Exploring the Paranormal with Reanna Roberts: Hauntings

Photo by Amy Capiross, Amy Cap Photography

Photo by Amy Capiross, Amy Cap Photography

There are three common forms of hauntings: intelligent, residual and poltergeists.

Poltergeists are what we usually think of when we hear the term “haunting” but the other two are also fairly common. Dictionary.com defines “poltergeist” as “a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knockings, etc.” This is the type of haunting you often see in films, where poltergeists knock photos off the walls, throw dishes and otherwise cause a noisy disturbance.

Intelligent and residual hauntings are similar and yet unique.

A residual haunting is essentially a recording of time. For example, a woman is regularly seen in a lighthouse window. Upon investigation, she is revealed to have been the wife of a ship captain who never returned from sea. Another example of a residual would be a ghost walking through your house, taking the same path every time you encounter it, not deviating in any way, shape, or form or attempting to communicate with you. It’s like a taped playback of history. Generally speaking, residual hauntings are harmless and don’t cause disturbances or communicate in any way.

An intelligent haunting – often referred to as a ghost – will try to interact with you. They may attempt to speak with you or otherwise try to get your attention. These types of hauntings excite paranormal investigators because there’s a greater chance of getting a response. Intelligent hauntings aren’t always visible but communications with them can be recorded on electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) recordings. Often, these are the types of hauntings that frighten the living when they hear voices and footsteps at odd hours. Usually, intelligent hauntings are non-violent.

Poltergeists, on the other hand, are one of the more truly frightening types of hauntings you may encounter. They may knock photos off walls or throw dishes across the kitchen. Confused and angry, these unsettled spirits can become violent and disrupt a household, making them a lot more difficult to contend with than intelligent or residual hauntings.

There are various methods for ridding a home of hauntings, from smudging sage – a Native American ritual – to sprinkling a house with holy water or seeking a priest’s blessing on a dwelling. In the next edition of Pennsylvania Bridges, I’ll discuss these in more detail.

Have a question about the paranormal? Email reannaroberts@mvprs.org.

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