Things That Go Bump in the Night: How to Tell the Difference Between Intelligent Versus Recycled Hauntings by Kirsten Langston

Written by: Kirsten Langston Published on: July 28, 2021

“So I kept my mouth shut and walked the long, green mile up the damn stairs to meet the ghost.”

Let’s talk about ghosties, shall we? From what I have observed, yes, ghosts are real. There are two types of hauntings: intelligent and non-intelligent. An intelligent haunting indicates that there’s a personality that can interact with people. A non-intelligent haunting, or what I like to call a recycled haunting, is similar to a tape player playing the same energy over and over again. There’s nothing there to interact with, and no matter what you do, the behavior of the haunting doesn’t change.

What ARE ghosts? Well, I think people assume they are dead people hanging around, making a basic nuisance of themselves. I do not think this—not remotely. I think ghosts are, for the most part, timeline disturbances. Yes, in certain places the veil between worlds thins enough to allow you to see and experience people and events that have already happened. You know my big ole theory about how there are many dimensions and time only exists in ours? I believe that as we become aware of other dimensions and the fluidity of time, time actually becomes more fluid. Well, it fits very neatly in with my theory of ghosts.

If they are not timeline disturbances, then my other theory is this: They are energy imprints. The emotions or event that happened there were SO strong that the energy lingered and created what we would term a haunting.

I have had many strange experiences in “haunted” buildings, including the house I used to live in. I have heard noises where there shouldn’t be noises. I have heard footsteps when I was the only one home. I have heard voices when no one was there. I watched as all six drawers on a five hundred pound chest of drawers shot out at the same time. I have witnessed in that haunted house my boyfriend or someone (or something) that looked like him, come into the living room, totally ignore me, go into my sister’s room, and then never come out. When I got up to see what he was doing, the room was empty, and there was no car in the driveway. I was the only one home.

I have been in a building where I heard at least two hundred people downstairs, talking and laughing, only to run downstairs to a silent and empty room. I have smelled food cooking when there was no food. I have heard music when there was no music playing. Were these experiences slipping through time, perhaps? Maybe.

Energy is strong. I know because my business is built on energy. It is what I am reading when I am working with clients. I am inundated by it on an hourly basis. I am so sensitive to it that if it is bad enough, it can make me physically ill.

Perhaps someone had energy so fierce and so strong that it stayed behind after they died. There may be locations where this is the case, such as Civil War battle sites in the US or WWII battle sites in Europe. These battlefields are so fraught with energy that the energy never truly leaves, or perhaps it takes hundreds of thousands of years to dissipate.

My Experience with an Intelligent Haunting

I’ve had a lot of clients tell me their houses were haunted. I would tune into the energy on the house or go to it and immediately know there’s nothing there. When I tell the clients this, they are not happy. They are usually pissed. People want their ghosts sometimes. They often want to know if the ghost is a good or bad spirit. Sometimes want to get rid of them. They sometimes don’t. I’ve had clients say, “Oh, how fun to have a ghost in the house!”

I have been in so many homes, places, and hotels, and I have only ever felt an intelligent presence once. Everything else has felt like recycled energy. Even in extremely haunted places, I’ll go in and won’t feel anything that I would term “living” or active there.

I will never forget how it felt to encounter a living haunting.

It was the house of a family friend, my husband’s friend. I had never been to this house before. I had no feelings as we walked up the walk, but the minute I set foot in the door, I knew there was something in that house. I knew it was there; I knew it was intelligent, and what’s worse, I knew it knew I was there.

I was actually terrified. It takes a lot to scare me; it truly does. But I was scared. I didn’t like the way it felt. I didn’t like how imposing it was. It seemed dark to me. Forceful. Mean, even. I wondered how in the hell these people could be living there with this thing. I knew without a doubt that an intelligent, discarnate entity was in that house. It was very solidly aware of me. I felt that right off the bat. And it possibly even wanted to have a chat. Yeah, good luck with that, pal.

It was upstairs. We were downstairs, so this was a bonus. I wouldn’t have gone upstairs for all the money in the world. This wasn’t an issue until I had to pee. The only bathroom was at the top of the stairs, and I knew that’s where the thing—whatever it was—was hanging out.

It felt to me like it had been in that house a long time and probably had some connection with the owners. I didn’t care. I didn’t want any information about it. This thing felt powerful. I desperately wanted to ask the owners if they had any weird stuff happen in their house, but they are REALLY religious people, and I didn’t want to offend them.

At any rate, I sat at the table, surreptitiously doing the potty dance until I couldn’t stand it any longer. I got up with a sudden move that clearly startled the other people at the table. I wanted to scream into their ignorant faces, “DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT’S HANGING OUT BY THE CAN!!!” But I didn’t because that’s considered rude.

The Shadow at the Top of the Stairs

So I kept my mouth shut and walked the long, green mile up the damn stairs to meet the ghost. I will tell you that my heart was pounding. I could plainly see a shadow at the top of the stairs. I didn’t stop to wonder if it was a normal shadow or a metaphysical shadow. There was a damn shadow there, and that’s all that mattered to me. And I was going to have to pass it.

I ignored the shadow. I didn’t even look out of the corner of my eye to see if it moved or not. I didn’t glance around to see what could be making a shadow in the dark hallway. I ran like my ass was on fire.

The whole time I was up there, I could feel its presence. I just kept telling it to stay the hell away. Thankfully, it did. But I got the sense it didn’t like me and wanted me out of the house. We left soon after, and I’ve never gone back. You couldn’t pay me to go back.

There is a huge difference between what I feel with recycled hauntings and my experience with that thing in that house. HUGE. The recycled hauntings don’t bother me. In fact, I find them interesting and delightful—fun even. But if all intelligent hauntings are like what I encountered that night, you can keep them. I’m not interested.