In our haunt ratings system we have a category that we refer to as "spirit presence". This means exactly what it implies but by our standards it does not constitute a haunting and this is why: Spirits are present almost everywhere and they wander around and pass through different locations all the time just like the living. Some spirits may even dwell in a certain house or location but in reality take little notice of the living in that space, most of the time. Occasionally the dimensions of sorts, overlap and we accidentally cross paths with one of these spirits, or catch a glimpse of one passing by, or even hear a voices and or voices of other worldly conversations. This happens all the time and everyone at some time in their lives will experience this in some way, whether it is a shadow they see for a few seconds or a voice they hear, or a strange light formation they see at some point. This kind of experience is so common that to us it does not raise any concern most of the time.
People in general are programmed to react with fear to an experience of this kind, and so they assume they are being haunted. On the other hand, when someone experiences spirit presence they may be very afraid, and even dwell on thoughts of the spirit. Now spirits are very telepathic and if you dwell on the thoughts about this spirit you may actually draw it back to you and attract it's interest. This happens a lot. Especially if that spirit is the kind that gets a fix from that fear energy. Some hauntings get started exactly in this way.
There is another scenario that also gets a haunting started, and that is curiosity. If the person is curious and encourages communication with the spirit that also can have it's affect on what takes place from there out and the person may indeed wind up being haunted by the spirit because that person extended some kind of invitation or attraction to that spirit. Spirits as a rule are not detected by the living so when one of them is, sometimes that spirit gets a charge out of the fact that someone could see or hear them and see it as a way to once again interact with the world of the living. If the spirit is one that wants to achieve that link back to the world of the living then they will seize the opportunity and settle into that location to try and establish that link with the person or people that are offering it.
If you remember that spirits are everywhere and that sometimes we may run into one, but that does not have to be cause for alarm then you can put the experience behind you and go on with your life, probably with no more incidents whatsoever. There are many reasons why a spirit might pass through your home or any location and those reasons sometimes have nothing to do with you at all. Other times the spirit may be a friend or deceased relative just stopping in and check up on you. The phenomenon that we call "shadow ghosts" which appear as a dark or black shadow are just one stage of spirit manifestation on this plane. It does not mean that they are dark or evil spirits at all. They appear to be dark because they are blocking out existing light just like your own shadow does when it is cast on a wall or on the ground. Spirits at some stages of manifestation do have a plasmic mass of sorts that can block out light revealing their outline in shadow. In other stages of manifestation they may look like a glowing form made of light, and sometimes they may appear solid and lifelike, almost like a living person. daylight ghosts often appear just as solid and you and I.
The point of this article is to remind folks that real hauntings and simple spirit presence are not one and the same at all.Since we are hostile haunts specialists and usually get some of the most extreme cases, we get to see a lot of real hauntings. Some of the folks that call us are not haunted, but usually by the time people get to the point where they call a "resolution" team, they have been through something quite traumatic. Over the years I have found many patterns with my haunt cases that have shown me different ways that hauntings come about and the part that we "the living" play in helping to get a haunting started as well. In most cases a haunting can be avoided by not making much of a sighting or something you hear, and just ignoring it. With the current paranormal craze people are less likely to do that and more likely to want to investigate or encourage the interaction which is leading to more and more haunt problems. That is one of the reasons that we stay busy all year long. The instances of actual hauntings have increased since 2006 by about 35 percent. I believe there are many reasons for this but the craze has definitely made it's contribution to this increase. It has raised people's awareness of and interest in the spirit world, which has led to more and more attention paid to spirit activity, even the slightest and most benign incidents, that they may have not even given a second thought in times past.