Monday, April 12, 2010

Attics and Basements: Most Haunted Locations?

If you watch ghost hunting shows, you probably already wonder this; are attics and basements more haunted than other parts of the house?

Not necessarily, but…

While the most reportedly haunted part of a home is a bedroom, it’s hard to discern whether that is sleep-related or not. If someone viewed something while prone on his bed about to go to sleep, about to wake up, or during the night, I’m likely to dismiss it. It could be an entirely legitimate encounter, but the state of the human mind going in and out of sleep makes it just too unreliable as a witness, sort of like being drug/alcohol impaired.

Living rooms/family rooms report a good deal of activity, most often from the corner of the eye. This is where folks see a shadow form or glimpse something while turning their heads. This can often be because these rooms are used primarily for television viewing and are not usually well lit; the light from the TV can cast light and dark on the edges of the room and make it seem as if something is moving in there.

Hallways are remarkably active, as are stairwells. How many times on “Ghost Hunters” show does TAPS go to a location and hear about someone walking the stairs and the hall? All-the-time! I have a few theories about this. One theory goes like this: Energy runs along pathways of easiest resistance, sort of like a Feng Shui principle for Chi's (energy) movement. Another theory is that the most traveled areas over time (and the least likely to have carpeting) hold residual sounds of footsteps in hallways and stairs.

What makes attics and basements so haunted? Well, once again we’re talking about theories. This time, however, I’d like to hear which theory sits best with you:

EMF: Exposed wiring and electrical breakers could send off high EMF in these areas and make people uncomfortable if they are sensitive.

People don’t like these uninhabited parts of the home. Have you ever walked into an abandoned building? Creepy, huh? That’s how attics and basements feel. They’re unattended and you can smell and feel it about them, that no humans have been there recently. Sounds are also unfamiliar in such places since no one spends time there. In other words, they have no baseline understanding of the place's usual lighting and sounds to compare.

MECHANICS: Basements and attics are often not well lit and not finished or decorated. Our basement when I was a kid was a concrete bunker with thick stone walls and a big gaping open crawlspace of earth and darkness filled with snakes that greeted you. Not such a happy place, huh? Attics are stuffy, hot, and you have to walk carefully on unfinished flooring and duck your head to keep from getting whacked. Spiders hide in corners, darkness spreads over the places where the bare light bulb doesn’t illuminate… You get the picture. Remember my recent post about the power of suggestion? It just looks like it has to be haunted.

Basements and attics are often storage areas for things that can give off gases and make you feel generally unwell.

HIDING SPOTS FOR GHOSTS: TAPS says that such places are ideal for entities to hide from the living, a kind of retreat to their own bedroom with a “do not disturb” sign on the door.

So, what do you think might be the reason for so many haunted basements and attics?


  1. Basements seem to have lots of wiring, fuse and electical boxes in them. Like you said, this could cause hallucinations, dizziness and nausea and make people believe they are having a paranormal experience. Although, both basements and attics are dark, dusty and often cold or hot which adds to the creepiness of the room. Maybe that is why ghosts like to stay in those rooms and hide from the world.

  2. I think that a combination of the different factors listed (the EMF, "creepy feelings", gases, etc.) are probably the most likely explantion for this kind of activity. When most people think of a haunted house they think old, cobweb-filled, falling apart homes and attics and basements always seem to fit the bill. But who is to say that a ghost might not be atracted to such a location? Although some contradicting theories suggest that spirits need to be in places with a high amount of energy from humans. Everything is a theory, I suppose, until we find some answers.

  3. Julie and GHF;
    Yeah, I'm thinking it has more to do with the mechanics of these places. I was intrigued by one Ghost Hunters episode that had them going into the attic in search of a hiding place for spirits--sink turned on, lots of footsteps. It got kind of crazy at that point. It was intriguing, but then that attic was filled to the brim with junk. Technically, if a ghost is the spirit of the deceased, the bedroom would be the biggest attraction for several reasons--one being that before people used to go to hospitals to die, they died in their beds. As well, if you were a spirit and wanted to make contact with a human--the best time is when their mind is in alpha state. It might be the only time to communicate.

  4. our basement when i was growing up was totally creepy! cement block walls 22 inches thick, etc!

  5. Libby;
    I'm with you. The walls at Aspen Grove were two feet thick--never even had air-conditioning. Didn't really need it. I admit that basements and attics fascinate me. Whenever I get a chance to go in one, I love to. It's the psychic in me, I guess. It's all this space that no one frequently visits, so it's kind of got a neat feel.

  6. I just thought it was always a good hiding spot for spirits. Like their own little bedrooms they can retreat to.

    1. Lol i just got a evp voice said im in the attic. Scary its on utube

    2. I just recorded a evp that said im in the attic at my home.

  7. Hey Andrea;
    That is a popular view. It's an interesting concept. If I were haunting a place, I'd hope that I had the freedom to come and go and not have to deal with the occupants. Things that go on in people's home can be really annoying, like living with drummers or amateur opera singers. Yikes! I think I'd retreat to the attic myself.

  8. I tend to agree with you on what you have listed. I also think it has a lot to do with peoples' perceptions of those spaces and their preceptions of the paranormal in general. What would their reactions be if you told them that those areas of your house were haunted? Would the power of suggestion play a role or not?

  9. Rowan;
    True. I remember as a kid having to go to the basement where the canned foods and potatoes were kept. I would literally run back up the stairs, swearing something was right behind me. It was like holding your breath for the length of the swimming pool and coming up for air. I'd be really worked up by the time I slammed the door shut on the "invincible force" chasing me.

  10. I have always thought that basements were the most haunted because they are set in the earth, if the grave of a person long gone had been disturbed when the house was built they would surely haunt the basement! The closer to the ground floor the more haunted I figure, unless of course someone died in one of the rooms in the house! I have never lived anywhere with an attic so I have never given them much thought.

  11. Fun post! The basement at the house I grew up in gave me the creeps. I know that's where the shadow man lived. In particular the ookie creepy crawl space across from the stairs. Bad mojo! And the attic at the elementary school I went to (it was a converted mansion) was haunted. I got it from both ends growing up! I don't know why, but I kind of like your theories about the EMF from all the cables and such running through both areas as well as both maybe store up gases more than other places in a house. Great theories

  12. I don't necessarily agree. My boyfriend's room is up in the attic of his house. It's actually really comfy and I feel like a place's "haunted-ness(?)" comes from things we associate it with. I personally only felt the creeps in my basement and then not so much as when my cat had her kittens there and I went down to look for her.

  13. None Of The Skeptics In The Terminator, Believed There Was A Terminator Either, Eventually The Skeptics Did Start Believing, When They Saw The Terminators, So How Do You Explain The Terminators, Skeptics?! I Am Originally From Iowa City Iowa, And While Living There, I Think There Were Several Different Supernatural Encounters There, In The State Of Iowa, In The City Of Iowa City Iowa! (I Think That The State Of Iowa, Has Supernatural Events Going On Too!) Like One Day, I Had Just Arrived Home From School, And Walked In The Side Door Of The House I Was Living In With My Parents, And No Sooner Had I Walked In The Side Door Of The House, Right Past The Creepy Basement (Freaking Creepy Basement!) And I Put The Hook On The Old Hook Lock Door, And I Started Making A Sandwich Because I Was Hungry After School, And Anyways, I Put The Hook On The Old Hook Door (The Door's Only Real Lock!) That Was The Door's Only Real Lock! And Then I Heard A Shuffling Walk Up The Steps, And Then A Rawwwwrrr! (I Heard A Shuffling Walk, Comming Up Those Stairs, And Then Suddenly, I Heard A Rawwwwrrr! And I Ran Out Of The Kitchen, Leaving The Sandwich There In The Kitchen!) Nobody Else Was Really Home. (The House Was Creepy, Because Nobody Including My Parents Were Home!) And The Door Was Being Pushed Upon Like A Force Was Pushing Against The Door. (The Door Was Obviously Being Pushed Against, By Some Force!) from Elise Gingerich age 40 in Lawrence Kansas :\

  14. I think I know why they like basements and attics. first understand the thing most americans don't know about ghosts is, according to Buddhists and Hindus, they are vulnerable to sound. if you want to put one in its place, just shout at it. it's like a punch in the gut to a ghost. therefore, I think they go to attics and basements cause they are very, very QUIET. they don't like--in fact can't stand--noise.

  15. Ihave seen&heard ghosts since I was a baby!Ihave seen a full figure of a man walk through a wall. One time 2 police officers had stopped by as I was closing the golf resort I had worked for years.It is a remodeld barn. In the kitchen there was the sound of a man whistleing walking away from us.WOW the looks on their faces as they tried to get him. When they came back I told them -you probably walked right past him! BEILVERS

  16. I do accept the validity of the paranormal because there is over 100 years worth of empirical, repeatable, scientific evidence to prove psi. What I do not accept is all of the sensationalized garbage on cable networks revolving around so-called ghost hunters. Everyone of those shows is scripted and staged. True paranormal investigations are nothing at all like you see on these "comedies." The biggest offender is that Zac Bagans character on TTC's "Ghost Adventures." The man is a pure drama king, and a terrible actor at that. Another terrible program that is an insult to authentic psychic mediums is TTC's "The Dead Files." The acting and production quality on that show is worse than many local cable community access shows.



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