Chapter 6: What To Look For
Once the investigation is under way, we need to look for certain things and their possible cause. Most new investigators will sit and wait, hoping that they will see a half human- half animal creature walking around. They have a long wait. Images like that are beyond rare and that is a good thing. There are very few that could handle seeing something like that. However, images of human shapes are sometimes seen and even photographed. However, long before something appears, there are other things that are likely to happen.
What we look for are “outward manifestations.” These are any unusual things that may happen. Examples of outward manifestations would be objects moving, sounds, visions, smells, etc. That foul stench that fills a room during an investigation is an outward manifestations. So is the light show you may witness. Balls of light flying through the air are common manifestations during a haunting. What these balls of lights are is debated but the most likely cause is electromagnetic energy being concentrated in a small area. These balls of light may be of any color although blue and red seem to be the most common. Sometimes there are arcs of electricity observable. Sometimes small white orbs may float by. They are usually transparent, almost like bubbles.
Among the sounds you may hear is knocking, pounding, scratching sounds, growls and even voices. When you hear voices, they are usually in a whisper. Sound amplification equipment comes in handy when this takes place. So do stethoscopes. Footsteps are a common sound during a haunting. They are much easier to take when they are heading away from you. Crying is fairly common and more unnerving is the maniacal laughing that often takes place in a negative haunting.
Temperature changes are common during outbreaks of paranormal phenomena. This too is an outward manifestation. There are two types of cold. One is the psychic cold that often takes place. In this case, energy is being taken from a person in the room. This results in feeling cold but the thermometer will remain constant. However, there are times when the temperature will change suddenly and dramatically. To the investigator, this is a bonanza. If the interior temperature drops dramatically while the external temperature remains constant and no form of cooling equipment was introduced, you have evidence that the laws of physics have been violated. That is a nice piece of evidence.
In some cases, investigators will find themselves being touched. This is unnerving to say the least. In most cases, the touching is in the form of poking or pinching. Occasionally, clothes may be tugged. In one house where I was investigating, the entity present liked to pull my hair and tug my head back. This was not with enough force to cause pain; rather it seemed that the entity was just trying to get my attention. It was successful.
Finally, you might see a spirit form. In most cases, human spirits will appear as they did in life. (Another form is the light show mentioned earlier.) In most cases, spirits will appear to be translucent. In my experience, the apparitions were only visible from the waist up. These apparitions usually seem to float as opposed to walking. In some instances, a spirit will appear to be a solid as anyone living. In fact, there have been occasions where people have talked to what appeared to be a living person. For example, one time I met a friend of the family on the street. This friend asked how my parent’s were feeling and we talked briefly. When I arrived home, my mother was visibly upset. It turned out that she had received a call earlier in the day telling her that this friend had passed on the night before.
In another instance, I awoke to find a person standing next to my bed. The man was as solid as anyone. In fact, he appeared to be a living person except for the dead look in his eyes. For some reason, I had the feeling that he would fall and topple on me and sure enough, he did just that. The impact was strong enough to bruise my ribs. After that, he was gone. However, encounters such as that are unusual. (Fortunately.).
Sometimes, shadows will be seen. At other times, there will appear what seems to be a black, amorphous mist. I have often referred to this as ” an absence of light.” I called it that because even in pitch dark, you can see a darker spot where the spirit forms. Extremely rare are forms that appear as some form of demon. By this I mean those things that resemble some of the pictures found in demonology books. These are the ones with the goat’s head and the cloven hooves. One form that does show up from time to time is the infamous “old hag.” Occasionally, animal shapes are seen. More common is what appears to be something scurrying across the floor. This is usually seen peripherally. Of course, it could also be a mouse.
Moving objects are common in hauntings. These objects can range from a light coffee cup to a 400- pound refrigerator. Pictures may fly off walls, furniture may slide across the floor and doors and drawers may open and slam closed. Most of the times, the objects will miss people. When struck by an object, it is usually with little force. In demonic hauntings, the objects may be propelled with enough force to injure.
Also common is the disappearance and reappearance of objects. This can happen right under your nose. For example, you are writing your notes when you place the pen down on the pad and light a cigarette. You take a puff and pick up the pen only to realize that the pad is missing. It may turn up later in another room. It may also turn up back where it was supposed to be, leaving the investigator to wonder whether senility may be taking place. Voices being mimicked are relatively common in hauntings as well. Now it is time to confuse the issue.