Many people swear that they live in a real life haunted house. While we do believe ghosts and paranormal entities exist, it's important to rule out more plausible explanations before calling in a ghost hunting team. If you think your house might be haunted, here is a list of things you should keep in mind if you think you have a ghost problem. If you cant't find a reasonable answer, then we tell you what to do next.
First: Look for Rational Explanations
Many people will report unusual sounds, smells, and movements as the reasons why they think their house is haunted. Those are things that can probably be explained more rationally. Consider the following:
Disappearing Items Around the House: This could be a ghost playing tricks - or it could just be failing to admit our own forgetfulness. You don't have to be old and senile to lay something down in a rush then forget where you placed it. Pets also tend to grab things and hide them, or knock them behind furniture. So if you have missing objects do a thorough search before blaming a ghost.
Doors that open and close: As a house ages and settles, door jambs can shift which will keep a door from fully closing. Of course, as you're sitting in bed with the lights off it will slowly open and scare you into believing the house is haunted. Make sure all doors close with a click, and try lubing up old creaky hinges with WD-40 or silicon spray. Then make sure there are no drafts that could move the door naturally. Is the door near a heating vent? Others report cold spots in a room as a sure fire proof of a demon encounter. What house doesn't have cold spots? Rule out these normal house activities before screaming "GHOST!"
Fear and Imagination: Belief is a powerful thing, and its human to manifest something that we want to believe. That means your fear of ghosts could be tricking you into believing you are experiencing paranormal activity. Rule out fear as the cause of what you believe you're witnessing.
Noises: Old houses creak, wood floors swell and contract as the temperature changes. small rodents and animals can nest inside of small areas and scurry around. Even plumbing will make sounds, and things like the refrigerator will make noises that travel when the compressor turns on. Simply put, just about every noise in your house has a source even if you can't see it.
Shadows: Objects in the room can cast an odd shape on the wall at night, and sometimes throughout the night moonlight can crate illusions that can be mistaken for something otherworldly. Be sure to check and make sure that more explainable reasons are not to blame for the shadows in the room, such as a car passing by or a nearby streetlight.
Sleep Paralysis: This is a phenomena where a person wakes from what could be called a nightmare, but it's almost as if they don't know that they are awake. As a result, the nightmare you just had feels very real. We had a reader report on his sleep paralysis experiences and it's quite frightening. It's also responsible for at least some of the demonic entity stories we read.
Smells: Those animals which worked their way into the walls or under floorboards can unfortunately get trapped and die - which could explain unusual smells. Many who believe their house is haunted report that they could smell "death" in the air. One report we had mentioned just such a thing. This can more often than not be explained by deceased creatures. Even mold in a house will give off a bad smell, and old paint and the dust accumulated over years could explain what you think is outside the ordinary.
Thinking there is a ghost or entity in your house doesn't make you crazy. Magicians rely on the our fallible senses to trick us into believing what is an illusion. What this means is that our sense of sight, sound, touch, and hearing are sometimes tricked by our imaginations. Don't foolishly mistake explainable things as a demon infestation or haunting.
Still Think Your House is Haunted?
Start keeping a record of events. Try making a journal of happenings and look to see if their are commonalities that suggest an explanation. If you can't find the answers, then consider trying to make a record of what is going on. Begin by recording any strange noises and listening to them over again. Amplifying the volume can help uncover voices or messages being relayed by paranormal entities. Downloading them to your computer and listening at a different playback speed can help uncover messages as well.
Ask a friend or family member to spend the night and see if they experience any of the phenomena that you have. They may help prove your story, or disprove it with a more rational explanation. Extra witnesses to a paranormal event will give more credence to your story, and encourage an experienced paranormal researcher to take an interest in helping you with your ghost problem.
Capturing anything unusual on camera is helpful to any paranormal research - but please know how to properly use your camera and eliminate any artifacts. There are plenty of photographs of ghosts and orbs out there, but few that are very credible or that offer more than what looks like anything other than bad photography.
If after recording the sounds, trying to capture photographic paranormal evidence, and keeping a journal doesn't help you find a rational explanation - it's time to call in an experienced paranormal researcher for help. You want to make sure that you and your family are not in danger. The researcher will bring along ghost hunting equipment and mostly likely spend a night in your home to search for evidence. It may be scary to stay, but the entity may not reveal itself if you are not present.