'What the heck was that?!?' is a very familiar phrase to many. Was it just the house settling? Maybe it was a friend playing a prank. Or could it possibly have been a ghost? The latter choice is normally ruled out fairly quickly. But for some, it is very plausible. To prove or disprove the possibility of an apparition, a surprisingly scientific and frequently detailed investigation is carried out.
The "ghost hunt" originated in the 1800's. In these days, it was not a true ghost hunt, rather an entertaining seance, picture, or "show." Many people experimented with the invention of photography in this century. Making an eerie photograph was and is rather simple, but at those times the public was naive and unaware of these techniques. They consistently paid money for fake ghost pictures.
Time has a way of exposing frauds, and such was the case with these deceitful photographers. Over the decades, genuine researchers and photographers sprung up. Because of the beginnings of their profession, they came under much scrutiny and still do to this day. But in the current
century, ghost hunting is almost as scientific as physics. Ghosts are now normally categorized into one of three groups: a residual haunting, a spirit that lived as a human , or a spirit that never lived as a human (Killen, 1).
A residual haunting is what a person has normally encountered when they say they have "seen a ghost." What these types of hauntings are, are a past event in space and time that has been "recorded" onto a specific object or place. They are actually just like watching a movie playing an incident over and over. Because they are just replays of a past event, these types of ghosts will not interact with any surrounding people. Although they are usually visual experiences, residual hauntings can also audio in nature. Even though these types of hauntings are the most common, they are not as easily recognized as a spirit that lived as a human would be (Taylor, 1) (Killen, 1).
When someone mentions the word "ghost," the thought of a figure of a person trying to get attention comes to mind. This is what is referred to as an intelligent spirit. It is a spirit who has for one reason or another not "crossed over" and has remained here on earth. Since these spirits were once human, they can manifest themselves as they once were if they choose to make contact. Unfortunately, this is not usually the way they do it. They
reveal themselves as an eerie feeling, a rush of air, a ball/streak of light, or a smell. Since these types of ghosts are able to interact with surrounding people, some become worried of angry or hostile spirits. The personality of the ghost is determined by the way they were in life. If they were good people in life, they'll usually be good spirits. Of course, the opposite is also true (Taylor, 1) (Killen, 1). These spirits may cause some trouble, but not half as much as a spirit who has never lived as a human.