Types of Hauntings

There is a wide variety of different types of hauntings that exist. Usually, the average person tends to group all of the paranormal experiences into "my house is haunted" or "my house is haunted by a ghost" and leaving it at that. When actually there are different types of hauntings. Listed below is a list of the different types of hauntings along with a description of each.


In this type of haunting, you are dealing with an intelligent presence that can communicate and interact with you in a seemingly "intelligent" manner. This haunting is simply about human personalities. If the spirit was a kind and caring person in life, the spirit will most likely be the same in death. An angry and mean person will usually keep those same negative character traits as spirits.

An intelligent haunting will likely seek to get the attention of living people. The ghost may try turning things on and off, moving things, hiding objects, make noises, and other types of annoying behavior. The ghost or spirit may be looking for assistance to pass over or for assistance to accomplish a certain task, maybe to contact someone, or may just be letting you know they are around.


This type of phenomena is more common than people might think. Possibly it is the most common type of reported haunting. Do not confuse this type of phenomena with an “Intelligent" haunting as it may not be specifically related to ghosts. The easiest way to explain a residual Haunting is to compare it to a tape or film recording as a series of events that are played over and over again through the years. The theory is where these hauntings take place; they experience an event or a series of events, which imprints itself on the atmosphere of a location.

The events of a residual haunting are not always visual. They are often heard as sounds and noises that have no explanation. Commonly reported in these cases are sounds of footsteps, walking, tapping, and usually, repetitive sounds are a perfect example of this haunting. The sounds and images that are stored or recorded are related to traumatic events which took place at the location. These events are called "psychic impressions.” Traumatic and emotional events create a higher than normal energy.

In other instances, these sounds and images have been created by events or actions that were repeated over and over again and create an energy or psychic impression. The theory is these locations act as huge storage batteries, saving up the impressions of sights and sounds from past events. Then, these impressions appear or are heard as they are played back over and over again. Sometimes these stored playbacks from the past are visual but will not interact or acknowledge the living persons around them and only repeat the same actions over and over.

No one is sure what may trigger an event to be played back. Is it an automatic thing that is played back every day, week, month, year, on holidays, anniversaries? It could be the time of year, time of the day or night or maybe the temperature and barometric pressure has to be just right. Or all of the above may have to match exactly before a playback is triggered. More research needs to be done about this phenomenon but chances are it may never be explained.


The word “poltergeist” is derived from the German words “Polter” and “Geist.” Polter means “to make sound or noise” and geist means “ghost.” So the word poltergeist literally means “noisy ghost.” In some cases, poltergeist activity may not actually have anything to do with ghosts at all. One theory is that a living person, typically a teenage girl, is the cause of the activity. Extreme emotions, high-stress or even repressed anger can cause a person to subconsciously create poltergeist activity.

The activity often centers on a certain person that is causing the activity and is usually more prominent when that person is present. Most often it begins as knocks and bangs and then becomes more intense as time goes on, such as furniture moving, and doors opening and closing on their own.

Other times poltergeist activity will involve spirits, and sometimes more than one. When this occurs they seem to combine their energy to cause more intense activity which may be a result of anger on their part. To resolve the situation, and help them move on you may have to find the root of their problem. In many cases, poltergeist activity will end just as suddenly as it started. If the activity is spirit related you may never find out or completely understand why it started. Yet there is also the possibility that it could take much longer. If the activity is being caused by a person, it could make things easier to deal with as you could get help for the person involved.


There are several different types of shadow people. Usually, they appear only out of the corner of your eye, quickly moving out of view when you turn to look at them. You question yourself. Did you really see that or was it caused by something with your eyesight? On occasion, you may see the shadow person right in front of you. It appears as a silhouette of a person and may lack any specific characteristics. Even in a dark room, the shadow person is darker than dark and blacker than black, it almost appears that a hole has been punched into the fabric of night itself.

There are several types that people have described. Some appear to be wearing hats, “hatted” shadow people or “hat man,” cloaked, hooded, peeking (usually child-sized) some are solid, and some are smoky or wispy. Some are seen only from the waist up and others clearly have legs. Some people believe they are “evil” while others believe they are a form of “guardian angel” that is guiding our way.

They move very fast with quick jerky movements, darting into closets, corners, in or around buildings, sometimes disappear through walls and often they will just fade into the darkness. One thing is for sure. They don’t like to be seen, and they will not interact with you. Some people say it almost seems as though they are observers of some type.


First and foremost a demon or demonic haunting is a product of Christianity, having its origin from the Greek word daemon or daimon. The words daemon and daimon are Latinized spellings of the Greek (daimôn), a reference to the daemons of Ancient Greek religion and mythology, Hellenistic religion, and philosophy.

Demonic hauntings usually begin in a subtle way. Typically, they have the same behaviors displayed by a poltergeist, but much more extreme. There could be one or several entities that exist in one location seemingly controlling the other spirits and not allowing them to cross over. Theories are that demons hate humans and think them very inferior and stupid. Most demonic entities like a challenge and therefore demons should never be challenged. They are a master of trickery and very conniving; they could have you actually believe they are good spirits.

Some say they can convince you that they are the spirit of a loved one or even a small child. They may appear to have gone away, only to confront you again at the least expected and most vulnerable moment. A demon is considered to be a supernatural being that is generally malevolent in character and considered to be very evil. The word demon comes from the Greek word daimon, which means a divine or semi-divine power that determined a person's fate. Demons are believed to be a malevolent, supernatural being with wit, intelligence, and possessing immense power. It is theorized that they have the power to invade our homes, attach themselves to objects, and inflict torture both mentally and emotionally by attacking or even possessing the human body.

It is believed that demons have the ability to morph into any shape they want. Some people say demons can change from a human form to an inhuman form before your very eyes. They are not gender orientated but will change to whatever suits their need at the time. Demonic haunting cases are very very rare and less common than other types of hauntings.

With that being said: Demons and demonic hauntings are associated with Christian based religions and certain other religious beliefs.


This is among one of the rarest haunting activity. Doppelganger is a German word meaning “double walker.” In this type of haunting a person sees their exact double, generally wearing the same clothing as they currently have on. Only that person will be able to see the look-alike spirit and the others around them will not be aware of it. Viewing one’s own look-alike spirit or “doppelganger" can foretell illness, death, tragedy or a traumatic event that is going to happen to that person.


Apparitions of the dying or recently dead (usually less than twelve hours, but as much as 24-48 hours) are the most frequently reported of this type of apparition. This category usually involves a one-time visit to someone with whom the spirit has had close emotional ties with.

Though the encounter commonly seems to be some type of farewell, at times, important or pieces of useful information are relayed to the “viewer.” Usually dying is the most common crisis, but sometimes other life-threatening situations can also trigger the apparitions visit. In certain cases, the crisis apparition generally visits a close associate in an appeal for help.


Is Usually of a protective nature. It is thought that the benevolent entity is possibly a loved one looking to protect the living within a certain area in which another possibly violent entity exists. These ghosts are often found to be related to the living person/s, but also have been found to be closely connected to those being attacked.


A Malevolent haunting occurs when a ghost or other spirit seeks to inflict harm on the living within an area. Sometimes this occurs because the entity is angry for certain events that occurred in its life. This could be because of jealousy of the living, seeking attention, a malicious personality, or is defensive of its home and wishes the current living occupants to leave. It also could be sad and wants others to acknowledge its sadness and to feel its misery. Poltergeist activity is often confused with a malevolent haunting and usually but not always, it is simply a spirit seeking your attention.

Now that you know about the different types of hauntings, you should also learn about the various signs and symptoms which suggest that a house may be haunted.

Check out our 'Types of Activity' page.