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Question about ghosts/haunted location

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posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 06:04 AM
Hi guys....I'll start by saying that I'm a newbie - to this board and to the paranormal (I guess that's what its called). I really know nothing about ghosts and/or spirits, and until a few years back was pretty much a skeptic I guess.

Having said that, my question is...can a home be "haunted" or visited by any spirits, or would a person have had to pass away in that home in order for their spirit to be there? Probably a very dumb newbie question LOL.

A second question would be, how would I go about researching a particular house to find out who lived there in the past? I'm thinking the public library would be the best source...but what exactly should I look for?

Thanks for any answers you can give me


posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 06:21 AM
Hey Michelle, great to see you here and posting away!

As far as my knowledge goes on ghosts, and I've seen many things, (scary) ghosts don't need to have died in the location to haunt, or stay around the place. Obviously in the event that you get murdered or killed suddenly, then your spirit would be 'trapped' in that final resting place.

A lot of the time when people are murdered, it's very sudden, and if you believe in human spirit, then you can imagine the separation from the body would be a complete shock. One second you're living, the next you're shot dead with a bullet in your head (example.) Do ghosts feel emotions and trauma in the afterlife and that's why the stay around, saddened at their sudden departure to the spiritual place? Who knows. I guess it all rests upon the opinions that when you die in such a traumatic way, would you feel like you had unfinished business on this planet? Especially if your murderer got away with the crime, then I should think so very much! So the location can become haunted because of a spirit being drawn there by these events or because one has stayed behind because of them.

As for the research question, I'm sorry I have no experience or knowledge that could help you there. Hope you get to find what you're after!

P.S - From the look of your post, it seems that either you or a friend might think that their house is haunted and want to do some research? Is that true?

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 07:59 AM
On the research question I would start with your county officials. Look for tax records. I know the easiest way to find out who owns a house is to ask the County Clerk who is paying taxes on it. So I would guess they could also fish up past owners as well. Hope tis helps.

[edit on 1-2-2008 by Animal]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 09:46 AM
reply to post by Arawn

Hey there Arawn,

Thanks for the welcome and your quick response

It is something I'm looking into on behalf of my own family and our experiences. It actually has been about 3.5 yrs since we rented the house in question, but as you can probably imagine it was a huge shock and very scary to not only possibly be dealing with something paranormal, but to have my previous skeptic beliefs to be questioned.

So I pretty much shoved it to the back of my thoughts until I could firstly gather my thoughts and decide whether or not it really happened, or if I had finally gone over the deep end

I have decided that as much as a nice long vacation in the psych ward might be, unfortunately for now I'm totally sane (my husband of course may disagree
) So, whether or not it was a paranormal 'event', or just a boat load of crazy coincidences, I was thinking that I might be able to find out some history on the house or the occupants over the years. I haven't had much success on the internet, so I guess city records or the library will be my first stop!


posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:59 AM
Census records have a ton of information about who is living in a house. The only problem is that right now the only information released is from pre 1930.

U.S. Censuses are available for these years:
1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 (including slave schedules), 1860 (including slave schedules), 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment, census substitute, and veteran's schedules), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.

[edit on 1-2-2008 by yankeerose]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by Michelle129

Hi there Michelle129,

Welcome to ATS ... you certainly came to the right place to ask your questions.

question 1;

A house can definately be haunted/visited even if no-one has died on the premises. For example, a previous owner may have very fond memories of the place and be drawn back to visit or re-enact specific experiences ... or the visitor in question may be a family member/friend of your own who has passed-on, and is just stopping by to say 'hi' ... or give you some support if you've been having problems in some area of your life. The other alternative is that any paranormal activity experienced, is not connected to the house itself ... but the site where the house is built.

question 2;

I don't know where you live but if you're in England the public library are usually very good for research purposes. Just let them know the location you wish to research (you don't have to say why), tell them you need to trace the history of the house ... this will automatically include previous occupants. Also you can find-out if there's a 'local history society' in your area ... they are font's of knowledge (but then I live in a rural area, don't know if such a creature exists in city areas ... can't see why not)!!!

If you need any practical advise as far as 'hauntings' go feel free to ask away. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.


posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 12:28 PM
reply to post by yankeerose

Actually, I should have been more specific in my original post. I'm in Canada. I'm guessing we must have the same sort of system as the US and keep census records somewhere. I'll start there with my search. Thanks for the tip

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 01:49 PM

Originally posted by yankeerose
Census records have a ton of information about who is living in a house. The only problem is that right now the only information released is from pre 1930.

U.S. Censuses are available for these years:
1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850 (including slave schedules), 1860 (including slave schedules), 1870, 1880, 1890 (fragment, census substitute, and veteran's schedules), 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.

I am almost 100% positive that census data dose not include who lives in a residence, that would be a massive breach of the privacy that is guaranteed to those who participate. You can find it via tax info but census data is suppose to be entirely private, no government agency is even suppose to be able to use census data to track individuals.

[edit on 1-2-2008 by Animal]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 09:33 PM
Welcome to ATS. First of all, "haunting" and"visitation" are two very different things. A spirit or entity can and does appear any place they like. They don't have to have a connection to the property. At times, the entity is more likely attached to a person than a place. But if you need to see about the previous owners, go to your local tax office, as this information is all a matter of public record. Again, welcome to the zoo!

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:20 PM
No the spirit need not have died in the house to just pop in and visit you, there are also many and varied reasons why one would. You could have drawn ones attention any number of ways and the other thing to be aware of is that once one has visited you it seems to attract other passerbyes. Now personally ghosts kind of freak me out, (personal issues with the dead staying with the dead and all.) however I know my ex-wifes Aunt a woman I never actually had the pleasure to meet in life mind you seems to have taken a shine to me and still visits and looks out for me all the time which I deal with as she has never doen anything but been helpful to me and as such hold no desire to actually make her leave me be.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:31 PM
Thanks to everyone for their welcomes and great info. Sidewinder, your comment that an entity can be attached to a person rather than a place gave me shivers. I hoped when we left that house that whatever was there, stayed there! We haven't had any odd occurences in our new home (knock on wood), so i'm guessing it didn't follow us.

Whatever was happening there, other than being scared to death and really freaked out, we never felt threatened or like....hard to explain...that there was evilness or anything like that at all.

I never documented any of this, the first few incidents were actually laughable, and somehow explained away. It was after about 10 months of living there that the occurences were not so funny anymore. I'll give you guys a rundown and see what your thoughts are on it. Again, I don't have specific dates, but do remember most of the stuff in the order it happened.

1. Second month in the house our 2 youngest children; then 18 months and 2.5 yrs old had a couple of 'episodes' of being suddenly extremely afraid and agitated for no apparent reason to us. The youngest could barely talk, and our 2.5 yr old is hearing impaired, so his speech was very delayed and limited. So they could offer no explanation at that time as to what scared them. The fear seemed to pass fairly quickly and we just thought they were weird!

2. Third month in the house, a friend that I consider very down to earth and also very skeptical spent the night in our oldest son's room. In the morning she was very nervous and tired and told us 'some stupid old music' kept her up all night. We chalked it up to our son's video game or tv left on, or a neighbour partying. But she insisted she checked the tv/stereo/video game and besides she said the music was very old..more like orchestra than today's "party" type music. She also said it souded very close to the room she was in..not like a neighbour's muffled party music. Noone else in the house heard this music. My son that slept in that room every night never had any sort of incidences like this. We figured our kids AND our friends were weird LOL

3. After about 3 months in this house our 2.5 yr old son started having what we figured were night terrors. Almost every night he awoke screaming and crying and inconsolable. This continued for pretty much the rest of time we lived in this house. (we lived there from september 2002 until june 2004). The worst one had us very scared. He bit, scratched, kicked us and got away from us and crawled under his younger brother's crib. He shoved himself into the corner and whenever we tried to pull him out he would hiss and almost growl at us. We finally had to just grab his legs, pull him out and hold onto him until whatever it was passed.

4. Around month 5 I was woken in the night by the same child above, but instead of the usual screaming/crying I could hear him sobly softly. Went into his room to check on him and he was standing at the window looking out and just crying really softly to himself. I called to him a few times and he seemed oblivious to me. I was able to put him back to bed, but this occured at least once a week I'd find him at the window crying almost sadly.

(These last 2 things on their own may be nothing more than normal explainable night terrors and/or nightmares and/or sleepwalking. I only put them in because with all the other stuff going on they just kind of added to the freakiness of it all.

5. Month 7, Same friend that had spent the night previously, slept over again, but refused to sleep in son's room. She slept on the couch in the living room. 5 am she woke me up because she was leaving. Told me all night she heard marching up and down either inside the house, or in the walkway beside the house. The walkway is on our property, and there's an 8ft gate blocking entrance to the walkway and backyard to the public. She refused to ever step foot in the house again (and never did)

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:52 PM
reply to post by Michelle129

(1) A friend of mine who was 22yrs old died from lung cancer 1 week after I went to visit him in the hospital.Exactly 2 days after his funeral he visited my wife.A lil background.....we bought our house and land from his dad,so he helped his dad get everything ready for us.We soon became great friends and he used to come to our house and hang out sometimes.When he would come over he would make himself at home.He would go into the cabinet where the glasses are and get 1 to get something to drink,if my wife was not paying attention he would slam the cabinet to scare her.A little joke he played on her...alot.Anyway,2 days after his funeral,my wife was watching tv.1 of my sons had left the cabinet open after getting a glass.The hindges on the door are stiff,so the only way the door shuts is if someone shuts it themselves.She said both of my sons went outside.She was watching tv and out of the corner of her eye she saw the cabinet door moving.Then all of a sudden it slammed shut.It scared her at first but then she remembered who used to do that and it eased her mind.(2) My brother-in-law passed away 2 yrs ago and when we viewed the body the funeral home had so much makeup on him we couldn't help but talk about it.Well,the day of the funeral came and we went to it.When we came home I went into the bathroom to wash my face from the tears of the funeral and my wife has a makeup stand in there and her makeup powder or whatever you call it was on there.I walked past that stand and her makeup flew off of the stand past me onto the floor but did not turn over.It fell upright and did not spill out.I knew who it was and just laughed about it.So did the rest of my family.So,things can happen by ghost/spirits and they don't have to die in that house.My bro-in-law died in his own house and I live 10 miles away from there.They just need to be familiar with the place or area.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:54 PM

Preface the rest of this by saying that at this point my husband and I began to suspect something was going on. We usually just joked about it though..."my car keys are missing...must be our ghost..." etc. We never ever told anyone that we thought the house could be haunted.

6. Nothing for a while, than around month 11 I returned from work to find my babysitter a bit on edge. She hung around for quite a while after I got home from work which was odd...she usually liked to get home right away. Finally when my husband came home, she sat down with us in the
living room and out of the blue she asked "have you guys ever thought your house could be haunted?" Chris and I must've passed a look to each other because she suddenly said "what?! WHAT?!" I asked her why she would ask that and she said that in the afternoon she was doing laundry in the basement and took both boys down with here. The boys were playing with some packed up boxes with xmas decorations in them. She said she was folding laundry, happened to look over at the boys and did a double take because she saw a fairly young man standing there watching the boys. IN the seconds she looked away the man said to our youngest child "don't touch that little one" and she said when she looked back he was gone. She thought she was going crazy...left the laundry, grabbed the boys and ran upstairs. She said the boys were not scared and she couldn't tell if they saw him too or not. She's a fairly normal person I guess, and we'd never had any questions about her sanity or anything like it was just an odd thing to come up and made all of us uncomfortable

7. Month 13 I had bathed both younger 2.5 and 3.5 yrs old. Drying them off in their room and suddenly at the exact same time, both kids screamed bloody murder, and clawed/scratched fought their way to get out of the room ( I was sitting in the doorway and they both were trying to get over or around me). My husband and older son came running upstairs and it took us about 3 hours to calm the kids down. Again, no explanation from them.

8. Only a few nights after this happened, both kids scared to sleep in their room. When I asked what was wrong, they took me to their closet and looked up. They were permanently afraid of that closet and wouldn't let me open the door without freaking out. There was nothing noteworthy about their closet other than it was sloped because of the attic stairs . I just stopped using it to save the chaos and crying.

9. Found the youngest on several occasions sleeping right against the front bars of his crib. He had squished himself so tightly against the bars that every morning he had lines on his face LOL. After about a month of this, I would physically move him over in the crib to make him more comfortable. One night while moving him he woke up and started freaking out and trying to get back to the front of the crib. It seemed like he didn't want to be right against the wall. I asked what was wrong and he said "don't let shadow man get me". Again, this could just be the ramblings of a 2 year old with nightmares...but where he got 'shadow man' from is beyond me...I don't think they talk about that in Barney...

10. Month 15- doing housecleaning. in the kids room i was dusting and pulled the curtain away from the window to dust the window sill. I noticed a perfect face print on the window...looked like someone had pressed their face to the window...forehead nose and chin. I went to wipe it out and realized it was on the OUTSIDE of the window. Our kids bedroom window overlooked our backyard. it was on the second floor of our 2.5 storey house and there were no stairs, downspouts, nothing that someone could climb to get to the outside of that window. Short of them climbing the afore mentioned 8 foot gate with a 20 foot ladder....
All I kept picturing was our son crying at that window tons of times in the middle of the night..

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 11:54 PM
Hi Michelle, Welcome to ATS. I hope you find your stay enjoyable.
Your first question was answered well by the others, so i wont touch on that except to say that the land could be haunted as well. Buildings get torn down, land gets plowed over, etc.
Research is a hard thing to do, as i have found. Go to the local library, and check old newspapers for deaths, fires, and cemeteries in your area. Do you live near a cemetery? Sometimes spirits wander.
Look up the local history too. Libraries are good, historical societies are great, and also, believe it or not, visiting your local nursing home may pan out too. The elderly can tell you more than you think.

I would be happy to help you in anyway possible, as will WoodyWytch. She's knowledgeable in the subject well too!

posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 12:08 AM
Sorry guys...continued again..

That window face thing did it for me. I showed it to my husband who agreed we needed to get out of there. Again...we never felt threatened other than the few times our kids really got scared and the mention of the 'shadow man'..but it was just too creepy. We called a real estate agent and began looking at houses.

Month 17 (approx Feb 2004) We found a house and put in our offer. It got accepted but we had to have a long closing of 4 months in order to save up the closing costs....we weren't quite ready to buy yet but wanted out of that house. So from Feb 2004 - about May 2004 it seemed like the craziness just got worse. Several small incidents happened but it was almost daily now. Once after putting kids down for nap, I came downstairs and turned off the hall light. Just as I sat down at my computer the light came back on. I went back and flicked it off again assuming I hadn't pushed it all the way down. As I sat back down again it came on AGAIN. knowing noone else was in the house except the sleeping kids I felt safe to say loudly "go away and leave us alone"...the light stayed off that time. It was just weird little things...light bulbs burning out every day in certain rooms, lights going on or off, things tipped over in the basement when noone was down there etc etc. I was on the phone to a friend in May of 2004 about 3 wks before the closing of our new house and I said to her.."if this s**t continues, I'm taking everyone and we'll live in our minivan until we can move into the new place" It was from that day on that not one single thing ever happened again.

The first night we slept at our new house was the first night in almost 2 years that both my youngest children slept straight through the night.

I know a lot of these things could be totally unrelated and even explained away as normal or was just that so many of these little things on a daily basis added up to one big freaky scary 2 years of our lives. And to have everything go completely back to normal as soon as we moved was the clincher.

One more thing I want to add...and this in particular could be absolutely nothing..but I was trying to do a bit of research about our house and was typing in the address and city in google. Nothing came up so I just typed the street name and the city and a story came up from long ago. It was a very famous publicized murder that took place here. I won't tell you which one as that would reveal where I am. The murder never took place near where I lived, but the reason it linked me there was because the man that was murdered lived "somewhere" on the street I lived on when he was murdered. The street is only 2 blocks it just seemed so coincidental. Maybe he was back for a visit?! The other thing is...sometimes the kids seemed afraid and other times when things were happening they didnt. Do you think there was maybe 2 separate ghosts or spirits there? One that was kind (the man in the basement trying to keep the kids safe) and another one that obviously scared the pants off them?

It all just freaks me out to even recall all of this, but it's been over 3 yrs now, and I feel safe


posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 05:35 AM
Hi again Michelle129,
I would definately say that there was more than one spirit active in that house ... whether they were related to the murder story you discovered or not is another matter ... although I agree, it is quite a coincidence.

It is very common for children to pick-up on ghosts/spirits ... children/animals are the best 'paranormal barometers' and should never be dismissed out of hand.

When I read about your youngest son sleeping tight to the bars of his crib, it reminded me of my last call-out (a couple of weeks ago), to clear a spirit presence from someones home. The occupants had experienced many strange and unexplained things during the couple of years they'd lived there, but the final straw came when there youngest daughter (3yrs old), who had been playing happily in her room (during the day), suddenly became hysterical ... saying that;

'The old lady had come through the wall and shouted at her' !!!

After I'd tuned-in to the old lady, I found it was a simple (and common), case of her not actually realizing she was dead. She was pretty annoyed by all the renovation work that had been done in 'her' home ... and couldn't stand all the noise that the children made. Basically she was very confused and angry.

In the same sense that you would be if for example ... you'd popped out for a while (remember spirits do not have a concept of time in the way that we do), and come home to discover someone had been there and made alterations/decorated etc. without your knowledge or permission.

I'm pretty certain you'd be confused and angry too, in a WTF kind of way.

The point I'm trying to make here is that this was not an evil spirit in any way, shape or form. Once I'd explained that she was dead and this was no longer 'her' home, she was quite sweet and was happy to cross-over without problem. (all activity has since stopped in the house).

Even places that have poltergeist activity may not be the result of a 'bad' spirit. More often than not it's down to a frustrated spirit who has been trying to attract your attention in a gentle way, with no success because there efforts have been explained away as normal. So they have to step it up a notch by making loud bangs or throwing stuff around so that they finally get your attention. Catch 22, here is that when this happens the homeowner is totally freaked and either leaves or gets the 'evil' spirit exorcised.

I have lived in four houses that have had resident ghost's including the one I live in now. I move-in July 07 ... I knew there were two spirits there as soon as I went to view the property. Having had my first paranormal experience when I was 3yrs old, this did not put me off ... I just loved the house. However, I have had several problems since moving in and had to set some rules just after the holidays ... we understand each other now and things are fine. I'll explain briefly.

The two spirits in question are a man and a little girl (about 10yrs old). The house is almost 200yrs old. The man has never been an issue ... he seems to stay in the background ... I believe he's the girls father.

The young girl however, was quite belligerent from the get-go ... 'this is my house and you have no business being here, kind of attitude. So I always knew I'd have to keep my wits about me with the 'little princess' !

(missa_wiccan_chick, you're going to love this ... her name is Mellissa)

Anyhoo, the first few days were fine ... nothing happened but I could feel her watching my every move ... following me around etc. I guessed she was just wondering what was going on ... so I told her there was no need for her to be scared ... I wasn't going to make her leave if she didn't want to ... but she had to accept that me and my son lived here as well now.

Well, the best way I can explain this is to say she sulked ... that's when I knew she was a 'princess' and that there was a good chance she'd try to be disruptive. Kids hey !

She started to make her presence felt on the Monday (we'd moved-in Friday). We'd managed to get most of the moving boxes unpacked over the weekend and it was beginning to look like home. I'd started the day by straightening up and had stopped for a coffee break ... it was 10:30am.

Coming from my kitchen there are two steps down to the sitting room. Before I reached the steps I was pushed (from behind). The kitchen floor was completely dry ... but it felt like I'd slipped (as you would if the floor was wet). As a result I found myself with my right knee at the bottom of the two steps (on the siting room floor) and my left leg straight out behind me (up the steps, in the kitchen) ouch!

In the split second after the 'slip' I mentally took in the scene ... I made no attempt to move at this time ... I knew it was going to hurt and that I'd quite likely broken something ... correction ... I must have broken something. I knew this was not a good position to be in (I haven't done the splits since I was about 10yrs old). After a full minute I knew the only way I was going to move was to drag my left leg under myself and try to get up, which I did and skinned the top of my foot in the process. Miraculously, nothing was broken and whilst my hip joint ached for the rest of the day I was fine.

The next day my friend visited. We have two main doors ... one that leads directly onto the street and an inner door that leads into the sitting room, both of which are lockable. Standing at the outer door to wave my friend off I went to open the inner-door ... you guessed it ... it was locked. Thankfully my son was upstairs (3 storey house ... he has the top floor), so there I am standing in the street, shouting-up at my son's bedroom window. Eventually, he sticks his head out ... I tell him I've somehow locked myself out. He comes downstairs ... opens the door ... it wasn't locked. (it was 10:30am)

The best physical evidence of Mellissa where her footprints.

I have wooden floors in the sitting room (2 dogs know how it is), and I'd swept and mopped the floor this particular day as usual. My mother was visiting at the time so I'd sat down with her for a while ... my son was also there. Looking at the still damp floor I could see half a dozen footprints in front of the hearth. They were far too small for both me or my son (we tend to walk around the house barefoot), more the size of a 10yr old girl in fact.


[edit on 2-2-2008 by woodwytch]

posted on Feb, 2 2008 @ 09:01 PM
First off, welcome!

No, the spirit does not have to pass away in the location, possibly they could have moved on from another place, close by?

Also, imprints aka Residual Energy
Imprint Hauntings, of things that happened often stay in a location. Especially those of hostile emotion. it could possibly be that. This is because strong energy is said to be stored in surroundings.

Your best source would be city/town hall, second of course the library. In the library keyword search(I think that's possible) the old news paper files. Try with; with your address, original owners/past owners(if you've obtained the info already), town/city major tragedies/deaths and more.

posted on Feb, 18 2008 @ 06:35 PM

First, sorry it took so long for me to respond. I was checking the thread periodically and didn't even notice the new responses. Secondly, Thanks so much for replying and sharing your own story. The fact that you are so calm and rational about living in a house with spirts/ghosts made me a whole lot calmer and rational.

I mean, nothing bad ever happened to us, and I'm sure if whatever was there wanted to do harm, it could have. It was more just a freaky first time experience with the paranormal for a total skeptic. If anything, if what my babysitter said was true, I should be thankful to the spirit that tried to keep my boys safe! I truly wish we had lived there at a time when my younger boys could explain what they were seeing. I haven't had a chance to get to the library work never ends
It's more out of curiousity now that I would love to find out if anything is there. After we left, I know the house has since been rented out over 10 times in the 3.5 years. It's not in the best of areas so could just be some irresponsible renters doing the old midnight move, but I wonder if its because they've felt or heard something there.

I'll let you know what, if anything I come across. Thanks again for taking the time to respond


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