Where the natural ends and the supernatual begins…

Haunted Houses

Some of the scariest locations in the world are thosehaunted houses in which both visitors and inhabitants have scary experiences. It is said that these locations are populated by spirits form other worlds and souls of the deceased who lived there before or who were familiar to the haunted places.

The supernatural events occurring in such homes are considered to be caused by some terrible events in the past of the residence, like suicide, violent death, murder or deadly accidents. Statistics made in some countries showed that around 30% of the people believed in spirits and ghosts as well as in their presence in so-called haunted homes.

Technological advancements have reached a point in which it allows these homes to be monitored, so with the help of some utensils and special measuring devices one can determine whether there are energies, auras and paranormal energies or not. Most of the “paranormal events” are considered however to be physical or meteorological effects or anomalies of the magnetic and natural fields. Many TV shows presenting ghost hunters in search of some haunted homes can be seen on several channels, presenting such tools used to establish whether ghosts actually exist there.

Ghosts and the apparently supernatural events in the homes need to be declared in case the particular home is sold or rented, as it seems that such phenomena can lead to a drop in the value of the property. The American courts of justice faced some trials in which the accusers motivated their actions through the fact that the bought property was haunted. The haunted homes which are put up for sale should not be hidden from the public apparently, as the initial owner may be accused later of fraud, as strange as it may be.

Haunted homes and literature

Both in the past and in the present, those properties with the fame of being haunted attract the interest of the paranormal enthusiasts. There are also a lot of examples in the literature, in which the residences of the characters were haunted by ghosts, spirits and unexplainable events. Gothic and horror fiction are the perfect homes to hide haunted homes, as they are the perfect setting for the frightening events to take place later.

Since Antiquity, there have been horror stories involving residences haunted by spirits. Pliny the Younger and Plautus are just are just two of the Roman authors to have written about haunted homes, while some stories from the “1001 nights” present similar characteristics. Horror fiction reached a high level however starting with the 18th century and continuing until now, with Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James and Stephen King being among the best known authors, their works being filled by spirits and terrible supernatural events.

Among the best known books filled with images of haunted homes we can count The Castle in Otranto (Horace Walpole), The Fall of the House of Usher (Edgar Allan Poe), House of Hell (Richard Wateson), The Shining (Stephen King) and The Woman in Black (Susan Hill).

Both the scary stories and the horror literature inspired the movie directors to create numerous movies and series in which haunted homes are the perfect location for the development of the script of the story. Horror movies have become a cult, among the ones creating this phenomenon counting: The Haunted House, Poltergeist, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, The Shining, 13 ghosts, Casper, Rose Red, The orphanage, Paranormal activity and The Grudge.

Causes of the haunted homes

Among the so-called unexplainable phenomena seen in haunted homes there are some quite easy to explain as well. Some of the people living in weird homes may be intoxicated with carbon monoxide, which makes them see strange apparitions as dizziness and hallucinations are among the main symptoms. Also, older residences may have deteriorated floors which make terrifying cracking noises. The points of sudden freeze which seem to be unexplainable can be just a result of poorly-made windows, while changes of temperature between day and night can cause the expansion and the contraction of the walls of the house, which leads again to strange noises and the subjective perception of temperature.

The scientific explanation behind the existence of some haunted homes is quite simple. It is said that apparitions, points of sudden coldness and the sensation of invisible touch are just anomalies perceived by people due to the variations of the electro-magnetic field of the brain. The variations of the geo and electro-magnetic fields can cause certain effects on the rights side of the brain. Thus, people perceive these variations as strange phenomena, hallucinations, the sensation of cold, stings or touches. The left side of the body becomes thus more sensitive and “produces” these new illusions.

The best known haunted homes

Among the best known locations in which paranormal phenomena are believed to exist we can count the Bran Castle in Romania, or the Huniade Castle, some complaints existing here related to apparitions, spirits and unexplained phenomena. The Cismigiu Hotel in Bucharest is also on the list, as the ghost of a young woman who died in a broken elevator is said to appear here.

In Canada, a construction in the old Montreal is said to have behind a long history which involves the French and the English. The construction in the 17th century was almost demolished at a certain point and became in the 2000s a block of homes. It is said that two silhouettes are seen here frequently , one of a woman and one of a man, both dressed like in the 19th century. It is said that the feminine ghost is Marie Louise, being heard and felt between the 3rd and 4th floors. Voices and even entire conversations can be perceived by the entire block while some residents complain about the ghosts not letting them sleep, visiting them at night. Small anomalies were perceived in this location, many being even caught on camera.

The Beechworth Asylum in Victoria, Australia is a location known to the ghost hunters. It is said that the spirits of some patients who deceased while the hospital was still functioning still exist here. This location appeared in numerous documentaries and televised series.

In the Amiidaji Temple in Japan it is said that the spirits of the old samurais still exist. This temple is one of the best known haunted locations, legends being attributed to it. In the same manner, the Aokigahara forest at the base of the Fuji Mountain is a location considered to be haunted by the spirits of those who chose to kill themselves here.

In the United States of America there are a lot of locations and residences considered to be haunted. Homes, mansions, former slave plantations, theaters and hotels, all these buildings hide secrets and mysteries, being feared by many tourists. Some cities are even based on the famous haunted places in order to make profit. The Madame Tussaud’s Museum in Las Vegas, Pemberton Hall (the first boarding school dedicated to women), the Capitol building in New York, the University of Ohio. The State Penitentiary in West Virginia and King Opera House in Arkansas are just a few of the locations in which spirits and supernatural activities are said to exist.

Among the best known haunted homes we can count the ones in Great Britain. The Arundell Castle in Sussex has 4 ghosts of some known noble people who lived long time ago. The Lodge Castle in Ludlow hosts the ghost of a young woman dressed in a dress like the ones worn hundreds of years ago, in the era of the Tudors,Haunted house considered to be Catherine of Aragon.  Raynham Hall is the place where the Brown Lady is seen often, a feminine figure wearing a dress colored like coffee. Temple Newsam is the best known haunted home in Yorkshire.

It is said that the ghost of Mary Ingram can be seen here, or the one of Jane Grey. The Windsor Castle is however the most famous haunted place in Great Britain. And it is not haunted by anyone, but by the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I. It is said that Anne Boleyn can also be seen often in this castle, scaring the visitors with her screams.

Be they legitimate or not, these haunted homes gained their reputation as scary locations all over the world. Many of them are studied, becoming the settings of several shows in which the ghost hunters are trying to find spirits. Tricksters are also part of the story, as they do their best to create their own “haunted homes”, making profit and becoming famous. It was not yet established completely whether supernatural events are actually caused by something beyond us or are simple distorted perceptions of the human brain. Many believe however that such haunted locations are real and spirits have returned to the places they lived in for various reasons.

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