Strange Encounters

A Field Guide to Ghosts and Apparitions

Art from Enki Bilal’s ”Ghosts and Apparitions
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Alaskan Dude

True hauntings and ghosts are something that not everyone will get the opportunity to witness in their lifetime. So in this post I wanted to go over different types of ghosts, apparitions and hauntings and how to Identify them. You may of heard many Haunting Stories in the past. But in this post, we’ll go over some real life signs and Haunting Evidence that you should look for.
In an earlier discussion, Hauntings, a Look at Poltergeists, Ghosts and Unquiet Spirits, we went over several documented accounts of ghost hauntings and poltergeist activities. If you haven’t read this post already, you may want to take a look at it as it goes along with this one.
But there are many different strange activities that are said to be the work of ghosts in many parts of the world. Now we shouldn’t believe that all of these activities are the result of either ghosts, apparitions or hauntings, but many of them are. Some things I think we conjure up ourselves and I’ve written several posts talking about this possibility, In the Discovering the Powers of the Mind post we talked about bending and moving objects with your mind as well as Auras and levitation. All of these attributes I believe could unknowingly be responsible for some supposed hauntings.
Sometimes when someone is suppressing deep emotional stress, they can actually create hauntings known as poltergeists. Poltergeists aren’t normally the result of a spiritual intervention, but are created by the living. Usually it is done by someone that already possesses some sort of psychic or mental abilities.
But there are legitimate hauntings and ghostly activities that can only be explained as the paranormal. So I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss the different types of ghosts and then we’ll go over some ways to identify them. This way you’ll know when you’re being haunted and when you’re not.
If you are interested in starting your own paranormal investigation team, then I would suggest the book Hauntings, Ghosts and Ghost Hunting. This report scrapes away the fluff and filler and helps you hit the ground running with key guidelines and insights that will help ensure that your search for ghostly and paranormal activity is a success.

Types of Apparitions, Ghosts, Specters and Hauntings


Experimental Apparitions

This is something quite similar to a poltergeist but usually done with great control by the individual creating the apparition. What an experimental apparition is, is someone that has purposely set forth to project an image of themselves to someone else over great distances. For instance, Astral Projection is often used for this, where a persons conscious self will leave their physical body and travel to far away places. People have been known to do this when trying to relay an urgent message to a loved one, but remember this person is not dead. So this type of apparition really has nothing to do with ghosts per say, but still an apparition none the less.


The Crisis Apparition

A crisis apparition is actually a very common occurrence and only happens when a loved one is going through a great emotional or physical trauma. For instance, if a loved one had been struck by a car and was dying or severely injured, they may appear to relatives as an apparition at the time of the incident as a way of reaching out for help. That being said, it is very important not to ignore your intuition, someone may be trying to tell you something.


A Postmortem Apparition

A postmortem apparition may appear to someone in the form of someone that has already died.


A Continuing Apparition

These types of paranormal apparitions are quite similar to basic hauntings. Someone that has already passed may appear in a familiar place that they frequented while alive. They may appear to several different people not just loved ones, and their appearance may last for quite some time. This type of apparition is more tied to the place than to people or emotions.


Transitional Ghosts

Transitional ghosts are basically a category that involve crisis apparitions. A transitional ghost may appear to a loved one or family member shortly after their death but usually do not stick around very long. They may either appear as an image of their living self only for a brief minute and then vanish. They may also appear as nothing more than a disembodied voice repeating a name or statement and then fading away. These types of ghosts don’t normally appear to have any specific intention, but may be hanging on to the living not realizing they have passed yet.


The Purposeful Ghost

Ghosts of this nature are quite similar to transitional ghosts, but they usually have one set purpose for their brief return. Many accounts for this type of ghost involve a parent that has passed who is trying to see their children one last time. It is also possible they may be trying to relay an important message to a business partner or loved one such as the location of a will or money. But beware, also included in this category are vengeful ghosts that may be coming back seeking revenge as their purpose. Usually a ghost with these intentions will not rest until revenge is met.


Graveyard Specters

These spirits normally appear in the graveyard soon after a burial. These specters as their called are more things of stories and there aren’t too many sightings of these particular type of ghosts. It is said that graveyard specters normally don’t try to communicate with the living or make contact. They simply appear as an apparition around their grave sight until finally fading away. Some believe the last person buried in the cemetery is responsible for keeping “watch” over the others, until a new burial comes along.


An Entity Haunting

Entity hauntings may involve several ghosts but normally occur in a particular place and can sometimes last for a long time. These types of hauntings are usually the result of a violent or horrific tragedy that ended in death. The entities will usually appear as pale shadowy figures walking about the place of their death. Many other ghostly phenomena are said to occur around these entities and they are said to appear fully conscious of their actions.


A Replay Haunting

This is seemingly the worst case scenario for a spirit to be trapped in. Replay hauntings involve one or more spirits that are trapped replaying a scenario over and over again. Normally these spirits do not seem to be aware of their actions in any way, it’s almost as though they are on repeat mode. The events they are replaying often times are the events that eventually led to their death. Maybe they are trying over and over again in hopes of finding a different ending, who knows.


How to Identify a Ghost

As discussed earlier, an apparent paranormal experience is not always what it seems. Not all reports of ghostly activity are confirmed as paranormal and have some sort of logical explanation. There are a few things that can be mistaken for ghosts, let’s go over them now.

The Nonhuman Spirits

Believe it or not, there are many beings that are without a physical body. Only a small percentage of these were actually living at one time. It is quite common to report any unusual apparition or entity as a ghost, mainly because ghosts have become famous through folklore. Becoming so widely known has caused may other types of paranormal experiences to be categorized with ghosts. But as you can see from the above list, not all are ghosts. Ghosts, apparitions, hauntings, entities and specters are all different things.


Natural Phenomena Perceived as Ghosts

There are many natural phenomena that can occur that have similar properties to ghostly activity. This is especially true when dealing with sounds. Things like a squeaky door, rattling window screen, critters running about, old plumbing, house settling after a hot day. The list goes on and on of natural occurrences that my be interpreted as ghosts when the mood is right. So we must pay close attention to the things we’re hearing and not jump to conclusions. It is always best to first try to debunk the experience. Then if there is no logical explanation, you can move on to investigating paranormal possibilities.


The Living Ghosts

If you see a shadowy figure pass by a window, it’s possible it could be a real living human being. Many ghosts are mistaken for someone that is simply in a place they weren’t expected to be. So there again, let’s be sure of what we’re calling ghosts.


Our Mind is Out of Sorts

It is very possible that in times of stress or grief that our minds produce what we want them to. The hope of seeing our loved ones after they’ve passed has been worked into our minds over the years. Just look at all the apparitions TV series that are on now days. All the psychic mediums, ghost hunting show etc. There also exists the possibility of medications being to blame. Many of the prescribed medications on the market today may produce hallucinations or cause us not to think clearly. So seeing ghosts may possibly be our own minds at work.


The Hoax

This is one that we are probably all aware of. A deliberate hoax carried out by someone else. People love to pull other peoples chains and try to get one over on each other. Many hauntings have later been debunked as being a hoax or practical joke carried out by someone. There are also frauds out there that will tell you they can reunite you with your loved ones. But most of these are nothing more than elaborate schemes using fishing line, projectors, digital equipment and computers. So beware of these types, they are out there trying to take your hard earned money!


6 Signs of an Actual Haunting

  1. Most importantly, all other reasonable explanations, either psychological, criminological and medical have all been ruled out as a possibility, then move to sign #2.
  2. A human like apparition is seen by several people
  3. The apparition doesn’t appear to have any weight to it and doesn’t leave any footprints, it would also be able to pass through solid objects.
  4. There is substantial evidence to support hauntings, such as previous records of sightings or history of a tragic death on or around the property.
  5. Check to see if the clothes and jewelry worn by the apparition are all consistent with each other. Their clothing should also be consistent with a historical time period.
  6. If the apparition seen is of someone that you know has passed. Additionally if they are wearing clothes you knew them to wear while living, or possibly the clothes they were buried in.

Making sure the majority of these signs are met is a good way to determine you’ve just seen a ghost. If you are simply hearing noises, seeing poltergeist activity or changes in the atmosphere, these could be caused by many different paranormal type beings or entities.
So I hope this has been helpful for those of you that are interested in ghostly phenomena and may help you in determining if you’ve actually seen a real ghosts or any recent apparitions as well as what kind. Anything you’d like to add to the discussion, then I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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16 thoughts on “A Field Guide to Ghosts and Apparitions
  1. Oh, so spooky… I’m not the fan of all these paranormal phenomena… I’m curious did you google all this info or did you keep in all after reading some books or scientific works?

    1. All the information on my blog comes from either my odd head, personal experiences or from research I’ve done in books. There may be similar subjects on the web, but none of my information comes from the internet. I do a lot of reading! πŸ˜€

      1. I personally think you are doing a great job in researching and writing the articles!
        I truly enjoy reading the articles!
        Keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  2. Nice job you are doing …. keep doing it … thanks for posting it keep blogging

    1. Thank you for the compliment, I have a feeling I’ll be blogging for a long, long time. πŸ™‚

  3. Now I know how to identify sounds and everything that sometimes happen in my house. I just hearing a sound and activities that changed something in house. Spooky πŸ™
    But great article you’ve written here

    1. Oh yah eddy, sounds throughout your house can be some of the more spooky experiences. Some times it’s hard to determine whether it’s just from natural occurrences or if it may be of a paranormal nature.

  4. Beneficial document. I prefer this quite definitely. Thanks intended for revealing.

  5. Just want to pass on that our house use to have strange occurrences … They stopped after we had a Blessing on our house!But one instance I want to relay occurred one night when my wife was gone and I was alone with my 3 dogs. While I was watching TV 2 Little dogs on the couch beside me and our Shepard was lying on the floor.At one point the Shepard jumps up looking and growling at the ceiling … She runs into the kitchen and returns 4 separate times and then stops and goes back to lying on the floor.Neither myself or the 2 small dogs saw anything … But the Shepard clearly was reacting to something!Having said all that … I want to commend you on your Blog! I will now follow reading your Blog!Have a Great God Filled Holiday Weekend!MrHoggLegg

    1. Thanks for a great story MrHoggLegg. I do know that animals and also small children often have the ability to see things from the other side.

      Having your home blessed is a great way to help these unseen entities to pass on or leave your dwelling. I certainly wouldn’t discount the possibility that there was something sharing your home with you, hopefully the blessing helped rid you of that problem.

      But we must also remember that not all presences that inhabit our homes have ill intent. There is such thing as good “ghosts” πŸ™‚

      Hope you and your family had a great Thanksgiving and I’m glad you’ve decided to follow the blog!

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