Chapter 07: Things that Go Bump


An apparition is the manifestation of a ghost. The first documented haunting occurred in ancient Rome revealed in a letter written by Roman author Pliny the Young (A.D. 62-113) to a Roman patron Lucias Sura, in which Pliny describes owning a villa in Athens that nobody will rent because of a ghost. The letter continues on detailing the events of the haunting, which include loud noises in the middle of the night that grow louder and louder, and a phantom apparition of a man appearing in filth and misery. Around the same time period, the Greek biographer Plutarch (A.D. 46-120) wrote in “Life if Cimon” that the ghost of a murdered man was haunting the baths at Chaeronea. Despite diligent research, little is known about apparitions. Ghosts are a compelling part of the paranormal field.


An aura is a subtle field of luminous energy surrounding living creatures and objects. Auras are invisible to the human eye except to a few people who claim to be capable of observing auras by means of a psychic ability. Auras consist of rays, sparks and light streams that intermix within the brilliant colors. Researchers believe that the magnetic fields of living creatures produce auras. Auras might also be some kind of unknown energy that vibrates at frequencies beyond the normal range of human vision. The color of an aura is said to reflect health, state of mind and spiritual development.


An awakening is the exact moment when paranormal activity emerges from a location where no paranormal activity has previously been reported or has not been reported in a long period of time. The activity usually begins as a result of human interference. When the living (knowingly or unknowingly) infringe upon the territory of a dormant ghost, there can be dramatic transformations. Locations undergoing structural modifications or renovations are the most common sites to experience an awakening. Construction on sacred land can also set off an awakening.

The initial phase of an awakening will be obscure. The paranormal activity will resemble a classic haunting. Construction tools or personal objects will disappear or relocate. Strange noises, unidentifiable voices, whispering and footsteps will be heard. If the ghost’s subtle requests are not heeded, the disturbances will increase until reaching near violent levels. Heavy objects will fall and electrical equipment will suddenly fail without explanation. Unseen forces turn on water pipes and flood rooms. Mysterious fires start for no reason.

In some cases, the paranormal activity will cease the moment that outside intrusions have stopped or when the construction work is complete. The paranormal activity can start over again if future intrusions are made on the location. There are awakening cases that have continued indefinitely.


Banshees are female spirits from Irish mythology. They are a messenger from the otherworld and seen as an omen of death. Many people mistakenly confuse the banshee for a witch. A banshee is not a witch and has nothing to do with the pagan religion of Wicca. Banshees rise up from the fog to sing and cry mournfully into the moonlight. Their crying is a tormented weeping that signals imminent doom. The banshee can appear in a variety of guises. Most often, she appears as an ugly frightening hag but she can also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman with eyes that shine fiery red.

The banshee is supposedly the spirit of a woman who died prematurely during childbirth. Their tormented souls walk the earth, never knowing a moment of peace. Stories of the banshee in America began in the south at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. The Tar River near Tarboro, North Carolina, is reported to be home to one of the few American banshees. In the month of August during full moons, the river banshee can be heard crying for a patriot that was drowned by British soldiers.


Bilocation is a term used to describe the ability of an individual or object to appear in two distinct places at the same instant in time. What exactly occurs in the phenomenon of bilocation is uncertain. The double can appear as a solid physical form or a translucent ghost. The double acts strangely and mechanically and does not acknowledge others. Bilocation is an ancient phenomenon claimed to have been experienced by mystics and saints.


The term crossroads literally describes the spot where the paths of two different roads intersect. Crossroads are associated with cultural superstitions and magical influences. Supernatural forces are alleged to manifest at certain crossroads to conduct private activities. Haunted crossroads have long been suspected for the strange disappearance of travelers. Ghostly riders and ominous creatures have been seen lurking at lonely crossroads after sunset. Legends from the American Deep South claim that crossroads are among the few places where a person can go to make a deal with the devil.

One legend says that on Halloween night, the souls of the dead will appear at the crossroads. The most famous crossroads legend comes from the deep south delta town of Greenwood, Mississippi, where a musician named Robert Johnson traveled to a secret crossroads and made a deal with a man dressed in black so that he could learn to play the blues. After the visit to the crossroads, Robert Johnson went from not being able to play the guitar to being one of the most influential blues musicians in history.

Earth Lights

Earth Lights (also referred to as Ghost or Spook Lights) are luminous phenomena shaped in ball form or irregular patches of light appearing randomly defying explanation. The size and color of the mysterious lights varies. While not much is known about Earth Lights, researchers at the Ghost Research Society have identified common characteristics:

  • Earth Lights appear in remote areas.
  • Earth Lights are elusive and can only be seen from the correct distance and proper angle.
  • Earth Lights seem to react to lights and noise, darting, weaving and disappearing.
  • Gaseous materials sometimes accompany them.
  • Observers report hearing buzzing or humming sounds.

There are literally hundreds of active Earth Light locations in the United States and thousands across the world. Credible scientists have proposed countless theories as to the origin and meaning of the lights. One popular theory is that seismic pressure builds up beneath the earth’s crust, creating masses of ionized gas or plasma. Some of the most active Earth Light locations are in direct contact with fault lines. Studies have shown that these lights are more active before earthquakes.

There is also credible evidence that some ancient cultures were aware of the Earth Lights and erected temples and megaliths in places where the lights appeared. Earth Light locations seem to have a high number of ghost sightings. Whether or not the energies that create the strange lights have anything to do with ghosts remains debatable.

Energy Vortexes

Vortexes are locations emitting electrical and magnetic energy. These energy forces flow out of the earth like whirlwind tornados. Parapsychologists study vortexes because paranormal activity is often higher near these locations.

Vortexes influence the environment. Animals near vortexes will act wild or afraid. People near vortexes see strange lights and experience paranormal events. Mystical healings have been reported near vortexes. The earth can turn strange colors and rocks can magnetize near vortexes. Compasses spin wildly, unable to navigate and sensitive electrical equipment will fail. People feel strange sensations after coming in contact with energy vortexes. Scientists established that biochemical reactions occur as a result of coming in contact with an energy vortex.

The unique energy from vortexes cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. Energy vortexes can be small, measuring only a few yards, or they can be large like the vortexes of Cathedral Rock, Boyton Canyon and Sedona, which cover several square miles. When scientists first examined vortex locations, it was discovered that these areas contained many geophysical anomalies. Scientists acknowledge that these locations have unexplained electromagnetic fields and large amounts of charged ion air particles. It was also discovered that these vortex anomalies increase earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Ancient civilizations found vortex energies and built sacred temples and holy shrines on the locations. It was believed by early cultures that these areas were divine transmitters where individuals could receive spiritual wisdom and strength. Many ancient culture in the world experienced and interacted with vortex energies in their geographic location. Early Europeans erected stone megaliths on them. The Aztec culture built pyramid temples on them. The Chinese called the energy Yin and Yang. Australian Aborigines named the energy flows Spirit Lines. Native Americans call them Spirit Paths.

Fortean Phenomena

Fortean is the term used to describe paranormal phenomena that science cannot currently explain. The term Fortean is named from Charles Fort (1874-1932), an American who catalogued thousands of strange phenomena that could not be explained in rational terms, which science refused to investigate.

The paranormal phenomena that Fort catalogued included unnatural rains consisting of frogs, stones, fish, dead birds, snakes, blood or oil. Fort also investigated religious stigmata occurrences, balls of strange lights seen in the night sky, spontaneous human combustion, ghosts, poltergeists, and mysterious creatures and otherworldly entities. He wrote four books during his lifetime cataloguing literally thousands of strange and unexplainable events. The books of Charles Fort remain in print and the terms Fortean and Forteana are used to characterize various anomalous phenomena.

Glowing Eyes

Visitors to haunted locations will frequently report seeing glowing eyes staring back at them from the darkness. These spots tend to have a strong residual psychic energy lingering from violent or emotional past events. A basic theory suggests that the glowing eyes are the manifestation of ghosts or other supernatural entities. Animals can produce a similar effect called eyeshine when light is shown into their eyes causing their pupils to glow.

The Heart of a Haunting

The Heart of a Haunting refers to a precise location where paranormal activity emanates during a haunting. The heart is the nucleus of the paranormal phenomena. The activity expands outward in a circular pattern around the heart. Haunted locations can have more than one heart. The reason that the heart is the focal point can vary widely from a murder scene to the favorite room of a ghost. Each heart will have a different underlying origin. Discovering why the heart is the focal point of the haunting will unlock the source of the haunting. Hearts can sometimes be referred to as paranormal hot spots.

Ley Lines and Power Points

Ley Lines are the invisible alignments between sacred or mystical locations usually built on energy vortexes. When these sites are plotted on a map, the straight lines connecting these locations are the Ley Lines. Sacred sites can include churches, temples, megaliths, burial sites, springs, shrines, bridges, stone circles, legendary trees, battlefields, forts, holy wells, graves, earth mounds and other locations with a spiritual or magical significance.

It is a belief that unseen energy forces flow through these invisible Ley Lines and boost paranormal activity. Because the energy from vortexes is electromagnetic, the energies push and pull against each other like the forces of a magnet. The pathways between sacred locations often have much more paranormal activity. A Power Point occurs when multiple Ley Lines intersect at the same location. Power Points are a focal intersection of strong paranormal activity and are known to have an abnormal amount of ghost and poltergeist activity, making them a focus for paranormal investigations.

Marian Apparitions

A Marian apparition is an event in which the Virgin Mary is believed to have appeared to one or more persons. The Marian apparition consists of the manifestation of a beautiful luminous woman who identifies herself as Mary and delivers a spiritual message to the witnesses before disappearing.

One or more of the following characteristics usually accompany the apparition: incredible unexplained lights that glow and spin in the sky, brilliant crosses that hover over the witnesses, sounds of beautiful music and the sweet smell of incense. Some witnesses to the Marian phenomena fall into a trance state and receive spiritual messages. Despite the numerous reports around the world of the appearance of the Virgin Mary, the Catholic Church, who solely investigates these sightings, has only confirmed a handful as genuine.

One of the most famous Marian apparitions began in 1981 in the village of Medjugorje, Bosnia, where six young children began seeing visions of the Virgin Mary. By 1985, the children had received over two thousand sightings and hundreds of spontaneous healings had occurred. Thousands of believers and non-believers flocked to the village. Almost all visitors experienced something that they could not explain. The Catholic church retains the view that these apparitions are not ghosts but rather amazing spiritual events allowed to happen by God.

Phantom Animals

The ghosts of common household pets have been known to return home. The pet’s collars can be heard jingling. People have told stories of ghostly pets climbing into bed and cuddling up next to them at night. The most common phantom animals are dogs, cats, birds and horses but any type of animal can become a ghost. There are reports of phantom bears and spectral farm animals. Some phantom animals are not friendly. There are stories of phantom animals terrorizing the living by making horrible noises before chasing and/or attacking them.

Phantom Hounds

Throughout the ages, there have been reports of large supernatural manifestations of sinister black dogs. These dogs are much larger than the average canine and have fiery red glowing eyes. The phantom hounds manifest primarily in old churchyards and on lonely hillsides and roadways. Appearing on stormy nights and full moons, they chase anyone unlucky enough to cross their path. British legends tell of packs of demon dogs that run the countryside with floating red glowing eyes but no heads.

Phantom hounds do not leave footprints and run silently. The only sound that can be heard is from their icy breath and frightening howls. Terrified travelers have raced for their lives from these beasts. When the phantom hounds reach the edge of their domain, the dogs vanish into thin air leaving behind only a fading angry growl. Phantom hounds have also been reported to run out in front of vehicles and then suddenly disappear just before the vehicle hits them.

Phantom Hitchhikers

The phantom hitchhiker, also called a vanishing hitchhiker, is a ghost that appears to people traveling by vehicle only to vanish without explanation, often from a moving vehicle. Phantom hitchhikers have been reported for centuries and the story is found across the world. There are numerous variations of this story and it is considered an urban legend even though witnesses continue to report it. Most of these phantom hitchhiker stories occur on the anniversary of the ghost’s death. Whether or not these legends are true or some form of hallucination, urban legend or prank remains an unsolved mystery.

Phantom Ships

Phantom ships have terrified sailors for hundreds of years. The most common sightings occur when phantom ships recreate the event that doomed them. The appearance of phantom ships is thought to be a death omen by sailors. Strange fires, mechanical problems and fierce storms tend to coincide with a phantom-ship sighting. Phantom ships have also been seen hovering in the fog and flying over the water. Some of the most famous phantom ships include The Flying Dutchman, which sank in The Cape of Good Hope, and the Griffon, which can still be seen drifting in the Great Lakes.

Phantom Travelers

Phantom travelers are usually victims of a tragic death that happened along the same route their ghost now haunts. Popular ghost stories place phantom travelers everywhere from less-traveled country roads to major airports and railway stations. This type of ghost has been reported floating in dense fog, walking alone down dark paths, riding ghostly horses across the countryside and driving in phantom cars.

The majority of phantom travelers make one appearance per year on the anniversary of their death. Surprisingly, modern airports report the unexplained appearances of passengers who have been killed in plane accidents asking about their flight and missing luggage. It can be a chilling experience for the airport workers. One railroad station reported that riders waiting for their train occasionally get the gory and traumatizing ghostly reenactment of a man who committed suicide by jumping in front of a speeding train. Haunted routes exhibit strange occurrences including unexplainable lights, loud accident sounds and intense screams.

Psychic Attacks

Psychic attacks are paranormal assaults on humans or animals that can cause physical or mental distress, illness, bodily injury and death. These assaults are a kind of psychic sorcery. There are ghost hunters who believe that ghosts have the ability to use psychic attacks against the living. The victims of psychic attacks can experience periods of simple bad luck to life-threatening accidents. Some victims of psychic attacks report having their life force slowly drained as in cases of psychic vampirism. The victims lose their will to live and gradually deteriorate until death. In most cases of psychic attacks, the mere suggestion of an attack is enough to cause paranoia.


The term spirit is often used to describe the soul. However, spirits can take on forms and meanings beyond the definitions of the soul or a ghost. A spirit can be a supernatural being or essence. Spirits can include the forces of nature and can represent places, objects and other non-living things, such as the spirit of a lake, a forest or the spirit of a sacred shrine. Spirit can refer to the mind or conscience.

Spirit Burns

A Spirit Burn (also referred to as a psychic burn) is the exact location where a terrible event occurred, causing human emotions to explode like a psychic atomic bomb scarring the physical environment. A Spirit Burn is a forced imprint that acts similar to a haunting. Visitors experience loud noises, shadowy apparitions, screams, bellowing cries and ghostly reenactments. Spirit burns draw energy like a magnet. Spirit Burns should not be looked at as a haunted location but as a site where pure psychic energy has massed tightly together in a fluctuating state. Spirit Burns are concentrated to one solid location and confined to the exact area of the violent incident that caused the Spirit Burn to occur.

Telephone Call From The Dead

Telephone calls from the dead are a paranormal phenomenon where people receive a telephone call from the deceased. The callers can be deceased relatives or friends. The communication is usually a brief one-time conversation.

Critics point out that these events are probably dreams or hallucinations brought on by the emotional trauma of losing a loved one. It is a way that the human psyche can work out the intense feelings of a tragic loss. The critics have valid points. However, it should be noted that a percentage of these contacts had no idea that the person calling them was dead until after the fact.

Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is composed of armies of spectral horsemen who ride black warhorses across the sky followed by vicious packs of phantom hounds. The sound of hundreds of phantom hooves can be heard trampling through the air like thunder as they ride toward an unknown destination. Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to foretell a catastrophe such as war or plague. British folklore warns that anyone caught by the hounds will have their flesh devoured and soul stolen. The appearance of the Wild Hunt is more common on Halloween night.

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