Intelligent hauntings aren’t common. If you find one, then you’ll capture some of the highest quality ghostly evidence possible. Get the scoop on how to identify an intelligent haunting after the jump.
Intelligent Haunting Background
Intelligent hauntings aren’t as common as residual hauntings. They may happen 1-in-5 cases. These hauntings happen because the deceased have a reason to stick around in the afterlife.
Most intelligent hauntings occur in places the dead loved in life. It’s not always a horrific accident, murder or other terrible cause of death binds the spirit to a site. I’d argue that those are more likely to be residual hauntings.
In most cases, it’s a positive experience over time, like your grandma’s spirit staying in her house after she passes away, that binds a spirit to the material world. For example, the kitchen smells like oatmeal raisin cookies and you feel a gentle stroking of your hair because she loved making you cookies.
Intelligent Haunting Indicators
- Cold or hot spot changes of +/- 5°F
- Manifestations at any time of day or night
- Activity that leads you to a certain place in a house or room
- EMF spikes over 2 milligauss
- Object movement
- Whispers you can hear without gadget help
- Electronics go haywire
In general, the activity is closely related to the spirit’s personal likes or dislikes. Residual hauntings don’t try to lure anyone or communicate with you.
How To Tell If You Have An Intelligent Haunting
One thing gives an intelligent haunting away and that’s interaction.
An intelligent haunting wants to communicate with you. After all, the ghost may still think it’s alive or it wants some company. You can give it the chance to ‘talk’ to you.
And talking is a bit more complicated. You know, because it doesn’t have vocal cords anymore.
So, what does that mean? Well, you’d have to provide a different outlet for it. Usually, one involving some gadgets or trigger objects. Here’s a rundown of gear to help an intelligent haunting .
Digital Audio Recorder
What To Look For
Intelligent hauntings provide clear, direct answers to your questions. Normally, the ghost will tell you its name and age. More complicated questions could be difficult to capture. Shoot for one word answers.
What To Look For
This is a classic case of asking the ghost to “touch the glowing button.” Really, you’re going to ask it to touch the glowing buttons on the gadgets (for the REM pod, MEL meter and EDI+). Before you start, mention that a sound alert will go off and not to be scared by it. I’ve had plenty of cases where the sound alert scared off the spirit.
As for the Boo Buddy Interactive, you can do the same because it has a glowing green light, but kids would want to play with the bear. The EMF array will just light up. In that case, you’d need to tell the spirit that the glowing lights mean we know it’s there.
Video is probably the best way to capture these engagements.
If possible, try to find something the suspected ghost used in life. Then, place it in the haunted hot spot and ask the spirit to move it. I don’t recommend using things that roll easily. There’s too many natural reasons to cause them to move. Instead, try something like a coin, jacks, playing cards or even a shot of booze. But it has to be something a ghost recognizes.
In my experience, don’t use the modern ghost hunting gadgets (other than a Boo Buddy) as a trigger. I mean, I’d be scared to touch something I don’t understand. Don’t expect a ghost to do it, either.
What To Look For
Trigger objects are ideal for video because it can help show how much the ghost engages with it. Speaking generally, triggers are slow burn ghost hunting. Ghosts don’t have much strength, so any movement happens slowly.
This is a case where you’d:
- Draw a tight-fitting circle around the trigger
- Point a camera at it
- Go do other ghost hunting tasks
- Measure how far the trigger moved upon return
Kicking It Old School
Another way to engage with a ghost is with knocking. That’s right: You can ask the spirit to knock once for ‘yes’ and twice for ‘no.’
What To Look For
Not all ghosts like gadgets and gizmos. It can scare them away like I mentioned earlier. If a ghost can muster enough energy, it can knock responses to your questions. You’d just need your audio recorder to pick it up. In most cases, knocks record better than voices. If you’ve hit a dry patch in your investigation, give good ol’ knocking a try.
By the way, not all ghosts speak English. If you have an idea of its origin, try to ask your questions in its native language. I’ve had plenty of cases where we changed languages to communicate and got better results.
Remember the holy trinity of ghost hunting:
- I got EVP!
- I got an apparition!
- I got stuff moving on tape!
I’ll add a fourth one, too: I got all in 15 minutes of each other!
Really, a single blip on an EMF meter does not make a place haunted. You want to capture as many different evidence types at a single haunted hot spot. If you get the 3 mentioned types during a single session, then you may have an intelligent haunting.
If you got an EVP in the living room, a Boo Buddy flaring in a bedroom on the 3rd floor, and what looks like an ectomist in the basement, then you have enough for a follow-up investigation.
Jacob Rice began investigating and writing about the paranormal in 2007. He has published 3 books on ghost hunting, ghost stories and paranormal protection. His podcast, Ghostly Activities, dives into these topics even more. You can also watch his ghost hunts on the Ghostly Activities YouTube channel. He lives in Olympia, Washington.