Monday, June 7, 2010

Which is More Haunted?

Does a TB clinic trump a house with a murder/suicide? Does a mental hospital beat a mortuary? And does a Nazi concentration camp beat them all?

Let’s break it down logically:

A home with a murder/suicide is a one-time deal. Not only that, but more than likely the murder victim didn’t see it coming. There was either little or no anguish depending on how expediently it was acted upon. However, the suicide portion involved rage and self-loathing, so there was a strong imprint of emotion, still only a very short time period in the history of the house. This is kind of like the time of man on Earth in comparison to the universe’s history. As we can attest that the world doesn't appear to be filled with all the spirits from the other side, we can assume it only is an ability for a certain few and the odds of those 2 people being "haunters" is statistically low. You will need more murders and suicides in that site.

Now, we move on to the TB clinic; definitely a place of illness and melancholy and much death. Long, slow lingering deaths occurred within those walls with families separated and anguished by that alone. The TB clinics were around for quite some time until antibiotic treatment. However, these clinics were places people knew they were going to when gravely ill and they also knew the point in which they were getting worse and would not leave the place alive. So, although horrific, there was a time and place for peace with the end coming;a sort of psychological acceptance. As well, with nurses and doctors trying to comfort them, compassion was also imprinted in this environment.

What about mortuaries? People often think they’re the scariest of all. A place where dead bodies are prepared for burials certainly sounds like it should be haunted. But, mind you that the people who enter there are already dead. If you believe in the concept of souls, the soul is peeled away from the body right at the time of death (and according to NDE people, sometimes before the point of death). The only thing we would really have to fear about a mortuary is just to know that dead bodies were there, which in anyone’s mind is going to be uncomfortable.

Mental hospitals should be quite haunted, right? I admit that when I was a kid, my oldest sister spent a year and a half in mental hospitals. It was a crude time in mental health, but they did so many electroconvulsant treatments on her, she forgot her entire childhood. We were all strangers to her. She never got those memories back. ECT does cause memory loss. Most often, just short-term which is helpful to people with depression because, more or less, they forget the train of thoughts that led them into a dark alleyway in their minds. However, I did get to visit her in the cafeteria and visiting rooms and I have to say that most people seemed to be very heavily sedated on thorazine and undergoing ECT, so truly the main anguish here was in the visitors. There were few who ever died there, except for some suicides and in a strange sort of way, those were voluntary ways out of living and a relief for the tormented and not an unwilling act of death.

So, now we’re down to a Nazi concentration camp. Should this be the most haunted place in the world? It meets some amazing criteria; immense hatred, immense horror, immense fear, families torn apart, starvation and bodily harm, experiments and burning and torturing en masse and over a long period of time in a single site. So, yes, we should expect the Nazi death camps to trump all the other haunted sites.

It would seem that there are actual elements to haunted places that should be considered when deciding if they are haunted or super haunted. A prison and a concentration camp should be considered super high billing for amount of torment and death over a long period of time in a crowded environment, perhaps high billing for a hospital or battlefield, a moderate billing for a mental hospital or TB clinic, and a lower billing for suicide or a crime of passion.


  1. Personally, I think there are two things which can cause a haunting: an emotionally charged event or accumulation. The kind of haunting is more of the question. An actual event is probably more likely to lead to a conscious haunting, while accumulation is more likely to lead to a loop of memory. So a murder/suicide is more likely to have ghosts involved than a cemetery or mortuary which may only hold an accumulation of decaying psychic energy. It's only my personal belief obviously, but I think that even though the spirit seldom remains with a body after death, the body will continue to exude psychic impressions as it decays. After all, impressions are collected by the brain through the nerves. Just because there's not a soul to collect these impressions doesn't mean they don't still happen. While it's true that the brain and nerved start decaying almost at once, I'd bet money that they do still collect data, even if it's going nowhere. In effect, a mortuary, cemetery, hospital, or emergency triage would act like a psychic sink, collecting an abundance of psychic energy in a very short time and recording it for those who come after who happen to be sensitive.

  2. Very good observations, Candace. Our dilemma comes from separating residual hauntings from intelligent ones. It only takes one determined ghost to make an interaction, but it is so very rare that a hunter can go their whole career and never get proof of interaction, so what determines one intelligence from remaining when others do not is a real puzzle. The manner in which one dies shouldn't matter, but statistically if more people died in a site, there should be more events that had a chance to be recorded. The house in which I grew up in had habits and lots of residual that seemed to be laid down from repeated events in the same manner. I liken this to a lighthouse or a hospital corridor. Lots of foot traffic every day for years on end, can leave a residual pattern. The house was a Civil War hospital and had repeated up and downstairs scenarios over the 250+ years it's stood, so more chance of holding memories. So far in cemeteries I have found that activity usually takes the form of visitors going to graves, grieving, talking to the dead, praying and then once they leave there is still activity which one could contemplate is emotional residual from the visitor of the fact that their grief brought forward a loved one's soul to be with them. Sites of mass graves are often reported to be haunted, but that seems to be the case in folks who were buried all at once, such as after a natural disaster or in the case of the nazi camps. I know I have absolute and definite belief in residual events held in an environment and replayed, but as to intelligent, I have had a few interactions that lead me to it being possible, but I would definitely like to have more to come to a conclusion about how, where, and why.

  3. Another problem I think is that the ghost can forget itself. So what seems to be a conscious haunting can seem residual later or intermittently.

    There's also the fact that more residual style hauntings have been reported where there is running water (the only crystal liquid at room temperature) or quartz deposits in the land, lending credence to the idea that crystal can record what goes on around it.

  4. Candace;
    Crazy that you mention that. It's in the book I'm writing with Julie from Above-The-Norm. We include waterways, geology, leylines. Aspen Grove where I grew up was atop of springs and the land was filled with quartz. A certain kind of alchemy that just made it a fantastic "battery" for hauntings. There's an old movie from the 60s called "The Stone Tapes" that covers this concept and it seems to be repeatedly found in haunted places. Aspen Grove had tons of residual but also had poltergeist activity a lot and a few times seemed to react to us in a way that seemed intelligent. Theorizing about this is a blast. Well, duh, guess that's why I have this blog, huh? Hee hee

  5. Cool! I've read theories concerning certain haunted highways that have "ghostlights" that suggest there are deposits of quartz that are vibrated by passing cars and cause these lights which seem to act intelligently but which might be reacting instead to the changing vibrations when you try to approach them.

    My house is haunted by at least three spirits... you probably read my description over on Scott's blog when were discussion Paranormal Activity. I live in the mountains with lots of quartz deposits all around and right next to the Lehigh River and an old canal. We supposedly even have a "lady in white" a mile or so down the canal, though I've never seen her.

  6. Candace;
    Sounds like ideal conditions. We're actually going on a hunt in late July to a place where the mountains are all limestone, have granite spires and the land is filled with quartz. Tons of activity there where an old TB clinic/Mental hospital was. Campers who have no idea about the buildings hidden in the mountains have reported spirits in the desert there and we see this in AZ a lot in mining areas. Some believe it's a combination of Native American spirituality and geology. I have found that the old ancient HoHoKam canals here in AZ seem to have a ridiculous amount of hauntings in the homes built around them, so there might be something to the combination of spirituality and geology. We know that our brains actually have matter in them that is affected by magnetic fields like birds who know how to migrate. Changes in geology and geomagnetic activity could combine to make us super sensitive to seeing and hearing things that are always there but we don't usually notice unless the conditions are right. My book is based on what these conditions are... like a perfect haunting stew...

    Thanks. Like to keep you thinking and wondering...

  7. Well, if you're ever in the Lehigh Valley PA, let me know. My ghosts have been a bit uppity of late. They kept me up until 1:30 last night, making all kinds of noises and making my window blinds fall down. I think they must object to my being unemployed and home too much or something.

  8. BTW, your mention of geological changes puts me in mind of feng shui and how the Shinto and Buddhist priests in China will commune with spirits in a place before construction takes place in order to OK the changes with them.

  9. Candace; you're a smart gal and you're also living smack dab in what I call America's haunting hot spot: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia. If you'd like to discuss more about the details of your haunting issues, I'd be happy to talk about it. I'd like to see if you have any patterns or things you might try. I also am covering feng shui in the book--there's actually a good book called "Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost Buster" that is filled with great tips. I do like to counsel folks on the layout of their homes and items to help reduce the chance of things collecting in one area. Jeez, I don't think I need to ever say this to anyone but I have never and will never charge for helping folks out--I have lived with hauntings and I really appreciate being able to help people find ways to deal with it or change it.

  10. Interesting post and interesting exchange in your comments. I don't put much stock in haunted cemeteries or mortuaries. My husband's grandma's dad was the caretaker/groundskeeper for a cemetery in Denver during the Depression. As she puts it, Death is creepy and a bunch of dead people in one place just naturally give people the heebie jeebies and their imaginations take flight. But dead is dead and gone is gone.

    But before the Death comes...well, I'm not sure why some souls/spirits linger while the rest move on. I think it has something to do with being ready to cross the threshold as you suggested. Suddenly dying in a way you didn't see coming is obviously a popular ghost formula.

    But suffering a slow death like the ones you mentioned (either by a disease or like in a concentration camp)...I think the soul stamps itself on that place. Especially if there are others feeling the same thing. It kind of establishes it's own frequency. Because not everyone dies. I believe the survivors who make it out sort of carry something with them that makes hauntings possible. Even if they're no longer at the scene.

    Did you also mention mass deaths? Like airplane crashes or explosions like 9/11? Those have a tendency to create hauntings also.

  11. Hey Court;
    I think in the case of 9/11 my belief is that with the ground swept clean and dug deep, there should be no residual there. I'm kind of an expert on plane crashes because I have had dozens of premonitions of plane crashes 1-2 days before they occurred and in immense detail, so I can tell you that the confusion aboard is so thick that the passengers are generally trying to make logical sense out of it to protect themselves from the reality and in some cases, like TWA 800, it is so fast they really don't have a reaction time. I do admit, however, that while on the bottom of the sea with the bits from TWA 800 (yes, I get the entire perspective), I looked around and from the floor of the ocean, random people sat up and looked around and they didn't look at all "right," they were partially opaque and partially translucent and it was like they woke up and wondered where the hell they were. It was so startling, I woke myself up. Usually in plane crash premonitions I know I can't be hurt or killed and no one can see or hear me, so I can affect no change, but in this case, I made myself get up when I saw them sit up and look around. In cases like Oklahoma bombing and such--there's just no forewarning and my guess is that the terror is only seconds long. What I look for in a truly regularly haunted place is a long-term anguish. So, buildings used for a lot of dark things--can be great magnets.

  12. Well, better for you to ponder these things, than I. You are way braver than I. No way in Hell am I setting foot in any of these places.

    Well, I did visit Mathausen, a concentration camp in Austria.

    Unlike you I don't see ghosts, that dimension is kind of hidden to me and I prefer it that way.

    However, when I visited the concentration camp, there was no denying what I was feeling while I was visiting.

    I didn't see anything, no ghosts. But seriously, what soul would want to linger there ?

    Anyway, I felt such a tight squeezing sensation around my chest while I was standing in the gas chamber.

    I took lots of pictures, but ended up deleting them after I got home. I just did not want an energy trail into my life.

    The trip was necessary. My family is Austrian on one side, and Jewish on the other.

    But it's not a trip I think I would do again.

  13. Senorita;
    That was still a brave and considerate trip to make. It's entirely possible the emotion there could still linger. I can't imagine how overwhelming that would feel.