Three quarters of Americans believe in the reality of a paranormal realm, according to new research. The 2017 “Survey of American Fears” study, invoked by Chapman University, California, focuses on our belief in ghosts, aliens, and cryptids (animals that are said to exist but claims are disputed) and draws some surprising conclusions.
When the study’s subjects were specifically asked whether or not they believed in ghosts, over half of them said they did, and most were able to ondon
Logically support this opinion with direct, personal observations or recalling others’ experiences.
The concept of the haunting spirit is also woven into our cultural fabric. Stone Age people drew cave pictures of ghosts, and for thousands of years, literature has described enduring supernatural events. Even the Christian Bible has taught us about demons and dark spirits.
Native Americans interacted far more with the spirits of their dead than the new settlers did. And although these colonizing Europeans had a firm belief in God, they were far less likely to try to communicate with or rely on the dead for a direction in life. Tribes from the Caddo Nation believed they could contact the deceased by passing their hands over a corpse and then over their own bodies.
Current TV programs such as Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters keep alive the idea that ghosts really exist. Statements from credible witnesses and first-hand evidence from the cast and crew are often shocking proof of the paranormal.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, we’ve used elements of other people’s ghostly experiences to bring you 15 signs that you are being visited by a spirit.
15 You Feel A Rush Of Cold Air
Who cares if British physicist Brian Cox said: “the existence of ghosts contravene[s] the second law of thermodynamics” (The Guardian, 2011). You’ve just felt a cold breeze travel past your face and there’s no logical cause; there are no windows or doors open and it’s a windless day in July… in Texas! So, unless someone can come up with a more plausible explanation soon you are likely to have come into contact with a spirit.
Scientists get frustrated with ghost lovers. The lads and lassies in the lab put all of their efforts into pooh-poohing the idea of ghosts but they forget that science is not an exact, err, science, nor can it be blindly applied to everything we know. When we learn that a ghost is similar to a free-flowing gas we understand why it needs energy from the surrounding atmosphere to build its form. And if this free-flowing gas is moving you will feel a cold breeze. Case closed.
14 Your Skin Feels Like It Is Statically Charged
Yet another sceptic has complained that their hair and skin feels staticky without cause. Refusing to entertain the notion of ghosts (that they are made of energy and must therefore being producing the affect) they instead try to rationalize the sensation with a missive about a storm approaching or some such. But that sort of explanation will obviously only work if a storm is actually coming. Otherwise, tell us why?
For some years now psychical researchers have agreed that spirits are bundles of energy. Where these energy masses come from are questions that no one can answer and probably never will. However, on the basis of this theory, the nearness of a focused mass of energy will cause you to feel its electrical charge — the static effect or “hair standing up on end” is therefore a certain sign of a spiritual presence.
13 You Walk Through “Cobwebs”
If you live in a house that is regularly cleaned of cobwebs, you won’t expect to walk through cobwebs — that, friends, is just a fact. So, if you were to sense such a thing, you are more likely to have walked through a small sliver of energy. When these smaller parts of energy contact your skin, they will cause a very light prickly sensation in much the same way as those static “bundles” do, and sometimes, the feel of this is accompanied by a quiet but audible crackle.
Whether these smaller pockets of static signify the presence of a ghost is debatable, but that can’t be ruled out. Many mediums will claim that when they are approached by the dead, the presence is accompanied by a sense of walking through cobwebs, or they will feel a gentle stroke of electric charge over their skin. Generally speaking, if added energy is felt in your room, a ghost is trying to connect with you.
12 You Hear Unexplained Sounds
Not all bumps and scratches you hear are caused by spiritual beings, and cynics understandably prey on believers who claim they have a ghost because they hear unexplained noises. The cynic will be adamant the sound came from outside, another room, or your neighbor or that the house is just “settling.” And while many noises like knocks and bangs or the sound of things being dropped can be explained, there are some that cannot.
The sound of footsteps is worthwhile proof of unseen activity, especially when those hearing the footsteps are alone or in a place immune to noise contamination. While we accept that noises can often be traced to logical causes, it would be foolish to dismiss them out of hand. They could be signs of a ghost trying to communicate or a portent of greater hauntings.
11 The Lights In Your Room Flicker
A spirit trying to make itself known to you needs large amounts of energy and the only way it can get that energy is by tapping in to the surrounding atmosphere (or to you). We have learned that turning a gas into a solid in the physical realm requires the application of massive amounts of pressure and a spiritual entity will need energy to do the same. More often than not, the easiest available source in your room will be a light fitting.
By drawing energy from this or the electrical wiring in the house, the entity can begin to grow in strength and it may eventually turn visible. Lights dimming, flickering, or switching on or off will tell you that such a process is underway — sometimes, the transference of energy will even cause light bulbs to blow. If you experience disturbances such as these, it may mean there is a presence in your room.
10 You Find Objects Moved
Arguably one of the most frightening categories of haunting includes moving objects and it is sometimes hard to determine the nature of the ghost involved. Most open-minded experts agree that objects moving by themselves signify either a mischievous ghost, a poltergeist, or worse yet, an evil spirit. In any of these cases, witnessing objects flying across the room or even having them hit you is not a great way to spend your evening.
In a house in Enfield, London in 1977, a family was subjected to poltergeist activity of such extreme violence that even national newspapers were fascinated. Most of us may not actually see something being moved, but we may become aware of items in unexpected places. This phenomenon will probably become more pronounced as the days go, but it may also cease in an instant.
9 Your Pets Act Nervously
Animals will often sense an earthquake long before it strikes and some may act oddly as a storm approaches. This foresight is explained in two ways. While many of our household pets can hear a range of frequencies, especially in the subsonic aural spectrum, some higher animals are known to possess a sixth sense, which most humans have lost.
If Jackie, your usual chilled-out Spaniel, begins barking incessantly at the ceiling of your room, a staircase, or wardrobe, you should consider your room haunted (or, get ready for an earthquake). Either way, she is trying to warn you of something and her instinct is to protect you. Some paranormal research teams take a sentient canine with them on their investigations, rather like coalminers taking their budgies down with them to warn them of gas.
8 You Feel As Though You Are Being Watched
A difficult determiner of a ghostly presence is the sense of being watched since such a feeling can very often be put down to psychological rather than paranormal causes. Research published in 2013 looked at how blind people reacted to certain stimuli around them and how being blind didn’t necessarily make them less aware. The study claims that this is because the human brain is capable of adequately processing other sensory information.
If you constantly experience the feeling that someone is with you. this is likely not paranormally linked, for such a sense may come from ingrained psychological fear or anxiety. On the other hand, if at certain times of the day or night you feel a presence “enter” your room, you should consider the real possibility of a ghost. In short, we usually have an excellent awareness of our surroundings, so trust your instincts.
7 You See Tiny Flashes Of Light
We learned earlier that spirits are composed of energy and orbs of light are often thought to be the visual impression of that energy. Photographs of orbs have been taken almost since the invention of the camera. Pictures of late Victorian séances have included orbs as well as other manifestations such as ectoplasm. Yet, many of these visuals have been dismissed by critics who suggest that orbs are nothing more than either specks of dirt lit by a camera flash or anomalies added by hand after the picture was taken.
There are, however, some excellent examples of orbs shown by programs such as Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted, and the orbs appear as large balls of light or brightly colored. If we are to assume that ghosts are bundles of energy, then it would seem logical to state that should you see an orb in your room, and it isn’t a bug or a speck of dirt, you can assume you are sharing your space with an unseen guest.
6 Your Breath Begins To Fog
We talked earlier about the ghost’s attempt to draw strength from its surroundings and using a power source such as a light or electrical circuit. However, if there is insufficient energy gained from the light or there are no immediate sources, a spirit entity will try to draw energy from the surrounding atmosphere.
Generally speaking, your room’s temperature lingers on around a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius. If you feel the temperature drop and your breath begins to fog, you are likely to have a ghost nearby. If you begin to notice your breath, the temperature around you will have dropped below 7.22 degrees Celsius.
An open window or door cannot account for such a drop in temperature, unless you live at a research facility in Antarctica. And the chill doesn’t just point to the presence of energy; if it gets cold enough, there is every chance of witnessing an apparition.
5 You Get A Bad Headache
Sentient people will know a spirit is nearby because of pronounced physical side effects. Some spiritual mediums often feel drained after performing a mediumship for a group of people while others feel headachey or sick, or both. While such physical symptoms can be attributed to ailments and lack of sleep, mediums will remind non-believers that the side effects are only felt after contact with the dead.
The reason for this effect is clear. In much the same way a spirit draws energy from the atmosphere or an electrical source, it will feed the medium in order to communicate with them. The more energy the ghost absorbs, the less strength the medium will have, but the clearer the message. However, the process doesn’t just create a feeling of tiredness. A sentient person will often feel an intense pressure to their temples.
4 You Hear Voices
If you hear voices in your room, you can be certain of a presence. Sometimes, a faint voice can be heard after you have asked a question, but other times, you will hear speaking without having asked anything. Louder voices can sometimes be heard just before we fall asleep. If you hear a voice, it is always worth trying to record it since it will add credence to your claim that a ghost is in your room.
Another way to hear spirit voices is to use ghost-hunting technology. A recorded voice, no matter how quiet or muffled, is an exciting prospect for any investigator, and these days, there are many pieces of equipment available to help with the capture. Even modern dictaphones are incredibly sensitive, often picking up sounds we can’t hear.
3 Your Radio, TV, Or Computer Picks Up Static
Today’s electrical equipment is no longer susceptible to outside interference, but it would seem the energy of a spirit is able to break through the circuits of some technology. Some scientists may argue that the variables of determining spiritual activity in this case are simply too vast. But surely then we must deny with equal force the existence of other inhabited planets. Why, despite the vastness of space, are NASA and other agencies investing in their discovery?
If you have a TV, radio, or computer in your room, make careful observations of any oddities in their operation. If you do have a ghost you will find strange anomalies occurring with an increasing frequency as it tries to use radio or TV frequencies to communicate with you. You may notice either a great deal of static or the machines turning off and on in quick succession.
2 You See Shadows
Sometimes, it is not the apparition you see, but rather its shadow. Yet the often-used term “shadow figure” is a misnomer. A ghost, even in a solid form, will not cast a shadow because the “solid” you see will not be the same “solid” that scientists know. Besides, quite often its solid appearance results from a visual matrix of a semi-transparent figure.
Shadow people have been written about for thousands of years, and they used to be thought of as a sub-species of a supernatural being rather than ghosts. Sightings of these figures have been known to portend a tragic event, but for those who have seen them, they appear to be conscious and intelligent. Although you may feel frightened by the appearance of a shadow person, they very rarely interact, and as such seem reasonably harmless.
1 You Actually See Something
Of course, the ultimate proof of a haunted room is offered by the witness of a ghost. To see such an apparition is both mesmerizing and fear-inducing, but is also the best confirmation of your suspicions. Apparitions can be misty, semi-transparent, or solid, but can also be partial, showing just legs, feet, or hands, etc. The appearance of an entire ghostly figure is rare but not unheard of, and should therefore not be dismissed out of hand.
A visual presence usually manifests in an environment that is quiet, low-lit, and uncluttered; a low ambient temperature also seems to be critical. Should you see a ghost in your room, don’t try to evade it. You may experience momentary fright but you should resist the temptation to run away. Ask it questions and offer to help it in some way. You may find that your fear turns into an overwhelming sense of peace.