Is your house haunted? Do you have uninvited guests that lurk in the darkness? Do you get a feeling of being watched every night? Let’s explore some of the most common signs your house is haunted.
The door creaks for no reason. The curtains move even when there’s no wind. Things go missing only to turn up in a different place later. Why do strange things occur in a house? Is there something more to those creepy unexplainable sounds heard every night? Do these signs indicate that a house is haunted?
Watching horror movies on Halloween may be fun but living in an actual haunted house can be a really terrifying and emotionally scarring experience.
Living in a haunted house
Welcome to the haunting hour. At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I know what it feels like to stay in a house that’s haunted. When I was younger, we moved around a lot, and eventually, we lived in a house that was a lot larger than we needed it to be. The house was beautiful yet cheap. That should have been a red flag right there. But in real life, no one goes around thinking there’s a ghost in my house when you’re getting a nice property at a good price. As we moved in, we immediately realized something was off about this house.
It was unusually cold inside the house even in the summer. Some areas of the house were excessively damp and had mold. There were a lot of doors in the house, more than there should have been, which slammed shut unexplainably. Things would disappear and reappear without any clear reason.
Lights would turn on and off by themselves while electronic devices would malfunction out of nowhere. Plates and cutlery would frequently fall from the shelves. There was always a weird musty stench in the air despite how much air freshener we used.
And then there were things that just outright creeped me out. There was always this heavy feeling in the house. It affected our moods and emotions and we generally felt very sad and upset all the time without any apparent reason. There were tapping sounds on the walls and unmistakable heavy footsteps in the hallway outside my room. Shadows moved rapidly out of the corner of my eye. But most of all, there was always this feeling of being watched from behind. God, how I wish I knew about the “signs your house is haunted” back then.
The haunting of filled my mind with several questions:
Can these occurrences be explained naturally?
Or is my house haunted?
Haunting 101: Ghosts, demons & haunted houses
It is highly unlikely that your house is actually haunted by something supernatural. And in most cases, all the strange phenomenon that you experience in your house can be explained rationally. Our imagination can often play vivid tricks on us and make us see things that are not even there.
Having said that, there are a few genuine hauntings that are true even though they are very rare. So it may be possible that you are experiencing a real haunting and the strange activities can be of supernatural origin. So it’s always helpful to know about the signs your house is haunted.
It’s really unfortunate if you are experiencing a haunting as it can not only affect you personally but also impact your family dynamics, your lives, and your careers as well.
And it’s not something you can easily share with someone. They will simply think you’re crazy. But most of all, you start believing you are losing your sanity, which can be the worst effect of a haunting. So having ‘ghost problems’ in the house is not something we know how to deal with readily.
Hauntings usually happen when the spirits of dead people, mostly previous owners, are unable to move on to the other side or feel trapped, or simply refuse to leave where they lived when they were alive.
And that place happens to be your house. It could also occur due to some kind of satanic or other supernatural rituals that might have taken place in your location. These rituals are believed to open up portals to the Netherworld and attract demonic entities.
There might also be something wrong with the land your house is built upon, like an ancient burial ground or maybe a secret site for murders to dump bodies. Or it might be that there is something wrong with the house which attracts dark entities. I personally believe some houses are just born like that.
The fact is there might be a ton of reasons for your house being haunted if it is actually haunted. It all depends on the history of your neighborhood, your location and your house, and even your own past. The haunted house I lived in as a child had a secret history which we found out much later…after a lot of damage was done.
Apparently, four people had committed suicide in the house at different points in time. It’s no surprise we moved out immediately after finding this out. So it can be a great idea to invest some time and effort in finding out the history of your place and identifying the signs of a real haunting. Information changes situations.
Is your house haunted? 16 Signs
If you feel like you are losing your mind as you can’t rationalize what exactly is going on in your house, then you need to get some confirmation if you are actually living in a haunted house or if it’s all in your head.
Here are some of the most common and legitimate signs your house is haunted:
1. Weird animal behavior
If you have a pet, whether a dog or a cat, or a bird, it is likely they will start behaving differently in the presence of a spirit or a demonic entity. Your dog may seem to bark or whine for no apparent reason, your cat may be focused on watching ‘something’ in the room while it appears they are staring at blank spaces.
Animals have stronger senses and it is believed they have better psychic abilities to detect such things.
2. Being watched by ‘something’
This is perhaps the most widely experienced signs your house is haunted. Most of us get this feeling of being watched throughout the day without even realizing and when we turn around, we see another person looking at us. It’s almost like a sixth sense and it’s not necessarily related to the supernatural.
However, this extrasensory phenomenon known as the psychic staring effect or distant intentionality or scopaesthesia can also enable us to feel if there’s a paranormal presence nearby. If you are getting this feeling constantly inside your house or at a specific time, then you may be living in a haunted house.
3. Unexplained sounds & noises
You keep hearing strange and unexplainable sounds, which can either be loud or rather subtle. Sounds like scratching, banging, knocking, things being dropped and footsteps are common signs in haunted houses.
4. Flickering lights
Researchers have found that electromagnetic fields are usually stronger in reportedly haunted places which results in unusual fluctuations. I am not sure if that’s related, but if you are experiencing a haunting then your lights will frequently turn on and off by themselves.
Moreover, other electronic devices like TV, smartphones, and gadgets may also malfunction repeatedly. However, this could also occur due to electrical disturbances. So it’s best to call a technician and verify it. made popular by scary horror movies, this is also one of the most prominent signs your house is haunted.
5. Doors and cabinets slamming shut or opening
Although you may not see them happen with your own eyes, you may hear a door or cabinet or cupboard opening or closing in the other room. Or may come into a room finding a door or drawer or cabinet open or closed when you distinctly remember doing the exact opposite. You may also find furniture like chairs moved from their original place.
6. Things disappearing
The Disappearing Object Phenomenon (DOP) is very common in cases of hauntings. Regularly used items like car keys will disappear all of a sudden and will reappear seemingly out of nowhere. Once they disappear, you may look all over the house without success, and just when you have given up hope or forgotten about it, you will find it exactly where you left it originally.
7. Shadow figures & orbs
Do you see shadow people when at the brink of sleep? You will see shadows moving momentarily out of the corner of your eye. Most of the time these shadows will resemble a human form although they may take any other shape and size. You may also see small orbs of light floating in the room. Paranormal researchers believe orbs are a form of ghostly manifestation. There is no doubt that is another widely observed paranormal phenomenon and one of the signs your house is haunted.
8. Change in personality
Not all signs of a haunting are supernatural in nature. Some can be psychological. If you or any of your family members suddenly start acting strange with frequent mood swings exhibiting a completely different personality then it might be a sign of a ghost or demonic possession. The personality change in the person will be very distinct and noticeable.
Some other common signs your house is haunted, experienced by people who believe they live in a haunted house, include:
- Unexplained feelings of dread and foreboding
- Change in family dynamics with excessive stress, anxiety and negativity in the family
- Unexpectedly waking up between 3 am and 4 am and being afraid for no reason
- Feeling an inexplicable and sudden change in temperature
- Sudden financial problems in the household
- Unexplained abnormal smells like rotten food, smoke, perfume, stench of decay
- Feeling sadness or grief in particular areas or rooms inside your house
Want more haunted house signs? Apart from these common signs of a haunted house, there are some stronger signs which can be considered as evidence that your house is haunted. These extreme signs your house is haunted include:
9. Feeling an invisible touch
Feelings of being touched by something you can’t see can be unnerving. You may feel someone breathing on your shoulder, someone lightly stroking your hair, a cold invisible hand touching you gently, something brushing past your skin, or a slight nudge, push or poke.
10. Seeing psychokinetic activities
This is one of the signs your house is haunted that are only observed in cases of extreme haunting and can be seriously terrifying. Hearing doors close and finding furniture has moved can be alarming. But when you actually start seeing these things happen with your own eyes and you can’t find any rational explanation, then you can be sure of a haunting. If you see things moving on their own or light switch turning off and on by itself or even feel ‘someone’ sitting on the bed beside you then it can be considered as proof that something paranormal is happening.
11. Hearing whispers and cries
You start hearing someone whispering or crying outside your room, especially at night. You may also hear these whispers or muffled voices brushing past your ear. Sometimes you may hear strange music coming from nowhere or someone calling you by your name. If some other member of your family, apart from you, has also experienced this, then you can be sure of a haunting.
12. Poltergeist activity
Although it’s exceptionally rare in real life, severe activities like the poltergeist phenomena can be solid proof of haunting. Extreme psychokinetic phenomena like levitating items, glasses or plates sliding off the table, photo frames or home decor flying off walls, furniture sliding across the floor, or other moving objects are considered as poltergeist activities. Such activities can feel really scary when looking for signs your house is haunted.
13. Cold spots
Variations in temperature, especially noticeable cold spots at specific places, are considered solid evidence by most researchers.
14. Experiencing physical assault
Although these usually tend to occur in the case of a demonic presence, vengeful spirits can also harm you physically. If you find unexplained scratches, clots, or wounds on your body, especially after you wake up, or if you experience hard pushes and shoves or slaps, then it’s time to call a priest or a genuine paranormal researcher. However, physical attacks are highly rare.
15. Actual physical evidence
Finding strange written notes or unexplainable handprints and writing on walls, unaccounted footprints on the floor are strong signs your house is haunted. However, this is one of the signs your house is haunted that is extremely rare.
16. Witnessing apparitions
There is no stronger sign of a haunted house than personally witnessing the physical manifestation of an entity or a spirit. As highly rare as these are, you may actually see indistinguishable shapes or translucent forms or mists resembling a human form that can disappear in an instant.
Once you’ve seen an apparition with your own eyes, if you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough, what more proof do you need?
What to do if your house is haunted
Now that you have identified the true signs your house is haunted, it is time to do something about it. The haunting is not only affecting your mental, emotional and physical health, but it is also negatively impacting your family.
Here are some steps to help you start dealing with living in a haunted house:
1. Talk to your family
In most cases of hauntings, family members tend to keep things to themselves as they believe they won’t be taken seriously, even though all of them are experiencing the same thing. Hence, due to the fear of shame and ridicule, you tend to stay silent and start questioning your sanity.
The best way to start coping with a haunting is to sit down with your family and have an open and honest conversation about what you think is going on in the house.
You also need to make your family members feel comfortable enough for them to open up and share their experiences without any fear of being judged. See if all family members are on the same page and if someone is being skeptical about it. If so, then it’s good to have a different perspective. Make sure you’re sensitive and understanding when dealing with children and young adults regarding such issues.
2. Keep a log
Once you have identified the signs your house is haunted and realized that you are experiencing a haunting, it can be a great idea to start keeping a journal or a log mentioning any and all activities that you have encountered in the house. This can help you stay sane and realize that it’s not all in your head. Moreover, as you cannot share your experiences with your friends or relatives, this will give you an opportunity to share your feelings.
Keeping a log will help you note down the incidents while they are still fresh in your mind. Moreover, it will also help you identify patterns like if there’s any specific time or place where most activities occur. This can be very helpful later.
When you are keeping your log or journal, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Make sure you note down the exact date and time of the event.
- Mention how you felt emotionally and psychologically during and after the incident occurred.
- Write down whether you were alone or if other members were present.
- Mention all the others who witnessed it and what they experienced and saw.
- Mention the temperature inside the house or at the place of the event and anything else that was unusual during the incident.
- Make a note of the weather conditions at that time.
You should also make use of electronic gadgets like smartphones, audio recorders, and cameras to record any strange noises or visual phenomena and capture them as an audio recording, photo, or video. Make sure you keep all the devices readily available so that you can start documenting immediately as the phenomena occur.
Documenting the unexplained phenomena in your house on a daily basis can help you understand the situation better and enable you to find out the right solution to cleanse your home.
3. Look for logical explanations
Once you have started maintaining a journal of the signs your house is haunted and recording paranormal phenomena on camera and audio recorders, analyze all the evidence and try to find out if the event can be explained logically.
In most cases, you will find there’s a practical and scientific reason for what you might have believed demonic activity. Weird things happen all around us regularly but when the activity is confined to a singular location we start believing something strange is happening.
When you start investigating the events with an open mind, you will start seeing the occurrences from a whole new perspective.
As we are usually afraid of things we don’t understand, our mind starts making up stories to protect ourselves from impending threats and dangers. When you start explaining the unexplainable that fear starts fading and you start realizing how normal the event was. Cases of true hauntings and people being harmed by spirits are exceptionally rare.
As I mentioned earlier, electromagnetic fields have been found to be unusually high in haunted places. Another way to see this is haunted places have high electromagnetic fields or EMFs and this is not necessarily due to the spirits. It has been found that fluctuations in EMF can affect our mind and may result in hallucinations, nightmares and scopaesthesia, and other extrasensory experiences.
Electromagnetic fields may vary for different reasons and it’s not always due to a ghost. Moreover, leaking carbon monoxide inside a house can also cause you to hallucinate, hear strange sounds and feel sad and depressed.
If you look carefully, in most cases you will find a logical reason for the events taking place in your house. In case things are still unexplainable and you feel there’s something to be afraid of, then you need to make a decision.
4. Make a choice
Identifying the signs your house is haunted and keeping a record of the paranormal events is not enough. Once you become sure that there is something supernatural going on in your house, you need to decide what you want to do next. Do you want to live with a ghost in your house? Do you want to move out? Or do you want to get rid of the spirits? Although it can be terrifying to think about living in a house that’s haunted by dead people or even demonic entities, you’d be surprised at how many people choose to co-exist with spirits. Why? Because most spirits are not evil or vindictive.
Some are just stuck here unable to move while others just want to keep doing what they did when they were alive, taking care of their families. In this case, your family. However, you do need to set some ground rules and boundaries if you plan on sharing your house with unwanted guests, even if reluctantly.
No matter what you choose to do, make sure you are not afraid of whatever is going on in the house. If you are facing an evil entity then it will feed off your fear. However, most spirits are not entirely good or bad. And there is no real reason for you to be scared even if you are experiencing a haunting unless you experienced physical assault.
5. Talk to the spirits
If you decide to live with ghosts in your house, then it can be a good idea to have a direct conversation with the spirit according to many paranormal researchers and psychic mediums. Be firm in your statement with the spirits and set your boundaries. However, make sure you are not aggressive in your tone or behavior. Talk to the entity in your house and voice your intentions. It is possible to live peacefully in a house you think is haunted.
However, if you want the presence to leave, then you can be assertive and ask them to leave in a non-aggressive manner. It can also be a good idea to speak with the name of God or whatever you have faith in. It could be Christianity or any other religion you follow and believe in.
Or it can be your own self-belief. Use that energy of your faith while speaking with the presence as it will make the conversation more powerful. This will also help you feel less scared and help you feel that you are in control of your house once again.
6. Contact paranormal researchers
So you have identified the signs your house is haunted. Now what? Once you have ruled out all logical and rational explanations for what you are experiencing, you have tried communicating with the spirits in your house with no success and you are convinced your house is really haunted, it’s time for you to call the experts. You can find paranormal research groups in your region or you can search online. However, make sure they are genuine and professional who take a scientific as well as a spiritual approach in their dealings.
There is no point in hiring a bunch of guys who just want to do some ghost hunting. Check out their credentials, years of practical experience, expertize, and testimonials, do some online research about the researchers, and once you are convinced they are legitimate and can help you, contact them right away. They can not only help you understand what exactly is going on but can also help you get your life back.
7. Cleanse your house
Making a presence leave your property can be highly challenging after you have recognized the signs your house is haunted. You may ask them to leave but many entities might not be cooperative. Ghosts can be highly territorial. This is why conducting a cleansing ceremony by burning sage is often advisable.
However, you need to make sure you do this in the presence of a medium or an expert as the process needs to be done properly and may even take several days to completely cleanse your house. You can smudge white sage, burn frankincense, sprinkle holy water, and even burn asafoetida as incense, which is highly powerful.
You can find instructions for performing cleansing ceremonies online if you wish to do this by yourself. You can start from the top of your house like the attic and move through every corner and room ending at the front door. It is also a good idea to say a prayer while doing the cleansing ritual. However, you may need to conduct this ritual more than once to see noticeable results.
However, it is mandatory that you do this properly and carefully. Sage can be very powerful and it may create an energy vacuum in your house. If you do use sage to cleanse your home, then make sure you fill it up with positive and holy energy immediately after you are done with the ritual. Fill your house with your positive intentions and love before anything negative can enter the vacuum. You may also ask a priest to bless your house and your family members.
Related: Do Dreams Have Paranormal Power?
Unhaunt your life
Did you know 45% of U.S. citizens believe that demons and ghosts exist? According to a poll by YouGov, 4 in 10 Americans claimed they believe in the existence of ghosts, demons & other supernatural beings. So there is no reason for you to hide what you are experiencing. You are not losing your mind.
If you have experienced any or all of the above signs and if you are convinced your house is haunted, talk with your family and seek professional help. There’s no need for you to feel ashamed or worry about being ridiculed. You are not alone.
According to a haunted real estate study by Realtor.com, 1 in 4 Americans believes their house is haunted. Moreover, 54% of respondents claimed hearing unexplainable noises in their house made them believe it was haunted. Almost 45% felt something odd in certain rooms while 35% of Americans said strange pet behavior made them believe their house was haunted.
It’s not just you. There are a lot of people who are going through exactly what are facing. And the good news is you can overcome and build a normal life for yourself and your family. Learn to identify the signs your house is haunted and follow the advice I have mentioned in this article and contact an expert if you need to. In case you feel you or your family are in danger, whether psychological or physical, it will be best to move out of the house for a while until you figure out what to do next or find some expert help.
God bless you, your family, and your house.