How to Know if Your House is Haunted: 13 Symptoms

a full moon at night

Halloween is spooky. But so is the idea that a house you own (or are about to buy) is haunted! Have you ever asked yourself, “Is my house haunted?”. Now that is a scary thought!

Ghosts are not the easiest beings to get rid of, let alone even find them. In many landlord forums, you will find many discussions on how to evict a tenant. That process alone is difficult. But what about evicting a ghost from your house?

Ghosts are known to exist in homes for many different reasons. There may have been a traumatic event that happened many years ago in the house that led the spirit to remain in our world. Perhaps it is just Casper the Friendly Ghost having some fun? Regardless of why the ghost is in your house, it is still spooky.

If you’re concerned about your house (or a house you’re about to buy) being haunted, here’s how to know if your house is haunted.

Is My House Haunted?

1. Flickering Lights

You may have seen this in ghost movies. If you have flickering lights throughout your house, this could be a sign that your house is haunted. Granted, the electrical wires or fixtures in your home could simply be outdated, causing them to flicker. But it could also be Casper the Friendly Ghost tampering with the electricity!

It is tough to answer the question, “Is my house haunted?” if this is your only sign of a potential ghost. Especially if you live somewhere on the East Coast of the United States – where homes are usually older, the electrical wires throughout the house may be damaged. Even if newer homes that you would find in active adult 55+ communities, the electricity may need updating.

2. Exploding Light Bulbs

a lantern on a window ledge in a haunted house

Watch out for glass if you have light bulbs consistently exploding in your house. This is a rare symptom of a haunted house, but it’s still possible. It may be a one-off event where a light bulb burbs inside your home. However, if it happens on multiple occasions, consider looking into these three things:

Ghosts gravitate towards household items, such as light bulbs, that harness energy. Their spirits show up in our physical world with more ease when having something like a light to act as a catalyst or vehicle for them.

Naturally, ghosts repeat many of the actions that their physical souls performed while living on Earth. That’s why lights are commonly played with, flickered, and broken by ghosts. Exploding light bulbs are a strong indicator that your house is haunted – or that you’re using the wrong lightbulbs!

3. Chairs Move at Night

creepy chairs in an empty house yard

Certain ghosts are known to have fun and enjoy playing around with things. Especially if it is a younger ghost. You may walk into the kitchen of your potentially haunted house each morning and think that something is different.

Is it your hair? Is it your morning breath? Maybe it is all of the chairs that have moved from where you left them the night before! It is common that chairs, kitchen cabinets, and doors will be moved or left ajar by ghosts if your house is haunted.

4. Cold Air in Your House

If you are experiencing random drafts of cold air during a regular, warm day, your house may be haunted. This symptom of a haunted house is usually easier to debunk. You may have a cold. Perhaps you left the window open and there is a draft coming through. Cold air is a common tactic that haunted houses will use during the walkthrough experience in an attempt to wake people up more and scare them.

However, how scary can it be if it is not really haunted? I suppose that could be an advantage if you are planning to open up a haunted house. Ohio is known to have top-notch haunted experiences. It’s not a bad idea if you are looking to do something with your Cincinnati real estate. Converting a building that is already haunted into a haunted house makes the ghost an asset, not a liability!

5. Pets Act Strange

a puppy laying down on the floor

We all know that cats are smart. Some people would argue that dogs are not smart. Others would argue that certain breeds are. Sorry dog people! Nonetheless, pets are known to notice and react to ghosts when they are present.

Take their reactions into consideration. They may be onto something. When a dog that is typically well-behaved randomly starts freaking out, that could mean something spooky is up. This could be one of the signs your house is haunted.

6. Spooky Gut Feeling

“Trust your gut”. This is a phrase commonly said. It is true for more cases than you would first expect. As humans, our gut instincts are first used to alert and protect us. If there is danger, your gut may be giving you hints to remove yourself from a particular situation. The same goes for determining if your house is haunted or not.

Since we cannot always physically see ghosts, our gut is there to help us figure out if there is one nearby. Trust your inner gut feelings. If you think that something is odd and you cannot explain it, there’s a chance your house could be haunted by a ghost. If you combine this haunted house symptom with several others, like random cold drafts and pets freaking out, then you may be on to something.

This scary gut feeling can pop up anywhere inside a home or larger property. Have you ever walked through a large abandoned structure before? It’s spooky stuff. Old, rundown warehouses give off this vibe. Beware, unless you aren’t afraid of ghosts.

7. Objects Flying Through The Air

This haunted house symptom is similar to chairs moving at night. However, this one can come with a little more aggression. When objects of falling off of shelves or flying through the air, this could simply be a young ghost having fun. It could also be a ghost literally chucking an object at you because they are angry or upset. I’ve only experienced something like this once myself. I was in a room with a large bookshelf.

While I was walking through the room, I stubbed my toe (or something like that) and yelled, “Oh my god”. The moment after I yelled that, a huge book fell off the shelf. Out of all the books that were in the bookcase, the Bible fell off. I was 13 years old at the time and freaked out. It could have been a ghost. It could have been God. Or it could have been my lazy older sister not putting it on the shelf firmly enough…

8. Orbs of Light in Photos

a ghost on the grounds of a haunted house

Pictures tell a thousand words, especially if there is a ghost in the pictures. One pro tip for how to tell your house is haunted is by taking photos of the property and looking at them. Ghosts can sometimes appear as orbs of light in the background of photos. Now that is ultra-spooky.

Here is a good tip for first-time homebuyers. If you are looking at listings online and see orbs in the photos, do not buy that house if you don’t want a haunted house! Even if you want to take advantage of the current mortgage rates, do your best to only make an offer on houses that are not haunted.

9. Household Items Misplaced

Are you still looking for that one sock to pair with your other sock? Your dryer may have eaten it. Or there may be a sock-stealing ghost in your home. Hopefully, they only steal the dirty socks!

It’s difficult to determine if your house is haunted based on items that go missing. I would take this symptom into higher consideration if you are an extremely organized person and are 99% certain that you didn’t actually misplace the items that are going missing.

10. Seeing Shadows Around Your Home

a ghost standing in a road in a city

This may be one of the scariest symptoms of a haunted house. If you are physically seeing unnatural shadows where you live, you may want to consider moving somewhere else. To start, can you pinpoint certain times of the day or areas of the house where you see these shadows?

Sometimes, when people first wake up in the morning, their vision is blurry and it is still dark outside. It is easy to confuse a natural shadow with a ghost. You can debunk plenty of ghost scares here when determining if your house is haunted. Another potential solution is confronting this shadow. If it shifts, moves, or responds in any type of way, there may be a ghost in your presence.

11. Hearing Ghost Voices

Did you leave the television on, or are you hearing actual voices in your potentially haunted house? Hearing legitimate ghost voices and seeing unnatural shadows may rank as the top 1 and 2 for most spooky. Another good solution to help you debunk, or prove, these signs that your house is haunted is by having company nearby you.

If the voice is not real, this can help you determine if what you are experiencing is real or not real. You can also try recording the voice and then getting a second opinion. Ghosts can be scared easily, so if you have too many people with you at one moment, they may not appear. Ghost voices travel further in vacant houses. If you find yourself walking through an empty – potentially haunted – house, bring a buddy.

12. Strange Historical Background

a man holding a newspaper

Another symptom to decide if a house is haunted would be the historical background of the home or area. Did any major historical events take place there that could have left someone angry or upset? A good example is a war battlefield. Many battlefields today are known to be haunted by the soldiers that fought there. Consult the world wide web to see what you can uncover about the history of where you live.

13. Creaking Floors

How loud are your floors when you walk? If you think that they are louder than normal, there could be a ghost in your home. Communication is not easy for ghosts. They do their best to show themselves through noise and light. For noisier floorboards in your house, there’s a chance that is a ghost saying hello. Question is, will you be saying hello back? Ghosts have an interesting way of communicating with us. There may be past events that were left unsettled.

Other ghosts are considered to be stuck energy. Can you help set your ghost free? Creaking floors coming from your attic or basement are direct signs of a haunted house. Ghosts that walk around constantly are believed to have unsettled business from their physical lives. If you hear the floors creaking, it could be a ghost trying to find its way. Dive into the history of your haunted house to determine if you can get rid of the ghost, or get along with it.

What to Do If Your House is Haunted

an abandoned haunted looking house

How scared are you at this point? Hopefully, the details here can shed light on what to look for when determining, “Is my house haunted?”. Take each symptom with a grain of salt. Typically, if you are only aware of one of these happening, it is not a ghost. If all 13 of these ring a bell, then you may have a ghost in your house!

Are you wondering what you should do if your house is SERIOUSLY haunted? Runaway (fast)! Just kidding, you don’t have to abandon ship yet. As a professional home buyer that sees properties of all different shapes, sizes, and spookiness, you have a few options.

Once you confirm that your place is haunted, you may want to sell your house fast and leave town. That is certainly a direction that many homeowners go! Another option for dealing with ghosts in your home is performing cleansing rituals with sage. This helps clear out negative energy and ‘stuck’ spirits throughout your property.

Can ghosts come back after a sage session? There’s no black-or-white answer for that, unfortunately. Ghosts work in mysterious ways! For those that are attached to the place that you live, start by cleansing your home and work your way from there. With enough grit and tact, you can remedy any spooky ghosts lingering throughout the halls of your home.