How to Tell if Your House is Haunted

Bethany Dean By Bethany Dean, 5th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Paranormal>Ghosts & Spirits

How can you be sure your house is haunted? You may hear knocks in the night and see mists float from room to room, but there are a few vital signs to identify before you call the exorcist. This article describes how to accurately gauge if your house is being haunted by otherworldly spirits.

Am I Haunted?

Do you have a poltergeist, spook, spectre or spirit? Is your house very old or the scene of a past tragedy? Many things can give your house an eerie feeling, but how can you tell if you really do have a ghost rattling the pipes at night or if you just watched too many horror movies? Here are a few signs to watch out for to determine if your haunting is more than a figment of your imagination.

A Lingering Smell

One aspect of a true haunting that cannot be faked or easily mistaken is a curious smell that comes and goes in a certain area in the house. You should investigate any potential causes of the odour, but bear in mind that things such as underground pipes or hidden animal routes might prove to be the cause.

Smells that indicate a haunting include wafts of perfume in a house where nobody wears any scent, which could indicate the presence of an old lady ghost; flowers, which may mean a particularly emotional funeral or wake was held in the house; or more disturbingly, a putrid smell like rotting flesh or vegetables.

Temperature Drop

It is impossible to change the temperature permanently in a small corner of a room. This is why experts cite cold spots (or hot spots) as one of the most conclusive pieces of evidence in a haunting. Stand in the room you think is the centre of the paranormal activity and slowly move around, feeling for any fluctuations in temperature. Close all windows and doors and block any cracks with draught excluders. Of course, if you still feel a breeze in the room with no explanation, this is evidence in itself!

If you can afford it, invest in a thermal imaging camera. These are less expensive than they used to be and reveal and record cold and hot spots where they occur. Keep in mind that while this equipment will give undeniable proof that there is a temperature fluctuation in the room, the cause of it could be something more mundane than spirits.

Electrical Interference

One effect of a paranormal haunting is perhaps more conclusive and inexplicable than any other. This is the mysterious and alarming draining of power from electrical devices such as cameras, scientific instruments and torches, making detailed investigations impossible. Upon entering the haunted area, any such electrical devices suddenly switch off or get low on power even though they had been fully charged beforehand. Usually this phenomenon reverses when the electrical device is taken away from the affected region. Quite often they return to full charge within a minute or so, but return to low or no power when taken back into the site of the haunting. The most likely explanation is that ghosts and apparitions utilise electro-magnetic fields to influence ‘our’ world and therefore have to drain energy from another source in order to manifest.

Do Your Research

A final solution may be found in the records of your house. Try and find old plans, blueprints and council permissions. Check your local library or church for the births, marriages and deaths register in your parish. Look for unusual or sudden deaths, or evidence that your house underwent significant structural alterations. Sometimes spirits are ‘stirred up’ if their home is altered and they do not agree with the new layout. The reason spirits often disappear or walk through walls is not just that they are a bodiless mist, but they are following the corridors of their house as it was when they were alive. If you have been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to witness a visual presence, you must apply their movements to any historical house plans to discern the date of their death and maybe find their identity. It could be that elderly members of your community could hold valuable word-of-mouth information, unrecorded by historical sources, which could hold the key. The closer you are to discovering who your ghost is the closer you may be to ridding it peacefully from your home.


Dead, Death, Fortean, Fortean Times, Ghost, Ghost Hunting, Ghostly Apparitions, Ghosts, Halloween, Haunt, Haunted, Haunted Homes, Haunted House, Haunting, Hauntings, Noises, Odour, Paranormal, Poltergeist, Smell, Spectre, Spirit, Spirits, Spooky, Strange

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author avatar Bethany Dean
Author of the Rose Prince, available on Kindle and in paperback. | @bethanyrdean

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
5th Aug 2011 (#)

Very interesting. Thank you Bethany.

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author avatar Songbird B
5th Aug 2011 (#)

Interesting article, Bethany, and nice to see you again! I have been told that our old house has the spirit of an elderly lady and a small boy in it, though I have not yet seen them, I have sometimes felt things here. They have such a good atmosphere, I am more than happy to live alongside Great page..

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Aug 2011 (#)

Great article, very interesting subject, thanks Bethany!

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author avatar Buzz
6th Aug 2011 (#)

Ghosts are my favorite topic. Thanks for discussing them on this page. Thanks, Bethany.

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