Whether you feel you are being haunted yourself or you are doing an investigation for someone else, it's important to know what type of spirit you are dealing with. Preparedness is paramount for any serious (or seriously good)hunter.
Although there may be more undiscovered and/or unstudied types of ghosts, for our purposes we'll look at five different types of spirits that we know about to date.
The first, and simplest is the Anniversary or annual haunting. This type of spirit is seen only one time per year, to commemorate some type of event or milestone such as a great battle, the anniversary of a birth, a death or the like. Actually, the annual haunting is in fact a residual spirit because they "reenact" the same scene or event over and over again year after year like an old movie projector that gets stuck on the same piece of film.
A residual haunting is similar to a spirit's energy is "trapped" in time. A large percent of the hauntings that are reported fall into this category. When you get repeated reports of the same occurrence such as "woman in a red dress on the second floor" or "I hear heavy footsteps in the attic" or when there are reports of spirits dressed in old fashioned clothes seated around a table eating a meal and then vanish. These are all residual hauntings. The energy of the spirits remains strong, usually because of some violent event that took the persons life very unexpectedly. This is the type of haunting common to battlefields, old taverns, inns and the like. These hauntings pose no threat to any spectator no to any homeowner you may be investigating for. A residual spirit is much like a radio announcer playing the same song again and again and again. It gets frustrating and tedious after a while. There's not much you can do about it but it's not harmful.
Poltergeists are very similar in nature to an intelligent haunting. In these cases, the spirits do interact with their hosts or homeowners being usually more active at night. They can be quite a nuisance, and very frustrating. Although you can't see them, you can see what they do. These are the spirits that can move things around the room, flip light switches and open and close cabinet doors. These spirits are generally too attached to something here to leave. They've made some kind of connection with something physical, or they may be trying to find someone or something. Or, quite simply, they just may not believe they've died. It can be very difficult to get rid of a a poltergeist. Oftentimes, families have to pack up and leave their homes and hope that does the trick.
Then, we have the nice, happy benevolent spirit that haunts simply to protect us. We've all heard the stories of ghost "nannies" who've ushered children out of the house just before the house burned down and so on. These are benevolent spirits.
Unfortunately, on the flip side, we also have the malevolent spirits and that's the one we want to stay away from. These ghosts have nothing else on their minds but harm and will try anything in their arsenal to hurt you. They exist to harm and they are good at it. Star clear of them and anything that has to do with them.
Now that you have that kind of a breakdown, you can start to decide what kind of a haunting you are dealing with so you can best decide how to take care of it. It is easy to mistake one for the other sometimes, so be sure to listen carefully to what someone is telling you before you make a quick judgement. You can't be too careful.
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