What is a "Haunted object"?
The word 'Haunted' is used in this context as it is easily recognised by the majority of people as meaning "frequented by a ghost", or at least this is the official definition. When we talk about a haunted building, what we are referring to is a place in which unexplainable paranormal activity has occured, be it actual sightings of an apparition, audible phenomena or other generally accepted signs of spirit prescence. There can be 2 types of haunted building, or 'hauntings'. Residual and Intelligent. Residual energy is merely an imprint absorbed by the fabric of a building. People who visit a place which holds residual energy may report seeing a ghost walk through a wall for example, or hear the sound of footsteps following a repeated path. These apparitions are not aware of the living, infact they have no consciousness at all and are simply like a recording being replayed when the conditions are right. An Intelligent haunting is where a degree of the human consciousness remains after the death of the physical body. It is these spirits (as opposed to ghosts) that can communicate directly with the living either via psychic mediumship, through the use of various divination tools or paranormal investigative equipment.
Cases of haunted objects are no different. We can be dealing with either energy absorbed by the fabric of an object (residual) or the attachment of a conscious spirit to an object (intelligent). This is in the same way as a spirit or ghost can become 'attached' to the fabric of a building. In terms of physics the 2 types of haunting go hand in hand. If you believe a building can be haunted, then there is no reason to doubt that an object can be too.
Why do spirits choose objects sometimes instead of buildings?
The question really is "why do spirits remain in the physical world at all?". Remember haunted objects are no different to haunted buildings. Buildings themselves are simply large physical objects. Assuming that spirits have a choice at all, there could be several reasons why they may choose not to pass over to the other side, but to remain on our side of life. There may be a personal attachment to an object through previous ownership i.e. the object belonged to them in life, or a child or someone they were close to. In cases of residual energy around an object, it is likely that the item was worn or used a lot by the deceased throughout their life, and as a result, it has absorbed a degree of their energy, especially from times of heightened emotions.
"I have an object that I think might be linked to spirit activity, how do I find out?"
It can be a long and painstaking process to correctly identify and assess paranormal activity...if at all! At HD Paranormal we divide our research into 3 main categories, and would recommend that anyone wanting to engage in the investigation of an object, consider these:
IDENTIFICATION: This involves the use of data logging equipment (digital thermometers, EMF meters, motion detectors etc) and audio/visual recorders to hopefully gather enough scientific evidence to proceed to the next stage.
COMMUNICATION: If we feel there is cause to continue on a case (consistent EMF readings, movement of trigger objects, dramatic and sudden temperature fluctuations, audible evidence; EVPS, unexplained noises, visual evidence; orbs, shadows, apparitions etc) then we will set about making contact. For this we use a range of divination techniques including Pendulum dowsing, water scrying, keeping a dream diary, dowsing rods, P-SB7 Spirit box and the abilities of professional psychic mediums. During this stage we are looking for messages. Possibly names, dates or factual information.
CONFIRMATION: At this final stage we not only look to confirm any messages received along with the purpose for remaining on our side of life and desired outcome for the spirit. At all times we must remember that most spirits we encounter were once living in the physical sense and retain their characteristics post death. Their desire to be heard and respected can become heightened as a result of finding themselves in a non physical existence, and so making clear that your intentions are to help them in whatever way you can will be paramount.
Can a spirit harm me?
The short answer here is 'No'. Most spirits were once living human beings. Part of our work involves getting to know the entity we are dealing with. Spirits cannot and do not want to harm the living, however darker entities can create situations in which we can fall victim to bad luck and sometimes psychic attack. It's incredibly important to us to ensure that any spirit we encounter is of a 'light' nature. By this we mean, they are spirits of those who were once living, had earthly bodies and can connect with us on a similar level. It is VERY VERY rare that we encounter dark entities. I must stress this. Having said that, we have. In each case, we pass the responsibility over to the relevant professional bodies, usually for exorcism. We wouldn't advocate attempting to engage in communications with dark entities once their identity is established.
What would you say to someone who doesn't believe in the spirit world?
You can't convince anyone to change their beliefs. It works both ways. No-one could ever persuade me that there is no afterlife and that ghosts don't exist. I've seen and experienced too much to deny it. However, until I saw a ghost for myself, part of me was still skeptical and so I understand fully why those who have not experienced anything, disbelieve it. The fact is that we are all made up of energy, and energy cannot be destroyed. So once our physical body no longer has need of our energy, where does it go?
If you've ever walked into a room just after people have been argueing, you will often 'feel their energy. The heaviness in the atmosphere. It's not visable, but it's there. Heightened emotions make this energy all the more tangible, which is why we find 'ahuntings' (usually residual) in places where great suffering, or sudden tragedy has occured.
Having varying view points keeps debate interesting, it would be no fun at all if everyone in the world believed in the same things.
Do you have any advice for new investigators or those who want to become paranormal investigators?
Don't be put off by anyone else's attitude or opinion of it, steer clear of big egos and those who claim to know it all. You don't need to spend thousands on fancy gadgets or recording equipment. I started with a torch, a tape recorder and a warm coat. Don't try to convince the world just enjoy the adventures and the thrill of searching for proof and you'll learn more with each new experience.
HD Paranormal currently offer the ONLY CPD accredited training course in Paranormal Research - anyone wanting to know more should click here.