Disclaimer : I would like to state that this information discussed here is based off of personal experience, and is general information on the topics discussed. It does not dive into the specific spirits for each category discussed.
Active Hauntings :
In these types of hauntings, a spirit is actively present. The spirit is intelligent and can knowingly interact with the living and the environment in which it is in. These spirits can move objects, touch individuals, create vocalizations, etc.
In cases of active hauntings, rapping on the walls are often heard, disembodied voices, and in some cases full-body apparitions can be seen. Unlike with residual hauntings, however, intelligent hauntings do not follow a specific pattern or loop. They can give responses to questions and act on their own accord. They are not static.
These spirits move around their environment much like a living person would move through or interact with their environment. Just as with a living person, these spirits can be either benevolent or malevolent.
I have personally found that in cases of an active haunting, the spirit that resides within the area acts much as it did in life. If they were a kind, loving person, they remain a kind loving person in the afterlife. If they were a malevolent or vicious person in life, they remain such in the afterlife.
Residual Hauntings :
A residual haunting is not that of an active spirit. In cases of residual hauntings, it is an imprint or stain, if you will, on an area. Residual hauntings are moments in time where the emotional energy was so strong that it left a mark on the area.
In cases like this, the haunting replays itself over and over again, like a CD stuck on repeat. It occurs at the same time and place, regardless of how the environment around it changes. It can be seen and heard at the same time and place, stuck in its loop.
There is no intelligent interaction between the living and this spiritual or emotional imprint.
Demonic & Non-Human :
Demonic hauntings involve cases of entities that were never living. They are non-human entities that exist in the spiritual plane and (some believe) seek to cause harm, chaos, and misfortune. They feed off of negative emotions and have been known to attach themselves to the living in order to feed off of them and their energy, and in some cases even possess them.
These types of entities tend to cause discord and turmoil in the immediate environment in which they reside, and need to be forcefully removed before they will leave the living occupants alone.
Other types of non-human spirits include: Fae (more commonly known as Fairies), Elementals, Animals, etc. These types of spirits can be either malicious or benevolent. In quite a few cases, they can be mischievous and have been known to play tricks on humans/the living.
Non-human spirits, mentioned above, do not tend to cause chaos or harm like those in the demonic category. However, they have been known to extract revenge on those that slight them or upset them in some way.
Thought Projection :
Sometimes we put so much emotion and energy into our thoughts and fears that they then become projections and manifestations of our negativity. In most cases, this is done unconsciously, by no fault of our own. We essentially create our own demons, in a way. We feed the beast and it manifests and becomes an extension of what we think and feel.
To clarify, these aren't thoughtforms that I am referring to with this, but more a residual manifestation (such as in residual haunting cases) where the emotions and thoughts are so strong that they leave a mark on the surrounding area. More, a stain if you will. These (when referring to the manifestations of our thoughts) can be corrected with cleansing, banishing, and warding.
We remove the negative from our space and work on creating a positive, healthy environment through positive action and thought.
Allow me to further explain this. I once had a case (the individuals identity will be kept confidential) where a woman thought her house was haunted. She was plagued by oppressive feelings, thoughts, and just an overall sense of heaviness whenever she was at her home. She had no idea where this was all coming from, and thus assumed she had to have a spirit infestation.
Several investigations of her home were done, with no luck. No spiritual energy or entities were picked up on and no evidence of a haunting was found. The issue was not spirits, but the woman herself.
She had issues with alcohol abuse and several other domestic related issues, which we will not go into. This, coupled with other factors, made her so negative that her energy, thoughts and emotions had left a mark on her home. Essentially, she was living in a cloud of her own negativity.
We did a proper cleansing, banishing, and followed it up with wardings to give her peace of mind. However, for anything to be done, or for her to see any real results, she needed to work on issues herself. She needed to change her lifestyle, patterns of thought, and work to create a more positive environment for herself in order for the energy and vibrations of her home to change and allow her to find a sense of relief from what she'd been experiencing.
The hauntings in this section don't quite fit into those mentioned above, thus, they have their own small section here. Here we will discuss Poltergeist and Vortex or Portal hauntings.
Most should already know what a poltergeist is, as this one seems to have gotten quite a bit of coverage in films and books. Poltergeist, quite simply, means noisy spirit These types of hauntings are generally associated with ares or individuals that are highly emotionally charged. Common occurrences in this type of haunting are: moving objects, items being thrown, reports of pinching, biting, slapping, etc.
In cases of portal and vortex hauntings, its just as the name would suggest. Portals or vortexes in an area that allow a multiple of spirits to pass through. In the case of a Vortex haunting, however, some spirits can get caught in the vortex and are unable to leave once they are drawn to the area. These can be naturally occurring or purposefully created.
Causes of Hauntings :
Unfinished Business : The spirit haunts a location because there is something that they were unable to finish in life, thus they now try to accomplish the task in death.
Untimely or Violent Death : The individual died a sudden or violent death and are now stuck in the area that the death occurred. Often times in these cases, the spirit does not realize it is a spirit and is still acting as if it were alive.
Attachment : An individual is so attached to an area that it refuses to leave it in death.
Summons : These tend to be rarer cases, but spirits have been known to haunt an area or an individual after being summoned or conjured and not properly banished.
Spirit Categories & Working Relationships :
Spirit Guides : These are spirits that act as guides and teachers. They can help offer insight and information on matters that their student wishes assistance with.
Spirit Companions : In this type of relationship, the spirit and practitioner have a platonic, friendly relationship. The spirit helps the individual and works with them, in return for offerings or other items agreed upon by themselves and the individual whom they have chosen as their companion.
Spiritual Spouses/God Spouse : In this type of relationship, the spirit or deity act as concubines or spiritual lovers to the practitioner or individual whom they have taken up a relationship with.
Ancestral Spirits : Spirits of our relatives that have crossed over. They can be worked with as protectors and guides. Offerings can be left and rituals performed in their honor and as a show of thanks to them.
Elementals : Elementals are beings associated with the four elements (fire, water, earth, air) and can be called upon to assist in their areas of association or when wishing to work with their corresponding element.
Fae : Also known as Fairies, Wee Folk, or Fair Folk. They are mischievous nature spirits that can be worked with in magic. There are different classes of these spirits, from benevolent to malevolent and there are several branches within those categories (sprites, pixies, gnomes, etc).
Demonic : As stated in a previous section, they are non-human entities that exist in the spiritual plane and seek to cause harm, chaos, and misfortune. They feed off of negative emotions and have been known to attach themselves to the living in order to feed off of them and their energy, and in some cases even possess them. Some work with these entities and view them as guides, deities, etc. However, when/if working with them, you should always be cautious and ready for surprises.
Angelic: Angelic spirits (also often referred to as Angels) are benevolent, non-human spirits that are thought to offer protection, guidance, etc and act as messengers from the divine.
Banish, Cleanse, Protect :
Now that we have covered types of spirits, hauntings, and what causes them its time to discuss how to banish, cleanse and protect from these entities.
- Banish : Banishing is the act of getting rid of energies, people, spirits, etc that you don't wand around you or in your space. Banishing is a forceful means to remove these things.
- Cleanse : Cleansing is removing unwanted energies, vibrations, or attachments from people, places, or objects. This is a more gentle way of removing these things, as opposed to forcing them out with a banishing, and generally gives you a clean, neutral slate to work with.
- Protect : Protection spells and rituals are there to help keep you safe from the unwanted energies that you either banished or removed with your cleansing. This is a means to help keep them away, once you've removed them.
Simple Steps to Cleanse, Banish, & Protect :
I wipe down the walls with white vinegar and sprinkle sea salt on the floor to allow it to absorb any negative energy. I then use a sage and cedar stick to smudge the area. I follow this up by ringing a brass bell, and saying a blessing chant, and commanding all negative energies and vibrations to exit my space. To finish this, I sweep up and toss out the salt and put up protective wards, via the use of sigils and rune chains.
The command and blessing chant can be ones that you have created yourself (which I personally prefer) or those that you have found online or in books. For this, its a matter of preference.
Alternatively, you could do the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. I have provided a few links below that explain how to perform it.
In serious cases, you may need to bring in a religious leader to bless your home or exercise a spirit or entity. Depending on the religious leader you speak to about this matter, they may need to get approval from their Church leaders or Bishop before they are able to exercise said spirit or entity.
- Impercation : Roots in Latin, imprecari, meaning invoked by prayer.
- Incantation: Recitation of a spell.
- Invocation: An invitation for a spirit to come to our ritual circle or to aid in works of magic.
- Evocation: A command for a spirit to appear or to aid in works of magic.
Source for Terms :
The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-Paganism. - Written by Raymond Buckland.