This post looks more into hauntings of locations, but much of the information holds true to hauntings of people and objects.
A Word Defined
Stories of hauntings appear in the folklore and legends of just about every culture, where there are ghosts, there are hauntings, and you would be hard pressed to find a people who do not have such entities and histories in their writings and oral recollections.
When looking into the history of hauntings many researchers have categorised two very defined types of hauntings under the following headings – 'Residual hauntings' and 'intelligent hauntings'.
A residual haunting is not aware of the living world around it, and many believe that the haunting itself is the result of an emotion, perhaps even a memory that is somehow recorded into the physical environment itself, and when the conditions are right, that 'recording' is played out once again.
Old schools, prisons, asylums and hospitals are all locations where residual hauntings are said to be quite prevalent. These locations were filled with many emotions and traumatic experiences during their working years, intangible memories of its working life seeped into the walls.
A 'ghost', or other entity, that may form part of a residual haunting, would not have a choice in being there, it is not intelligent, it has no emotion of its own, but is rather just a playback of an event.
An intelligent haunting may occur for many different reasons, and unlike a residual haunting, the ghost/entity may have some choice in its presence being there and revealed. On the other hand those who claim to be able to communicate with the dead have said that at many times a ghost/entity may be forced to stay at the location, or bound to an object – the reasons for this can be quite complex but generally amounts to having unfinished business, a punishment from guilt, fear of moving on or even not even knowing they are dead.
When a person or object is haunted it is typically said to be of an intelligent nature.
I Would Love to Hear From You!
I would love to hear stories of hauntings from your parts of the world, the history and the activity. Maybe you have been haunted or have a haunted object in your possession (and how you deal with such events)?