It’s 4:08 in the morning and Janet is sound asleep in bed as are her husband and young son. They had just moved into their home three days ago but it is so cozy and comfortable, it took no time at all to adjust to their new surroundings. They knew they were going to be very happy. The night was quiet and peaceful. The days ahead would be spent emptying boxes and organizing everything.
A little over two weeks have passed since they finished unpacking and getting the house together. They were feeling comfortable and getting used to all the new noises of a new area and home. That night, at 4:53 am, they all jolted awake by a loud scream. Their little son began to cry as he was scared at the foreign noise. The young couple sat up asking each other what they heard to compare what they though abruptly awoke them. They agreed that it sounded like a woman screaming. It was very disheartening to say the least. The man walked over to the window and took a look outside but everything was very still and quiet. They woman went to her son to console him and get him back to sleep. The rest of the night was uneventful as was the next night and the ones to follow.
Eventually the young family forgot all about that scream that they knew came from right inside of their home but refused to put any belief in that. About a year had passed and the family was well adjusted and enjoying their lives. One night, at 4:42 am, Janet woke up as she thought she heard something and sat up in bed to listen. Everything was quiet. She made a quick visit to the restroom and while she was in there, she heard what sounded like heavy footsteps running the length of the upstairs hallway right past the bathroom that she was in. Just jumped up thinking her son was awake and went to check in on him but he was sound asleep – so was her husband. She sat in bed perplexed because she knew she just heard those footsteps. Come to think of it, they were very heavy so it couldn’t have been her son. She then jumped at the sound of something banging on the bedroom wall. Janet’s husband started to stir from that sound. Janet was pretty frightened and shook her husband to wake him. The time was now 4:48 am. Janet held on to her husband as she told him about the footsteps and the bang on the wall that made him stir. Then she recalled the noise that made her wake up but didn’t know what that was. 4:50 am - Janet’s husband was so tired, he told his wife it was probably just her imagination and to go back to sleep. He rolled over and closed his eyes. Janet felt too scared to sleep. She lay down but couldn’t close her eyes. It was dead quiet and she felt alone with her overactive imagination and a foreboding feeling just crawled right up her spine. 4:53 am – it felt like the longest three minutes of her life but it did not disappoint. A woman’s scream filled the room. It made Janet scream as well and shook her husband out of his sleep. Janet was shaking as she knew that the scream was at close range. Her husband said it must have come from outside but Janet knew that it was from right inside of their bedroom. The worst feeling came over her as she clung onto her husband. He got out of bed and checked throughout the house but there was no one there.
Every year on March 5th, Janet, her husband and son would experience these sounds and the woman’s scream. There was never any other activity, never any sightings, never any feelings of being watched or strange noises going on. The only ghostly activity that would ever occur in their house was on March 5th, every year.
This is a typical residual haunting. The ghost will usually play out their part in something that has happened or you could witness them walking, doing something or hear noises such as screaming. The big thing to keep in mind is that this type of haunting is really not a haunting at all. There is no ghost – just ghostly episodes. They can range from small noises that are hardly noticeable to what can seem like violence or despair.
A residual haunting happens where there is an incident that contains a strong emotional burst of energy which becomes an imprint and then replays itself like a movie. There is no ghost at all – in most cases. These types of hauntings are usually somehow tied into space and time where they are set up to play – or release the energy burst on the anniversary of an event or a cycle of time. Let’s take the true story about Janet and her family – a tragic event happened at a house that used to stand in the exact same place as their home. That house was knocked down and a new home built in its place. The old house was leveled over 8 years ago. With some research, it was discovered that a woman was murdered at approximately 4:53 am. There was blood in the upstairs hallway and in one of the rooms on the same level.
As you can tell, this was indeed a very frightening experience that releases a huge amount of negative emotion. This emotion imprinted itself and now replays on the anniversary of the woman’s death. The woman did not appear to be lingering in the house. If she was, she more than likely would not spend all of her energy screaming one time a year and then not show herself or do anything else at all. While it is true that a lot of resident ghosts will become dormant – it is usually unlikely in a case where there is a restless or upset spirit.
Residual hauntings can occur yearly, monthly, weekly or even daily. The energy that is discharged on each occurrence will eventually dissipate over a very long period of time – could be hundreds of years until it fades off and complete goes away unless the entity is directly connected. I have seen cases where the ghost of the tragic occurrence still occupies the dwelling or the space it was once in where the event took place. In this case, although it does seem to be more rare – perhaps because the event took place so long ago, if the spirit wondered or more likely, found its way to the light – the ghost will actually ‘haunt’ the dwelling and not just let the burst of energy do all of the work. You will get typical haunting signs like flickering lights and other electrical happenings, voices, footsteps, etc.
A ghost can both haunt a house and have part of their tragic ending play out for you to witness at the same time. Just the consistent recurrence of the event is a big sign of a residual haunting but another is that the ghost will not ever notice you and they will never interact with you.
There are a few theories about how a residual haunting can store its energy. One theory is called the stone tape theory where rocks and other types of natural materials used in construction will absorb strong emotional energy. These materials can hold on to this energy and then be triggered to play back under mysterious conditions. A tape is an object that can be imprinted with vibration so certain psychic researchers compared the phenomena with a tape and thus the stone-tape theory came to life.
Another theory is that this phenomena is closely associated with psychometry which is the ability to ‘read’ the energy of an object; however, this would only allow certain individuals to witness the residual playback. Yes, there have been many times where several people can be in one room and one 3 out of 8 will see a specter. With a ‘real ghost’, they can pick and choose who to show themselves too – or at least most of them can learn to do that. With the psychometry theory, only psychically sensitive people would be able to do sense or see the ghost and this is just not the case. No, not everyone may witness the occurrence but most of the time, they will.
The Society for Psychical Research has a similar theory of ‘place memory’ where the building's materials could ‘record’ the energy but the ‘playback’ would only be witnessed by gifted people.
Others believe that this type of haunting occur in places where there is an underground water source or that contains an abundant amount of limestone and/or quartz. This would be all fine and all, and sure, all of these things can certainly hold energy but these hauntings can happen even when there is nothing but wide open spaces.
As far as the playback, it could be very similar to what happens with ghost lights, where energy is stored or produced by a combination of elements like magnetite and quartz which can release electrical energy when it is combined with water during a storm or when the dew-point is higher.
While this is a decent theory, it would not account for the fact that most residual hauntings behave like clockwork - they run on a cycle just like the above situation - yearly on a particular day and time. Every year on that day, the atmospheric conditions are different, electromagnetic activity is different, nothing is quite the same in order to trigger the occurrence. It is as if there is a space-time clock or cycle that is set to go off and set on repeat.
Other rare instances to study residual hauntings have provided the following conclusions:
There are cases where the haunting is either connected to a projected haunting where a negative entity that could have been attached to the deceased, keeps the strong energy alive to continue to feed off the fear or negativity from the tragic event. More about projected hauntings below.
Another situation is where a soul piece breaks off at the time of a tragic death and all it can do is relive the tragedy until it is healed and retrieved.
Lastly, the playback could be astral triggered because a strong tie connects the traumatized spirit with where the event occurred. If the spirit is wondering or lost, it will be in the mindset of that tragic moment and in the astral, that could trigger the imprint to cycle. This would be the best explanation of why these events play back on a time cycle.
Another explanation for a residual haunting can be through projected hauntings. Projected hauntings are ones in which the ghost in question or ghostly incident is a projection or a hologram of sorts, that is purposely shown to us by either positive or negative energies and for various intentions. As with a residual haunting, the ghost is not real but unlike a residual haunting, it is done via third party intervention. In a residual haunting, the ghost does not interact because it is not an actual entity where as in a projected haunting, the ghost is not authentic but they can and will interact – not to say that they will.
Most projected ghosts appear as a partial or full bodied specter. They can also be responsible for hearing voices or certain sounds. One of the most frightening things about a projected specter is that they can touch you and interact physically – even mentally; however, it is rare that they do so. The absolute most frightening thing about these projected specters is when the intention behind them is from a malevolent entity harboring malicious intent.
As many people realize, this world is unfortunately very unbalanced as far as the duality scale is concerned and considering that everything on this planet is duality based, the in/yo or more popularly known yin/yang, is tipped in favor of in/yin or the darkness. Without going into another subject of the energy presence that is causing this severe imbalance, this dark energy has high intelligence and is quite capable of premeditated cause and effect.
These dark energies literally feed off of your negative emotions and the more ruthless and excruciating to you, the more nourishment and fulfillment they absorb. Your deepest suffering is their deepest gratification. What a better way to accomplish this goal then to show you a projection of your loved one or induce a mortifying dream, or perhaps have an apparition wake you up in the middle of the night hovering over you looking like it just arose from the depths of hell. There are all sorts of ways to induce fear or deep emotional turmoil to get the reaction they desire. They also have the advantage of being able to ‘read’ you so they know what methods to employ and execute. Not all of the predetermined plots come in for the kill so to speak. Many times they lead you down a path of roses to take advantage of your goodness to exploit your greatest weaknesses and fears so the specters will seem friendly with silent yet devastating intent.
Please take note that encountering a projected specter is a rare possibility even though it is occurring more frequently. If you should happen to see your loved one, it more than likely is your loved one as this is something they do to let you know they are ok, to say goodbye or even hello in their new life. If there is something not right about it – your loved one doing or saying something upsetting if this was not their nature – then this should be a red flag to you.
Not all projected specters are dark but unfortunately most are. If you encounter a positive energy specter, it usually takes the position of leaving well enough alone, but in some cases, empathetic energy may want to provide empathetic compassion.
Have you experienced a residual haunting or a projected haunting? If so, send me an email or leave a comment and tell me about your experience. Thanks for reading – hugs and blessings.
I'm Cher, a psychic medium, paranormal investigator, extensive paranormal researcher, spiritual teacher, intuitive counselor, hypnotist of past life regression,writer, exorcist in training and founder of PsychicMyst Paranormal Network. I have over 37 years of total professional experience.