By Tina R. McSwain
Whereas last week we talked about residual haunts which are basically a past memory replayed in the present, an intelligent haunt involves the presence of a spirit. Thus, they are responsible for actual haunted houses. Said spirit may manifest itself in any number of ways. This type of haunting usually has a “personality” associated with it. Just as some living people are jovial, and some are crass; some spirits may be malevolent while others are mischievous and playful. A child’s ghost for example, would act like a child. You may hear childlike laughter or giggling, hear the pitter-patter of little feet, or a living child’s toys may get played with or moved about the room.
The “ghost” may only appear to one member of the household or may put on a show for the entire family. The family pets may react to this unseen force as well. Sometimes the entity simply wants to make its presence known. Other times it may appear as if going about its daily routine while alive. This is a probable explanation for doors being opened and closed, cabinets being opened, drawers being pulled out seemingly by themselves, or items moving on their own. The spirit is still going about his or her business as if still living in the house, or working in the office. A spirit may also manifest in defiance of changes to the property. We hear all the time of remodeling projects bringing out the past inhabitants of the home.
Whatever the nature of this paranormal activity; this type of spirit is there for a reason. Many times the person died with unfinished business, or met an untimely demise. They could have died so suddenly that they are still coming to grips with their passing. They may not even realize they have passed. They could be lost, confused, or angry about having to “leave”. They may just flatly refuse to go, wishing instead to remain in the home they have lived in during life. On occasion, some people will “come back” to watch over their relatives or their property.
Intelligent haunts take many forms; EVP or voices, certain smells like cigar smoke or perfume, footsteps, hot or cold spots, apparitions, physical movement of objects, or even touching of the living is possible. How and where it most commonly manifests is important as to who it may be. Interviews with the family or other witnesses may prove useful in identifying the entity. Research on the property can also provide clues to the identity of the spirit as well as its motives for appearing.
Documenting the presence of a spirit is easier said than done. You may employ everything from EMF detectors and audio recorders to special cameras and “trigger objects” (something the ghost may recognize and want to move). While there are many ways to coax activity from the spirit, you must remember it is an intelligent force with a mind of its own. It may or may not want to come out and play or interact with you in the way you would like. Provoking is dangerous and absolutely not recommended. Provoking, daring or belittling the spirit can lead to retaliation and escalation of activity. Something a frightened family does not need.