How Do I Know I Have A Ghost?
by Dave Juliano

This is the question I am asked most often.  Many people write me and share a few experiences with me and then want me to tell them if their home is haunted.  Unfortunately is not that easy.  Each situation and experience is unique and must be looked at closely.  Even then, without conducting an onsite investigation, I am just making an assumption based on the events as they were explained to me.  Granted some people can clearly tell me symptoms and I can feel pretty secure in my assessment of their situation, but others give vague descriptions and make this difficult.  Here are some tips that may help you form some conclusions and allow you to get an idea of what may be happening to you.

Can the events be explained naturally?  You may have to call out an electrician to see if your flickering lights are just shorted wires or really something else.  Maybe your HVAC service tech can find the true source of that cold spot you feel.  You have to rule out all natural explanations before you can turn your attention to the supernatural.  Other symptoms like noises, objects moving and other events can be traced to natural explanations so do a little research before you get concerned about a spirit.  I remember a case in which a woman smelled roses at certain times and she associated the smell with her deceased mother.  She swore it was her mother returning to visit her.  Upon visiting her home, the investigator found the neighbors did floral arrangements out of their home.  The houses were very close together and the scent was traveling between the two homes.  The woman also made the connection that the "visits" only occurred in warmer months when the windows were open.

Keep a log of any strange events.  This will serve two purposes.  It can be helpful in finding natural explanations for events that are time related.  It is even more helpful if you do decide there is something more in your home and have investigators assist you.  They will be able to see patterns and other useful information that will make their initial job easier.

Once you cannot find any explanations for the events you are experiencing, you are ready to get some help.  I recommend you contact a local (if possible) research/investigation group to come in and check out your home with their equipment to see if they can detect any spirit activity.  There are many people who do this for no charge (travel and lodging for non local groups may be requested) and are professional.  Meet with them first just to discuss your case and make sure you feel comfortable with them.  Psychics can also be used but I recommend using them in conjunction with the other detection equipment.  If a psychic feels a spirit in a particular room and the other investigators get positive readings on the equipment and photos in the same room, that validates the psychics impressions and will make you feel more confident in the abilities of the investigators and psychic.

Remember, don't panic!  There is rarely any reason for concern if you do have a spirit.  Take it slow and step by step and you'll find the situation easier to deal with.

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