Is My House Haunted? How to Tell – PureWow

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  • Keep in mind there is no concrete proof ghosts exist.

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5. Unexplained Smells

Many people believe that a powerful sign of a ghostly presence is a familiar, but out-of-place scent – maybe the smell of cigarette smoke where no one has been smoking or the smell of perfume after everyone has left the building. It can be very disconcerting to recognize a scent that makes no sense in context, but could it actually be coming from outside of your building? Utilize an inspection system to ensure your ventilation system is functioning properly and that your air filters are regularly replaced, as air, particles and scents from the outside world could be making their way in. If you’ve found that the ventilation isn’t to blame, inspect your facility for mold, as dark, warm areas can often be the culprit.

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2. The Temperature Changes Abruptly

"This can get a little dicey: ‘Oh, there’s a draft,’ that sort of thing," Pennace says. "If you’re in the middle of the room and it’s very cold in that one spot, that shouldn’t happen." However, Mayhan adds that ghosts "feed more off the energy of the people [in the house] than the temperature of the home." She’s not totally certain why this is, but it might have something to do with their makeup.

Martin Hardman // Getty Images

Since ghosts don’t have physical bodies, she probably can’t physically feel the temperature in a location, "but they can detect the uncomfortable level of the human occupants," Mayhan posits. So "if someone is stressed or fearful, they are emitting a huge amount of energy that can then turn around and feed the ghost energy." So if a draft gives you chills in your home, you might get scared and thus, give the being more power. On the other hand, it’s possible that even if ghosts don’t experience temperature themselves, they could emit a certain energy that changes the way we are living beings experience temperature.

3. Ask The Agent

Brian Carlisle from JR Hopper & Co says: “There are a number of houses in the Dales where viewers have commented about a bad feeling or not being comfortable in the house. In these instances, we move on as they will not buy. Having said that, if I have a house with history or stories of Ghoulies and ghosts then it’s better to make it a feature, rather than hide it and hope no one finds out. The brave and adventurous will love a good highwayman or jilted bride story.”

Ectoplasm

Fact: Ectoplasm is a substance that still mystifies even the most seasoned paranormal experts. Historically, it has been reported to show up during seances through a spiritual medium. Newkirk himself has experienced the phenomenon in real haunted houses. “There was a house that I investigated several years ago where the family claimed that things were moving on their own,” he says, “and while I was there I actually had a strange, viscous fluid show up. [It] dripped down my arm, out of nowhere. And [the family] claimed that would happen all the time. It was a very strange kind of off-white, almost like a raw egg kind of fluid.” Ectoplasm is not often seen or experienced at your run-of-the-mill haunted house, but paranormal experts see it as a sign of certainty that there is a paranormal presence at work.

Your Pets are Behaving Strangely

Many believe that pets can sense an unusual presence in your home. So, watch for abnormal behavior from man’s best friends. (Also remember, if you hear sounds at night or find things moved about in the morning, that these guys could be to blame too!) You might also want to check out these 14 cleaning tips all cat and dog owners should know.

Previous homeowners

If you suspect you might have a haunted house on your hands, you should probably dig into the history of your property. “Once I was in somebody’s condominium,” psychic medium Negri says, “and this woman just could not breathe in her bedroom. She didn’t have breathing issues but in her bedroom she just couldn’t breathe. I found out that her room had caught on fire and the [previous] woman had died.” If you’re experiencing things you can’t explain, doing research might help clear it up for you. The hope is that once you know what happened or what you’re dealing with, you can then ease the haunting. However, some places just can’t be cleared of their histories. “One house had everything going for it,” Negri recalls, “from Indian burial ground to being a drug house for years. When I first went there, seven people had already died, one in every room. I [was] seeing dead bodies everywhere. I would clear it and then it would ooze back up. That probably had some demonic stuff to it.” These are the stories from the most haunted places in the world.

Your House has a Spooky History

Was someone murdered in your house? Was your house built on top of a cemetery or a property where something evil happened? You might find some of this in a home disclosure, so be sure to ask your real estate agent before you buy a house. This could be why your house is haunted.

3. Lights flickering on and off

One of the most common signs of a paranormal presence that we often see in horror films is lights flickering on and off. Because some believe spirits can manipulate electricity and energy, a flickering light could be a sign that a ghost is trying to communicate with you. However, it may be more likely that you have some defective bulbs that need replacing. Before you invest in a night vision camera hoping to see ghosts wandering your halls, make sure you replace your light bulbs and ensure they’re screwed in tightly.

3. Things Keep Disappearing Reappearing Elsewhere

If items you normally keep close eyes on—say, your wallet or keys—suddenly go missing all the time, you could be stressed and absentmindedly misplacing them. But if you put something down, step away, and immediately come back to find it gone (or moved), you may be dealing with a ghost, according to Berry.

5. Things Keep Turning On Off On Their Own

Two of the most common instances that make people believe their home is haunted is watching their lights and TV turn on and off, without them—or Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant—triggering it. If your wiring isn’t to blame, Berry suggests doing one more test before questioning whether the undead disapproves of your lighting (or binge-watching) situation: “Make sure your neighbor doesn’t have the same remote,” he says, particularly if you live in an apartment or condo where your TVs might be sharing a wall. (Ditto if your garage door keeps opening and closing; your neighbor might have recently installed the same electronic opener.)

Good News: Orbs Aren’t Necessarily a Sign Your Home’s Haunted

While some people view photos with flecks of light—or orbs, as they’re often known—as a sign of supernatural activity, the society doesn’t. "There are way too many things to explain it," Pennace says. "It could be bugs. Most of the time, it’s dust. You can’t always see dust particles in a room, but if you’re using flash photography, it’ll often pick it up."

Cecilio Nicolas / EyeEm // Getty Images

Misty areas—say, if you’re standing next to a waterfall—also pick up the light, which can make orbs appear in a photo.

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