A perfectly normal family moves into a house. Weeks later, the youngest child won't sleep in his bed. The adolescent daughter is acting up. They hear footsteps in the hall at night. The TV and fan turn themselves on and off spontaneously. Months later, the parents are fighting. A year later, dad is drinking more than usual. The daughter is hell-bent on rebelling. The youngest son's anxiety has caused mom to take him out of school and teach him at home.
What is happening?
There are certain conditions that create an ideal vessel for a haunting and those very factors that can energize a site can also energize the occupants. Humans are sensitive to these physical properties from geology to building construction, emotional past enacted in a site and residual information held by walls, floors, and other architectural details.
For example, I had a friend in college. She was a shy type, but when you got to talking with her, she was very sensitive, very insightful, and a wise old soul. One day in Sociology, she came in and sat down in the chair near me like always and then got a strange look on her face. She looked around and chose another chair to sit in. I didn't ask what was up, but then the teacher came in looking a bit harried and exhausted. He mentioned that the last hour was a trying one. A kid in the class had a seizure and there was all manner of drama. He went over to the seat where my friend had sat down and pulled up a book. "His friend forgot to grab his book." He mentioned as he collected it. After class, my friend mentioned, "I felt all dizzy when I sat there. I just couldn't take it a minute longer."
As a psychometrist, I can tell you that there is residual in floors, walls, objects, even in the very space you walk through. It is possible for me to walk a path behind a person who walked it hours earlier, and pick up their images and memories, feelings and more. I am especially attuned to it, but never knew that it was a psychic talent. I thought feelings and thoughts came to me spontaneously. I never knew they were instigated by contact.
To an attuned or sensitive person, entering a room and sitting down in a place where a previous homeowner laid while dying, he might feel surprisingly morose. It might not make sense and feel as though it occurred out-of-the-blue. Humans are sensitive to infrasound frequencies below our hearing range, geomagnetic storms that can give us strangely vivid dreams, headaches before earthquakes, goosebumps in haunted locations, and a sense of deja vu for no apparent reason. Humans have built-in tuning tools they aren't even aware of and that can be activated by the very events and physical conditions of a haunted location.
Some people believe that the spirits haunting a building are the activating factor for people to act differently or have issues, but that connection is not logical. If spirits could control our behavior, they would do it and do it often. Imagine what our parents would do when we were about to marry someone we had known for 2 weeks?
It would appear that the very elements in a haunted location can create sensitivity in the occupants and then behaviors to avoid weird feelings that can lead to either personality issues or addictions. It begins with something simple, uneasy feelings, agitation, jumpiness, anxiety, or depression. These lead to coping behaviors like insomnia, medication, alcohol, arguing, snapping, personality changes, and more. Over time, a site-sensitive person doesn't know where it all went wrong. It seemed to happen after moving into the house. Was it the ghosts doing it? Or, was it the milieu of the building?
What can one do if he has a sensitivity? My first suggestion is a simple one; feng shui. As strange as it sounds these simple principles seem to work for creating open pathways for energy to move and not get trapped in pockets. Keep the home well lit, uncluttered, with open free areas for energy to come and go. The book Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster by Anna Maria Prezio is perhaps one of the most valuable tools I have found for easily explaining elements you need to consider in having bad energy or good energy in a home.
There are also subtle things you can do to make the space take on a new meaning--by placing down positive energy in areas that seem to be negative. If there is a place in the home that no one likes, feels uncomfortable in, play soft happy music in it as many hours a day as you possibly can. Place happy photos of the family there or objects associated with good feelings, like a child's toy. These sorts of things can help re-set a space with a more positive energy.
A home that has a milieu for haunting doesn't have to be the site of a family's disruption. With astute parents on-hand noticing the changes and effects in the members, a home can take on a totally new tone. The very fact that activity comes up during renovation has nothing to do with a spirit being mad about his house being redecorated. It has to do with disrupting the energy in the house as a whole. Eventually, it settles in and if good chances were made, the house has a whole new tone. We are more affected by our environment than we know.