Fringe Paranormal Research Guide: Part I Get To Know Your Ghosts

Welcome to Fringe Paranormal!   It’s time to learn a little about ghosts, demons, and angels as well as gnomes, fairies and other “wee people”.  The following was compiled by Agent  Scott S. from a variety of sources. At the conclusion of this series you can find the full compendium at Fringe University.

Ghosts…Why Are They Here?

What exactly is a ghost?

Before you can understand what an entity consists of you need to understand a bit about the human body of the living person. Everything you do, see, hear, taste, feel, etc. is controlled by electrical impulses sent to your brain from your body’s different parts or from your brain to your different body parts.

For example… right now as you are reading this webpage, an electrical impulse is going from your eyes to your brain carrying the information your eyes are seeing. As you scroll down this page your brain is sending electrical impulses to your hand to move your mouse, etc…

When a person dies their individual systems shut down independently, your kidneys fail, then your respiratory system shuts down, then your heart stops beating and finally your brain stops functioning. Since all these systems are controlled by electrical impulses the electricity has to go somewhere. It is a general law of physics that energy cannot be destroyed, so where does the energy go when your body shuts down? It is released into the atmosphere.

When a person dies a slow or natural death the energy is released more slowly and in a less concentrated state than if a person were to die a sudden or violent death. This is why I believe hospitals are not the most haunted places even though more deaths occur in them than anywhere else.

Another theory I have been tossing around for some time now is what makes certain locations more likely to have a ghost than others. I believe it all boils down to electromagnetic fields trapping the energy that is released at time of death.

For example…everyone has heard of at least one haunted theatre in the area they live. Theatres are huge electromagnetic fields, they have high voltage electrical systems in them to support the sound and lighting equipment that is used for their shows. Theatres used to be very dangerous places to work at one time. It was very easy to have a lighting rig fall down on someone and kill them, and it was also easy for someone to fall from a catwalk that is high above the stage. The ingredients were all there for a sudden and violent death. When that occurred, from time to time the energy that was released from the victim’s body was trapped by the much stronger electromagnetic field and you now have a ghost.

One of the tools we use for paranormal research is an EMF meter. These meters are designed to measure changes in electromagnetic energy. Many times while investigating a haunting we have discovered very high levels of electromagnetic energy present. Alot of times this is caused by high voltage electrical systems or by old wiring. Both will create an electromagnetic field.

There is a strong possibility that despite the theories of some other researchers it is not the ghost that causes the electromagnetic energy, but it is the electromagnetic energy that causes the ghost or enables the ghost to manifest by using that energy.

When to Research

All investigators know that research is part of the job. You’ve got to know what you are looking for and how to deal with it once you have found it. The real question, when it comes to research, is WHEN to do it.

If you are simply ghost hunting, you need to do research in order to know where to go and when. But if you are on an investigation, then you need to do your research afterwards. Here are a few reasons why:

When you visit a house you want to start off with a clean slate. You don’t want to let the stories about the home limit what you feel there. For instance, if you read that a little girl was killed in the home 100 years ago, you’ll subconsciously have that little girl in the back of your mind, and it will taint your investigation. This forces you to be true to your feelings, therefore being true to the homeowner.

If you log every event and detail for later study, you can then compare those notes with what you find when researching the history of the home. Not only is your mind free of predeterminations but you get the satisfying reward of having your theories match closely with fact. This is a good way to determine how advanced your sensing capabilities are coming along.

You may overlook additional paranormal events because your mind is closed to them and only open to the events you read about in your research. For instance, if you know a man died in a certain closet, you’ll probably focus your investigation in that closet rather than searching the entire home and finding one other room is WAY more active than the closet you had read about.

These are perfect reasons not to do research beforehand. When investigating someone’s home, make sure to research a bit about their lives (without prying too much) so that you can determine if the problem is in their home or just with them, independently of their home.

If you’re not sure this method is the best, give it a try. It has made all the difference in what I sense on a case and more than doubles the reward of an investigation when you find out that your theory was correct.

Good or Evil?

One of the first questions people ask themselves when they are confronted with paranormal activity is “Is it good or evil?”. Subconsciously and often too frequently the answer they give themselves is “Of course it’s evil, it just slammed a door!!”

This is usually an unfounded and biased decision based on dozens of scary movies, ghost stories around the fire and society’s general lack of knowledge on the subject. Just because it’s ghostly does not mean it’s evil.

First off, typically you’ll be confronted by what we call a “human spirit”. This is the spirit of someone who was once alive, as you and I are alive. They were born on earth, they had a job, most likely a family, a dog, and most importantly, they died. For various reasons they are still hanging around. Now, because they were once alive they each have different personalities as you and I do. So, these spirits can be good or bad BUT NOT NECESSARILY EVIL. Fortunately the majority of us tend to be rather decent folks, but not all of us. The same goes for spirits. One spirit could have been a loving grandmother who is looking for her husband, or one could be a teen-aged punk who may be getting a kick out of scaring you.

Then there are the not-so-common type of spirits we call “non-human spirits”. This is a spirit that never lived on the earth and is ALWAYS bad news and generally dangerous. The disturbing thing is that this type of spirit is brought to our realm through people who are meddling where they shouldn’t. (Ouija boards, seances, curses, devil worship, etc.)

Now that we know that there are only two general types and we know their mentalities, we can better identify them. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Typical Human Spirit Activity:

  • Noises
  • Appearance of seemingly random objects (flashlights, rocks, money)
  • An illuminated figure or part of a figure

Typical Non-Human Spirit Activity:

  • Whispering Voices – black shadowy figures
  • Violent acts against you (being hit, thrown, etc.)
  • Targeted paranormal activity (i.e. you hate clowns, so the spirit moves the clown from room to room. You get the idea)

These are not all of the things to look for, but some of the most obvious signs to help you identify what type of spirit you’re dealing with.

The Four Basic Types of Hauntings

(The following text was composed for the two classes presented by Carl L. Johnson and Keith E. Johnson during the Paranormal Conference held at Penn. State University on October 25th & 26th, 2003, which they attended representing, and accompanied by fellow members of, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. *)

Para-normal: As defined for our purposes, repeatedly witnessed and documented phenomena which is apart from the natural order of cause and effect, action and reaction, as is presently understood or speculated upon by standardized, scientific observation of the properties of physical matter and energy.

Intelligent Haunt – Paranormal research and investigation has revealed there to be three, basic categories of hauntings, or non-corporeal infestations. The first of these we may descriptively refer to as an “intelligent” or a “human” type of haunting. In these manifestations, the entity or entities encountered seem to possess human personalities and emotions, albeit in a limited scope. They may at times appear visually in human forms, and are responsive to changes in external conditions such as the activities of the occupants of a household, the presence of investigators, or the rearranging of furnishings in a setting, all of which suggest their formerly having existed as living, cognitive beings. These are what we call, presently lacking more applicable, scientific terminology, spirits or ghosts. Invariably they seem to be attached to particular sites, vicinities or dwelling places, usually though not exclusively houses. Disembodied voices from these spirit beings are sometimes registered on audio recording devices: spool or cassette tape recorders or digital recorders. This is known as ‘Electronic \/oice Phenomenon’ and is abbreviated to ‘E.V.P.’ We sometimes find unexplained distortions imprinted on photographic film exposed at the site of a suspected haunting, which were initially not perceived by the photographer. The most frequent or these photograpic anomalies is the appearance of “orbs”/”globules.” These are spherical forms that are seen either singularly or in multiple images. They can be picked up by both still photographs and by videotape, the latter displaying them in motion. They’re generally translucent and whitish, although they can appear in faint hues of red, orange, blue and green. Naturally, a responsible investigator must consider all possible explanations prior to ruling any irregularities to be genuine, paranormal phenomena.

Residual Haunt – The second category is referred to as a “residual” type of haunting. In such a case, a scene from the past (recent or remote; it could proceed from any previous time frame) seems to be replayed and is witnessed by a living person or persons. Apparently this is an actual form of time-displacement from a former scenario which transpired at that site, and the entities contained within it rarely display any awareness of their present day observers. However, there have been instances reported when these specters from the past DO seem to briefly notice those who perceive a glimpse of their separated reality, as was the case with an abandoned 19th century school house on Hornbine Road in the town of Rehoboth, Massachusetts. {‘Ghost File #45′ from, The New England Ghost Files’ by Charles Turek Robinson.} Claimed “residual” apparitions have also included the historical personages of Ann Bolyne and Catherine Howard, both Queens of Tudor England by the misfortune of having been wed to King Henry the Eighth and duly beheaded upon his orders.

They are reported to have been sighted numerous times in the famous Tower of London where they’d been imprisoned pending their executions. Reports also include Marie Antoinette, Queen of late 18th century France (also beheaded) who one hundred years ago was seen sketching on the lawn of her former Paris estate and later recognized from her portrait mounted within, plus fleeting moments from an American Civil War battle, beheld while illuminated by lightning flashes in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania! Consider, have there ever been displaced scenes from our future, observed by fully awake subjects? We could speculate that at least some unexplained aerial phenomena – U.F.O.’s – may constitute examples of this. It may even be that this is the operative principle involved in what is termed clairvoyance and precognition.

Demonic Haunt – The third category is unquestionably the most debated, as well as the most dreaded. This falls into the realm of a “demonic” or an “inhuman” type of haunting. It is perhaps of other-dimensional origin, and is often possessed (no pun intended) of a quite hostile nature. Anyone who has up close and personally encountered a demonic entity in action never wants the experience repeated; no one I’ve spoken to, anyway! It often evinces a form of intelligence (initially similar to a “human” type of haunting) in that it may insidiously seem to anticipate the approaches of the person(s) it menaces, including any paranormal investigators who are endeavoring to rid a home of its presence. Endemic to this most unwelcome infestation is a pronounced psychological instability, distress or unresolved conflict on the part of a resident or residents of the household subjected to the demonic assault. Additionally, experience has supported the observation that someone originally had to have invited in the demon, perhaps inadvertently, either through scrying implements such as an Ouija Board, conducting seances, undisciplined psychic experimentation, performing magic ceremonies or by habitually conversing with unseen presences (imaginary friends?). It should be mentioned here that while some of these devices may at first appear to be utterly harmless and regarded as tools to aid in tapping into one’s sub consciousness, the results can be likened to leaving open one’s back door in a country setting. Now, you may only have some little squirrels and chipmunks wander into your kitchen, but odds are that eventually you’ll find yourself facing down a bear, maybe a small cub, IF YOU’RE LUCKY. And keep in mind, where there’s one “bear,” others are lurking somewhere close by!

Poltergeist Haunt – A sub-category of the “inhuman” type of haunting, reported at least since the dark ages of recorded history, which really isn’t a spirit or a demon in the true sense and seems more mischievous in nature than outright malevolent, is the manifestation of a Poltergeist: German for “rattling ghost.” As far as has been determined, there is almost always an adolescent girl or boy at the center of this kind of paranormal disturbance. Perhaps the young person is unwittingly generating a flow of chaotic, psychic energies during a phase of their formative period.

Whatever the cause, Poltergeist activity commences suddenly and inexplicably. The episodes are brief, often involving the floating or flinging of kitchen utensils, thunderous poundings reverberating in walls and ceilings, heavy furniture moved about or tossed by an unseen force, and (though rarely in these cases) even disembodied voices. These occurrences then rapidly subside. The Poltergeist phenomena can persist, recurring at unpredictable intervals, for several months – which is the usual duration – or sometimes two or three years, then these symptoms vanish for good just as mysteriously as they began…to the immeasurable relief of those inflicted with its presence! The Poltergeist has even been known to follow a family to a new residence, so relocating hasn’t always solved the problem (as it most often does with the other types of hauntings). Perhaps the Poltergeist collective phenomenon differs sufficiently in its “modus operand!” to merit a distinct classification; would you agree?

Get to Know your Ghosts – Poltergeists

Poltergeist is from a German word meaning noisy spirits. Reports of poltergeists date back to Ancient Roman times.

The activity that takes place will start off with knocks and bangs, furniture starting to move around by itself. Then, the activity will become more intense, manifesting itself through voices and even the appearance of full apparitions. Furniture may slide across the room and beds may shake. Many shows are based on this style of haunting because it tends to be the most terrifying and rarest type of haunting that occurs.

Most of the time, in the case of a poltergeist, the haunting circles around a female in her teen years. Some of these cases seem to be caused by the female unknowingly controlling the energy around herself. Some cases happen around people that are stable and in the right mind space.

This haunting is hard to classify due to certain situations. No two are ever really the same. Most of the time you will find that one person in the household seems to be more affected by the haunting than anyone else. It may seem that most ol the activity doesn’t happen unless that certain person is present. Usually, the activity appears to stop when that person leaves the home. The majority of the time poltergeists are experienced by several people, but again they seem to center around one certain person. This person may be highly stressed as of late or maybe this person has gone through some type of extreme emotional situation. If this is the case, see that the individual involved gets some medical care, and soon afterwards the poltergeist will subside.

When it is not the teenager that is manifesting activity there are usually several spirits in the area. The spirits appear to pool their energy together in order to become strong enough to move larger objects and make more noises. In order to remedy the situation, you need to find the root of their anger so that they can pass over and leave you in peace. On most poltergeist cases they will disappear without any warning, just as they appeared. Certain times it may stop within a few days, other times it may take years. You may never know the reason that it happened. Most people are just happy to see it go and that’s enough for them. Understanding why it was there in the first place helps you to understand how to keep it from ever coming back again. Knowledge is the key in protecting yourself in this world.

Get to Know Your Ghosts – Intelligent Haunt

In this style of haunting the entity or entities are aware of their surroundings. Most of the time you will find that these spirits are not confined to one spot, they can move around freely. Also, they will acknowledge the existence of human beings and even try to communicate in certain ways.

They are limited in what they can do. Most of the time they only move very light objects but they have been known to move objects up to around ten pounds. They are looking for people to notice them but they end up scaring people a great deal instead.

Usually, between the hours of llpm and 4am are the times that the entities can more efficiently manifest themselves, due to this time period being the darkest hours of the night. Most of the time they are not strong enough to show themselves during the daylight because it takes too much energy to make themselves visible. Think of it like this, if you were to turn on a flashlight during the daytime you would hardly notice the light, but if you were to turn it on in the dead of night, the light would be clearly visible. This is how spirits work as well. If they use too much energy during the day they will be too weak to show themselves at night.

These spirits can be benevolent or mischievous, depending on the reason that they are haunting a location, and there are several reasons. They may be haunting it because it was once their home and they want you to leave. They may be there because they’ve found that a child is able to see them so they feel noticed and are willing to stay around for this fact. There may be some kind of artifact that they are staying with and following due to some emotional bond with it. They also may be looking for something or someone. They may even not be willing to except that they have died. Whatever the reason may be, they are there and they do not want to leave.

Now comes the hard part, ridding a house of them. They are not inhuman entities which we will get to, so religious provocation will not be effective to rid the area they are in. You are, as they are, limited to what you can do.

Get to Know Your Ghosts – Residual Haunt

The most common style of a human haunting is a residual haunting, A residual haunting is like having an impression made in time. The entity may seem to be lost in a time warp. The spirit really isn’t even there, only the energy is.

In most cases people may hear screaming or crying due to the violence factor that may have caused this traumatic event to happen. People may also hear the sounds of footsteps walking on the stairs or through hallways.

Typically the repeated event is whatever the person who left the energy behind did often or a significant event that they remember happening to them. It is almost like the energy has become part of the dwelling that they once occupied on an everyday basis. These haunting styles always seem to happen in the same place every time.

There is usually very little you can do on this style of a haunting except make the family who is having these problems understand what is going on and explain to them that they are in no danger due to the energy not being controlled by the person who left it behind.

There is no actual entity present in this style of haunting, and the energy that was left behind is just like a video playing the same scene over and over again. Even though it is not aware that people are there, it can still be a scary and emotional situation to the people who have to deal with it happening in their home.

It may happen every night or every week or even every year. It is the most frequent haunting investigators will come across in their cases. An investigator will tell you there is nothing they can do about this style haunting and they are correct. People need to either accept what happens and learn to deal with it, or move on.

Get to Know your Ghosts – Demonic Haunt

Demons are one of the known inhuman entities out there. Fortunately, they are a rare occurrence. Features of a demonic haunting include:

  • They are usually very easy to identify as long as they are not hiding. When it is a demonic haunting you typically notice a revolting stench similar to rotted flesh or sulfuric acid. They often let loose a growl that sounds like it is coming from everywhere at once. They like to make contact by pushing, shoving, hitting, and even scratching. The whole air in the affected area will feel thick like fog and the temperature will drastically change, typically warmer.
  • These creatures are very strong, unlike human spirits, and they don’t mind showing it. There have been cases where people have been thrown through the air and even attacked. Apparently, their main goal is to break down a person’s free will in order to make way for possession. This can take days, months or years, but time is of no consequence to them.
  • They have a hatred for mankind that dates back to the days of God and Lucifer. They have lived for millennium and will be here long after we are gone. So, you must understand that though you may be able to get these creatures to leave a dwelling with religious provocation you will never destroy them. They could go to the next place down the road if they choose, most likely they won’t because distance is not a problem for these creatures. They could go from Maine to California on a thought.
  • They can take on any form they wish, but mostly commonly it is a half man, half animal form. They will have the head of an animal, the torso of a man, and the hairy legs of an animal. When they are approached by an investigating paranormal team they may feel threatened and appear in a human form to keep the home from being blessed and stop the use of religious provocation.
  • During an investigation you need to assess the situation more by what happened before you arrived than what is actually going on during the time you are there. Demons are capable of changing form right in front of you from human form to an inhuman form. They are neither male nor female, but then can change that to meet their needs. Most see demons as black masses standing in doorways or near rooms. Sometimes they are called devils.
  • If you feel like you have a demon in your home I would recommend getting help from a well known paranormal group as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence when dealing with these creatures.

Up next “Demons and Demonology”

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I am the Director of Fringe Paranormal based in Toledo, Ohio.

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