Have you ever heard a random voice that seemed to come from nowhere? Or a thump that seemed to emanate from some inexplicable place in your home? Or the distant sound of children playing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Many people claim to have heard a ghost at one point or another. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that the mysterious ghost may not be aware of your presence or even that it has the ability to interact with you. You could simply be hearing the sounds of a Residual Spirit that is merely carrying on with its normal routine, oblivious to your presence. Conversely, if the voice you hear is from an Intelligent Spirit, there is a possibility that this spirit will purposefully speak to you in an attempt to communicate.
Determine the type of haunting that may be present in your home. For a Residual Haunting, you may witness events or voices that repeat at regular intervals, at the same time and place over and over. You may hear children playing, or adults laughing at exactly 2 AM each night, or you may hear footsteps in the hallway every December. The key is not how often the event occurs, but the pattern(s) of the occurences. For example, are they daily or yearly. In a Residual Haunting, the spirit is not aware of your presence and can not interact with you. You may hear voices, but they are not related to your presence. For more detailed information about Residual Hauntings see the resource section.
Evaluate any episodes to determine if the voices are in response to you or your actions. Intelligent Hauntings are believed to be caused by the spirit of individuals that have passed away, but remain earthbound. For some, it appears that the spirit has unfinished business here on earth that prevents it from passing over. For others, it appears that the individual has strong emotional ties to certain people or places here on earth and purposefully chooses to remain. Some appear not to know they have passed on and believe they are still among the living. These spirits will often interact with you and may try to convey a message. Calling upon them, by audibly speaking to them and offering assistance may initiate audible responses. Using a digital recording to capture EVPs may be effective. EVP's, or electronic voice phenomenon are voices that can not be heard by normal means, but will register on a recording device. An analog recorder will work, but digital has less interference and tends to produce clearer recordings.
Consider the possibility that the voices or sounds you hear may be the result of a Poltergeist. Literally translated from German, it means noisy ghost. In a Poltergeist Haunting, you may hear voices, bangs, crashes or even observe an object being hurled through the air. It is uncertain whether this is an actual spirit or the manifestation of subconsciously released energy given off by a living person.
Beware of any threatening or frightening voices that seem to be directed at the occupants of the home. These may be the workings of an inhuman spirit whose main objective is to frighten you. For more information regarding the nature and goal of an inhuman spirit see the resource section.
Investigate any unusual sounds or voices. Look for cracks or windows that may transport outside voices into your home. Check air conditioning and heating vents to see if they may carry voices or sounds from another part of the home or from the exterior of your home.
Check your pets at the time you experience unusual activity or sounds. A snoring dog can make some pretty unusual sounds when the house is silent at 3 AM. A slight draft can shift papers or force doors to creak. Also, a heating or air conditioning unit can make unusual sounds that cause the house to "settle" in the middle of the night. Sounds that you may not notice during the day, may be magnified when the house is silent and everyone is sleeping.