Recently, we received six questions from Melissa A. Tanner of Glen Ellyn-based TnT Paranormal Investigators. Hers are six questions YOU should consider if you think your house may be "haunted."
Here's Tanner, in her own words...
Have weird and unusual things been happening at your home and you just cannot make heads nor tails of why? It's possible you live in a haunted house! Before you jump to the paranormal let's consider some logical explanations for what is happening.
Here are a few of these things we consider:
1. Knocks and bangs: All houses make noise that is a normal part of the settling and aging process. However, what if your house makes a lot of weird noises? There are a few things you can check: Are all outside shutters secured? Are all doors, windows, storm doors, storm windows, and screens secured? Are the pipes in your house secured? Are you on central air versus radiator heat? If the answers to all of these questions are yes, then it's possible you have a haunting.
2. Hearing voices: Are you hearing voices that you cannot find a source for? Well, first check to make sure of a few things: Did someone leave a clock radio, stereo, TV or computer on? Are you hearing your neighbors? Is a baby monitor on? Do you have a hearing aid? Is there a history of mental illness in your family? If these questions do not help you find the source, then it's possible you have a haunting.
More questions to ask from Tanner, after the jump.
3. Lights go on and off by themselves: Before you jump to any conclusions on what that means, you should first check a few things. Are the lights on a timer; if so, have the times been adjusted? Is it a lamp? If so, is it plugged in properly? Are the light bulbs screwed in properly? Are the light switches loose? If you check all of these things and you're still having a problem, then you might want to call an electrician. If the electrician cannot find anything wrong, then it's possible you have a haunting.
4. TV goes off and on by itself: A lot of TVs nowadays have timers, sleep timers and other mechanisms that allow them to turn off and on by themselves. A few other things to consider are: Is your remote working properly? Or does your cable box affect your TV? If after this information you still can't explain the activity, then it's possible you have a haunting.
5. Cold spots: Are you noticing cold spots around your home -- basically, locations colder than others? If so, check to see if there are windows open, drafts coming in around windows or doors, someone adjusted the diffusers on air vents, or something causing an air vent to send air a certain way. If all of these questions don't help you resolve the cold spot, then it's possible you have a haunting.
6. Pets and children: Pets and children can be great detectors of paranormal activity because they can sense, see and hear things that adults can't. (That is a whole other article in itself!) If you start to notice your pets acting strangely, looking at something that is not there, barking at the corner, etc., or if your children start telling you stories about an imaginary friend that is so detailed and/or so unique that there is no way they could make it up on their own, well maybe it's not an imaginary friend at all. If you notice these things, it could be that you have a haunting.
So now what to do? If you feel your house is haunted, do not panic. Only a rare percentage of haunting cases are dangerous. Most are just friendly spirits that for some reason are still here on earth.
If you would like, you could have your house investigated by a reputable and professional paranormal team, such as TnT Paranormal Investigators, LLC. You should look for a team that is professional, well organized, has a good website that looks professional, uses tools and techniques to conduct the investigation (that produces real physical evidence for you) and does all of this free of charge to you the client. You should never be charged to do a paranormal investigation of your home... period.
Another avenue to consider is to contact a religious advisor of your choosing and have the house blessed. They will come into your home and say prayers or chants and use other means to bless the entire space.
Whatever you decide to do, you must first and foremost know it's your home, and you need to let the spirits know that it is your home and you are not leaving, so either they need to learn to live with you or leave. You need to OWN the situation.
Also, if you think your house is haunted, we'd love to hear your stories at The Courier-News!
-- Emily McFarlan, Readers' Reporter