Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Richard Southall, author of Haunted Route 66.
I was impressed with the recent blog about the different types of paranormal investigators. I feel that it is important to determine why a person would enter this field. That being said, it’s also important to differentiate between the different types of hauntings that can be encountered. Over the years, I’ve discovered that most hauntings can really be divided into three categoriesâ€”ghosts, spirits, and entities.
- GhostsGhost hauntings are actually “recordings” or “impressions” of an event that has taken place in the past. Unlike spirits, there is no sentience or intelligence behind a ghostly haunting, impression, or recording.
There are two main reasons for a haunting by a ghost. First, if a person did a repetitious activity over a long period of time, they can leave an impression. This is why some apparitions are of people who are doing mundane activities, such as a soldier seen walking in the same area time and again.
Second, there could have been a sudden traumatic event that took place that involved a fatality, such as a murder or a fatal accident. Think of Gettysburg, where the sound of gunfire and screams can sometime be heard. Often, these sounds can lead to some interesting EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon), but there is no actual communication taking place.
- SpiritsUnlike a ghost recording that has no sentience associated with it, the spirit has some presence of an individual that has remained after he or she has died. Whereas a ghost cannot be interacted with, in some cases there can be some form of communication between a spirit and a living individual.
There are really a few reasons why a spirit may be haunting a place. The first reason is that the person may not realize that he or she is dead; usually, this takes place when a death is sudden or unexpected (the movies The Sixth Sense and The Others are good illustrations of this). Sometimes, there is an attempt for the spirit to communicate with a person investigating a haunting.
A place can also be haunted by a spirit because there very strong emotional connection between an individual and a particular location. When a person dies, they do not move on because they are so dedicated to a place they loved&3151;think of settlers, or soldiers who have in many cases dedicated their entire life protecting a location.
The third type of spirit hauntings involves an individual who had unfinished business or an unfulfilled promise when he or she died. If a person died before he or she accomplished something they considered important, this can lead to the spirit to become “stuck” until that promise or unfinished business is fulfilled.
- EntitiesA third type of haunting that can sometimes be encountered during an investigation is what I would refer to as entities. Unlike ghosts and spirits, which were human at one point, entities are paranormal in nature and have never been alive in the sense that we know; they are what we would refer to as angels or demons. This is perhaps the rarest kind of haunting, but they have been known to exist.
Our thanks to Richard for his guest post! For more from Richard Southall, read his article “5 Reasons Route 66 Is Haunted.”