Different things can spark an interest in paranormal research.
For many people, it started with a childhood interest in ghost stories, or an experience that – as adults – they still wonder about: was it really a ghost?
That’s why they go looking for ghosts, or evidence that proves (or disproves) their existence.
But, now and then, someone asks me if ghost hunters live in haunted houses, or even attract ghosts.
People want to know if we “take ghosts home,” or feel uncomfortable if we move into a house… and later find out it’s haunted.
Attracting or Repelling Ghosts
I’m not sure how many ghost hunters attract ghosts. On my New Hampshire team, one person – the one we called “ghostbait” – certainly attracted them.
If he was part of an investigation and the site was haunted, weird things would happen. It was almost guaranteed.
Of course, this is a chicken-or-the-egg question: Did “ghostbait” attract ghosts because he was a ghost hunter, or did he become a ghost hunter because he naturally attracted ghosts?
At the other extreme, we sometimes included a friend who described himself as a “walking banishing ritual.” If he was within a dozen feet of an anomaly, ghostly activity would halt.
The tragedy was, that latter friend was eager to encounter ghosts, and it rarely happened when he was there.
So, I’m confident that some people attract (and others repel) ghosts, naturally. In both cases, these people didn’t actively do anything to affect the ghosts.
Can one develop those qualities? I have no idea.
It’s possible that some experienced ghost hunters seem to attract ghosts, when they’re merely more observant. After a few dozen investigations, they know exactly what to look for, if the site is haunted.
- That could be a sense of where the ghosts are, at a particular location.
- It could be something they detect with their five (or six) senses.
- Or, it could be a personal reaction – a “gut feeling” – that the site is haunted.
Living with Ghosts
Some – not many – ghost hunters live in haunted houses. Usually, they’re happy to share the space with a benign spirit who once lived there.
Some paranormal researchers aren’t so happy about that discovery.
In a January 2019 article, “This Paranormal Reporter Didn’t Find Her Next Story… It Found HER,” the reporter’s reaction surprised me. She said:
“[T]his is the kind of thing I ask for when out in the field,” she writes, “but sitting in my own living room, I’d rather not experience the unexplained.”
She finally called out to whomever it was, asking them to stop bothering her… and immediately, they stopped.
All seemed normal again until she went to bed. Once the lights were out, the noise returned… but this time it was coming from the living room. Something — or someone — was walking through the house.
Disturbed by the unseen intrusion, Roncace nevertheless does not want to know what’s causing it.
However, Ms. Roncace is a reporter. At the time she wrote about her haunted house, perhaps she hadn’t investigated intensely haunted places.
I understand not wanting to live with a ghost. It can be unsettling… no pun intended.
But, as a homeowner, I’d definitely want to know more about the ghost – who’s causing that walking noise, and why.
At the very least, it might help me become a better paranormal researcher.
Choosing a Haunted House
I’m okay with ghosts. They don’t scare me. I’m interested in their history, and if there’s anything I can do to help spirits “cross over.”
If they’re merely visiting, or keeping watch over the house – or those in it – that’s fine with me.
(I often joke that ghosts are great roommates – they don’t take my food from the refrigerator, and they never leave the toilet seat up.)
So far, I’ve lived in three haunted houses. Only one had an annoying ghost; we remodeled the house, and he left.
But, if I were house-hunting, I probably wouldn’t ask a realtor to show me haunted houses.
If I were, here’s what I’d look for:
- A house with a documented history that supports its ghost stories. Let’s say the ghost is supposed be to haunted by one of King Henry VIII’s mistresses. I’d be certain the house – or at least the land it’s on – had a documented connection to that woman & her family.
- Ghostly phenomena that aren’t entirely poltergeists. Otherwise, when the previous tenants moved, they may have taken the poltergeist with them.
- A price that’s a little (or a lot) lower than the estimated value of the house. Most people think of a ghost as a “defect,” so the house should sell for less than it would without the ghosts.
- No malicious or sinister phenomena. No history of Ouija board use in the house, or rituals (however well-intended) that might summon a dangerous entity.
- No history of extreme mental illness among recent residents. You don’t want them returning – in living form or as ghosts – if they were deeply disturbed. (And then there’s the question of what triggered the illness, and if the house’s spirits were involved.)
Some paranormal researchers choose homes based on their eerie reputations or locations.
For example, some UFO enthusiasts want to live near where UFOs are regularly reported.
On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve ever met a cryptozoologist who wanted to live in a “triangle,” like the Bridgewater Triangle or the Bennington Triangle.
And I don’t know anyone who’s chosen to live near a Hum or a Mystery Boom.
So, if you’re looking for a haunted house to live in, be sure the sellers understand the difference between hauntings and other paranormal phenomena… unless you’re okay with Bigfoot howling outside your window.
What Makes a House “Suddenly” Haunted?
Can a not-haunted house suddenly become haunted? Maybe.
Ms. Roncace, the paranormal reporter, had lived in her home for nearly 20 years without evidence of ghosts.
So, why did a ghost suddenly show up? Had she attracted one, or brought one home from a haunted site?
It’s unlikely a ghost followed her home. It’s rare for a ghost to leave the site that he or she haunts. Hardly any ghosts follow people.
It’s possible that something concerned the ghost enough to make his (or her) presence known. A good example is Ms. Roncace’s story about the ghost knocking on Ms. Roncace’s dresser, when her daughter was ill.
Also, poltergeist activity could explain the noises in the kitchen. The movie she was watching, The Omen, could have been a trigger.
The footsteps she heard might have been more poltergeist activity, or something different.
More likely, it’s a residual energy haunting. That phenomena was likely to stop after a week or two, or even sooner.
It’s possible that Ms. Roncace attracted a ghost… but that’s unlikely. Most ghosts are trapped – or choose to stay – in the primary location where they haunt.
And, if you’re a ghost hunter, it’s an asset if you can attract ghosts at haunted locations. Unless, of course, ghosts frighten you. In that case, it’s best to find another hobby.