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Different Types of Ghosts
What is the difference between ghosts and spirits? Both are referred to as discarnates, however the primary difference is that ghosts are earthbound, but spirits have already passed on and are able to travel between realms. There are several different types of spirits and ghosts, below is listed the different types.
Anniversary Ghosts - Anniversary ghosts do, as the title suggests, only appear on an anniversary of some significance like deaths, birthdays and other times that held some meaning for the deceased or are of historical significance to them. Since this type of ghost only appears on the anniversary of a special event, it seem likely this type of haunting could be a residual haunting, reenacting a certain event in time on that one day or night
Apparitions - An apparition is the visual representation of a ghost or spirit. There are several different types of apparitions, but the mostly known form is that of seeing a transparent figure. Many apparitions look as real as any living person. Some have been known to hold conversations with people and even interact, but then will suddenly disappear. It has also been reported that certain odors have been smelled prior, during and after the sighting of an apparition. Apparitions are not limited to people, there has also apparitions seen of animals, cars, ships, trains, carriages, buildings. Simply put, an apparition is something that we see, that is often transparent, that suddenly disappears in front of our eyes or walks through solid objects like a door or a wall.
Atmospheric - This type of ghost is only seen in one location and repeats a certain action over and over again. Some investigators believe that they are projected images, brought about by the psychic energy stored in the area. Also referred to as replaying haunting or residual.
Entities - These are the most intense of infestations, and fortunately, very rare. Many people have opinions on what this final level of ghosts are - some people think they are extremely violent individuals, murderers, psychotics, and just plain evil people. I tend to believe that they are something that was never human to begin with. Strangely enough, they are almost exclusively called forth through Ouija Boards, séances, and necromancy ceremonies. If someone else called forth an entity in a home - it can remain dormant for years - even decades - until circumstances are right for it to manifest. It is patient and will wait until it can emerge at it's strongest. It feeds on anger, strive, depression, arguments, and general turmoil. It makes these emotions worse and the worse it can make the situation, the stronger it actually becomes.
Family - These are ghosts that are connected to a particular family. Believed to appear to forewarn of a death or disaster.
Haunted Objects - A particular object that a ghost has a strong emotional tie to. This can be almost anything, such as a wedding ring, a favorite chair, a toy doll, etc.
Hauntings - These are events that are recording in time, either in a place or an object. A haunting does not show any “intelligence” or communication. Apparitions may occur with hauntings, but instead of showing any type of communication they will just go about their business without noticing anything around them. Behavior similar to apparitions may also occur; smells, sounds, voices, or objects moving. In the case of hauntings their never seems to be any motive the events or communication to the living. Hauntings may last years or decades, they may appear regularly or whenever the conditions are right for them to appear. There are many reasons and theories for hauntings to occur. Most popularly is the sudden or extreme death (the person is then cursed to roam the halls of where they died), this is not always the cause and in my experience is the least likely of explanations.
Historical - These are a lot like atmospheric ghosts, except these have been seen in multiple locations doing their business. They are also non-interactive, therefore they would fall into the category location based. These ghosts typically appear often to be solid and wearing period clothing. Battlefield ghosts would fall into this category.
Intelligent Ghosts - Unlike residual hauntings, these type of ghosts are not in a 'stuck in time' type of deal. They actually seem to have intelligence. These spirits are interactive, sometimes verging into the territory of the poltergeist. They may try and attract your attention by creating odors, moving things, making noises such as footsteps, slamming doors, or moving and hiding objects.
Marian - The appearance of what some believe is image of the Virgin Mary. These can also cover cameos by other saints or religious figures.
Modern - These ghost are like historical ghost, but these appear to resemble more contemporary people.
Phantom - This is the type of ghost that most closely resembles the living. These are often not even suspected of being a ghost until they do something like walking through a wall.
Phantom Hitchhiker - This is the type of ghost that many urban legends are centered around. The appearance of this type of ghost usually happens on the anniversary of their death. These ghosts will interact with humans by asking them for a ride, but before they arrive at the destination, they mysteriously disappear.
Phantom Travelers - Ghosts that are usually found along a certain stretch of road or along a certain route, this is usually the place of a deadly accident. These ghosts can be found riding in or waiting to board a train, plane, boat, car or horse. Again, these are the types of ghosts that usually manifest on the anniversary of their death.
Photographic - These can be all different types of ghosts, but simply are ghosts that are not usually seen with the naked eye, but are seen in the pictures afterwards. Some of these appears as orbs, vortexes, ectoplasmic mist, and other unusual light or optical abnormalities.
Poltergeist - The word poltergeist usually brings with it the fear of angry demons or “angry ghosts”. Poltergeists have been traced to psychokinetic activity of living under stress, referred to as RSPK, recurrent spontaneous psychokinetic activity by parapsychologists. It is the unconscious release of stress into the living environment of someone who can not release the stress any other way. At times the release is due to the relief of stress (arguing, yelling, difficult situations). The person causing these things is usually not aware they are causing these things to happen. Events surrounding poltergeists include; movement of objects, disappearing and reappearing of objects, electrical disturbances, water coming from no apparent source, objects raining down from the ceiling or from outside (sometimes pennies sometimes rocks from no apparent source), apparitions, smells (usually unpleasant), and small spontaneous fires. Poltergeist activity is usually short in duration, as little as a few days or few weeks. They are usually thought of coming from children going through puberty, but can happen to anyone at any age.
Recurring - These ghosts usually appear at a certain time, most often on the anniversary of their death. See Anniversary Ghosts.
Residual - Residual Hauntings are "recordings" of an event in time that are left at a location, that are played back at a later time. You may hear residual hauntings on tape recordings or see them, endless loops of the same scene being played over and over, and they are usually always experienced in the same location. A couple ways these impressions are left on a location is: A traumatic event happening at the location, or by someone doing an action over and over at a location, causing it to be imprinted there. A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on a building or area, one example being Battle Fields. There are numerous accounts of people seeing soldiers fighting battles on old battle fields, only to learn later that day that there were no reenactments going on that day. By someone doing an action over and over in an area, they can leave an impression on the location also, example being: when people hear footsteps walking down hallways yet no one is there, or when people see apparitions walking up/down staircases. Another example of this is: In St. Augustine, Florida there's been a apparition of a woman who, every time seen, is always in the same location, and always doing the same thing. Her laundry, as if she is stuck in time.
Spirits - Spirits do not make noises and are not disruptive. They rarely haunt places and tend to be more attracted to people. They cause little clutter in your daily life and tend to appear when you are stressed or depressed. Strangely enough, I have found that spirits who are haunting you are rarely someone you knew in life. The only reason you don't want a spirit around is in times of stress or depression, a spirit can make matters worse by feeding off your energy and leaving you tired and thus leaving your defenses down.
Transportation - These are the appearance of some type of transportation that no longer exists. These are often associated with the final moments of a tragic event in which the mode of transportation appearing met it's demise. The wreckage itself can have energy attached to it in such a way that it has become haunted. There are certain types that are not necessarily relegated to one location, but can be seen anywhere that it would have normally been seen during it's pre-spirited existence. Some examples of these are cars, trains, ships, airplanes and carriages.