Many ghost hunters are looking for something different… any new, haunted site with a good, creepy feeling to it. They want to explore haunted places that haven’t been visited by a bazillion ghost hunters, yet.
I have good news: It can be easy to find unreported and under-reported hauntings, if you start with history.
At least half of all reported hauntings may be the product of residual energy. Since the late 20th century – and perhaps earlier – researchers have called those “imprints.”
The haunted site remains charged with energy that lingers from an event that took place there. In most cases, the event involved strong emotions, and sometimes violence.
When I research those kinds of locations, I usually find elevated EMF readings. I almost always get more orb photos there, too.
(When I first wrote this article – around 2010 – I explained that I call these “residual energy hauntings” or “residual energy imprints.” Today, many ghost hunters use those terms, or similar phrases.)
In brief, a residual energy haunting may not have a ghost, but it definitely provides strong psychic impressions and an eerie feeling.
So, where does this lead us as ghost hunters, looking for new sites to investigate?
It’s simple: We work with history. We look for places where repeated acts of violence and strong emotions may have happened.
Four Ways to Predict a Haunted Site
These are the four elements I look for in a haunted site:
With sufficient intensity, even one of those can be enough.
Combine two or more, and it’s often a site (house, business, garden, grave) with a ghost story.
Kinds of sites with residual energy
Battle sites such as Gettysburg are an easy choice. They’re also enormously popular. Since many of us prefer to conduct research without an audience, I often avoid the most well-known hauntings. (At Gettysburg, I recommend the open fields that aren’t part of the normal loop. You’ll drive past a couple of them on your way to the Visitors Center.)
Remember that makeshift hospitals were created near many battle sites. For example, the haunted Tudor World site in Stratford-upon-Avon (England) was once used for triage after a nearby battle. (However, Tudor World’s hauntings go far, far beyond just “residual energy.”)
Actual hospitals are a sure thing, but if the building’s in use, access may be impossible. If the site is closed, trespassing becomes an issue. If I’m not supposed to research there, I keep looking. Somewhere – usually nearby – I’ll find a safe (and completely legal) haunted site to investigate.
Jails, ‘hanging trees’, and old courtrooms can contain residual energy. Inns and other buildings used by smugglers and pirates are also rich with energy imprints.
Sites of multiple murders or violence are smart choices for ghost research. For example, the Lizzie Borden House – now a B&B – seems to be very haunted at times. In my opinion, the story behind the haunting may not be what people expect. Until the truth emerges, expect Lizzie’s family home to remain active.
The more history a site has, the more likely you’ll find at least one incident that may have left some residual energy. An investigation is the only way to find out if it’s enough to call a haunting.
Weird residual energy
The police are among of our best resources for information about weird residual energy hauntings. If the police receive repeated calls to certain locations — especially when they find nothing to report — that can identify a haunted site with residual energy. If you know a police officer, ask him or her for recommendations.
Follow your “gut instinct” to find sites with residual energy. With practice, you can become more sensitive. Start by paying attention to your emotions as you run routine errands.
For example, many dentists’ offices store considerable anxiety-related energy. Churches can hold grief from funerals, joy from weddings, and a general sense of reverence. Cemeteries often store energy, too.
Visit art museums and galleries. See what happens when you walk towards — and then away from — extremely passionate, expressive art.
Think of other places where emotions can run high, such as sports stadiums. Visit them when they’re empty or nearly empty. See if you can sense the emotional energy that lingers there.
Once you increase your ability to recognize everyday residual energy, it’ll be easier to identify previously overlooked haunted sites.
Start with local history
Visit your town’s historical society, or see if your library has books about local history.
Locate the oldest buildings, and those that are in the historical register. They probably have residual energy, though it may not be ghostly.
Check those sites for EMF and orbs in photos. Try recording EVP. If you’re psychic or have a medium on your team, that can help, too.
I always check ‘famous haunts’ when I visit an area. However, I often get better results when I start with local history, and look for patterns of events likely to produce hauntings.
When you combine your awareness residual energy with a site’s history, you’ll probably find several nearby, unreported haunts.
In addition, many sites with residual energy have ghosts, too. After a few visits, the ghosts may become more comfortable with you. And that’s when the really fascinating research begins.