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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A haunting is the appearance of a ghost or disturbances of a supernormal character attributed to a deceased person or persons. It is also the site for such an occurrence. Although the majority of hauntings are associated with the spirits of deceased persons, there are records of supposed ghosts turning out to be the astral bodies of someone who is alive and well. It is unusual for an astral body of one person to become visible to another but it is not unknown. Even with ghosts, not everyone can see them. A place may be haunted, and ghosts may be seen by a wide variety of people, but there is no guarantee that everyone visiting that site will see a ghost.

Hauntings are usually associated with old houses but this is not always the case. A modern building can be as haunted as an ancient one. There are instances of a house being built on the site of an old Native American burial ground, for example, resulting in appearances of Native Americans in the modern building. However, the majority of hauntings do seem to be related to older buildings. The Tower of London, Sandringham, Hampton Court Palace in England, the Octagon in Washington D.C., Rocky Hill Castle in Alabama, the Whaley House in San Diego, the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana … these and many hundreds if not thousands more old homes are haunted, some by a large number of ghosts.

Haunting can consist of spectral appearances by a ghost or ghosts but can also consist of auditory effects. The original rappings heard in the Fox cottage at Hydesville, New York, in 1848, were of this type. Through the questioning of the Fox sisters and their mother, a dialogue was established between them and the deceased peddler, Charles B. Rosna. Many times, however, when there is no attempt to establish such a discourse, the noises are accepted as simply phantom noises.

Many times, when a haunting can be traced to the spirit of a recently deceased person who has not accepted their own death, or who does not want to leave their long familiar surroundings, the spirit can be persuaded to acknowledge that death and move on. This can be done by Spiritualist Rescue Circles, which sit for just that purpose.


Steiger, Brad: Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 2003
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ghost-Watching American Modernity is divided into four main sections, each focusing on the haunting and authorial representation of a particular space.
She also attends closely to the "cultural and historical specificities" of each text and underscores the influence not just of the Gothic but also of magic realism, Celticism, and Aboriginal and Afro-Caribbean spiritual traditions on the individual workings of haunting and possession.
The lack of examination of haunting experiences is unfortunate, as haunting encounters are commonly reported in the literature as part of paranormal belief, and haunting experiences are constantly reported to the thousands of paranormal investigation groups that exist in the United States alone.
Waltz with Bashir was also about the haunting of the future: not just an outcry about the atrocities one has committed (and then erased from both personal and collective memory), but a preparation for atrocities yet to come, yet to become traumatising for their perpetrators and deadly for their victims, yet to be marked as politically necessary and 'unpreventable, and yet to be repressed or forgotten.
Marsden, who obviously deserves his international reputation as a photographer of the fantastic, gives observers a variety of extremely unsettling photographs of the haunted and the haunting, including dozens of ruined abbeys and castles, haunted manor houses, and landscapes cursed by the not-quite-dead.
The lights close, the haunting score fills the space.
With so many ghosts still haunting the towns, villages and countryside of Wales, I have t o wonder how many of those hundreds of old ghost stories in Haunted Wales are just stories - and how many of them were real sightings by real people.
While difficult, Empire nevertheless has a peculiar, haunting power; I found myself recalling it days later and asking, Despite the many and various deaths of formalism, to what extent does Greenberg still haunt contemporary art?
The talk also illustrated some of the apparatus that could be used in haunting investigations, such as heat-sensitive cameras and instruments sensitive to magnetic activity.
The haunting image of a young Afghan orphan was published around the world.
The year of Huguette's haunting, 1628, also marked the beginning of four years of famine and plague as well as on-going prosecutions of witches, werewolves, and visionaries such as Huguette.
THE star of The Haunting isn't Catherine Zeta Jones as a bisexual vamp in Prada boots and fur vest.