I think my house is haunted. What now?
Start by chronicling the phenomenon. Record every detail from the event itself, but also include the precise location (of where the event took place and also where you were at that time), the time of day, and your state of mind. Some states of mind can trigger events. List any witnesses and get their testimony–before you tell them what you witnessed.
Ok, I’ve written everything down. Next?
Think about things logically. One occurrence does not a haunting make. Moreover, some classic phenomena have an easy explanation. Footsteps up the stairs? That could easily be the house settling–it happens more often than you might think. Disembodied voices? The acoustics of certain locations can really throw you for a loop. Voices might carry in from the street and echo in surprising ways. Only when you have ruled out everything can you finally entertain the possibility of the paranormal.
I’ve ruled out everything but the paranormal. What should I do?
If this is the first time something has happened, just take note, and try not to worry. It could be an isolated experience. One instance does not necessarily imply anything will happen again. If it does happen repeatedly, see if there’s a pattern. Some hauntings run like clockwork. For example, at 11am, the sound of a door opening may occur every other Tuesday. In instances such as these, there may be no dealing with the haunting–in some cases, you simply have to co-exist with it. These are known as residual hauntings and normally don’t have an intelligent entity behind them.
It’s not residual and there’s no pattern. Do I have a ghost?
In a word: maybe. A ghost is typically thought of as a deceased person. But there are loads of other intelligent entities out there. Many are just as intelligent as you are, but think quite differently. Although they can be somewhat unsettling, most hauntings are benign. If it seems nonthreatening, try to accept it. At this point, think of them as a mostly invisible roommate. They do their thing, you do yours. If they do something that irritates you, tell them about it. Try to work it out. Set boundaries and make things perfectly clear. And just like a flesh and blood roommate, if this fails, seek outside help.
Is this where you tell me I’m going to need an old priest and a young priest?
Yes and no. You should find someone with some form of spiritual authority, but within the confines of your religion. If you’re a Pagan, a pair of Catholic priests won’t likely help as much as a figure within your religion (such as a High Priest or High Priestess.) Likewise, a Houngan won’t be as much help to a Lutheran.
What about psychics?
This is a difficult question. Psychic phenomena is not fully understood. There are more than a few psychics that rely on cold reading, guesswork, and fabrication. Moreover, even an honest psychic is rarely fully accurate. Everyone has an off day. To involve one is a personal preference, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to do so. Make certain they’re trustworthy. Do more than a cursory look at their accuracy. Tell them nothing so that you don’t cloud their judgement. Take everything they say with a grain of salt. And bear in mind they’re only human–they make mistakes as much as anyone else.
Will you help me? And how do you conduct your investigations?
Atherton Paranormal is currently accepting cases, but we are currently unable to travel to locations. At the moment, we offer remote assistance. We will correspond through the email provided in the form and possibly via a phone. You can request an investigation here:
Request an Investigation
Are you accepting new investigators, can I be one? Can I join your group?
Although this may change, we are not accepting investigators at this current time.
Will I get a reply?
We screen our cases thoroughly before making contact. To increase the likelihood of our team responding, fill out the form as completely as possible.