Friday, April 10, 2009

The Geology of Hauntings

I’m living in a state (Arizona) that is geologically intriguing. We have the Grand Canyon, but also many mining towns. Not surprisingly, the heavy haunting activity and the mining towns match up perfectly. Towns such as Bisbee, Tombstone, Globe, Jerome, Vulture mine, and numerous other mining hubs have reported ghostly activity even back to when mining began in those areas. Sedona is yet another geological wonder that reports a very high incidence of all kinds of paranormal activity from UFO sightings to healing energy to vortices and heightened extrasensory perception skills.

There are a lot of theories on why geology is important to hauntings or especially residual hauntings (when an event seems to be recorded by the environment and played back continually). These theories include the conductivity of certain kinds of minerals for spirit energy and perhaps the qualities in them that make it possible to record events, to geomagnetic activity, tectonic strain, geological faults, radon gas, and magnetism.

Now, with all the current geological activity going on around the world from earthquakes to volcanoes, what would this mean for imprinting memory? Would a town crumbled by an earthquake be more haunted than a town say washed away by a flood? Local legends support that, although it's hard to be objective since the stories were often started by the survivors who had to live amongst the crumbling ruins with visions of their loved ones trapped inside.

Many investigators are now focusing on fault lines as possible pathways for residual hauntings. Locally, we’ve long known about things like ancient waterways, moving water, railroad tracks, and geology as potentially hot spots for hauntings.

In determining a haunted site, there should be some criteria that’s met beforehand to avoid going to a site that might not provide you with good possibilities of phenomenon. You’ll want to check the local geological maps, fault lines, railroad markings, waterways, and of course the history of the building itself—if it has anything particularly traumatic that occurred.

Some day, perhaps we’ll come up with a formula for an ideal haunting location. I’d like to see that happen. For now, it’s a helpful tool for deciding on activity and sites to study. If you add on top of that finding a day of the week when geomagnetic activity is up, you have the perfect “haunting” storm.

Here is a good source for maps of Arizona’s geology.
Here is a fantastic article about geology and hauntings and the theories behind them.


  1. I saw an interesting special on several geological hotspots that have healing powers. They explain it by saying the there are lines of energy running under the earth's surface and wherever these lines intersect is where the hotspots are located. One of the places they mentioned was Sedona, a place I love to visit. If there are places known for their healing powers and spiritual calmness, then why not have places where paranormal activity is higher do to their locations. Living in Arizona as well, I know and believe that there are many places here. I told Mike that we could spend a couple of years investigating Arizona alone. Nice post as always.

  2. I love these posts you do (well really all of them:-) but I like how you approach the subject from all angles -I do think the physical factors are very important in a lot of cases-its a lot to consider but I keep on running across references to water, fault-lines, ley lines -also minerals like you noted in both the poltergeist and ghost -and also UFO theories -best to you as always!!

  3. You know, the more you go out and hunt for ghosts, the more you find commonalities. When I was back in West Virginia visiting family that settled in the mountains there, I found a lot of folks opening up about ghost activity and feeling that it was part of the mountain's bones. That's probably a good description. I do believe leylines have a strong component in power and energy such as you find in parts of England where ancient stone structures were erected. I hope to continue finding all points and avenues of commonality so that we can come up with an actual formula for knowing if a place might have healing potential or activity of a paranormal kind. Now, just to find a few cooperative geologists...

  4. I believe the spirits in my home to be from the past and maybe just from a few years ago. Residual hauntings i believe you called, them.

  5. Interestingly enough, there is a local legend about here about a native woman who had married a white soldier who was raped and murdered in an arroyo that still experiences seasonal floods. Along this same stretch of desert they say people still hear her screams and cries for help. (The rape and murder is a true story, verified my newspapers, by the by. Early 1910s.) The environment isn't "right" by geological standards for hauntings, being in desert clay, bentonite, and along an area that is continually eroded, yet the stories persist. From the descriptions of the sounds I gather it's a recording, as she never calls back to people who have gone looking for her, even if they yell for her to tell them where she is.

    Maybe the severity of an event records nonetheless, regardless of environmental conditions? I remember before you wrote that you've rarely experienced haunting-like sensations in woodframe houses, but most of the hauntings I've experienced are wood frame. In those I checked it down to the fact that the houses were built on decomposed granite or limestone. But for this story about the native woman I check the haunting down to the brutal nature of her death. Or perhaps there are enough quartz deposits deep beneath the ground, which could account for a recording...

  6. Celyn;
    Good observation. It's these kinds of reports that help those who are trying to find commonalities. We have a lot of hauntings here locally in the Mesa area where the HoHoKam canals cut through the land. These ancient people's waterways apparently still generate a good deal of haunting activity, even when they only run during a rain. Arroyos in the west are often haunted (reportedly). We have one here of a woman who wanders an arroyo looking for her drowned child. It's a dry sandy bed but seasonally runs with water. Any time you have a path for moving water, you have an ideal setting. As ridiculous as this seems, I've also found a strange correlation between hauntings taking place in pathways the living use such as roads/hallways. It intrigues me because, spirits would likely be able to go anywhere and haunt anywhere, and yet the energy seems to pace back and forth along manmade paths. Part of me wants to say this is feng shui related and energy follows easy paths, similar to my belief that a lighthouse can be more haunted by its being a round vessel. I have been called to wood frame houses that were reported haunted before, one was right beside a train track with the river on the other side of it, the other one was explainable phenomenon and stopped once they made a few changes. A wood home would be able to be haunted, especially if furnishings/possessions were held inside that captured memories or if they were built on a piece of land that was ideal for a haunting. In comparison, however, the much older homes made from stone and brick seem to be able to be haunted without ideal geology. I'm hoping to find more cases to compare. I love having your input. You ask super questions.