Thursday, August 11, 2011


I love ghost stories. Whether scary or funny, there's something about a ghost story that makes me want to watch it. In my Daughters of Destiny and the parents' story, Ghost of a Chance, my ghost are intelligent ghosts. That means they're interactive to a limited degree and are aware of what's going on. Gran (Ghost of a Chance) and Milton (Fiona) actively try to make a match for the women they're attached to. Sometimes in a funny way, sometimes in a serious way.
Having had my own ghostly encounters, I didn't really do much research into ghosts, but I heard a comment recently that had me looking up hauntings. Now I was familiar with the first (original) types of hauntings, but I did find a few sites that added three more categories.
1--Intelligent hauntings--These once human souls have stuck around the earthly plane and can interact with those left behind. This is the most common type of ghost in books, but relatively rare in reality. In our old house, my husband got up to investigate a noise. I heard him having a conversation with someone. When he came back to bed, I asked who he was talking to and he answered me. I hadn't spoken a word out loud from the time he rolled out of bed to the time he returned.
2--Residual hauntings--This would be an event that plays over and over. Imagine a DVD or Blu-Ray player that only plays chapter 11 of a movie. These are not interactive, nor do the ghosts seem to know that you're there. Perhaps it is a rip in the space-time continuum. Perhaps not. I encountered this when I was 11 and visited Gettysburg National Park. I asked the adult with me, how did the actors get the battle to seem so realistic. She looked at me funny and said there were no reenactors.
3--Demonic/Inhuman hauntings--these creatures (for lack of a better word) were never human. There is an associated malevolency with these beings and usually they are invited in through the practice/mispractice of the occult, whether to achieve a higher awareness or other less than lovely purpose. I have seen one demon in my life. He was in a church.
4--Poltergeist--Some don't list this as a haunting because it isn't associated with a incorporeal entity (human or otherwise). Instead, the belief seems to be that an adolescent pulls energy from the surroundings which manifests itself as a type of telekinesis. I've seen this lumped under Demonic and occasionally left out of the list all together. After we moved out of our house, the new owners reported lots of poltergeist activity. And the neighbors heard it around 2 AM.

These two are new terms to me.

5--Shadow People--faceless, featureless, black shapes that manifest in a house. My children often saw these at our old house. I too would see them out of the corner of my eye, usually hovering over my children's crib or bed. While it would cause some difficulty sleeping, I usually just asked them to leave and they complied. I don't always get a sense of good or evil, just kind of there, but there did seem to be some residual intelligence.
6--Doppleganger hauntings--This is where you see a double of yourself. The other you may be doing something you wouldn't do or something you would. Again, I haven't found anything to put them in the good vs the bad category. But I could see where this might be very useful in a good paranormal novel.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation Linda. Somehow, they're all the same in my book. Creepy. And if you bring any of these to my house, please make sure to pack them up and take you back when you leave. :) Much obliged.

Linda Andrews said...

Nope if they like you,they're staying with you.

Connie Flynn said...

Great explanations. One night, a shadow person tried to kidnap me while I was sleeping. I called out to my family and it disappeared but I was terrified at the time. I always thought it was a dream until I saw the movie Ghost and I went, omigod, that was it -- a shadow person. Also, the night my mother died she came to visit, but I talked to her while I was sleepwalking. Those are my only encounters with ghosts or sleepwalking and quite honestly I prefer they stay away -- even Mom. They scare me.

Linda Andrews said...

I have lived with being aware of that other world around me for so long, most of the time it doesn't phase me anymore. It does, however, make me extremely leery of going to a place I know is haunted or making overtures for them to talk to me. What's funny is, when I was younger I'd beg my mother to take me to play in the little houses (that was the cemetery, folks). cemeteries are rarely haunted, and I still enjoy visiting them for the sense of peace they bring me.
That said, I wouldn't want to be in one during the zombie apocalypse.;-)

Na said...

I have always been fascinated with ghost stories especially those based on real life events. I remember my favourite ghost show was "The Haunting" on the Discovery Channel. Nowadays there are no good ghost movies at the cinema, it's all about gore. The sort of ghosts I am most afraid of are those with the ability to follow you. Particularly if they are evil!

donnas said...

I love a good ghost story. Thanks for sharing!

Tia Dani said...

I can speak for the both of us here when I say we love a good ghost story. And you can always count on us to attend a writing retreat to a 'haunted' hotel. We'll be scared silly, but we'll be there.
Thanks, Linda for the explanation on the differences. Good stuff.

Caris said...

I stay far away from ghosts. My imagination is already vivid enough and basically I'm a super-chicken at heart! After the Haunted Retreat one year, I'd scoped out the rooms that overlooked the Verde Valley. I thought I wanted to stay in one of those dreams. Then a friend who is closely connected to supernatural doings came to me in a dream and stated very clearly, "You cannot stay in that room."

That's all the warning I needed! LOL!

Yep, major chicken!


Author Kathryne Kennedy said...

I love ghost stories too, Linda. Am addicted to Ghost Hunters and GHI. :}

Anonymous said...

I love ghost storied, real and fictional.