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If you think you're experiencing a haunting or if you're interested in investigating the paranormal we are sure you have alot of questions. This page has been prepared by our team in order to try and answer some of the more frequent questions that our clients and new investigators ask us.
Q: I'm seeing and hearing things in my home that I can't explain. Am I crazy? Is my home haunted?
A: First, just because you are seeing and hearing things in your home that you can't explain DOES NOT mean you are crazy, even if other members of your family aren't seeing or experiencing anything. As for the second part of this two part question, well this is a little more
difficult to answer without first gathering alot more information and perhaps even having a paranormal team conduct and investigation of your home or business. I prefer rephrasing this question first to ask "Is it possible that my home is haunted?" Yes, it is "possible". Here again, it is very important to first try a find "normal" or more natural causes for the things you are experiencing. For example, if you are hearing knocking or banging noises coming from your
creepy basement, you can check to see if you have loose heating or water pipes. If you get the sensation that someone is watching you, or perhaps hiding in the dark corners and shadows of that same "creepy" basement or attic, pick yourself up an inexpensive Electromagnetic Field (EMF) meter or hire an electrician to check your home for high EMF readings. Modern homes will have almost no EMF but the average home has EMF readings between 0 to 0.5 milligaus. EMF readings above 1.0 milligaus can cause some people to experience such physical and mental symptoms as headaches, anxiety, depression, nausea, fatigue, loss of libido, sleep disturbance, tiredness, restlessness, irritability, concentration problems, forgetfulness, learning difficulties, frequent infections, blood pressure changes, limb and joint pains, numbness or tingling sensations, tinnitus, hearing loss, impaired balance, giddiness, eye problems and hallucinations. There are two quotes from Sherlock Holmes that I feel are extremely relavent when trying to determine if a home or business is possibly haunted and they are, 1) "It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment." and 2) "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
IMPORTANT: Before you begin to think that your home may be haunted, it is very important to understand that investigation groups like TAPS as well as many others find that only a very small percentage of the homes they investigate have any true paranormal activity going on, and even a smaller percentage of those are actually haunted. So in reality the chances that your
home is haunted by a spirit or entity are extremely small. It is more likely that there are more "natural" explanations to what you are experiencing. This is where it can be very useful and comforting to call on the services of an experienced paranormal investigation team, that uses scientific methods of investigation, to come into your home to help you determine the actual causes of your experiences.
Q: How do I get rid of what's haunting my home/my business?
A: First, in order to answer this question we have to conclude that a full investigation has been completed on your home or business, and that all other possibilities other than a haunting have been ruled out and a true haunting is occurring. The next thing that needs to be determined is what type of haunting is occurring. Is it a residual haunting? Residual hauntings are non-intelligent, it does not interact or attempt to interact with the current occupants, the exact same activity continues to occurr over and over and over again as if a rewinding a movie and watching again and again. With this type of haunting almost nothing can be done, unless it can be determined that this type of activity is attached to a particular item (which is rare), then the item can be removed from the home/business and the activity should stop. In almost all of these type of hauntings the activity is typically attched directly to the home or building itself or even the property on which the home or building has been built. It is the living history of the property itself that has somehow imprinted itself onto the property and is somehow drawing upon some type of energy (limestone, quartz, EMF, etc.) in order to replay itself over and over again. These type of hauntings do not pose any direct threat or harm to the occupants, but they can be an indirect threat in that they cause the owners and occupants a great deal of mental distress. Is it an intelligent haunting? In an intelligent haunting the spirit/ghost/entity is aware of it's surroundings and can interact with the occupants of the home/business. They are typically attempting to get the attention of the occupants in order to fulfil their own agenda. As it is often very difficult to try and determine what the entity wants, the activity it creates often puts a great deal of physical and emotional stress on the living occupants. Because of this I like to compare the stress that this causes to the occupants like that which can be caused by a bill collector or a home foreclosure. The person wishes that they had never gotten into the situation in the first place, and they just want the problem to go away. An intelligent haunting is also similar to these type of situations in that they resolution to the problem is not always going to be simple or quick. It can take time to resolve, but it can be
resolved, and it will most likely take the intervention of a thrid party to solve the problem, such as the assistance of a paranormal team of investigators, the blessing of the home/business by a member of the religious community that the occupant belongs to or perhaps even the assistance of a demonologist or physic medium, depending on the beliefs of the home/business owner. In the very rare instances where there may be a demonic or dark entity haunting the home or an individual in the home it may be necessary to perform an exorcism of the home or individual in order to get rid of the entity. Again, these type of hauntings are extremely rare. Many intelligent hauntings of a home can be resolved by the family sitting down together in their home and stating out loud to the entity that is there, that it must respect "them" and that the home is "theirs" not the entity's and if it does not do as asked it must leave. This must be done with all members of the family present and it must be stated by all of them and with
conviction (they to to mean it). This is always a good first step to resolving these type of hauntings. It is very important as a family to empower yourselves in your own home. Think of it this way, you wouldn't put up with a living person being rude or abusive to you and your family in your home, the same principle applies here. Is it a Demonic or Inhuman hunting? As previously stated above, these type of hauntings are extremely rare, and if you are
experiencing a haunting of some kind it is very unlikely that it is demonic or inhuman. These type of hauntings are typically very violent and threatening to the person being afflicted and the occupants of the home. The agenda of the demonic or inhuman entity is usually to either drive the family from their home, destroy the family by causing them to constantly fight amongst themselves, slip into constant anger and depression, cause them to break up
and leave each other, and in some cases where there is a true demonic entity involved, the ultimate goal is to completely destroy the family resulting in one or more members of the family commiting suicide. It is important to note that these type of hauntings don't typically just occurr out of the blue. It usually happens when someone in the family or a previous
owner/occupant of the home is/was involved with using a Ouija Board without knowing how to use it and left a "doorway" open which allowed the demonic entity or inhuman spirit to enter the home. Another way that these type of entities can infest the home or an individual is because the home owner or occupant is or has been involved with dabbeling in or practicing satanism, dark magic, etc.. In demonic and/or inhuman hauntings it is going to require
outside assistance for the home owner, family and/or individual to resolve the haunting and get did of the entity. This means bringing in the help of a demonologist, their team and even the religious leadership of the home owners/individuals religious belief. These type of hauntings take alot of time and energy to resolve, and in some casaes are never truely resolved, as it also requires the family and/or individual to make life changing decisions in regards
to their beliefs and the way they lead their lives.
Q: What is a Ghost?
A: * A ghost - or spirit or apparition - is the energy, soul or personality of a person who has died and has somehow gotten stuck between this plane of existence and the next. Most researchers believe that these spirits do not know they are dead. Very often they have died under
traumatic, unusual or highly emotional circumstances. Ghosts can be perceived by the living in a number of ways: through sight (apparitions), sound (voices), smell (frangrances and odors), touch - and sometimes they can just be sensed.
Q: What is a Poltergeist?
A: * "Poltergeist" is a German word meaning "noisy spirit." Current research indicates, however, that poltergeist activity may have nothing to do with ghosts or spirits. Since the activity seems to center around an individual, it is believed that it is caused by the subconscious mind of that individual. It is, in effect, psychokinetic activity. The individual is often under emotional, psychological or physical stress (even going through puberty). Effects can include rappings on walls and floors, the physical movement of objects, effects on lights and other electric appliances - even the manifestation of physical phenomena.
Q: Is the Ouija board dangerous?
A: * Most paranormal researchers advise against the casual use of the Ouija board, suggesting that it can be a doorway to unknown dimensions. “The board itself is not dangerous, but the form of communication that you are attempting often is," says Ghost researcher Dale Kaczmarek of the Ghost Research Society. "Most often the spirits whom are contacted through the Ouija are those whom reside on 'the lower astral plane.' These spirits are often very
confused and may have died a violent or sudden death; murder, suicide, etc. Therefore, many violent, negative and potentially dangerous conditions are present to those using the board. Often times several spirits will attempt to come through at the same time but the real danger lies when you ask for physical proof of their existence! You might say, 'Well, if you're really a spirit, then put out this light or move that object!' What you have just done is simple, you
have 'opened a doorway' and allowed them to enter into the physical world and future problems can and often do arise."
Q: But what if the Ouija really does not contact spirits? What if it only accesses our own subconscious?
A: The advice might be the same. Since there are realativly few accounts of positive, uplifting
experiences with the Ouija, and many negative ones, we might assume that it is more attuned to the negative aspects of our subconscious.
NOTE: If you're still determined to use the Ouija despite the warnings and potential negative consequences, it is STRONGLY recommended that you follow these rules of precaution:
Q: Is there a scientific explanation for how the Ouija Board works?
A: * Skeptics say that the Ouija moves due to the "ideomotor effect" (sometimes called "automatism"). The ideomotor effect refers to the involuntary and unconscious motor behavior of a person. The term "ideomotor action" was coined by William Carpenter in 1882 in
his explanation for the movements of dowsing rods and pendulums by dowsers, table turning by spirit mediums and, of course, the movement of pointers on Ouija boards.
Carpenter argued that muscular movement can be initiated by the mind independently of volition or emotions. We may not be aware of it, but suggestions can be made to the mind by others or by observations. Those suggestions can influence the mind and affect motor behavior. What is purely physiological, however, appears to some to be paranormal. The skeptical explanation does not, however, account for predictive events and other phenomena sometimes associated with the Ouija.
Q: Are demonic hauntings real? How often do they happen?
A: YES, demonic hauntings are real, but they are EXTREMELY RARE. This interview by MTV writer Katie Calautti with demonologist Katie Boyd best answers these questions. You can also access additional information on this subject on Katie Boyd's web site at http://www.ancientwisdomnh.com. The following is directly copied from the MTV interview with Katie Boyd:
'The Last Exorcism' Prompts One MTV Writer To Delve Into The Realities Of Demonic Posession
Posted 8/23/10 3:55 pm ET by Katie Calautti in Commentary
REEL TALK: CAN I GET A WITNESS?
I hate to burst your holy water-filled bubble, but the majority of what’s portrayed of exorcism in movies is about 500 tumbles down the Exorcist Steps from accurate. I asked demonologist and author Katie Boyd to dispel some of the Tinseltown-perpetuated myths.
Boyd –- who has over 20 years of experience under her belt as a demonologist, exorcist and occult sciences and crimes expert –- assured me that demonic possession is a very real (albeit incredibly rare) occurrence. Rest assured, all ye paranormal-paranoid peeps: according to Katie, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do of having your person perpetrated by a wayward soul.
First and foremost, I had to make an observation: is it a coincidence that lady-folk are generally victims of demonic possession in movies? Boyd said that, though women as a general rule are more psychically open, demonic possession knows no age, religion, race or gender. The main characteristic a soul-seeking spirit requires is a lowered will: they often target folks who are experiencing a crisis of faith, or people whose mental defenses have been softened, such as those who are on heavy regimens of mind-altering medication to treat severe illnesses, such as schizophrenia.
Apparently, like any other involved undertaking, exorcism also requires a lot of paperwork and red tape if performed properly. Since an incredibly small percentage of cases end up being true-blue demonic possessions, painstaking amounts of care and research must be performed prior to the rituals we see stars on screen rush into, guns and crucifixes a-blazing.
In reality, a potential victim’s medical and psychological history and home environment are scrutinized, religious elders are called in to assess (and bless) the situation, and –- if an exorcism is necessary -– health professionals must be present, and family members are generally barred from the premises. “I’ve personally never seen people spit up pea soup-like vomit or someone walking on the ceiling or someone’s head spinning,” Boyd noted.
So where does Hollywood actually get it right?
Boyd admits that no one movie is 100% on the mark, but, “If you take little bits of 'The Exorcist' and little bits of 'Emily Rose' and you kind of put a couple of those snippets together, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what a real exorcist or exorcism is like.”
For example: the scene in "The Exorcist" that details the demonic entity taking on the personality of the priest’s mother, psychically knowing details about his relationship with her that no one else could know, using his deep-seated guilt against him, that is something Boyd says is commonly seen in spiritual hauntings and demonic possessions.
Other factors: phrases, scratches and symbols written on the skin that disappear an hour or two later, the body stiffening and contorting into abnormal positions, strange voices emanating from a victim, seizures. These are all phenomena that Boyd has witnessed on the job.
So what’s the craziest thing Boyd has encountered during an exorcism? “What’s really scary and what a lot of people don’t know is that the victims are very aware of what’s going on with their bodies during possession and they don’t have control over it,” she said.
“When you’re talking to the individual and suddenly the individual’s body starts to seize up and you can see the terror in the person’s eyes as their body is being bent in different ways – to me, that is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen… literally hearing bones crack… it is like watching the worst horror movie but knowing it’s true.”
I'm betting that it’s only a matter of time before Hollywood screenwriters pounce on the dark side of the public’s obsession with all things Malevolent Spirit. The very real misdiagnoses and hysteria, inexperienced or fraudulent folks performing exorcisms, the resulting deaths... all alarming byproducts which Boyd works to educate the public about through her literature, public speaking engagements and radio show (which airs onTenacityRadio.com every Monday night from 5-6pm ET). Still – she’s willing to admit that -– with a healthy, realistic outlook -– these movies are exactly what they should be: harmless entertainment.
“I’m really interested to see 'The Last Exorcism,' actually,” she said, laughing, though her full enjoyment of the film isn’t immune to her various occupational hazards. “I’m sure I’m probably going to roll my eyes a little.”
* This information was taken directly from a posting by Stephen Wagner on the About.com Guide.