It is important to know that not all ghosts are the same. There are different types of hauntings that can occur. Whether you think you may have a ghost of your own, or you plan to try investigating a certain type of haunting, it is wise to know what you may be dealing with. The major types of hauntings that have been identified by paranormal investigators are listed below with a brief description.
Residual hauntings are a type of haunting that is believed to be a re-play of events from a time possibly long ago, in which the ghost or ghosts seen are not aware of their surroundings. These ghosts are usually seen repeating the same actions over and over. There is no human interaction or presence of "intelligence". Many believe that these occurrences are a form of energy that has left it's imprint in the surrounding atmosphere. Powerfully emotional events or traumatic times are most often believed to cause this phenomena. A classic example of this type is the battlefield of Gettysburg, where marching or fighting soldiers have been witnessed by many over the years, although the battle ended over one hundred years ago.
Manifestations of intelligent or "human" hauntings are usually classified by their human like response to stimuli or their willingness to interact with living humans. These ghosts are often believed to be the spirits of deceased humans because of their human like emotions and their attachment to particular places or objects. There have been many witnesses to cases of intelligent hauntings that appear in human form. Voices of what many claim to be intelligent hauntings have been recorded in what is known as electronic voice phenomenon. This is when audio recordings are made at a particular location while investigators sometimes ask questions. The responses are only heard when the recording is played back at a later time. The responses to questions and reactions to human presence have been both scary and amazing. Therefore further classifying these entities as intelligent hauntings.
Demonic infestations or "inhuman" hauntings are often debated but are one of the oldest reported types of hauntings. This often is associated with and suggests the presence of demons, which are deeply rooted in many religions. For non religious people, these types of occurrences are simply hard to believe. But ask anyone who has had a personal experiences with a demonic infestation and they will tell you that they are very real. These types are usually classified by their human (or super human) like intelligence and interaction. The entities responsible for these infestations are believed to be non human and exist on completely different plane. Demonic possession, in which the body of a human victim is "taken over" by the demon or demons responsible, is also commonly reported. These entities are often extremely violent and are known to harm it's victims both physically and emotionally. This is why demonic infestations are feared tremendously throughout the world. The Catholic church has a number of people with the responsibility of investigating and dealing with this type of phenomenon.
Poltergeist is translated to mean "noisy ghost". This is because they are known for the loud noises, bangs and movement of objects that they can create. A poltergeist is often associated with a single person within a household and has been reported to follow that person to other locations. They are often associated with people who are going through some type of emotional trauma. They appear and disappear quickly, without explanation. Some have been reported to last a very long time, even years, while others are very short lived. The main thing that separates this type of haunting from others, is it's ability to move objects. Floating objects, things tossed violently across rooms and more have been described. Some people have reported being harmed by a poltergeist and many associate the above mentioned demonic infestation with a poltergeist, while others believe that they are two completely different things.
By Thomas Shea
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