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Determining If Your House Is Haunted: A Homemaker's Guide

Updated on April 1, 2013
It would be nice if haunted mansions were easy to spot, but rude ghosts may hide anywhere!
It would be nice if haunted mansions were easy to spot, but rude ghosts may hide anywhere!

Nothing can ruin a housewarming party quicker than a restless spirit with a lot of time on his hands and mischief on his mind, but how can you determine whether or not those disappearing earrings are the work of a pesky ghost or just an unfortunate side effect of a hectic and maybe even somewhat disorganized move? It really comes down to knowing what to look for and recognizing the signs of a haunting for what they truly are. Sometimes there may be clear evidence but often you just have to look at all the factors and see what you get when you add it all up.

The Warning Signs

Things may begin slowly with a haunting, almost as if the spirit may be testing the waters to see how you and your family will react. Some of the earliest signs of a haunting will likely be brushed off as the natural sounds of the house settling or just the spooky feeling of being in a new place. And, of course, more often than not, that is exactly what it is. Unexpected noises that have no visible source may just be the creaks and groans of the house. That weird feeling that you are being watched may just be the nervous jitters. But did you really turn on that light before you left for the grocer? And has the family dog always been that neurotic? Here are a few of the warning signs that you may have an otherworldly guest in your attic...

  • Unusual noises that have no easy explanation or observable source
  • Strange sensations, especially the feeling that you are being watched or followed
  • Doors, windows, cabinets, etc. being found open or closed or lights being found on or off when they were left in the opposite state
  • Family pets or other animals acting strangely such as dogs barking at empty spaces or cats seeming to watch something across the room
  • Shadows that flicker across surfaces where no shadows should be
  • Mundane items that disappear and then later reappear or are found in places they should not be

Researchers say animals may be more tuned in to their psychic side than humans are.
Researchers say animals may be more tuned in to their psychic side than humans are.

The Plot Thickens

As you settle into your new home, any spirits that came with the dwelling may become more active. This can cause the suspicions that were based on earlier evidence to become more concrete as the evidence grows and turns physical. Things that previously happened while you were away may start happening while you are present as the ghost tries to make itself known. You may actually see doors open or close and instead of just feeling as if you are being watched, you may feel someone -- or something -- touching you. More solid proof of your haunting may include...

  • Feelings of being watched may be replaced by feelings of being touched
  • Those opening and closing doors and windows might actually happen while you are present
  • Voices whispering or maybe someone crying may be heard when no one else is around
  • The unusual sounds may be accompanied by or replaced by unusual odors or smells
  • You may find cold spots or even hot spots where there is no reason for a temperature variation

Things That Go Bump in the Night

In a haunting, hope for a friendly ghost.
In a haunting, hope for a friendly ghost.

Who You Gonna Call?

Once you have ruled out any possible ordinary phenomenon and determined that your house is indeed haunted, you will want to call in experts to determine what type of haunting you are experiencing and whether or not you need to be concerned. Contacting a reputable paranormal investigator will enable you to decide if you will need to take steps to rid yourself of the spirit or whether you will simply need to explain the odd things that happen in your home to your guests.

All of the events previously described can be disturbing in their own way, but the time to take action may be when things escalate to the final stage. This is when physical contact is actually being made by the entity. In most cases, this contact is still somewhat limited and usually non-threatening, but in extreme cases things can get pretty intense and be very disturbing. You know things are getting out of hand when any of the following occur...

  • Apparitions may appear and try to communicate or simply make an appearance and then vanish.
  • Physical evidence may appear such as footprints, hand prints or window panes being frosted by breath when no one is next to the window
  • Objects may move across the floor or across tabletops or simply levitate in the air
  • Rarely you may be personally assaulted with scratches, slaps and shoves

At this point, you can safely say that your home is indeed haunted. Depending on the friends you keep, this may be a great conversation starter or a secret to keep well hidden. The personality of your ghost is important as well, since an ill-tempered spirit will definitely be a downer. On the other hand, a friendly ghost just might make your parties the talk of the town!

What do you think about spirits, ghosts and ghoulies?

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    • Suzy Homewrecker profile image

      Suzy Homewrecker 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Isabella, if you truly think there is a spirit, you should contact a paranormal investigator. In California, you might try contacting CPPI (California Paranormal Private Investigations). Their website is They do not charge for investigations nor do they actually rid a house of spirits, but if it is determined that there is something there, they could probably tell you what steps to take.

    • profile image

      Isabella ruan 4 years ago

      Hello I am currently doing some research about spirits it sounds crazy to me that something out of this world may be trying to contact me it all started in April 2013 when we moved into our new home weird things have been happening like our light bulbs flicker although we replaced them like 5 times and every time I have a guest over they say they don't feel comfortable in my home they get the chills and say they feel like they need to leave. I hear someone walking through my hallway and whispering things. I don't want to believe it is a spirit but there is not other explanation to what is happening. Ive never been a superstitious person so Im trying to understand what is going on. What should I don?

    • profile image

      Cassandra 5 years ago

      Great reading! I marked it useful. Anyone who marks it funny must not have been through a haunting. LOL

    • Suzy Homewrecker profile image

      Suzy Homewrecker 5 years ago from North Carolina

      It is always best to keep an open mind, I say. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I don't believe most haunting and ghost claims. But I don't rule out ghosts entirely.

    • Suzy Homewrecker profile image

      Suzy Homewrecker 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I have always thought my cat knows a bit more about things than he lets on! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 6 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Fabulous and fun hub! I've had a few paranormal experiences and they can either be a great party piece or a show stopper - depending on what company you keep. I always limit my stories to people who are very open minded and genuinely interested.

      It's interesting that you mentioned pets as well. I think that our pets and our kids can be the best indicators of spooky goings on! They usually pick up on the paranormal long before anyone else.

      Great hub + voted up!