|A haunted blacksmith shop near my house. Photo credit: Steven Symes|
Like I've said before, I've read dozens of books about different paranormal topics, studied about the paranormal in college (mostly in folklore classes), have experienced inexplicable things myself and have written dozens of articles on different paranormal topics (not to mention written some entertaining stories about the paranormal). The paranormal is a complex body of knowledge that I find endlessly fascinating for a number of reasons.
Experience and scholarship have combined to teach me one fact about at least some hauntings: the emotions of those living in a haunted location can affect the paranormal activity. There are a number of theories about why this is, but I personally subscribe to the philosophy that spirits can literally feed off of either positive or negative energy put off by the living. In fact, I've known quite a few living souls who seem to do the same thing. This means that if you're experiencing a haunting, how you react to the situation and how you conduct your day-to-day life can very much have an impact on the situation.
|One of the scariest structures I've ever been inside. Photo credit: Steven Symes|
Of course this can become a little hard to differentiate from emotions affecting perceptions. Sometimes when a person is especially depressed, scared or otherwise emotionally unstable that person can also see, hear or otherwise perceive things differently. Sometimes when we are really emotionally worked up, we can even be tricked by our emotional state into thinking we see something that does not exist. Plenty of "magicians" both past and present have manipulated this human tendency, making crowds of people think they are levitating without the aid of wires or harnesses or have been sawed in half by a lovely (and wondrously distracting) assistant.
I can also tell you from experience that some spirits are manipulative, conniving and quite practiced at drawing out the desired emotions from the living. Usually these spirits are looking to frighten or anger people, and so will do strange things to agitate a building's occupants. I have seen hauntings that I strongly suspect were actually caused by abusive behavior that actually attracts these types of spirits like moths to the flame. In the end, the big takeaway is to guard your emotions carefully, since getting carried away can lead to an unpleasant experience.
On the same note, we can't become carried away and say that all hauntings are the result of the living's emotions. Like I said, the paranormal is a complex body of knowledge and hauntings occur for a number of reasons that can be difficult and maybe even impossible to sort out. I'm pointing out that people's emotions are one of a number of factors that can either trigger or fuel a haunting, which would help explain why some people can live in a haunted location where others have had all kinds of horrible experiences and yet not have any paranormal experiences of their own. It's also possible that by not reacting to the stimuli presented to you by an intimidating spirit you can potentially make it go away (or engage it in a competition where the spirit tries even more aggressive tactics to get a reaction out of you).
Do any of you have experiences with hauntings and emotions?