By Tony Harrington
Seldom to never are the times when a home or business goes from sedate to hyperactive with regard to paranormal activity. There is always a time frame where things begin to escalate and often times the home/business owner overlooks these warning signs until they have a bigger problem on their hands.
This is, of course, working under the pretense that ghosts exist and that paranormal activity is truly that, paranormal. We have to take into consideration the skeptics reading this article.
Even in The SPIRIT Seekers we have our healthy skeptics and we appreciate alternative viewpoints. Heck, we even approach out investigations with a skeptical but open-minded approach.
But if ghosts and hauntings exist and can indeed happen in our homes and businesses, what she we be on the lookout for?
The initial stages of a haunting is considered an “infestation period” and is the exact time that a presence makes itself known. The question of “Why” is not one we will cover in this article as the reasons a haunting can occur are too wide and varied. Rest assured we will visit this at a later time.
The “infestation period” is exactly what it sounds like. As with pests (termites, mice, bats, etc…) you may be sharing your space with them and only have an inkling of an idea that something is afoot. Ghosts work in the same manner. Slowly they creep into your space and what you perceive as odd circumstances and experiences turn out in the long run to be precursors to a full-blown paranormal event.
Looking back on many of our investigations, homeowners usually admit that it all started with little things that they were quick to write off as memory issues.
One of the first issues people encounter are small infractions such as cold spots and scratching sounds. They write it off as weather-related and house-settlement noises. That is not to say that every cold spot or scratch is indicative of an “infestation period”. On the contrary, a majority of these sounds and temperature flux issues can be attributed to natural causes.
These issues though, coupled with objects being misplaced on a frequent basis only to show up in random spots could be the sign of a haunting. We often hear tales to the tune of:
“I set my keys on the counter top as I always do. I walked to the refrigerator and put the milk away and when I turned around to grab my keys they were gone. I looked all over for them and resigned to the fact that they were gone. I knew I left them on the counter as I always do. A few hours later I went to the medicine cabinet to get some aspirin for the headache that losing my keys induced and there they were, sitting there amongst my prescriptions.”
The objects often vary but the story is typically the same. Sometimes the missing item turns up weeks/months/years later in the most absurd of places like a crawl space or attic.
Once you add in this factor along with the strange sounds and cold spots, you might be able to deduce that something strange is going on. The sum is greater than the whole of its parts.
Typically the infestation period can last from weeks to months. What once seemed a weird set of circumstances can take on a more sinister tone as the spirit lays down roots and becomes attached to your home/business. It is then that you may begin to experience things like seeing shadows, physical manifestations, hear voices, phantom smells, interaction with a full body apparition, and poltergeist-like activity.
If you are experiencing any combination of “infestation” activity you should first try to eliminate any natural causes such as foundation settlement, poor window installation, faulty HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) unit, etc. Have professionals run diagnostics, most places do this for free or at a minimal fee.
If everything comes back fine from the diagnostics and you’re still experiencing unexplained phenomena, begin keeping a journal of the activity and contact a local paranormal investigations team. Share your journal with them so they can identify trends and attempt to debunk claims and find alternate explanations for your experiences.
If they cannot debunk your claims then you are left with a haunting and the group will assist you from that point. Some may choose to do a spiritual cleansing; others may give you advice on living with your new family member, while others may refer you to a specialist in the area if they are not equipped to handle your specific situation.
Regardless of the outcome, it is the beginning stages upon which one should keep an eye.