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Brian D. Parsons,
Director,
Ohio Paranormal Investigation Network



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Subjects

We do not recommend someone attempting to solve their own ghost problem. It may seem like fun and has been glamorized on television, but it is a potentially dangerous act. Opening communication with a ghost typically causes an increase in activity and intensity of events and will become more difficult to control or stop. It is advisable that you seek competent outside help in this area (not just someone who wants to "verify" ghosts are present).

We take no responsibility for use of this content, it is provided as educational content and may be more or less effective depending upon individual circumstances.

Overview

  • I would assume you are here because there is something strange going on in your home, or area you spend time in that you can not explain. The feeling of uncertainty probably makes you feel like you are going crazy, especially if you are thinking it could be a ghost. Rest assured, you are most likely not crazy. There are hundreds of paranormal-like incidents reported (and probably hundreds more that aren't) every year. That's not to say that what you are experiencing is not explainable, in many cases where there does not seem to be a logical answer possible there does exist one that seems unbelievably simple or one that takes a path one would never contemplate. There are more questions than answers when dealing with the paranormal and a lot of what you hear or see (television, internet) is mere speculation and circulated opinion. The fact remains that the dead have a way of hanging on to the living, and there is a "feel" for handling most of these situations that comes not only from studying, but experience.

    If the word "ghost" brings to mind an image of a cartoon-like creature cloaked in a white sheet, don't feel bad. A majority of the public (especially in the U.S.) is unaware of the amount of information gathered on this closed door subject. In this page I hope to educate the confused person who may be dealing with a problem that has no knowledge of this subject. Granted, this is a simplistic and brief explanation.

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Explanations

  • In order to understand the diversity and complication of this subject a little background information is in order. *Parapsychology is the scientific study of experiences which are, in principle, outside the realm of human capabilities as presently conceived by conventional scientists. These studies include; E.S.P., psychokinesis (and subgroups of both), out of body experience (O.B.E.), near death experience (N.D.E.), as well as poltergeists (not like in the movies..) and ghosts. The basic feeling of parapsychology for these subjects is that whether they are real or imaginary they are projected by (or to) our minds.

    Ghost hunters, or rather researchers or investigators, generally feel ghosts are here on their own and for their own reasons. We are still not completely sure of if they bring themselves into our reality or if we help bring them somehow, or what they function for or why they are here at all. It is healthy for these groups to look at the situation at different angles and there has been a lot of information gathered that allows us to help people in your type of predicament. This is where someone looking for help can get into trouble. Be certain that the group is not too hung up on ideas or opinions about "what is", since there is no hard data for a lot of the problems that arise. Also, are they really concerned about you and the problem, or are they just concerned about their data.

    For definitions of the parapsychology / ghost world please visit the O.P.I.N. glossary and learn the basic terminology.

    * definition provided from "An Introduction to Parapsychology" by H.J. Irwin. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC. 1994.

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Evaluation

  • If you are experiencing strange things (objects moving on their own, strange noises, voices, apparitions, odd electrical problems, shadows on walls, physical touches from nowhere, bites, scratches, or pinches from no apparent physical means, or water inundations) that seem to defy explanation there may be a possibility of a ghost or other form of paranormal behavior. However, it is important to look at each event separately and seek out a rational explanation for the event(s). More often than not you will be able to determine a natural cause for the occurrence. If there is no explanation try to get a second opinion, and depending upon the type and severity of the problem you may want to hire a professional in that particular field (plumber, electrician, home inspector, refer to seismologist, geologist, etc.).

    Believe it or not, most incidents of ghosts turn out to have a root cause of a natural explanation. Many times a person (or entire family) will be convinced by one or more "unexplainable" events. These events may have been random events or were something perceived as unexplainable or paranormal while a rational explanation was really present. This event causes other things to begin to be lumped together and fear begins to build. Many events may have started from a ghost, but the people in the home become gripped with fear and fail to realize the "ghost" isn't doing much of what they think. The key is to find the first event that really got someone's attention and seek out a rational explanation. Many times once a family realizes there could be a logical explanation for one event they realize others have them as well. Soon they are left with a small handful of unexplainable events that now don't seem to be a real big deal.

    If you have exhausted these means or are convinced there is a "ghost" within your home or area, the following section will provide you with the next step of how to handle them on your own. We do not recommend someone attempting to solve their own ghost problem. It may seem like fun and has been glamourized on television, but it is a potentially dangerous act. Opening communication with a ghost typically causes an increase in activity and intensity of events. It is advisable that you seek competent outside help in this area (not just someone who wants to "verify" they are there). This should also be something that you need to avoid as well. If you want things to end then begin to visualize your home without a ghost. If you want proof that it's there you will give it more power than it could ask for and no amount of cleansing or other tactics will get it to leave.

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Suggestions

  • If you have exhausted all methods and failed to obtain a rational explanation, it may be time to document the events. In documenting, you want to gather as many facts and observations about the occurrence, the surroundings, and whatever is going on within the house itself. The latter would include the general feelings of the people toward each other or if someone is having emotional problems on an individual basis. Facts that need to be included: The Event; describe in detail and in order as it happened, objects that were affected and how, noises heard, smells, change in temperature near event, the exact area the event took place, witnesses statements, feelings and thoughts of witnesses, as well as their location to the event, the general emotional feeling before, during and after occurrence, people in the house other than witnesses and their location. External clues; Date, time, and day of week. General weather conditions at time of event.

    In recording the data you can begin to look for cycles or repetition in certain actions that occur when the event happens. A particular day of the week? What is significant about that day, possibly dealing with person who is usually present? Particular emotional feelings present? Feelings shared between certain people? Is a particular person always closest to event? Would they have reason to cause event? Only certain objects affected? etc.

    If a pattern develops around a particular person either from being present consistently (if person is closest to event it may be possible they are causing it on purpose), or from strong emotional feelings then it may be possible you are dealing with a poltergeist. This may actually be a good thing, poltergeists are not what you see on television or depicted in the news. A poltergeist is believed to actually be emotional activity that is focused by living humans. It is strongly believed that it has nothing to do with ghosts or the non-living. This focused release may cause objects to move or even fly across a room, it is based on psychokinesis which is also known as an expressive psychic. In simple terms a person may be inadvertently affecting things with their mind and causing other strange things to happen. If this is believed to be the case it would be wise for the person to be the possible agent to seek stress relief or counseling immediately.

    If after a few events have taken place you can not find a pattern or cycle you may want to use basic tactics that can ease the status of a "ghost" that may or may not be in the home. If things have gone this far and you have followed the advice we have given thus far it is probably some form of a ghost. Below is a few suggestions on dealing with it on your own. Obviously this could prove dangerous.

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Handling a ghost

  • Again, we do not recommend someone attempting to solve their own ghost problem. Attmepting to communicate typically increases the activity and intensity of the events. A study from an outside source may be able to determine what type of paranormal event may be occurring as well as assist in finding rational solutions to the situation.

    If you are sure you have a ghost in your home and you want it to leave you and your family alone remember one thing; it was possibly there before you. A ghost is an apparition or series of events that seem to have taken place by something that shows intelligence (caused by a deceased person). In other words it did things to get your attention, moved things that are close to you or tries to "get noticed". This does not mean that it will not leave you alone, in most cases once a ghost gets "used" to particular people it just seems to go away on its own. Sometimes they like to play tricks on the family off and on (hiding car keys or moving objects, leaving smells behind) to "pass time". Ghosts generally do no harm to the people they affect, usually a person gets hurt out of fear. They may run into something or fall down after becoming scared. It does not seem that ghosts like to scare people, only to let them know they are there in a playful manner. It's been referred to as having an invisible child in the house (without breaking lamps and things!). However, there are documented reports of ghosts bringing harm to those who have been in contact with them.

    If you wish that a ghost would stop being playful and stop interacting think of how you would handle a child that was doing the same. Talking out loud in a peaceful, yet firm tone asking "it" to please stop the things it is doing can often be a big help. During times of increased frequency or intensity it may be wise to contact a parapsychologist or paranormal investigation group.Just be sure that the group you contact is going to help you with your situation and not be looking for their own personal experiences or other gain. Sometimes it seems the ghost is in search of answers. You have probably seen scenarios like this on t.v., a person was killed and the killer walks free so the ghost is in search of justice. While this may be true in some cases, usually a ghost just wants to say goodbye to a love one or let someone know that things are o.k. This seems a little outlandish since we do not know what level of consciousness they exist or if they exist only in ours and it seems to be a reach to come to this deduction, but it has worked. Certain cases where a husband died and the wife moved away may just need to hear that the wife misses them or that she is o.k. and that may end the events.

    There is another type of ghost that may not be so open to suggestion. This is referred to as a haunting. This is not as bad as it sounds either, although you are probably stuck with this one it will never do you harm. A haunting is actually a playback in time, it is caused by a traumatic event that has seemingly left an imprint in "time" in a particular space. This type of ghost shows no intelligence and just goes along on its own. It does not seek attention and can not be reasoned with. A haunting operates like clockwork, not exactly like a ghost walking down a hallway at the stroke of midnight, but fairly similar. It may be triggered by certain events other than just time of day. There is also other varieties of ghosts that fit between these descriptions, but are less common.

    A type of apparition that is caused by the living is the out-of-body experience. This event can be caused by trauma of a person and may appear to another person that is close to them. It may be a phone call or in person, the event sometimes marks the time of death of the person visiting in a way of saying goodbye. This is not always the case as sometimes it happens because people are thinking about each other, these are subjects that are different than ghosts but seem to operate along the same lines. It is helpful to have knowledge of these other types of events and not limit yourself to thinking it could be just a ghost.

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