots, or the movement of dark shadows,” elaborated spiritual empath Tracee Dunblazier. “A person may experience an intense feeling of anxiety, nausea, or begin to have vulgar thoughts in the presence of a spirit.”
Mary Amy says a strong sign of a haunting might be waking up after a solid night of sleep with unexplained marks. Scratches, bites, and bruises are common, she says. Of course, these could be the work of a household pest — know the look of common bug bites so you don’t mistake one for a ghostly apparition.
Animals can be especially intuitive to the presence of a spirit, experts say. “Animals are restless, especially dogs,” said Amy. Perepyolkina agrees. She says that pets will sometimes become sick. This may also occur in plants that suddenly wilt or die, the spiritual teacher explained.
Though visitors may not know exactly what deters them from staying in your home, if people are often rushing to leave without explanation, it could be the work of a ghost or spiritual presence. Perepyolkina explained that visitors often will not stay in your home for long. Amy says that the spirit could influence homeowners to move quickly, as well. A sure sign, she says, is if “the house will not sell and if it is sold, the buyer lives in the home for one year or less.” In homeowners, thoughts of abandoning the house flood the mind constantly.
Though the spirit may not make itself known while you are conscious, it could show up in your dream life, Perepyolkina says. “During sleep, your consciousness opens up to interaction with spirits occupying the house,” she elaborated. “They will let you know they are there. They want to contact you and let you know whether or not you are welcome in ‘their’ house.” Amy says these notifications may appear frightening. “You will experience nightmares regularly and apparitions or dark entities may appear to you,” Amy explained.
“Your house is probably haunted if it’s 50-plus years old,” said Dunblazier. Locations tend to be haunted due to deaths and historical events that occurred on the same land or in the same building. If your house is newly built, it’s unlikely anyone has passed away within its walls. There is, however, one exception. “Lands are haunted because of the treacherous wars and scourges that have occurred on them,” Dunblazier explained. “The land and natural habitat holds the memories of witnessing the events that took place. That means any house newly built on such land will most likely be haunted.”
“If your house is haunted, there is a good chance you won’t see your ghost, but you definitely will know it’s there,” said Allison. Ghosts will often cause an unsettling feeling in the house’s residents, inducing anxiety and stress. If you feel generally relaxed when you walk in the door, it’s doubtful the place is haunted.
While nightmares may occur as a direct result of a ghostly influence, sleeping in an intensely warm environment could induce freakish dreams, as well. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your dreams are the work of spirits if your house is excessively warm. Multiple experts also insist that spirits will leave behind a tangible chill.
In a haunted home, people are often emotionally deterred from entering. If you are feeling especially social lately, or feeling drawn to hosting events in your house, it’s unlikely that a spirit is looming. “If you engage in continuous social events with children and grandparents throughout your residency, it’s a sign your house is not haunted,” Amy confirmed. “If your house is haunted, it’s likely no one will come to visit.”
Amy says that if the idea of leaving your home makes you anxious, it’s probably not haunted. If you want to move, on the other hand, you might want to question why. Do you get an odd feeling while staying in your own home? It could be a spirit’s presence setting you off.
If your home is not haunted, Amy says it’s likely that “family members sing and hum in the home. You will feel a feeling of stillness while sleeping. Happy thoughts will spring into your mind regarding your home life.” The presence of ghosts, multiple mediums advise, will induce mood swings and unexplained bouts of anger. “Feeling angry, sad, humiliated, funny, happy or confused upon entering a room is an indication that those energies already exist in the space and are being anchored by an entity or haunting,” Dunblazier said. Feelings of stability, on the other hand, indicate the opposite.
Flashing screens, static noise, and other malfunctions of technology are signals of a ghostly presence. “Many people experience energy shifting in haunted houses such as lights and other electrical appliances going on and off. Those are the most accessible forms of communication other than thoughts a disembodied spirit or entity can influence,” Dunblazier said. If your appliances are glitch-free, take solace in the fact that there is no ghost meddling with them.
“What are some ways you will know your house is haunted?” Allison asked. “Well, you will hear phantom footsteps, doors opening and closing, and the shuffling of items when no one is there. You may hear voices, even conversations, when no one else is present.” On the other hand, if you notice none of those things — and see no apparitions or visual signs of a ghostly presence — you’re probably in the clear.
Does an eerie sense follow you everywhere you go? If you feel haunted by something all day — even outside the home — it’s probably not the house that’s haunted, Dunblazier says. It’s you. “If a person finds that everywhere they go, they experience the feeling of being haunted,” Dunblazier said, “more-than-likely they are haunted and not the house.” Where might you have picked up the ghost that’s haunting you? Well, it could have been anywhere, but these are the most haunted places in every state.
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