What Kind of Haunting Do You Have?

I have written about this before, but I thought this topic was worth a revisit.  For me,  this question has come up again and again, which probably means its worth discussing more than once.  The more I write about ghosts, the more I realize how important it is to define what kind of ghosts or spiritual disturbance might be lingering in each haunted place. I began researching this topic thinking there would be an easy breakdown to types of hauntings. This was not the case. Every different website I have visited and book I've picked up has broken down ghosts and hauntings differently. There are some that classify ghosts according to geography and break them down into hospital hauntings, battlefield hauntings, house hauntings etc. There are others who classify ghosts by form. They break ghosts up into orbs, ectoplasm, dark ghosts, conical ghosts, etc. The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts breaks ghosts up into 26 categories that include possessive ghosts, religious ghosts, materializations, and spirits. The spiritual research foundation is very scientific in their break down of ghosts and uses the chart below to categorize ghosts.

I have broken types of hauntings down more simply based on what I've found in other sources, what I've seen, and what others have told me. I've also made my breakdown a little more simple.

1. Classic Haunting: A classic haunting is the most commonly described haunting. This is the lingering ghost that seems to cling to a location. This type of ghost can also be attached to an object. It is the attachment of the deceased that lingers and keeps them bound to this realm of existence. It is the ghost in the haunted house that is usually harmless, but sometimes a little creepy.

2. Angry Ghost Haunting: Many believe that when someone dies in a situation that results in intense anger, fear, or hurt that emotion binds the ghost to the realm of the living. This angry ghost often permeates an entire location with a negative feeling. People often describe places with this type of ghost as having a bad feeling or feeling wrong.

3. Denial Ghost Haunting: This is a haunting that is caused by a ghost that doesn't want to admit they are dead. They go through the motions of life and refuse to let go.

4. Poltergeist: This haunting is associated with moving objects and things vanishing. Although this type of haunting seems like a ghost at first, it is usually caused by a person who is going through incredible angst. This person may have psychic powers that they are unaware of and can cause mayhem without knowing they are doing it.

5. Demons: These are malevolent spirits that attack the living. They are not ghosts and were never human and seem to be out to hurt people. The classic Haunting on Larabee Street may have fallen into this class as the house was new and couldn't have been the residence of the deceased.

This is my very reductionistic classification system and I know that there may be other systems, but for a quick way to get a sense of what you are dealing with, I think this may be helpful.


Jeffery said…
I'd only add one more classification Jess! The intermittent Haunting..This type seems to be triggered by either an annual or external event. Because the trigger mechanism is unknown these ones are particularly difficult to quantify.
andrea said…
Well, I honestly think my dog saw a ghost in our living room this morning. The house I live in was built by my husband's grandparents. If it was a ghost, I am pretty sure it was my hubby's grandfather, so I am not scared. The dog growled, barked, and cowered from something I couldn't see for about half an hour. It seemed to move around the room, because the direction the dog was facing changed.
Jessica Penot said…
Jeffrey...You are right. I should add intermittent hauntings. They are very common and some of my favorite ghost stories come from these types of hauntings.

Andrea... I always find those type of hauntings almost comforting. I think that if family ghosts are wandering around they would only want what is best for you, but I know the dog barking can get a bit annoying.
Julie Ferguson said…
I have experienced a couple of those but hope to never come across a demonic spirit.
I don't know if this would be classified as a "haunting", but what about manifestations that are seen just briefly, after a death, and then aren't ever seen again? I suppose less of a haunting, and more of a goodbye appearance. I have heard so many personal stories about that.
Jessica Penot said…
Little Gothic Horrors... I've heard that manifestations like that are quite common. I didn't include them, because like you, I felt they were more of a goodbye. They don't seem to last and they seem to be more about closure than anything else. But I'm glad you brought them up because they are important.
sister midnite said…
Little Gothic Horrors, I think that those ghosts are known as 'transitional' hauntings. I've heard quite a few stories, and my sister experienced this when my grandfather passed away.

I do believe in demonic hauntings, but it seems to me that almost all negative hauntings are classified as a demonic presence. I have a lot of respect for Ed & Lorraine Warren's work with this realm, but I don't agree that every case of a negative presence can be attributed to a demon. Unfortunately, we're all aware of the dark side of humanity - I tend to consider people before I think, 'demon'.

Just my opinion, of course.
Great post, Jessica - thanks!
laughingwolf said…
those classifications work for me! :)
You know after looking at your listing I discovered something that may explain what happens with an uncle of mine. It just so happens no matter where he stays that paranormal activity tends to happen.

There was another experience I had and it only happened at a certain time. Probably would be considered recurring haunting. This happened a a house my mom and I rented when I was a kid. At a certain time you could hear foot steps.

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