1. Cold spots and sudden Changes in temperature

Ghosts are often said to be accompanied by unexplained shifts in temperature or pockets of cold air. Paranormal investigators frequently use digital thermometers to track temperature changes within a building as evidence of a haunting. However, these temperature fluctuations could also be a sign that you need to perform some repairs on your HVAC system. Using a facility management software like AkitaBox could help you set up a preventative maintenance schedule so that when you feel a cold spot, you’ll know whether you need to break out your tools or burn some sage.

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The three types of hauntings

Newkirk sorts hauntings into three categories: intelligent, residual, and intentional. “There’s the classic haunting which is an intelligent haunting. The spirit seems to interact very intelligently with people. And then the other common one people run into a lot is a residual haunting.” An example of a residual haunting would be like the one Negri experienced at the condo that burned down and seemingly still felt like it was filled with smoke. “With that, it just kind of plays over and over and over. It doesn’t ever really acknowledge that people live in the house. It just is. It just happens. Sometimes it’s because a traumatizing event happened on a particular date. There’s no intelligence there, so there’s really nothing you can do about it.” Lastly, an intentional haunting is actually more about living, breathing humans than ghosts. “It really comes from people who have put so much energy and intention into the belief that their house or object is haunted that they’ve ended up actually manifesting a haunting.” Think of kids who follow urban legends and routinely go visit the place of the supposed haunting. They feed the story so much that they actually open the place up to paranormal activity.

6. Seeing unexplained shadows and apparitions

Nothing is creepier than thinking you’re alone when out of the corner of your eye, you see a shadow move. It can be nerve-wracking to check to see if what you thought you saw is really there. However, are you sure it was a ghost, or was it just your dust-covered colleague after performing 5 hours worth of maintenance on a boiler in the basement crawling into the break room for a much-needed glass of water? It might be worth considering before you hastily create a work order demanding that someone else take care of the spirit who’s haunting the mech room.

Feeling watched

Though “feeling watched” isn’t a quantifiable factor, people who live in genuine haunted houses do report it a lot. Many believe in a kind of sixth sense. Basically, you might be in a house with a really bad vibe. “Cold chills move throughout the room,” Newkirk details, “and even just the feeling of being watched. Sometimes whispers, or being awoken in the middle of the night because of the feeling that somebody’s standing there.” Whether there is a normal explanation for this sensation or a paranormal one is hard to know for sure, but it’s definitely a contributing factor for nearly any house that is afflicted by spirits.

5. Time For A Ghost Hunt

Debbie Fortune Estate Agents has some interesting top tips for all the ghost hunters out there. Study the history of your home and the region: “Allegedly, areas with a violent past can increase the risk of a haunting. You could try setting up a video camera in your home when you’re away to capture any unusual shadows on film.”

Don’t forget to rely on your senses and intuition; unusual images in the corner of your eyes, noises like footsteps and smells like sulphur can be more sinister than you think.

7. When In Doubt, Listen To The Dog

Dogs are known for their keen hearing and sense of smell. They can detect far more than humans, so are the perfect sidekick when ghostly occurrences happen in your home. If your canine is barking when no one is at the front door, whimpering at thin air or staring into blank spaces then your best friend on four legs might be trying to tell you something…

5. Things Keep Turning On Off On Their Own

Two of the most common instances that make people believe their home is haunted is watching their lights and TV turn on and off, without them—or Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant—triggering it. If your wiring isn’t to blame, Berry suggests doing one more test before questioning whether the undead disapproves of your lighting (or binge-watching) situation: “Make sure your neighbor doesn’t have the same remote,” he says, particularly if you live in an apartment or condo where your TVs might be sharing a wall. (Ditto if your garage door keeps opening and closing; your neighbor might have recently installed the same electronic opener.)

Things Arent Always Where You Left Them

If you have children, check with them before you assume you’ve got a ghost in the house. According to Spooky Stuff, “Some ghosts are mischievous, and some like to play around with objects they used regularly in life. Of course, if you actually see the object flying through the air you’ll know something is amiss!”

Your House has a Spooky History

Was someone murdered in your house? Was your house built on top of a cemetery or a property where something evil happened? You might find some of this in a home disclosure, so be sure to ask your real estate agent before you buy a house. This could be why your house is haunted.

3. Things Keep Disappearing Reappearing Elsewhere

If items you normally keep close eyes on—say, your wallet or keys—suddenly go missing all the time, you could be stressed and absentmindedly misplacing them. But if you put something down, step away, and immediately come back to find it gone (or moved), you may be dealing with a ghost, according to Berry.

Additional Resources

For more information on buying a house, see Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, by Ilona Bray, Ann O’Connell, and Marcia Stewart.

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