Monday, November 15, 2010

How Do You Know If It's Residual?


Let’s begin with what residual hauntings are. Many people word it differently, but it basically is a phenomenon in which an event from the past is played out in a loop-like fashion without regard to anything happening around it. It is not guided by an intelligent spirit but more like a movie replaying.

Honestly, after almost 8 years officially hunting and I still can’t tell you I’ve witnessed an intelligent haunting that I believe meant I was interacting with an actual spirit. That said, I can tell you that if you've experienced a haunting event, the odds are it was residual.

How do you know?


If the activity occurs in one area and doesn’t seem to leave it, it’s residual.

If you saw a full-body apparition but always in the kitchen, it’s residual.

If the footsteps you hear are always on the stairs, it’s residual.

If you tend to smell pipe smoke in one corner of your den, it’s residual.

If it doesn’t react to what is going on or what you say to it, it’s residual.

If the sound of voices or the particular sound is the same and heard in the same area, it’s residual.

Look for repetition in action and repetition in location.

A lot of people in the industry call a full-body apparition the holy grail of ghost hunting as if there is no more positive proof of haunting. The fact is, that apparition is almost certainly a residual. It does not see you, does not react to you and comes and goes, being seen only momentarily as if something in the very substance of time ripples and we get a view of a past event. It almost makes you wonder if somewhere in your childhood home someone passes today by a flash of you as a kid. Hmm....

*You still have a chance to enter the Gregg's Birthday Contest from last Saturday's post. and, tomorrow is Mind Fuck Tuesday. Time to take your mind in a new direction.*

25 comments:

  1. I bet the whispering I heard at the Copper Queen Hotel was residual because I heard it both times I stayed in the same room.

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  2. Oh yeah, most definitely. When we were at the Noftsger, remember I woke up to the little girl, same place, speaking the same 2 sentences, though I only heard just a word or two of what it was, same rhythm, same intonation, same amount of words, same spot in the room. I want to know what the trigger was. Why did it occur twice during the night and not while we were in the room trying to make contact? It has a pattern of its own and it could be that a human body or mind to activate it nearby is necessary. Hmmm....

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  3. And here I thought you were haunted by the residual presence of your recent guest ;-D

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  4. Cullan;
    He does haunt me in my dreams (sigh)

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  5. Sometimes if there aren't more residual hauntings than actual hauntings.

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  6. Jessica;
    Yup. The whole reason I really avidly went into the business of hunting was to try and once and for all see if hauntings are only residual events or if there are signs of intelligence. Still looking for something that rings true with me and I think that would only happen at my childhood home where 4 family members and a family friend vowed to haunt it and knew I was a hunter.

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  7. The ghosts or spirits I've experienced either only occurred once (the appearance of what I perceived as a man in a hat and trench-type coat) or in the same house, yet in different areas (shadow animal). Then there was the "poltergeist" experience(s). Which reminds me I need to email you my stories. These all occurred at the same house that me and the ex owned for twelve years. 100 year old Queen Anne Victorian.

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  8. Please, send me your stories. I'm still compiling examples for my book I hope to release in the springtime. I need lots of examples for different types of hauntings and different conditions. It sounds more like shadow people. I hope for my third book to do shadow people. Right now, gotta finish the ghost book and the psychic book. I'm always getting ahead of myself.

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  9. If I was struggling to find some form of communication, I think that I would stick with something that gets a reaction. If stomping on the stairs gets me attention I think that I would use it often. Having said that, some people who want an easy answer might write me off as residual and not pay any attention.

    Barry

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  10. I'm thinking if someone can make footstep sounds (without shoes), they should be able to fart or burp or something else that might get our attention. That they are booted footsteps says it's residual of something the living did. Just saying...

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  11. If they create sound without a body why would a burp or a fart be any different than the sound of a booted footstep?

    If I can speak why can't I imitate a bird call, make the sound of a chime, or make the sound of a footstep?

    We don't know why residual events play. Could an intelligent spirit be pressing the play button?

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  12. You're saying a spirit could be a parrot? Why would it choose booted footsteps as a sound to imitate? Why in the same spot? Why not sigh or scream or talk or something else? The house I grew up in had booted footsteps up the stairs and down the hall, a path the soldiers took numerous times. It wasn't some old maiden aunt trying to get attention. It was a routine. A routine played out enough times to be imprinted under the right conditions and replayed through time. Lord help me if I ever become a spirit that has such a limited routine as imitating footsteps in the same place over and over again. I choose farting. I want someone to get blamed for it.

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  13. Its a matter of learning, I don't have all the answers. I can't help but think that some people who listen to taps and knocks are assuming that it is intelligent spirit. While others write off re-occuring events as residual and non-intelligent.

    The booted footsteps may have been from an intelligent spirit sending a message to someone who understood it. Why would I assume that the message is for me because I hear it?

    I may not receive comfort from the sounds of boots on the stairs because that had no meaning to me. Yet that sound may have deep meaning to someone else.

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  14. I'm always happy to see anyone remaining open-minded about the possibilities. If I come back and want to leave a message someone important to me would understand, it won't be lame-o footsteps, it'll be moans and "oh baby"s!

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  15. Can you have babies from spirits?

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  16. Nope. Someone tell God that, puh-lease. Okay, enough joking. Nope. It would be like trying to make a baby with an armadillo. Ain't gonna match. I like this phrase and I think it's one of my favorites of all time; "I am not a human being having a spiritual experience, I am a spirit being having a human experience."

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  17. Boy is this a great blog, with such wonderful minds exploring the unknown. Great comments.

    I was wondering how a forerunner would fit into the picture? Any ideas? Forerunner: like a warning, where you see a person that is not actually there in the physical form, something like a ghost of that person that is still alive. But it doesn't look like a ghost, it looks real. Then the person you saw either dies or has a close brush with death, within a short time after their forerunner was seen.

    I definitely can see the residual theory, as much as the possibility of inter-dimensional. Great stuff to ponder.

    Thanks.

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  18. BelladonnasJoy;
    That's not one people see too often. That would be of the psychic realm and what I'm actually writing about in a book right now--"From Fledgling to Full-Fledged Psychic" showing people how their latent psychic talents can be taken up a notch by practice. You're describing something that often happens to people I call "Soul Seers" (in fact if you do a search in the search bar on the right hand side for "soul seers" you'll get the post). These are people who are fledgling psychic mediums. That would likely not be an actual spiritual visitation but a precognition by someone who is a sensitive. You might enjoy tomorrow's post. Every Tuesday is "Mind Fuck Tuesday" and I put out theories and let people beat them around. Tomorrow's is shadow people.

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  19. I've never seen or heard a ghost. Ever. I'm not particularly disappointed about the fact, either.

    Interesting blog, by the way.

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  20. HHH;
    Thanks. Yeah, I've seen ghosts and UFOs, but I must admit the UFO baffled me more, perhaps because I couldn't get up close and check it out.

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  21. With just one investigation under my belt I think I have me and my team have captured the holy Grail!

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  22. I'm very happy that I found your blog! I grew up in Chattanooga, Tn which is one of the most haunted cities. My friends and I used to go ghost hunting on the Chickamauga Battlefield and would experience all types of creepy stuff.

    I am actually getting interested in the paranormal again after reading Mojo. You guys should check it and prepare to be taken on a descriptive tour through a haunted plantation deep in the Louisiana countryside.

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  23. Joser;
    I would love to hear about it.

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  24. Hey Stephen;
    That is a very haunted region of the country--great geology which I think actually feeds the process.

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  25. Is touching, whispering and breathing in your ear, and seeing red glowing eyes from down a darkened hallway residual? Convince me and I'll be comforted.

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