Your sensitive friends won’t visit

Everyone has at least one friend whose vibe check powers seem to border on the supernatural. Maybe they clock that a mutual buddy is bad news when everyone else still thinks they are hilarious, or maybe they have the spooky ability to know a couple has gone through a breakup just by seeing them from across the room.

Either way, it’s likely this friend has an excellent ghost sense too. If they’re always complaining that your house has weird energy and needs to be cleansed with a bundle of rosemary, or that it’s freezing cold even when you’ve got the heating blasting, then they might be unconsciously picking up on another houseguest visiting from beyond the grave.

Weird pet behaviour

There aren’t many creatures on Earth more attuned to ghostly energy than your crystal-toting, herbal tea-drinking hippie friends, but pets are definitely up there, especially cats. If you’re looking to determine whether a Casper has taken up residence in your home, then your cat or dog is the best tool you have in your arsenal.

Look out for strange behaviours, such as your cat staring fixedly at an empty or unremarkable spot in the room, or your puppy yowling at the same time every night despite being well-fed, well-rested and spoiled with attention. If they start running around like they’re chasing an imaginary string when they’re not normally predisposed to the zoomies, then it might be time to call a professional.

Unexplainable cold spots

Everyone knows that the older a house is, the more likely it is to be playing host to ghosts. Unfortunately, it’s also true that old houses have quirks and personalities that ape the signs of a supernatural houseguest, making it hard to tell the difference between a home in need of a plumber and a home in need of a priest.

If you’ve insulated your house properly and are still experiencing random chilly spots in the centre of rooms, away from windows or ventilation, then you might inadvertently be walking right through a spirit! Spooky, right? Put on a scarf, or give those ghouls their personal space.

Kids acting creepy

If you’ve seen even a single horror movie, you’ll know that ghosts and kids go together like strawberries and cream. It’s widely believed that children are able to access the supernatural more easily than adults: they can hear higher frequencies, affect electromagnetic fields and even see things no one else can.

So if you’re worried about ghosts hanging out in your bathtub or pantry, then it might be worth watching your own children carefully or borrowing a niece or nephew for the day. If they start talking to brand new imaginary friends, drawing “memories” featuring details from before they were born or playing morose or morbid games, they might be being influenced by a pal from beyond the grave.

Lingering mystery smells

While all ghosts are undoubtedly scary when you first experience them, not all spirits are dangerous or even inconvenient. Often, a ghost sticks around simply because your home is where they also lived, and they are unwilling or flat-out unable to move on. These benign spirits will often send you signs that they are there and mean you no harm.

One way a ghost can do this is with smells. If you walk into a room and catch a whiff of perfume that no one in your family wears, or smell flowers, potpourri, cigar smoke or unfamiliar washing powder, it could be a spirit gently nudging you to let you know that they are around.

Items moving around

Just because most ghosts are not malicious, does not mean they are not mischievous. Spirits get bored too, and they entertain themselves in a variety of ways, one of which is shuffling your belongings around when you’re not paying attention. So if you’re always losing your keys despite swearing you keep them on the hook by the door, you might not be losing your mind!

Poltergeists are maybe the most famous example of ghosts that love to mess with people’s stuff, but they don’t have a monopoly on it. With that said, if the items are being moved around in a frenetic, chaotic or even dangerous way, it’s more likely a poltergeist you are dealing with, as opposed to a regular spirit.

Electrics acting haywire

One common theory about ghosts is that they are beings freed from the shackles of their mortal body, allowing them to vibrate at a slightly higher frequency than material matter. This allows them to move through our world and even interact with objects and people to some extent, without being seen or heard at all times.

This hypothesis explains why ghosts are always interacting with televisions, radios and light bulbs, as these things include frequencies that can be tapped into. So if your television is always on when you come downstairs in the morning and your partner and kids swear it isn’t them, you might have a spirit who just loves catching up on Real Housewives reruns.

Keepsakes from passed-on relatives

Folklore dictates that most ghosts either haunt the place where they died or return to the location that feels most like home to them in order to continue existing in peace. That means that when you’re dealing with a spirit in your house, it’s most likely because they either died there or lived there before you.

Very rarely though, you could be being visited by the ghost of a loved one or family member, who either wants to watch over you or just let you know that you are in their thoughts. One way they can get through to you is by leaving out their keepsakes, or objects that reference your relationship. More generally, many people believe that finding a white feather in their home is a signal that their loved one is nearby.

Noises in the other room

A house that is too quiet is definitely creepy, but so is one that’s filled with mysterious noises. It’s one thing to hear banging in their next room and know that your partner is making the world’s loudest bowl of late-night cereal, or hear giggling upstairs and realise your kids are probably doodling with lipstick on the bathroom mirror, but what about sounds you can’t explain?

Ghosts love to make their presence known but they are limited when it comes to the ways they can do so. As a result, many of their communication attempts can feel more terrifying than reassuring – such as banging cupboards, slamming doors, rattling cutlery or turning on radios.

Ghosts appear in your dreams

This particular sign of ghost activity can be a cart-before-horse situation. After all, if you’re constantly dreaming of spirits, monsters or aliens, then it’s more likely that you’ll see signs of them in your daily life. With that said, if you find yourself dreaming of spirits trying to reach out and communicate with you out of nowhere, there may be something more going on.

Sleep is when people are at their most vulnerable, and it allows them to access a different part of their consciousness, so many people believe that ghosts can make contact with the living when they’re in this state. So if you have a recurring dream of a ghost, they may have something they want to tell you.

A gut feeling you’re being watched

You know that feeling where you just can’t help but think someone is standing there watching you? You’ve probably been proven right about it before in cases of living people, so if you are feeling this way in your own home when no one is there to be seen, it could be that those watching are simply not visible to the naked eye. Sometimes we are taught to ignore the creeping feelings within when what we should be doing is trusting our intuition. If this feeling only arises when you are in your house, something deeper might be going on in your home.

Movements in your peripheral vision

While ghosts are not always readily visible, they have ways of showing themselves. One of these can be through movements that only seem partially visible. If you are noticing movements out of the corner of your eye but when you turn, nothing is there, you could be dealing with the supernatural. Ghosts can manifest as a dark shape moving in your peripheral vision, or you may see something shake or go foggy there. Sometimes your mind and body does play a little trick on you, but if things keep appearing to move just out of sight, ghosts could have settled in your home.

Sentimental or old items going missing

If random objects around your house are going missing and they all are either antique or have some sort of sentimental value attached to them, there might be more meaning to the reason those items are being targeted. Ghosts will often hang around in the place that they died, and targeting items such as these could signify the time period they originally came from, or the emotions related to their unfinished business. If this pattern is continuing, try to draw links between the items if you seek to derive information about the spirit within your walls.

Your phone is always about to die

Your phone could be new, and might have even been chosen based on the excellent battery life it provides. However, as soon as you moved into this house, it always seems to be on the verge of dying and having super low battery. Like electronics, ghosts exist on a higher level of frequency than us, which means their presence can tamper with digital tools. Since ghosts may try to communicate through electricity, the juice from your phone may be sucked out to sustain this energy. If you know it’s not just you having an old phone that’s the problem, then you should be suspicious.

A strange sensation on the back of your neck

A shiver up your spine can be nothing more than that, but if you’re feeling a constant crawling on the back of your neck, something ghostly could be happening. Supernatural experts say that having a constant odd feeling on the back of your neck can mean that a ghost has attached itself to you. This is the most common location for ghosts to connect themselves to living people. This sort of connection is only likely to happen to someone who is particularly metaphysically gifted. If this happens to you, the ghost stops being tethered to your house and will be with you wherever you go. You just won’t be able to shake a ghost who becomes this attached without help.

More winged creatures appearing

It is said that grief is a thing with feathers. Winged creatures have always been historically associated with the ones who have left us; if you share a special meaning with a lost relative or dear friend with a particular creature and see that bird or butterfly appearing, it could be that the friend has come to pay you a visit. Try not to think too deeply about every winged thing you see around your home (animals don’t stop existing without spirits being about, after all). The main message that winged spirits have to leave you are that they are at peace and OK in the afterlife, so there’s nothing to worry about in this scenario.

Personality changes

So you moved into a new place and you know something’s just not right. Maybe it’s because of the sudden changes in you or your family’s personalities. Perhaps you’ve suddenly stopped feeling like yourself, or your family member is acting like a completely different person. Malevolent, and even demonic spirits can be a reason for this intense switch. In extreme cases, if your loved one is acting particularly different, you may be dealing with possession. This can be dangerous for everyone in the household, and a strong shift in personality can be evidence of a demonic spirit festering within that person and using their body as a vessel.

Previous occurrences

If you fear that the property you’re in could be haunted, then you should look into the building’s past. Past occurrences of hauntings, possessions, death, or other happenings are a sign that something eerie could be afoot in the house. Did you find out why the previous owners or tenants wanted to move out? Why was the place on the market at all? How old is it? All these questions might raise interesting answers. You probably only have reason to look into a property’s past if you’ve noticed some other signs of disturbance and possible haunting. If there is a combination of haunting signs along with a mysterious and sketchy history surrounding the property, then that’s just additional evidence of ghosts about.

Emotional turbulence

A haunting in your own home can be almost like a weight you have to carry, with the energy in the house sometimes feeling burdening. You do not need to experience possession for your mood to be brought down several notches by the spirits around you. If your house is making you feel all over the place, depressed, or super irritable whenever you’re home, it could be due to ghosts being present there. Intense mood changes can also be indicative of a ghostly presence. In the same way that ghosts tamper with electricity, our brainwaves and emotions can run a little haywire when ghosts are making a home in our space.

The doors are jamming

Doors around your house should open and close easily like, well, regular doors. If you’re having trouble getting from room to room, and especially getting in and out of the house, you should be suspicious. It is not uncommon for ghosts to be the cause for jammed doors in a house, particularly the front door. Ghosts will jam doors to protect their space, having lived there a lot longer than you have and likely considering the house to be theirs. What’s more, ghosts can jam doors in an attempt to get you to stay inside if they are trying to communicate with you, or if they want to use you for a malevolent purpose such as possession.

Disorientation

Things can get confusing when ghosts are about. Between the flickering lights, glitching electronics, and the doors not working, it is easy to forget why you have entered a room. Ghosts might even go above and beyond to make you feel disoriented in your own home by altering the air pressure. This sensation can disorient you and even make you dizzy. The more confused you are about walking around your own home, forgetting why you walked into certain rooms in the first place, the more likely it is that there is a ghost in your property. Disorientation tends to be a sign of a ghost that does not want you there, though this might be for a morally neutral reason. Just make sure you tread with caution.

Unusual smoke or steam patterns

Ghosts cannot always move physical objects, but they are often able to communicate through smoke and steam, since it is the closest thing we have to visible air. In very rare circumstances, a ghost may be able to make themselves, or part of themselves, visible in smoke or steam from a fire, candle, cooking, or your morning cup of tea. The more common way of a ghost making themselves known through smoke and steam is through them manipulating the pattern or direction of the smoke. Keep an eye on the way the smoke is curling through the air, or if it is being blown off course with no real reason to do so.

Objects dropping

Some ghosts are going to cause a little chaos. If you’ve ever spent much time around cats and are familiar with the way they tend to knock objects off of surfaces, then you might have experience with this particular variety of chaos. A ghost might do exactly this, shoving objects off cabinets and even off hooks. There are many reasons why a ghost may choose to do this. They might want to scare those residing in the house into leaving, they may want to cause you harm, or they may be trying to communicate with you. The latter reason is actually the most common, so if things in your house have been falling to the floor with no explanation, pay attention to which items those are.

Sleep paralysis figures

Sleep paralysis refers to the state where someone has awoken from their sleep in the night, but their body is still asleep and completely unable to move at their command. If this sounds familiar, you have known sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis figured or demons are the figures that some people see in front of them while experiencing sleep paralysis. Sometimes the figures are just people, and sometimes horrifying creatures, but they can be a way for ghosts to make themselves known. Because of one’s semi-conscious state in sleep paralysis, you are more likely to be able to see ghosts at these times. If you have recurring figures appearing only within your own home, then your building’s ghost might be making itself visible to you.

Houseplants dying

Houseplants help keep the air in your house feeling fresh. While not everyone has a green thumb, there are definitely plants that you shouldn’t be struggling to keep alive, particularly if you’d already had them for years before moving to your new place. If all your plants aren’t looking too hot yet you don’t remember changing your plant care routine, it could be a sign of the supernatural in your house. Because ghosts are on a higher frequency level to us, they can produce noises that are out of our range of hearing. Plants react to sound which is why plants thrive when classical music is playing. Very high-pitched noises will therefore make them suffer.

Visible movements and changes

Hearing a noise or being aware that something has moved is all well and good, and could potentially be explained away. Seeing movement happen yourself is another matter entirely. Examples of this can be: seeing doors swinging open, a wind up toy starting to move, or the radio turning on, all without anyone manually making those moves happen. If you see these things happening in your home, you may be dealing with a haunting. Visible and measurable movements like this cannot be explained away. If you didn’t turn on the TV, someone or something must have, after all.

Human noises

Hearing vague noises from the next room can be spooky and indicative of ghosts. Once you realise that the noises you’re hearing are distinctly human, you have a sign that there may be ghosts within your walls. The most common sounds for ghosts to make are crying and whispering. Be wary about assuming that ghosts are whispering in your walls if you live in a shared building or semi-detached house, since the noise could just be neighbours. If you’ve made sure that the noise is definitely coming from within your walls, then this is the time to look closer into the matter.

Feelings of being touched

Fingers brushing yours, someone leaning against you, a hand on your shoulder while you work – all of these things would be fine if it were another person who you were aware of touching you. However, when you distinctly feel someone’s touch on your body and then turn to find no one there at all, that’s a strong sign that you’ve got a haunting on your hands. Powerful ghosts will attempt to touch people to communicate with them. If the only touches you have felt have been on your shoulder, hand, or back, the spirit in question is probably a peaceful one. If you are getting these touching sensations on your neck or chest, that is a spirit which wishes you harm.

Strange items left in mysterious places

This one mostly applies if you’ve only moved into your place recently, but it is possible to find strange items that those who lived in the house before you have left behind. If you find mysterious doors with secret trunks and rusty keys behind them, you might get a strange feeling about said objects. If so, the items themselves could be haunted and the result of cursed occurrences, so proceed with caution.

Torn clothes

You’re keeping your clothes in the closet at your new house and the garments just keep getting little holes or rips in them. This can happen when there are moths in your house or even sharp objects on the inside of the wardrobe that you didn’t notice before. However, if there’s no other explanation for these holes, they can be a sign of supernatural goings-on in the house. Where ghosts are trying to wiggle through gaps, holes can be left in clothes. It is also an act of violence against something you wear close to the skin and a sign of a malevolent presence.

Food going off quickly

When there are spores or rancid energies in the air, food has a tendency to go off more quickly. This will be most evident in your fruit bowl where you keep fresh food unrefrigerated. The old energy of ghosts can act as the passing of time to fresh food, and a ghost passing through the space where fresh food is sitting will make it age and go bad. If your food is going bad much faster than could possibly make sense, ghosts might be afoot – or afloat, as it may be.

Handprints and mirror messages

Some ghosts are able to interact with mirrors in a very real way. When mirrors fog up, any marks that have been put on them become clear because oils in particular stick to the mirror and will not get cloudy. If the handprints, fingerprints, or writing on the mirrors do not match up to anyone in the house and reappear even after cleaning the surface, you have good reason to believe that you are dealing with ghosts.

Levitating objects

In extreme cases of haunting, items in your home could be levitating. Bottles, ornaments, and in a few cases even people have been known to float above the ground when evil spirits are loose in the property. Objects hovering is undeniably unnatural, given gravity and all that, so if this is something you have genuinely witnessed or recorded in your own home, there is no reasonable explanation except that there are ghosts within your home.

Sudden power

Everyone keeps a few broken things even after they no longer work. Maybe this is your old grandfather clock, or a beloved old Furby with the batteries taken out. If something that previously did not work and had no power suddenly surges to life and starts working again, a ghost could be the culprit. Messing with the electrics does not always mean causing the parts that do work to glitch. Sometimes it means causing a surge of power into the machinery you thought was broken forever.

Physical harm

If you are experiencing physical harm that could be the result of the supernatural, proceed with extreme caution. If you wake up with scratches and bruises that you cannot explain, and which have only occurred in your house, they could be from ghostly spirits around you. Spirits that leave you with physical injuries wish you harm and are doing their best to attack you. In the tales of the most extreme hauntings, people have even been slapped and thrown across rooms by ghosts, but this is highly improbable.

Faces in the windows

When outside the house and looking in through the windows of a haunted property, people sometimes spot faces, or at least what looks like a face. What you must realise is that this is not a common experience at most other properties, and that you should trust your gut when it comes to what you are seeing right before your eyes. It is likely that the faces will not be there when you do a double-take, or when you get inside the house to take a proper look. However, if you are seeing faces in your windows at all, you are likely face to face with the paranormal.

Abnormalities in photos

Photos can reveal a lot more than the naked eye, at times. Though film cameras seem outdated, a film or polaroid camera will be the best for showing photographic evidence of ghosts. Ghosts will sometimes show up in photographs when no one saw them there when the photo was taken. This has been shown in many paranormal cases over the years, so if you have reason to suspect ghostly activity, get a camera and snap some shots of the affected areas. You never know what the photos might reveal…

Unexplained writing on walls

If writing is appearing on the walls of your house, the first instinct is to assume that any children living in the house are to blame. However, what happens when the children definitely didn’t do it or even worse, what if you don’t even have children? In such a case, you may be dealing with the paranormal in your home. Pay close attention to what these scribbles or written words are, because they could hold greater meaning to the ghost, or could be threatening in nature.

Mould after treating it

Mould is an unpleasant discovery in any house. No one wants to live in a damp house, and mould can also cause severe health issues. This is why most people, upon discovering mould, will treat it with bleach, anti-mould paint, or other methods. If, after treating the mould, it continues to appear without reason, it could be because of ghosts in the house. Ghosts can dampen and age spaces with their presence, and are also known to bring old issues to the surface and present, despite the fact they should no longer be issues.

Open books

Maybe you’re an avid reader, but especially as an avid reader you know that books are kept closed unless you’re reading them. If there are unshelved books around your house, they should be lying shut, so if you’re finding them open across your house and you know you didn’t open them, it may be the result of ghosts. If this happens more than once, you should be paying extra attention to the books you’re finding open and what those pages have to say. Don’t forget to shut any open books you find!

Visible ectoplasm

Coined in 1894 by psychical researcher Charles Richet, ectoplasm is a term used among supernatural and ghost hunter circles to describe a spiritual energy “exteriorised” by physical mediums. It is said to only be visible in the dimly lit atmosphere of a séance. Ectoplasm is sometimes given as the reason for certain material objects levitating. It’s the build up of ecotplasm underneath that is setting them free. At the end of a séance, the mysterious goo-like matter should disappear and return to the medium’s body. Pray it returns.

You spot an infinity number

Deceased loves ones, or just plain old deceased people you never knew or met but are now somehow cursed to endure in the comfort of your own home, often make themselves present in the form of infinity numbers. So they may set the clock to 11:11 to give you a subtle nod that they’re in the room or the area. (Be careful and always double check though, as it could just be 11:11.) And if a ghost wanted to get your attention, why abandon the trusted past time of knocking stuff off counters?

Your home’s history is controversial at best

Did you have to be basically begged into making an offer on a house? Did you then move into said house, mention the fact to your neighbours and see them murmur off in horror at the mere prospect? Did you then see loads of ghosts inside? Chances are the worst kind of tragedy took centre stage in your new abode. The kind of convoluted, inexplicable tragedy that requires hours of unpacking via Netflix. Always do your research on any real estate you buy or rent. You never know. Even the most mundane property can boast the darkest history.

Orbs, orbs, orbs

Have you ever noticed that ghosts in photographs are often surrounded by anomalies, such as smudges, glowing lights or blurs of colour? Well, this isn’t just because many ghosts first lived hundreds of years ago, when camera technology wasn’t up to the standards that it is today. Ghosts have been known to create artefacts known as orbs, circles of white light that show up alongside ghostly figures in pictures, often obscuring them or changing their form. So if you find a photo in the attic and see a person surrounded by floating blobs, you may have an answer as to who is behind your haunting problems.

Floods of blood

In the most memorable scene in The Shining, lift doors open and blood suddenly comes pouring out. Most household hauntings never get quite that intense, but if you’re having weird experiences with blood, it could be a sign that a ghost is sharing your home. Maybe you’re accustomed to finding spatters or trails of blood seemingly without a source, or you find that papercuts and other mishaps take an unusual amount of time to coagulate and clot. Maybe you can even smell the iron tang that comes along with large blood spills, even when there is none to be seen.

Sudden-onset sleepwalking

For a certain proportion of the population, sleepwalking is an expected part of their nighttime routine. However, if you’ve begun waking up in a different place than you went to sleep, or finding things in your dressing gown pockets that weren’t there before, then it might be time to look for an explanation. Barring a sudden influx of stress in your life or a medical issue, the next best explanation for sleepwalking is ghost activity. Ghosts can interrupt your circadian rhythms and disrupt your subconscious, or even push you to try to resolve their unfinished business in your sleep. Yikes!

Weird wildlife behaviour

We’ve already covered the fact that birds appearing around you can be a gentle reminder that passed-on friends are thinking of you, but not every animal encounter signals ghosts in such a positive way. Other animals, such as deer, owls and cats may be portents of the supernatural, as they can see through the veil between life and death. If such wild animals are lingering on your doorstep, or you find antlers, bones or scraps of fur around the house, this could be nature’s way of warning you that evil spirits are about. That, or you’ve got a cougar problem!

You’ve got crystal cravings

Whether you’re spiritual, into witchcraft or just think they look pretty, there’s no doubt that crystals can be used to enrich and improve your life. With that said, did you know they are also powerful tools against ghosts? If you find yourself slipping a crystal into your pocket to fortify you throughout the day, or surrounding yourself and space with them when you’re at home, then you might be subconsciously drawing on their power to keep evil spirits away. This is especially true if you find yourself reaching for peridot or obsidian, as these are both protective and purifying.

Struggling to fall asleep

There are a lot of reasons someone might struggle to fall asleep, from stress at work to poor sleep hygiene to an underlying medical issue. With that said, if you find yourself tossing and turning all night after all the chamomile tea, lavender-scented candles and fuzzy pyjamas in the world, something bigger may be going on. Even if you’re not consciously aware of it, your body is constantly on high alert, protecting you from threats both real and imagined. If you’re finding it impossible to go to sleep, your gut may be telling you you’re not alone in your bedroom.

You’re getting pressure headaches

Dehydration, too many screens, an aggravating neighbour: all sorts of things can cause headaches. However, as ghosts vibrate at a slightly higher frequency than living humans, they can have an effect similar to atmospheric pressure or tumult. As a result, if you find yourself reaching for the Asprin, you might want to check your cameras for levitating pets or moving objects. The good news is, many home remedies for headaches are also capable of banishing ghosts. Eucalyptus is great for soothing sore heads and opening the sinuses, but it’s also excellent for cleansing a space and bringing fresh, positive energy to the fore.