Only 12 days until Halloween!
Throughout the month of October I’ll be posting once a day with something to get you into the Halloween spirit, including movie and book reviews, real haunted places, occult topics and more. Come back each day and join in the fun!
Since I’ve been a child, the paranormal has been a fascination for me. Hauntings are particularly interesting, thanks to some experiences I’ve had throughout the years.
One question that so many people with honest questions ask is why some people feel a haunting and others don’t. You can take two people living in the same house, and one is terrorized by the bed shaking at night, faces appearing behind them in the mirror, the sound of voices, etc. The second person, on the other hand, sleeps like a baby and has experienced nothing unusual.
This is actually pretty common, and some claim it’s a sign that hauntings are all in a person’s head. While I’ve interviewed people who display some basic signs of psychosis or other mental health problems, I’ve been contacted by plenty of other normal, functioning members of society who are embarrassed to admit that something weird is going on in their house. What makes the situation worse is when a partner doesn’t experience any of the same strange things, often putting a strain on the relationship.
There are several possibilities:
– Someone is lying. It’s not out of the question that one of the people isn’t being entirely forthcoming. People will lie about hauntings to get attention, from their partner or other people, or because they get wrapped up in some weird fantasy. Usually that’s pretty easy to decipher with some careful investigation. Then there’s the chance that the partner is lying about not experiencing anything, either because the thought makes him uncomfortable, or he feels that by admitting he’s experienced things he’s feeding into an unhealthy fantasy his partner’s living. There are other reasons for lying, but those are the most common.
– One person isn’t sensitive. Some people are more “sensitive” when it comes to spiritual things, and I’m not just talking about in the religious sense. For skeptics, this is often when their “BS meter” goes off, but there’s nothing I can do about that. A person who more readily perceives spirit activity in a building will of course experience things when others might not.
– One person is a magnet. I’ve blogged about paranormal magnets before – they seem to draw in spirits who can reach out to the living. That fact alone could account for why two people have wildly different experiences in a haunted house.
– The entity feels a connection/attraction to only one of the people. For whatever set of reasons, a spirit might feel like it has a special bond with only select members of the living. Theoretically, it can require a tremendous amount of effort and energy to make contact with people who are alive, so a spirit wouldn’t want to waste those precious resources getting in touch with the “wrong” person. This is when you need to carefully evaluate what the intentions of a ghost might be, because they’re not always benevolent.
– Some people have trained themselves to tune out weird things. Your brain doesn’t consciously process everything. For example, when I’m looking for the word “banana” in an article I’ve written, I’ll scan through it quickly. I might notice “bandana” or even “bandier” because they fit the rough profile of what I’m wanting to pay attention to. Some theorize that as children, many of us see and hear far more than we do as adults, but through socialization and parenting we’ve been taught to literally stop paying attention to those things. For example, many men have been coached from the time they’re young to be tough and never show their soft side, so even the smallest hint of volatile emotions that aren’t anger or rage are immediately ignored. Thanks to such influences, some people might be getting spiritual broadcasts but aren’t receiving them.
– One person is under the influence. We think of alcohol or narcotics as causing people to hallucinate and see/hear things that aren’t there. While that’s possible with some substances, many of them actually do a great job of blocking our sensory functions. For that reason alone, it’s a bad idea to drive while under the influence, even with certain prescription medications. Those same things could make a person “deadened” to a haunting, blocking them off from the stimuli that would otherwise signal that something weird is going on.
– The person is haunted. If you experience weird stuff all the time, no matter if you move, then you need to deal with the possibility that it’s you who is haunted, not the houses where you’ve lived. It’s not a great thought, but grappling with reality increases your chances at a successful resolution.
If you are experiencing a haunting and others you live with aren’t, or people who used to live in your house say they never experienced anything, just remember that you aren’t necessarily crazy (I can’t say for sure, because that possibility is always there). It’s helpful to gather some independent indications that something is off, like the reaction of an animal, electronic recordings, etc. From there, you need to decide how you would like to proceed, because not all hauntings are negative or bad.
Have you ever experienced a haunting?
Leave a comment below and join in the Halloween fun! We still have 12 more posts to go this month, so come back and see what else I have in store.