Movies, TV and even books can make you forget your rational thought when confronted with something you cannot readily explain. We always recommend trying to find the causes to things you may hear or see before considering a place to be haunted. If after investigating you cannot explain things still, here is a quick reference guide for the classifications of a haunting. Note: We do not recommend doing paranormal investigations on your own residence unless you know what you're doing. You can mistakenly and unknowingly make things a lot worse.
There are many different classifications for a haunted place. I'm sure for those of us that are fans of some paranormal TV shows know some about this subject. Well, maybe some of the basics as the answers to the different kinds of hauntings and how to identify them vary greatly depending on who you ask. Now keep in mind that all of these are Theories, as nothing has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt.
A Residual haunting is best described as a movie. No matter how many times you see it, it never changes. The outcome stays the same, and the movie doesn't know you're watching it. These scenes can play out daily, weekly but are usually at the same time every time. Theories can range from DNA being transferred to an object or place from a traumatic event, to a spirit being stuck and having to play out the same scene over and over.
An Intelligent haunting is typically considered to be a ghost, spirit, or otherworldly being that knows you’re present and can respond to you. They can make noises, move things etc. Now these types of hauntings are not typically what you see on TV or in the movies, as nothing is going to grab you and pull you down the hallway. These entities are usually non violent and may be lost, relatives, projections, you name it. There are even theories that these types don’t even need to be a dead person, but can be living projections.
Sub Categories? Why not? There are both what’s called Benevolent and Malevolent spirits. These are basically good and bad spirits. Can you have both at the same place? Absolutely. For good cannot exist without evil. This is just another classification of an intelligent haunting, a way of going into further detail.
Here are some tools you can use to identify an Intelligent haunting:
Yes you can use a KII. Unless it responds directly to your questions, you should dismiss any other activity.
You can also use audio recorders, and there are different ways to use them as well as different classifications for voices you can capture.
There are under used items such as the touch lamp, and the Mag Lite flashlights. If the touch lamp turns on there is less doubt than the KII. The flashlight on the other hand is somewhat controversial. This tool again, can only be used if it is responding directly to questions being asked. Too many people use these and the KII and take every light or response to be paranormal.
Poltergeists! Scary! Again, don’t let the movies and TV shows get to you. Unlike the movie Poltergeist these hauntings are usually caused by the subject themselves. Per the Parapsychologist handbook, there are two different classifications of Poltergeists. The first is caused by someone under lots of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, etc. These types of stresses can cause someone to unknowingly move something with their mind, project their feelings outward in the form of a mist, sometimes even an entity. It doesn't even have to be that extreme.
The second classification is an actual ghost.
Demonic. These happen much less than you may realize. Most cases where there is said to be a demonic presence there is someone under tons of stress, a teenager undergoing the pains of growing into an adult, or a bad marriage. In these cases it is usually classified under the poltergeist. But, there are the few that have a demon waiting in the wings with the foul odors, unexplained evil, occult practice, and by some standards devil worship. Again this occurs probably in 1% of all cases. The same would go for possession. What is thought to be possession in most cases is not in fact.
These are the simple classifications and start to some tools you can use. Any further questions please don't hesitate to ask!