Types of Ghosts
At this point in time, paranormal research recognizes four “breeds” of ghosts and hauntings: intelligent, residual, poltergeist and portal/vortex hauntings. The terms might very from researcher to researcher, but here’s a basic rundown on what to expect if you should ever encounter any of these guys on the streets.
An intelligent haunting doesn’t mean a ghost with a high IQ. It simply means these are ghosts who are able to convey a message or still communicate with the living. Intelligent hauntings have been known to warn people of impending doom, prevent people from dying the same way they did and some just seem hell-bent on spooking people. Even though these are the hauntings you might read about the most, they are quite rare to come in contact with.
These are the most common of the ghost family. Imagine an old film projector forever replaying the same loop and scene over and over and you have yourself an example of a residual haunting. For whatever unknown reason, there seems to be something within our environment that can record events and replay them back when the time is right. The haunted battlefields of Gettysburg are a good example of a residual haunting. People report all the time seeing ghostly soldiers run past them. People also hear gunshots or the sounds of drums and horses. Typically, residual hauntings are associated with tragic, intense events such as a war or murder. It’s believed that extreme emotions going on at the time of the event can somehow bury itself in the environment and play itself back when the conditions are right. What those conditions are, no one knows. It could be temperature, moisture, the moon phaseor a new Starbucks being built. No one knows. Any number of factors could play into this phenomenon. If you think about it, this is the only way we can actually look back into time without the use of a Delorean and a Flux Capacitor.
You might remember the popular movies from the 80’s that scared us all to death. Decades later, the idea of a Poltergeist haunting still scares people to death, even if they haven’t seen the movies. The word “poltergeist” is German for “noisy ghost” and these types of hauntings involve the movement of objects, sometimes violently hurled.Even physical attacks on people have been reported. For many years now, researchers have theorized adolescents (mostly female) are the culprits behind this type of paranormal activity. In the majority of poltergeist cases, there is usually a teenager in the household, sometimes going through a rough time and sometimes not. Scientists feel that the adolescent body is going through so many changes and hormone levels are going so crazy, that the mind, in rare cases, develops psychokinesis (PK), which is the ability to move or influence objects with the mind.
Often in paranormal investigation, if objects have moved on their own or people have reported being hit, pinched etc., the case can be labeled as having “poltergeist activity,” or “poltergeist-like,” which isn’t necessarily a true poltergeist case. It just means the spirit or energy in the area is able to physically affect things.
These are sorta a little creepy.
If something “non-human” is lurking in an area, it just might be associated with this type of haunting. They might sound a little on the sci-fi side, but with quantum physics proving more and more that our world is stranger then we ever thought, the possibility of different dimensions doesn’t sound as crazy as it used to. Some researchers feel cemeteries are good candidates for portals, which would explain a lot of the bizarre photos that have come out of cemeteries through the years (and we're not talking “orbs” here). These portals might be in cemeteries because they offer a doorway of sorts to other existences. Author Troy Taylor makes an interesting point when he talks about Native American cemeteries and how they chose their burial grounds because they felt the area was special and easier for their dead to cross over. It’s possible that early white settlers did the same thing with their burial grounds without even realizing it. The bottom line: if really freaky stuff is going on, you just might have stumbled upon a portal haunting and might want to back away slowly…or just run full speed the opposite direction.