- Any place where a mysterious or violent death has occurred. A good thing to do is get this information by word of mouth and then go to a local library to get accurate times and details from their back issues of newspapers. This type of place could be a battlefield or a spot where a mass murder was committed, or maybe even the middle of some road where a person was hit and killed by a car.
- Cemeteries, or old Graveyards. Rumours of phantom and apparition appearances in cemeteries have been recorded in every culture of the world and far back into history. It's a good place to start and again you can check local records for the grave sites of people that have been reported to have been murdered or have had their ghost seen by people.
- Old Buildings or Hotels. Try to find a building that is more than one hundred years old. It's not a guarantee that it will be haunted but the older the building/hotel the better chance you'll have in finding some ghosts. If you can get past records or talk to someone that once worked there you'll have a better chance of finding exactly what rooms to begin searching.
- Schools, Colleges. Almost every college will have a ghost story. Some are worth checking into. Some hot spots in schools include kitchens, the gym and dorm rooms. Spirits have also been seen floating across the campus from dorm room windows.
- Churches. Churches can be some of the most haunted places you ever find. There are churches that report haunting by multiple ghosts. Some reports in churches include candles lighting and flying around on their own. Strange lights glowing inside the church when no one is there.
- Theatres. There may be some ghosts of past employees or actors and even people that just came to the theatre to watch shows. Asking around should dig up some stories. There is almost always a dressing room or balcony that no one goes into anymore because of strange things happening.
- Prisons are another great site to find some lingering spirits. Prisons like Alcatraz, now closed, estimate dozens of restless souls still occupy the cells. It's not just prisons but also slave camps or concentration camps. Anywhere that groups of people were held together with pain.
This type of ghost sighting is not actually believed to be a real ghost, but instead a visual “imprint” that got left behind in the environment from a past event. These events typically include, but are not limited to, violent and tragic events. What witnesses report seeing is the continuous replaying of past events exactly as they happened. The ghostly scenes are played and replayed with both picture and sound. A particularly strange aspect of atmospheric apparitions is that the visual picture fades down over time. As the years pass the ghosts are reported to become more and more transparent until there is no picture left at all. Over time, the sound too eventually fades away.
The most popular theory for atmospheric apparitions is represented in the field of quantum physics. Light particles become suspended in the atmosphere where they remain dormant in the environment until an outside variable stimulates them. Once stimulated the light particles vibrate in the atmosphere. Witnesses then see the frozen light particles vibrating creating a holographic vision of the past event. There are certain conditions needed for this phenomenon to occur that supports the particle imprint theory. The area must be indoors or where weather conditions cannot interfere. These apparitions can only be seen from a particular angle and at the proper distance. This means that ten people may be in the same room and only a few will be able to see the apparition.
These apparitions are one step up from the atmospheric apparition. They typically haunt older homes and appear in solid forms acting natural. They are always dressed in period clothing and do not speak, communicate or acknowledge the presence of the living. They are seen in more than one location of the residence.
Recurring apparitions are ghosts that occur in regular cycles over a period of time, usually once annually. This type of ghost sighting is one of the most popular. The date of manifestation usually occurs on an anniversary date or a day of special importance to the deceased. These apparitions can include both ghosts of people and animals. Reports of recurring ghosts include individuals who have committed suicide, murder victims, and entire phantom armies marching across battlefields.
Modern ghosts are the spirits of present-day ghosts. Not all ghosts are from ancient haunted places or of two hundred-year-old dead people. These ghosts are relatively new, looking and sounding like modern people. They still have all the same characteristics as the older haunts, (strange noises, odd odours, cold spots, etc.). Of course as decades of time pass the haunting will become more traditional and the apparitions will look dated. The times and styles will continue to change but the apparitions will not.
Crisis or Death Bed Apparitions
These apparitions appear to loved ones or close friends just before or soon after their death. They are very common ghost sightings that almost never occur after more than four days after death. Crisis apparitions are most popular during periods of wars were hundreds of cases of the appearances of dying or dead service men thousand of miles away are reported. The crisis ghost appears one last time to fulfil a promise, say a final goodbye, or express eternal love to help ease the sadness of death for the living left behind.
These spirits attach themselves to a particular family, thus the name, family apparitions. They will haunt every member of the family through each generation until the family line comes to an end. These ghosts include the spirits of deceased family members and animals. The appearance of these ghosts usually signals that someone within the family is about to die. Usually there are no prior health problems until the phantom manifests, then family members suddenly fall ill and die or become the victims of some other untimely death. These apparitions are considered to be dark omens and are the hardest ghost to get rid of. All charms, spells and even exorcism fail. It may be because these apparitions are not actually causing the deaths, just foretelling them in an eerie manner. The only escape known for this haunting is the end of the family line.
Haunted Objects and Object Apparitions
Haunted objects can also be referred too as cursed. This supernatural phenomenon is one of the strangest most puzzling enigmas of all the haunting styles. Most haunts have a ghost at the centre. When dealing with haunted objects the question must be, “how are these objects haunted.” They were never alive and are void of any soul. Some haunted objects are spirit associated, meaning that the ghost of a past owner who had a powerful emotional tie to the object now haunts the objects. Still, other objects leave no clue to their curse and appear to have a life of their own. In the presence of haunted objects witnesses report all types of strange occurrences like bizarre sounds and lights coming from the rooms where the objects are stored. The objects move when no one is touching them. Dark apparitions are sometimes seen near the objects. These haunted objects can include almost any possession; jewellery, collectibles, wall clocks, and furniture are some of the more common haunted objects.
There are also object apparitions. Reports of the ghost like sightings of objects like swords, books, lanterns, etc. Ghosts or spirits cannot possess objects, but they can haunt them. There is a difference.
Modes of Transportation
These are the manifestations of non-living vehicles such as cars, trucks, busses, bicycles, carriages, trains, airplanes, and ships. There are almost always associated in some way with a violently tragic demise where hundreds of people may have died as a direct result. The emotional imprints left behind in these kinds of horrible events are so strong that even pieces of the wreckage can become haunted or cursed. These vehicles are seen travelling back over their last routes in the re-enactments of their final seconds. They can be dangerous apparitions because of the fact that most people who see them are themselves travelling in a vehicle. Witnesses sometime panic and sometimes wreck as a result.
These are ghosts that are not seen visually, but can be photographed. Most people are unaware that they have taken a picture of a ghost until they develop the film. The ghosts appearing in photographs may appear in slightly transparent grayish forms wearing period clothing, or more commonly as bright white patches of concentrated energy. Blurred areas and unexplained smears on only certain areas of a photograph are believed by some to be caused by a nearby spirit. This phenomenon has taken a new twist over the past fifteen years with the revolution of the personal video camcorder. Ghosts or phantom like images have been recorded accidentally by regular everyday people and by experienced ghost hunters.
The strange occurrences of out-of-body apparitions are when people report seeing the ghost of someone whom is still alive and could not have been nearby at the time of the sighting. These apparitions appear in very much the same form as a regular ghost. They can be solid or transparent, acting similar to the real person. The person whose ghost was seen is not dying or for that matter is not even sick. They are perfectly healthy individuals who say they remember everything about their out-of-body experience and give details that can be verified. Some people claim to be able to induce the experience at will, a kind of spirit jumping. Because these apparitions can appear to people that may not know the individual in real life the apparition may be mistaken for a more traditional ghost. It is said that if the living soul stays out-of-body too long then the body will die and the soul will be left a wandering ghost.
Natural and Fraudulent Apparitions
A majority of all ghost reports will end up being false. This simply means that there is a logical and natural explanation for the occurrences being mistaken for something supernatural. It's the ghost hunter's job to find and eliminate all rational explanations. Once the normal possibilities have been ruled out the ghost hunter can then begin to investigate for more supernatural answers.
On the other side of the mistaken ghost sightings are the fraudulent reports. Individuals may fake a ghost sighting for any number of reasons. Maybe they are just trying to have fun and see if they can trick someone. Or this may be their way of getting attention. It could be a publicity stunt. It could even be a case of mental illness or schizophrenia on the part of the witness, which is not fraudulent. It's important for a ghost hunter to keep in mind that there are people out there with the motives and technological know-how to produce a believable, fake ghost sighting. There have been cases of people faking poltergeist activities with houses that have been entirely wired by their owners from basement to attic to produce ghostly lights and sounds in any room on command. If the ghost hunter completes a thorough examination for logical explanations a fraudulent haunting should be easy to discover. A seasoned ghost hunter with a couple dozen cases under their belt will learn to develop a second nature for uncovering frauds.
Other Supernatural Explanations
There is always a huge list of natural explanations for producing apparitions and haunting conditions, however, after all natural explanations have been ruled out there are still some other paranormal theories that have to be looked at. While these explanations may be as hard to believe as the existence of ghosts for some people, they do have their basis from actual science. Creditable scientist trying to explain some supernatural occurrences have put forth theories such as time-slips and psychic echoes. Time-slips are moments where the past and present collide at one point. Anyone near the time-slip will be able to see into the past. Psychic echoes is where sounds from the past have somehow recorded themselves onto the stones of buildings and randomly play back like an old record. While these explanations are just as unproven as the existence of ghosts, they are theories that still need to be examined.