When it comes to hauntings, the most common types of hauntings include residual haunting and intelligent haunting. Think of intelligent hauntings as ghosts that can slam doors, react to requests or turn the lights on and off.
An intelligent haunting is a spirit aware of this world and may even try to communicate with you. You may have wondered if your home has an intelligent haunting. Stay tuned as I talk more about the telltale signs that you may be dealing with an intelligent haunting.
In the table below, I have gathered the most common signs of intelligent haunting and how you can distinguish them from other more commonly occurring residual haunting. In this way, it is easier to identify intelligent hauntings when on ghost hunts or investigations.
The difference between intelligent and residual hauntings
|Sign||Intelligent haunting||Residual haunting|
|Interacts and reacts||X|
|Does not interact||x|
|Strong emotional reactions||X|
|Movement of objects||X|
|Electrical glitches||X||May occur at times|
|Stange noises and sounds||X||X|
|Occurring at the same time, date, or season||X|
Sign #1: Reacts to Requests
In a residual haunting, spirits get captured in time where the same action repeats itself. Often, this happens as a result of trauma, such as in the case of a murder or rape. You might think of a residual haunting as the energy left behind, and it happens more like a movie.
On the other hand, an intelligent haunting will react to requests. Always exercise caution with an intelligent haunting, and never anger the spirit intentionally because this type of haunting can make your life a living hell.
In some cases, the spirit attaches itself to a person and can cause all sorts of issues, such as:
- Unexplainable depression, mood swings, or emotions
- Unexplained scratches on the body
- Unwanted communications with a ghost
All of those signs are examples of an intelligent haunting because it can react to you. In many cases, the ghost will respond to requests.
If you want to learn more about residual hauntings, I invite you to read the article below.
Related article: Residual hauntings: A Ghost Hunter’s Guide
Sign #2: Semblance of Awareness with Strong Emotion
In most cases, with an intelligent haunting, the ghost stays behind because of a trauma in its past life. You may feel strong emotions like grief, guilt, anger, or confusion. The spirit experienced those extreme emotions before it passed away. It may need help to resolve those issues before it can move on.
When a ghost feels emotions, ghost hunters have given it the term psychological heebijeebism or adfectuspirituality. This often happens when a spirit feels deep remorse or unfulfilled dreams in its lifetime.
Sign #3: Hiding or Moving Objects
Especially poltergeists will take objects and either hide them or move them. Sometimes, they hide the object and move it back into an obvious place. Sometimes you could ascribe it to a mischievous little brother, but in other cases, you might be the only one living in that home.
Many report this phenomenon as happening, and they can’t tell if it happens out of malice or playfully, but it always leaves you feeling eerie. Try this in that situation. Loudly say, “I’ve had enough! Put it back.” If it responds intelligently or puts it back, you can rest assured that your home has an intelligent haunting.
They call this paranormal event the disappearing object phenomenon. Before attributing it to this phenomenon, you must consider other reasons. This could be another sign if you already see an abundance of ghost activity.
In some cases, the object may directly relate to the departed. For example, if you keep a jewel necklace that belonged to your grandmother. Sometimes, the item might move to a place where your grandmother used to keep the item.
Sign #4: Electrical Devices Acting Strange
Living in a home with intelligent haunting, you may see your computer turn on randomly, your phone stops working, or an electronic without batteries make noise without an explanation.
The ghost may even unplug your electronics. This phenomenon becomes especially eerie when no one is near the plug-in and you have slack on the cord. Ghost hunters believe that spirits interact with electronics, and many report how a battery drains faster in the presence of a ghost.
Sign #5: Apparitions or Shadows People
Apparitions and shadow people occur with residual hauntings, but how they happen differs from an intelligent haunting. With a residual haunting, the ghost reappears in the same spot, repeating an action repeatedly.
You can encounter the same phenomenon of an apparition with an intelligent haunting, but it will interact with you. The ghost will know you exist in the room with it. A residual haunting happens without awareness. The actions appear as if frozen in time.
An example of an intelligent haunting with apparitions is a story of a young boy who toured the Wabasha Street Caves in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. These caves reportedly used to harbor infamous mafia members like John Dillinger and Babyface Nelson. The boy told about how a 1920s-dressed man winked at him and vanished into thin air. This gives you an example of an apparition that interacts intelligently with our world.
Sign #6: Strange Noises
You may hear knocking on a door, running footsteps, or strange rattling noises responding to your questions. Many ghost hunters know how spirits use noise to communicate with them. It may sometimes come from another source, but ghosts are to blame at times.
Hopefully, this shows you the signs of an intelligent haunting. The difference between an intelligent haunting and a residual haunting is that the ghost interacts directly with you in an intelligent haunting. If you want to know if your home is intelligently haunted, ask yourself if the spirits will respond to your actions. If they do, that means it’s an intelligent haunting. If the activities happen over and over in the same way, your home has a residual haunting.
It can be hard to differentiate between different types of intelligent hauntings. If you want to learn more about elemental hauntings, you find lots of helpful information in the link below.
Further reading: Do Elementals Haunt Your Home? Here’s How to Find Out