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According to the definition, a haunting is the repeated manifestation of strange and inexplicable sensory phenomena at a certain location. Hauntings have no general patterns, which is what makes them so hard to define. Some phenomena may manifest on occasion, or even continually, for periods that last from several days to centuries. Other manifestations may occur only on certain anniversaries, in accordance with distinctive weather conditions or for reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

Most hauntings involve apparitions or visual spirits, noises like phantom footsteps, unexplained sounds, tapping, knocking, and even voices and whispers. They can also include strange smells, sensations like the prickling of skin, cold spots and breezes, and being touched by unseen hands. Other hauntings can involve poltergeist activity, such as furniture and objects being moved about, broken glass, doors that open and close by themselves, and the manipulation of lights and electrical devices, circuits, and outlets.

According to the definition, a haunting is the repeated manifestation of strange and inexplicable sensory phenomena at a certain location. Hauntings have no general patterns, which is what makes them so hard to define. Some phenomena may manifest on occasion, or even continually, for periods that last from several days to centuries. Other manifestations may occur only on certain anniversaries, in accordance with distinctive weather conditions or for reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

Most hauntings involve apparitions or visual spirits, noises like phantom footsteps, unexplained sounds, tapping, knocking, and even voices and whispers. They can also include strange smells, sensations like the prickling of skin, cold spots and breezes, and being touched by unseen hands. Other hauntings can involve poltergeist activity, such as furniture and objects being moved about, broken glass, doors that open and close by themselves, and the manipulation of lights and electrical devices, circuits, and outlets.

Visitors to haunted places often report a variety of emotions, including anger and fear when negative forces are at work. Other sites seem to involve friendly, or at least benign, emotions.

There are some basic types of hauntings:

  • Traditional hauntings: The most widely known type of haunting, involving the spirit —or personality — of a dead person who remains behind at a location after death.
  • Residual hauntings: The most common type of haunting, when energy from past events leaves an impression on a place as a type of recording and repeats itself over and over again.
  • Poltergeist-like activity A haunting caused by energy generated by a living person, resulting in electrical activity and displacement of objects at a location.
  • Portal hauntings: A controversial type of haunting that can involve thin spots. or entrances from this world to the next. Often associated with magnetic areas and violent hauntings.
  • Demonic hauntings: Another controversial type of haunting involving something more dangerous, and more frightening, than ghosts. The definition of what a demon is widely varies but can refer to nonhuman, malevolent spirits that prey on families and locations.
  • Haunted objects: Possessed possessions, items to which ghosts and negative spirits become attached.

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