12 Signs of Ghosts in Your Home

Are Ghosts Real? Encounters with ghosts are more common than you might think. In Great Britain, 28% of those polled said that they’ve felt the presence of a supernatural being, and 34% said they believe in ghosts.

In fact, people have reported encountering many different types of ghosts, from poltergeists to possessed humans to animal ghosts.

Ghost walking through a doorway in black and white

But how do you know if you might have encountered a ghost? And what do you do about it if you think you have? Signs of ghosts in your house can certainly because for concern. Whether you suspect you’re dealing with a friendly Casper or a disgruntled poltergeist, here are some telltale signs to look for.

12 signs of ghosts in your home

1. Cold Spots and Temperature Changes

If you notice a pronounced and sudden drop in the temperature of a home, it could be a sign of ghosts or paranormal entities. They’re often found in abandoned buildings.

Localized cold spots can occur anywhere in a home, and they can move around. They don’t always indicate a ghostly presence: Check for open windows or areas that might admit drafts, an open refrigerator, etc., to rule out other explanations. But cold spots linked to paranormal activity are normally areas of still air rather than produced by moving air.

Cold spots that may indicate paranormal activity don’t tend to be just marginally cooler than the surrounding area: They can be 20 or even 40 degrees colder than an area just a few feet away.

How Paranormal Investigators Read Cold Spots

Paranormal investigators often use infrared thermometer temperature guns to measure drops in temperature at locations of suspected hauntings. These temperature guns can tell you the surface temperature in one second, and they typically come with an LCD, so they can be read easily, even in the dark.

Thermal imaging equipment is another important tool. Thermal imaging cameras can show you the shape of a cold region. If it happens to be in the shape of a person, it’s a good indication you may have found a ghost.

2. Flickering Lights

If lights flicker unexpectedly, it could be a sign you’re in the presence of a spirit. Of course, there can be obvious reasons for this (loose wiring, worn connections in the breaker box, or faulty light bulbs, for example).

But if flickering lights persist even after an electrician has ruled out any electrical issues, they can because for suspicion when considering the possibility of a haunting.

In my investigations, I’ve noticed ghosts may cause lights to flicker for a few reasons. One is to get your attention and let you know they are there. And the second is they may be drawing energy from the light source to use for other activities.

3. Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Spikes

An electromagnetic field, or EMF, is a combination of invisible magnetic and electrical fields, which can be either natural or human-made. The latter can occur around power lines, cell phone antennae, or microwaves, or can be generated by TV and radio waves, or X-ray and ultraviolet technology such as tanning beds.

A spike in EMF readings where no natural or human cause is apparent can indicate the presence of a ghost, but EMF spikes are difficult to read without equipment designed to detect them.

Why Do Ghost Hunters Use EMF Readers?

EMF readers are designed to detect fields emitted by electrically charged objects as they move. According to one theory, the conscious mind contains an electromagnetic field; if ghosts retain consciousness after they die, this field could continue to be present.

Investigators sometimes experience EMF spikes shortly after encountering cold spots, thus confirming the possibility of a paranormal presence. EMF readers can be valuable in identifying paranormal activity in an area.

4. Doors Slamming and Other Unexplained Object Movement

Unexpected and unexplained movement of otherwise stationary objects in a home can indicate the presence of a spirit. Examples might include doors that slam without being pushed or blown shut, dishes rattling, or chairs being pulled out or pushed in at a table.

Consider Setting Up Cameras

If you notice something has moved without explanation, set up a camera with the lens trained on that area. One tool that can help is a full spectrum camera, which can pick up portions of the light spectrum outside our natural field of vision — including potential ghosts, which may appear only in the infrared and ultraviolet ends of the spectrum.

5. Unpleasant or Unexplained Smells

We depend on our sight so heavily to show us what’s happening in the world around us that we sometimes forget to pay attention to our other senses. But ghosts can signal their presence if you notice phantom smells such as cigar smoke, cologne, perfume, food cooking, bread baking, etc. These smells, which have no apparent source, tend to provide a link to something distinctly personal about a dead person’s life.

Ghost hunting equipment to use at home


6. Feelings of Being Watched

Ghosts have a lot of time on their hands, so it’s no surprise that they might spend a lot of time taking in what’s happening around them. People who encounter ghosts often have a sense that they are being watched when they’re alone.

Ghosts may watch people for various reasons depending on the type of ghost involved: They might be possessive of their dwelling (perhaps it was their permanent home in life), mischievous, or just curious. Some ghosts have been known to carry this sense of curiosity — if that’s what it is — even further by touching people who are in “their” space.

7. Shadows and Apparition Sightings

Have you ever seen unexplained shadows in a place where the light is at the wrong angle or not strong enough to cast one? If so, it’s possible you have encountered a ghost. At times, you may see fleeting shadows out of the corner of your eye. In these cases, you can use technology like a Shadow Master, which is designed to detect shadow figures using a light sensor.

Sometimes it might be more than a shadow. Some people say they have encountered apparitions in a waking state. Apparitions might be ghosts, but there are other potential explanations as well. Apparitions (related to the word “appearances”) might even be scenes or inanimate objects.

8. Hearing Your Name Called or Disembodied Voices

Hearing is another sense through which ghosts can be detected. Disembodied voices may indicate the presence of a ghost. Sometimes, they may even call out your name. A good external microphone can help you pick up these voices more clearly and provide better sound quality on playback.

How Do Ghosts Communicate?

Ghosts may communicate audibly on different radio frequencies, so it can help to have a device similar to a radio to pick up what they might be saying. They sometimes don’t communicate verbally, but through white noise — on all different frequencies at once.

A spirit box can help capture these sounds in addition to spoken language. It works by allowing you to scan multiple FM and AM frequencies at once without having to stop on a single station. It will only do so upon detecting voices or other audio.

9. Unexplained Technological Failures

Technological failures aren’t limited to flickering lights. Other electronic devices, such as computers or televisions, might turn off or on unexpectedly for no apparent reason. Another common occurrence is battery drain, which is why paranormal investigators advise ghost hunters to take along extra batteries.

Ghosts require energy to make themselves known, and they often take this energy from your batteries. So if you’ve brought along battery-powered investigative equipment, taking along some spare batteries is a good idea, or you might find your power drained by the very entities you are trying to find and whose existence you want to document.

10. Abrupt Sounds and Knocking

Knocking sounds can be a sign that a spirit is seeking to gain entry or attract your attention. Other abrupt sounds can also be an indication of an attention-seeking spirit. The sound of footsteps where no one else is present might also indicate a ghost is near.

11. Communication in Dreams

Many people report seeing deceased relatives or other loved ones in their dreams. While some of these dreams may be the product of the mind coming to grips with a person’s passing, others may be vehicles for the departed to communicate with the living, often trying to tell them they’re OK and not to worry.

Dream states, in which the mind is otherwise at rest and not distracted by the waking world, can provide the ideal context for the departed to communicate with the dreamer.

I’ve noticed ghosts find it much easier to connect with us whilst we are in a meditative or sleep state. This is why many experiences occur just before, during or just after sleep

12. Emotional Projection

Do ghosts have feelings? And if so, what do they do with them? Evidence would seem to indicate that they do: from anger to possessiveness to boredom, spirits seem to have and express various emotions. Ghosts may even project these emotions onto people who live in a space they occupy, sometimes passing along what they experienced in their final moments to the living.

The ghost’s state of mind at the time of their death can influence how they behave in the afterlife.

What To Do About Paranormal Activity

None of these signs can establish the presence of a ghost conclusively, but the convergence of several signs at once can increase the probability. For people who believe they have encountered a ghost, there are methods that have been effective in getting rid of them — or at least the phenomena attributed to them. Here are some of them.

How To Get Rid of Ghosts

How to get rid of ghosts


Consult paranormal experts or paranormal investigators: People who have experience dealing with ghosts can help you determine what steps to take and may be able to offer help.

Hire a psychic medium: A medium is someone who may be able to facilitate contact with the dead. Before hiring one, however, it can help to do some investigating of your own: Find out whether they’ve been successful in the past and whether other clients can vouch for them; ask them a test question to see whether they can provide a specific answer; and trust your instincts.

Cleanse your home: Letting in fresh air and light can be effective in banishing spirits, or at least forcing them back into hiding. You can also try sprinkling sea salt, burning sage, and ringing a bell as you go throughout the home, respectfully claiming your space and telling the ghost to depart.

Final Thoughts

Homeowners can find potential hauntings particularly troublesome because they may be locked in a battle of wills with a paranormal entity over possession of a house.

If you’ve been experiencing unexplained phenomena in your home, you might be dealing with a ghost. The first step is determining the likelihood that your place is haunted. Having the proper ghost hunting equipment and knowing how to use it can help.

If it seems probable that a ghost is, in fact, present, you can take steps — either on your own or with the help of an experienced paranormal investigator — to either remove the spirit if you feel it’s negative or it tries and communicate and verify the existence of a suspected spirit inhabiting it.

The good news is that most ghosts aren’t harmful. I believe that, while some ghosts may certainly have negative intentions towards us, many of them do not wish us harm and just want to let us know they are there. It’s not uncommon for our loved ones to check in on us now and then.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!