There are myriad experiences that occur within the realm of the paranormal. The following list is a broad overview of some of the many supernatural phenomena, entities, and activity said to exist.
Animal Spirit Guide
Native Americans believe that when you are born an animal spirit enters your soul and protects you throughout your life. When connecting with an animal spirit guide, always remember their survival and predatory characteristics – they will help a person grow, make decisions and determine their life path. There are four basic types of animal guides, and some people may have more than one type:
Messenger Guide (Totem) – This guide usually appears to guide or warn of a specific situation and stays with you until the message is received and the warning is heeded.
Shadow Guide – This guide initially instills fear in a person. The guide teaches lessons about areas in a person’s life that need to be changed. It represents inner fears and will continually appear until positive changes are made.
Journey Guide – This guide appears when a person needs to change the course of their path in life. The animal spirit remains until the journey – which may take days, months or even years – is complete.
Life Guide – This guide is ever-present. It is a reflection of who and what that person is and their spiritual makeup. The guide will remind the person of their strengths and innermost abilities. The life animal guide may be an animal a person had an affinity for as a small child, or one that is found around that person frequently or one that is often dreamed about.
An apparition is a generic term for a dead person’s spirit. It is often attached to a place or person for a period of time. Apparitions can also search for a sensitive – or person with psychic / mediumistic abilities – and attach to them, even as strangers.
A benevolent apparition is protective in nature. The entity is the spirit of a loved one looking to protect the living in an area where a demon or other, possibly violent, entity abides. The apparition is often related or closely connected to the living person being attacked.
A benign apparition is an entity that is not concerned with the living or aware of the living’s presence within the area. The entity could be that of a person going about his or her routine, not knowing they have passed. A benign apparition can also be connected to intelligent or residual hauntings.
Crisis apparitions are normally a one-time paranormal experience. They appear when a person is alive, but close to death, to pass on a message of comfort or love. For example, you’re watching TV after visiting a close relative – such as a parent in the hospital – and turn to see that person standing over you smiling before vanishing. A second later, the phone rings and when you answer, the doctor tells you that person has passed away. If someone visits you frequently, it is a sign they have become your self-appointed guardian angel.
This type of paranormal activity is very sad for obvious reasons. These ghosts usually seek attention because they are lonely and, inadvertently, terrify people by making toys or other objects move. Some believe they are actually demons in disguise.
See “The Haunted Pen’s Guide to Demonic Hauntings,” coming soon.
These happen when there are no apparitions to accompany the noises that one is hearing. This could be because the entity does not have the energy to maintain a specific form. Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVPs) can be detected by electronic devices or, in some cases, by the naked ear.
Doppelgänger is a German word meaning double-goer or double-walker. The phenomenon is one of the rarest of all paranormal activities. In this type of haunting, a person sees his or her exact double. Only that particular person will see the spirit and others will not be aware of it. This is usually a sign that something tragic or traumatic is going to happen to the person who has witnessed the sighting.
Ectoplasm / Orbs / Ecto-Mist
These are thought to be the spirits of those who have passed on that are captured on film. However, they are highly challenged in the paranormal field as they can be attributed to many natural and non-spirit related things like water on the lens, insects, and lights from passing cars. Often resembling a mist or fog that looks like it’s swirling, this vaporous cloud usually appears several feet off the ground and can move swiftly or remain stationary. They have been captured on many videos, and photographs and can be white, gray or black. Although they appear and then move away quickly, ectoplasm sometimes appears before becoming a full-bodied apparition. There have been many sightings outdoors in such places as graveyards, battlefields and historical sites.
Ghost animal are the spirits of deceased animals that remain in this world for numerous reasons like their human counterparts. They could be domesticated pets that choose to remain behind for a time and remain close to their human companions or wild animals that serve as guides to the living (see Animal Spirit Guide).
Ghost Vessel, Ghost Ship, or Phantom Vehicle
These terms refer to a ghostly or haunted vehicle, or a vehicle that causes death, injury, or damage without making physical contact. These phenomena could be due to the huge amounts of human energy that passed through the vehicles when they were in service. They can be very disturbing because they are usually connected to tragic events.
Many apparitions of trains, cars and carriages have also been seen. According to legend, every April 29th, without fail, the residents in Urbana, Ohio await the arrival of Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Train. The funeral car carrying the President’s body rumbles through the town, following the route it took back in 1865 when it carried him back to Springfield, Illinois.
Ghostly Sounds and Smells
Knocking, screams, music, moaning, and voices are sounds often heard at haunted locations. They can be residual or intelligent. Knocking is an old method of communicating with the dead.
Smells are also a very common occurrence in areas with high levels of paranormal activity. These can also be residual or intelligent. Perfumes, cigar smoke and food smells are some of the scents encountered. Beware of foul odors like rotting garbage or sulfur, to name a few. Smells like these could mean dark entities, demons or evil ghosts are making themselves known.
The four most common types of graveyard ghosts are:
Grieving Ghosts – These are spirits that remain to comfort a loved one during his or her mourning period. This is short-term because this spirit knows its body has died. Once the living person acknowledges the loved one’s death as final, the spirit normally moves on.
Desecration Ghosts – Also known as angry ghosts, these spirits had moved on but vandalism or destruction of their graves called them back. Activity generated by these ghosts will be high. They are known to generate orbs, EVPs and apparitions and are likely to follow the perpetrators home and give them some paranormal hell.
Ghosts in Denial – These spirits cannot acknowledge they are dead and cannot face the facts of death. In time, their energy should weaken and they are forced to move on.
Attached Ghosts – This is where the living person is haunted by an attached spirit that refuses to end its bond with a living person. The spirit stays in contact with their loved ones for years after death. Eventually, the spirit’s energy will weaken and they transition from our plane of existence.
These may or may not be human spirits. They are usually an ancestor sent to guide and protect a person along life’s journey. It is believed that a person can have more than one Guardian Angel depending on that person’s sensitivity to the spirit world. In some cultures, the first person buried in a cemetery becomes a protector. Their job is to prevent vandalism or desecration of the site. Sadly, some of these people were buried alive to ensure the trauma created a ghost.
See the “The Haunted Pen’s Guide to Intelligent Hauntings,” coming soon.
A living apparition is when the spirit of a person who is still alive appears in a place that is different from the location their body is currently inhabiting, such as an out-of-body experience, near-death experience, meditation, dreaming, or astral projection. These manifestations are unexpected and as such are not capable of being studied. These ghosts can show intelligence and self-awareness. There are some rare examples of people seeing themselves as a ghost but at a different age. This can occur if something traumatic took place and a piece of that person was left behind or imprinted in some way at a location.
A malevolent apparition occurs when a ghost (or demon) seeks to inflict harm on the living within an area. It is believed this happens because the entity:
- Is angry for events that occurred in its life
- Is jealous of the living
- Is a malicious personality
- Is seeking attention
- Is defensive of its home and wishes the current living persons to depart
- Is sad and wants others to acknowledge its sadness and to feel its misery
Mental Imprint Manifestations
These are images or energies left over from a particular event, often a tragedy such as a murder or an execution. These ghosts tend to repeat the same action over and over again – walking across a room or opening a door. They also seem to appear on a particular date or time of night. Because they are energies rather than spirits, it is believed that mental imprint manifestations may lack consciousness.
In some instances, the animal may have been buried alive – which can create a phantom dog. In most occurrences, the dog is black with glowing eyes. They may be heard growling in the dead of night or barking in the background. Phantom dogs usually manifest as semi-transparent figures. They are not aggressive, but they will try to scare you. There are no reported cases of phantom dogs following a person home.
See the “The Haunted Pen’s Guide to Poltergeist Hauntings,” coming soon.
See the “The Haunted Pen’s Guide to Residual Hauntings,” coming soon.
These dark forms are often seen as shadows in places where they would not normally be. Sometimes seen out of the corner of a person’s eye or captured on camera, these entities are thought to be malevolent. As technology improves, paranormal investigators are gathering more and more evidence of their existence. Some shadow people have been described as tall, black humanoid-like beings with red eyes and no necks. Others have been described as shadow-like black masses.
This is when a living person suddenly finds him or herself in the company of – or surrounded by – ghostly shapes from another era. These time-slip images often include period pieces such as furniture or vehicles. Figures in human form are often oblivious to the presence of their mortal observers. Time slips are another example of when the ghost or ghosts involved may be projections that lack consciousness of their own.
These entities are said to be the spirits of those who were wronged in life or death and are seeking vengeance for the wrongdoings to or against them. Many believe that the spirits of those who have had their burial grounds or places of rest disturbed can return as vengeful spirits – such as Native Americans who have had their sacred ground disturbed. Another example would be the vengeful female ghost of a woman murdered by a male and now (as a ghost) torments or attacks males when they are present at the haunted location.
These ghosts are often associated with scorned lovers or women who suffered great loss in life, whether it be the death of a child or the death of a lover or significant other.
The next “The Haunted Pen’s Guide To…” will be taking a look at different types of hauntings.
Click HERE for The Haunted Pen’s Guide to Ghosts – Part One