Possible Signs of a Haunting 

Updated October 19th, 2016 by Eric Haney 


Many homes and structures will make noise as they settle, as the season’s change heating and cooling can cause pops and creaks. Many times these sounds will be mistaken for paranormal activity. It can sound like knocking, banging or footsteps and sometimes be difficult to differentiate between natural or unnatural causes. The Munroe Falls Paranormal Society has written this guide to help you determine if you may have a possible haunting.


1) Noises such as Banging, Knocking or Footsteps which appear in the absence of seasonal changes, heating or cooling.

The sun rising in the morning or setting in the evening can cause a house to make many types of noises. Try and rule out any natural occurrences such as those mentioned in item #1. If the sounds appear to be intelligent or occur in response to your reactions or have distinct patterns this could be a sign of a possible haunting.


2) Sometimes during a haunting, doors, cupboards and drawers can either be seen or heard opening and closing. Sometimes these can be violent slamming of a door or gentle movement to an open or closed position.

Make sure that no windows are open to create a cross breeze through the house or building that may cause a vacuum allowing a door to slam shut. In some cases, HVAC (Heating and Cooling Systems) may be the cause for slight movement of doors. Also, check the door to see how level it is by moving it to various positions from closed to open and see if it moves on its own when you let it go.

Also, check cupboards for worn hardware that may cause easy movement allowing a cupboard door to close or open under certain conditions. We have seen drawers that have had faulty railings that slumped down towards the front causing the drawer to open seemingly by itself upon vibration to the cabinets.


3) Items such as shoes, keys, and other personal effects being moved to strange locations such as under furniture, other rooms and even coming up missing and not ever being found again.

We investigated a claim of a husband & wife newly married experiencing strange phenomena of personal items moving in their first home.

The husband would take his shoes off downstairs in a small hallway in the back entrance to the house, many times in the morning they would awake to find his shoes upstairs in the bedroom neatly placed in front of their dresser on the floor. The couple also reported many times finding toast or bread in and around their microwave oven. They claimed this was not done by them and they had no children or pets at the time.

Before considering misplaced objects as paranormal please consider factors in the environment first such as pets, children and even other family members that may not remember moving the item.


4) Levitating or moving objects. In poltergeist type activity dishes, vases, pictures and etc. may be levitated or moved many times ending up crashing to the floor. We have seen many claims of a plate or glass sitting on a table or counter slide across and crash to the floor. Pictures falling off walls, vases, and other decorative items being knocked over and thrown around.

Please keep in mind that from time to time a simple act of placing a drinking glass or object to close to the edge of a table or counter-top can allow for this type of action to occur. Shelving that may not be level can over time due to vibration from walking cause objects to slowing migrate towards the edge and crash to the floor. Also, cups and bowls that form moisture on the bottom due to condensation can easily slide across a smooth surface for quite a distance and fall to the floor. Checking the counter or table for water or moisture can help determine if hydroplaning was a factor.

In this type of activity you may want to look for repeat events within short periods of time, actual witness to levitating or moving objects, objects covering great distances, objects that disappear from one location and reappear in another, and objects that appear to be securely anchored becoming dislodged moving or falling to the floor.

Another variation of this phenomena is Aportation or Trans-Location. Although rare there have been reports of this type of phenomena in the past. Aportation or Trans-Location can be a PK event involving the instantaneous movement or appearance of an object from one location to another or the appearance of an object seemingly out of nowhere. These objects may appear to be from a different era or time.


5) Animals behaving in a strange manner. Do you have a dog that appears to be barking at nothing in a corner of a room? Maybe your pet is very nervous about entering a certain room. It has been known for quite some time that animals appear to be more sensitive to the paranormal than humans are. Animals can sense the presence of a spirit or ghost and quite often will act strangely in the room or house where a haunting occurs.

Keep a close watch on your animal and check to see if there is a pattern he or she exhibits. If the animal is shy of a particular room or barks and growls at something that appears to be unseen these could be indications of a haunting.

Many times this animal behavior can be explained by other home or building infestations of insects or rodents. Dogs and Cats can hear in to the ultrasonic range where humans cannot. This allows them to hear insects or animals in a wall, ceiling or attic which may have them staring or barking at what appears to be nothing on the wall or ceiling. It’s always good practice to rule out these possible infestations first with a simple inspection before considering this activity as paranormal.


6) Electrical disturbances. There can be a wide range of causes and we could probably write an entire article on this alone! Disturbances can range from TVs and Radio’s turning on and off by themselves, channels changing, lights turning on or off and/or flickering, strange sounds coming from TV’s or Radio’s, children’s electronic toys turning on and moving around, New batteries losing their charge very quickly after being installed in equipment including short battery shelf life.

There can be several natural and man-made reasons for electronic interference and many times these claims will have to be explored by a paranormal investigator to ascertain whether a paranormal cause is valid. Here are just a few of the possibilities. Battery life or drain can be causes by several reasons including but not limited to faulty batteries, generic or cheap batteries, faulty equipment, excessive cold or heat, excessive use or power on continuously. TV & Radio disturbances can also occur from infrared contamination, nearby electrical interference, ham radio, atmospheric disturbances, etc.


7) Unusual sounds or voices. These can be footsteps or wall bangs being heard in various places at different times. Voices or talking, usually very subtle, and whispers sometimes appearing to happen right behind you. Sometimes inadvertently these voices or unexplainable sounds can be recorded to audio tape or MP3 recorders.

The capture of sounds or voices on audio-tape or digital voice recorders is called EVP. This stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena and happens when a spirit or entity of some sort is trying to communicate a message or respond to a question, these voices will usually not be heard during the recording session but will be audible during playback.

Please Note: We do NOT recommend conducting your own EVP sessions, we feel this can lead to increased paranormal activity that may not be desirable you or your family.

Some common explanations for these sounds or voices can be caused by simple interference or contamination to the audio being recorded. Sometimes sounds can be picked up in the background and cause what we call “Audio Matrixing”. This is similar to Pareidolia which tricks the mind into believing that it is seeing or hearing something that is not really there. Footsteps and wall bangs can simply be hot or cold expansion of the house or building. These will need to be evaluated by an experienced paranormal investigator to determine their validity.


8) Personal experiences such as a feeling of being watched when nobody else is around. Feeling of being touched or having an article of clothing pulled or tugged. Many times these experiences will be accompanied by a cold area in the room or a cold/chilled feeling.

Sometimes these experiences can be caused by an overactive imagination and a fear of being alone. When we get scared or feel uncomfortable certain physiological changes happen that can cause chills, goose bumps, hallucination and more. The best option for this experience is to relax, clear your mind of any scary thoughts and focus on a good book, TV show preferably a comedy or educational documentary or work on a hobby.

This also must be observed objectively and noted when the occurrence happens. For example, what time of the day or night was it, was anyone else present, were voices heard, if clothing was involved was it caught on something physical, are there drafts in the house? If the individual has never experienced these things before and all of sudden these events start occurring more frequently, this may need to be examined by a paranormal investigator.


9) Shadows and White spots or shapes out of the corner of your eyes. If you frequently see shadows or lighted flashes out of the corner of your eyes this may or may not a sign of paranormal activity. What to look for is shadows or spots of glowing light that may appear in direct vision or direct line of sight for a few seconds or longer. Shadows that tend to block out light from windows and doorways, shadows that move rapidly from room to room or down hallways and shadows or lights that appear in a human shape or form.

There are lighting phenomena and eye disorders that can produce this type of visual effect in your eyes with the right conditions. You must rule out any physical eye condition that can cause this type of occurrence. Also, light coming in through multiple windows can produce a variety of strange effects that are not paranormal at all. Shadows on walls at night can be related to the same lighting occurrence from outdoor sources such as cars, traffic, moonlight, tower lighting, airfields and airports, etc. Careful consideration of these sources and others need to be examined before any conclusions are made.


10) Cold or Hot Spots. A cold spot may appear just before during or after other paranormal activity. The theory is that an entity trying to manifest itself or communicate uses energy in the room surrounding it and this act produces the cold spot. It has been documented on several MFPS cases ambient temperature drops of 20+ degrees during potential paranormal events.

These cold spots can be felt and measured and usually are short lived. The cold or hot spots can move from room to room or be very generalized to a specific spot or location. On occasion entire rooms can be much colder than the average house temperature and even colder than the outside air. When experiencing a cold spot, it should be documented by recording the place, time and ambient weather conditions if possible.

Cold or Hot spots can also be very normal in many homes and buildings. Insulation, drafts, leaky windows or doors, faulting air handlers and lack of proper HVAC in an area can cause dramatic shifts in temperature in either a hot or cold direction. The room or area affected may need to be inspected for any leaks, drafts or HVAC problems first before drawing any conclusions. Usually, these explainable temperature differences are relatively constant and change slowly over hours or even days. Cold or Hot spots related to paranormal activity can change drastically and quickly in seconds or minutes lasting only a short period of time before retiring to normal.


11) Unusual smells such as cigars, smoke, perfume, flowers and sometimes burning or rotten smells.

Again, there can be other natural explanations for these types of smells including to but not limited to the following: Cleaners and Deodorizers, Candles, Foods, embedded smoke and scent particles in furniture, etc. Any of these smells can be triggered by changing environmental factors. Also, these phantom smells can be associated with the Olfactory system of the brain possibly being related to neurological disorders or attributed to a migraine if associated or followed by a headache.

Usually smells associated with the paranormal are strong sudden smells that may be short lived and may not be sensed by others in the surrounding area. The can appear in unusual places not typically associated with natural or man-made products. They can also appear to wander or move in the space either horizontally or vertically in an intelligent manner.


12) Unexplained bodily marks including bruises, scratches and burn like abrasions. These kinds of events can occur suddenly or overnight and sometimes be painful or burn and at other times occur unnoticed. All ages can be affected but small children appear to be more at risk for this type of phenomena. If a small child or infant is suspected to be subject to this kind of activity, please seek the assistance of a paranormal investigator immediately!

However, there are some common things to look for such as hangnails, nail burrs, clothing or covers that may have decorations that are abrasive or sharp, emotional problems that lead to self inflicted cuts or wounds, accidental scraps or cuts, etc. If all reasonable causes of these marks, scratches and burns are ruled out then seek either medical attention or a paranormal investigator ASAP. Other causes of these bodily marks, cuts or bruises could be the result of abuse by a family member or acquaintance. If this is suspected, please take the appropriate action and notify the authorities ASAP.


13) Apparitions, full bodied or partial. They can appear as shadow figures, black masses, partial shadows, balls of light or streaks of light. They can appear to take on a human form or shape but also appear as a solid or transparent mass of various sizes. These shadows may block out light when passing in front of a lighted area and may be seen in rooms, hallways, attics or just about anywhere. They usually appear briefly and can move very quickly.

They may appear on video or film and not seen in the room at the time of taking the pictures or video. If you have captured phenomena such as this on film or video it is best to seek professional advice as to its content and/or validity. MFPS can analyze your film, pictures or video and help you validate the phenomena as natural or paranormal.


14) Other signs of a haunting. There can be many other signs of a haunting besides the ones listed above, a general rule to be followed, look for signs that appear to defy natural or man-made causes. Look for reoccurring events that appear to be intelligently created. Keep a log, this can go a long way to help you understand and track these occurrences and also assist the investigator with determining whether your occurrence is paranormal or natural.


Types of Haunting’s 


Residual Haunting – This type of haunting is usually seen as a ghost or apparition that tends to travel or act in the same space in a repetitious way. For example, many people may see an image of a woman in 18th-century clothing walk down a set of stairs and through the wall or vanish into another room. This image will usually not acknowledge you are there and may appear to do the same thing over and over each time it is seen. We believe that a residual haunting is a type of magnetic impression that was recorded in the surrounding space due to the properties of the geological structures and buildings that exist in that location. Periodic playback of this impression may be triggered from some event causing the sighting to take place.


Intelligent Haunting – This type of haunting is usually interactive and aware of your presence. Intelligent spirits or ghosts usually try to communicate or make themselves know to you or the individuals of the dwelling. These types of sightings are much more dynamic and are not usually tied to a specific space or repetitive act. There are several sub-classifications in the Intelligent Haunting classification, these are as follows:


Poltergeist – Also known as a Noisy Spirit can manifest itself as objects moving, breaking, levitating, thrown, banging sounds, rapping noises and many others. Most of the above signs can be related to a poltergeist and usually it is found to revolve around young adolescent men and women that have had some trauma or post-traumatic stress syndrome in the past. The activity can be tied to (PK) or Psychokinesis. Many times when the teen or individual is treated for the depression or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the problem usually subsides. Therefore, a poltergeist is usually short lived and last only months and not years.


Demonic or Inhuman – This is a rare type of haunting which is usually attached to an individual. It can be possessive or obsessive and usually follows the individual if he or she moves. A demonic or Inhuman presence was never a living being, it is an entity which may appear as many forms usually an animal and can be very abusive and deceitful. These types of haunting’s can be brought on by Ouija board use, occult practices or other types of activities. In rare occurrences, possession of an individual may be the result but I must stress that this only happens with certain types of people that are susceptible to the attacks from such entities. This type of haunting can be extremely difficult to deal with and may take a considerable amount of time to get rid of.


Incubus or Incubi – Also an extremely rare occurrence. An Incubi is a demonic entity in male form that supposedly will target a female for sexual intercourse. This type of haunting can be very violent resulting in physical and mental injury to the victim. A famous case of a reported Incubus attack was the “Carla Moran” story which the Hollywood movie called the “The Entity” was made from. The female counterpart to this is called the succubus in which a demonic entity in female form attacks a male individual. It is believed that repeated attacks from an Incubus or Succubus may result in deterioration of health or eventually death.


Succubus or Succuba – Same as above but involving a demonic entity in a female form.


What to do if you think your home or workplace is haunted!


If you live in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Northern West Virginia or Northern Kentucky you can contact Munroe Falls Paranormal Society, we are always available to assist individuals with paranormal problems. We can be reached by email at eric@munroe-falls-paranormal-society.com or on the web at www.munroe-falls-paranormal-society.com. In the meantime, do not be afraid. 99% of the time these haunting’s are benevolent and will cause you no harm.


Start a log, record events in a notebook and keep detailed notes of activity including date, time and what you were doing when the event happened.


Talking to the spirit in a stern but respectful way enforcing the fact that the space it occupies is your home and they do not belong there can sometimes be very helpful. Never provoke or be disrespectful because this may escalate the activity to an intolerable level. Negative entities thrive on negative energies, if there is a considerable amount of fighting and/or hatred occurring in the household and a Demonic or Inhuman entity is suspected this may rapidly decay into a bad situation quickly.


Try and bring peace and tranquility to the family, positive thoughts and energies are extremely effective in these situations.

Remember, we can be reached anytime. If you feel that you need assistance don’t hesitate to contact us.

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