What are the different types of hauntings?

Intelligent Spirits and Hauntings:

Many people assume that ghosts and spirits are evil beings or maybe even demons that haunt a location to terrorize us or harm us.  That is simply not true.   In most cases, with this type of intelligent haunting, the spirit has its own purpose that is probably unrelated to you.  Who are they?  One theory is that intelligent spirits are believed to be the energy of a person who died unexpectedly or traumatically, leaving the spirit not knowing that it he or she has passed on. Therefore to them, they are continuing with life as usual.   Another theory is that the intelligent spirit has chosen not to pass on to the “other side” because he or she has strong emotional ties to this world.  In this case, you could be experiencing activity because they may think you have entered their home, and are in other words, irritated that you have invaded their space.  It is also possible that it may be seeking your help to solve their own issues.  The intelligent spirit is aware of your presence and may attempt to communicate with you in some way.   You may hear voices or footsteps, or you may smell odors in the house that you can't explain (perfume, smoke etc...).  You may experience being touched, seeing shadows, or feeling cold spots. You might experience your lights turn on and off or maybe things seem to physically move on their own.  It is also possible that you will see a spirit manifest itself.  Whatever the reason for their lingering, it is believed that intelligent spirits retain the personality and attitude of the person they were in life.  It makes sense, remember, they are just people, and like living people can vary greatly in their personalities and attitudes.   An angry person may leave behind an angry nasty ghost.  The spirit of a lively playful individual will most likely remain lively and playful.  Even with this said, it would be fair to say that this type of haunting can certainly be unsettling and down right frightening to anyone going through the experience.

Residual Hauntings:

A residual haunting is basically like a video playback of a past event, usually where something tragic or historic has taken place.  A residual ghost appears at the same time and place over and over. It may appear nightly, weekly, or even yearly; but whenever it appears it repeats the same patterns observed on previous sightings.  These type of events can happen in front of you, yet the spirit will have no interaction with you.  This "playback" would happen whether or not someone was there to witness it.  You may hear footsteps creaking up the stairs every night at midnight or hear laughter every Friday at dawn. You may see an apparition sitting by the fireplace every Christmas Eve,  or visit a historic location and witness civil war soldiers wandering across a battlefield only to disappear into thin air.  In all cases, these residual spirits are oblivious to your presence.  While it is not known how an image or sound of an event is able to imprint itself in certain locations and be replayed at a later time, there are certain conditions that appear to be conducive to a residual haunting.  A common area for them to occur is in locations that have been built over limestone, quartz, or water. It is believed by some that natural rock formations play a major role in the formation of a residual image. Buildings made of bricks and stones are also known to harbor residual ghosts.  It is also believed by some that the release of intense energy from the original event is somehow imprinted on the area in which it occurred. The weather conditions at the time of the event may also be connected to the imprinting of the image and the resulting residual haunting.  If you are experiencing a residual haunting, try to think of it as kind of a paranormal time stamp.  Its not there to intentionally scare you, and definitely not there to harm you.  If you are open to it, use this experience as a chance to spy on something paranormal.


"Poltergeist" is a German word meaning "noisy spirit." Current research indicates, that poltergeist activity may have nothing to do with ghosts or spirits because the activity seems to center around one individual.  It is believed that this phenomena may be caused by the subconscious mind of that individual... in effect, psychokinetic activity. The individual is often under emotional, psychological or physical stress (even going through puberty). Effects can include banging on walls and floors, the physical movement of objects, rearrangement of furniture,  effects on lights and other electric appliances - even the manifestation of physical phenomena. These events in almost all cases are understandingly terrifying to the people who are experiencing them. Poltergeists can also be hard to distinguish from other types of spirit hauntings.

Non-Human (Demon) Spirits: 

This term refers to spirits who have never actually lived and walked the earth in human form.  This type of entity is manipulative and will often disguise themselves in the beginning as being friendly or helpful. They are extremely dangerous and have been known to physically harm, possess, and even kill people.  This type of situation should only be dealt with by a qualified demonologist. 

What is an Apparition?

An apparition is the manifestation of a spirit into the human form. Apparitions may show themselves as whole or partial bodied.

What is EVP?

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is the capturing of voices on recording media when no voice was heard at the time of the recording.

What are Orbs?

One of the most debated topics in paranormal research today is the validity of “Orbs”. It is said that these balls of light which appear in photographs and video having different shapes, colors, and brightness are evidence of spirits trying to manifest themselves.  Today there are two sides of the debate: 

           1.) orbs are spirits or ghosts

           2.) orbs are nothing more than dust, moisture, insects, pollen, and reflections.  

TSPR believes they are #2, unless you see them with the naked eye.

Frequently Asked Questions