Sheffield Paranormal Investigations

Established 2002

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Phenomena & Anomalies
  The report can be found below
Here we try to explain the causes of the most common types of anomalies, phenomena and hauntings in an unbiased way
The views expressed are not necessarily the beliefs or ideas upheld by Sheffield Paranormal Investigations or its co-founders
If anyone has any example photos, comments or information they wish to add. Please contact us.


Scientific explanation:Orbs are balls of light that are caught on video, film or by digital camera. In most instances orbs are caused by particles of dust and water caught in the very short focal length of digital cameras, sometimes they can be caused by insects or malfunctioning camera diodes. You are less likely to capture 'fake' orbs if you use a 35mm camera using photographic film with a standard lens in normal light. It is preferable not to use a flash as this could cause a reflection simulating an orb.

Spiritual explanation: Orbs are believed to be the first manifestation of spirit. They can appear in various colours and varying degrees of density. Some may even appear to have faces, figures or a swirling pattern, possibly energy moving around, in them. Some people believe that if you take a photograph of a Medium or a Healer when they are working you are more likely to get orbs if the Medium or Healer is projecting their spiritual powers.



Scientific explanation:Mists can be attributed to normal causes, fog, heat, moisture. Smoke from fires, cigarettes, etc. Breathing out near the camera lens. Reflective images from camera flash, etc.

Spiritual explanation:Many people believe that a mist can be spirit trying to manifest and that it can be the first stage towards full manifestation. Others believe that mist is ectoplasm, a viscous white substance which is said to be released from the orifices (mouth, nose, sometimes ears) of a Medium and used by spirits to take on a physical form. Ectoplasm is said to be a cold and moist substance, responsible for the production of various materialisations outside the Medium’s body.



Semi-Scientific explanation: It is believed that when the body dies, that is all that dies. The body is just an outer shell for the energy inside. In the first law of thermodynamics (also known as the law of conservation) it is defined that energy can neither be created or destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another. All living things possess energy. So, when a person or animal dies it is only the body that dies, the energy is released into the universal environment. It is believed that this energy still retains the person or animals traits and personality. So nothing really changes, except that the energy is no longer contained in the body. The human eye may not be able to see this energy, but film (photo, video), audio recordings, and other types of media can possibly pick it up. Ghosts do not always appear as full manifestations, it is very rarely that total manifestations have been photographed. Spirit energy can fall into several catergories: orbs, ectoplasm / mist, vortex and apparitions.

Spiritual explanation: A ghost is said to be the apparition of a deceased (once living) person (or animal), frequently similar in appearance to that person (or animal), and usually encountered in places he or she frequented, the place of his or her death, or in association with the person's (or animals) former belongings. The word "ghost" may also refer to the disembodied spirit or soul of a deceased person (or animal), or to any spirit that may not have quite made the transition from this world to the next possibly due to an untimely death such as murder, suicide or an accident. This is not always the case sometimes a spirit will not realise they have passed or was so happy in a place that they choose to remain there.. Ghosts are not usually dangerous, although they can sometimes be a bit aggressive.

A place in which ghosts are supposed to appear is described as haunted.



The primary distinction between spirits and ghosts is that ghosts are earthbound, whereas spirits have allegedly passed on to the light and are free to move between realms. Both types are known as discarnates (without a physical body). Just as people are different, so are spirits. The spirits that you encounter will come in different forms, shapes, and sizes.



Anniversary / Recurring: Ghosts that appear on a certain time, date or anniversary; usually annually

Apparitions, disembodied spirits: Certain gifted psychics see these kind of spirits on a regular basis but for many normal people it is a rare occurrence. Catching an apparition on film is what everyone hopes for but seldom happens. These spirits usually show up in a transparent human form and wear the clothing of their time period. They normally appear faint and incomplete. You could have an apparition standing right next to you but it will not necessarily show up on film.

Battlefield Ghosts: These resemble an actual reenactment of war.

Corner of Eye sightings or Shadow Ghosts: These ghosts usually appear as a shadow. They have slightly more form than mist.. They are usually spotted out of the corner of your eye or as they are just disappearing.

Deathbed or Crisis Spirits: These are very common sightings of spirit. Sometimes a ghost of a deceased person will visit a relative or loved one at the moment they pass away. Many people recount stories of seeing grandparents, parents etc. stood at the bottom of their bed and then find out later that this person passed away at the time they saw them.

Familiar Spirits, Dopplegangers, Fetches, Wraiths: The alleged appearance of the spirit of a living person is quite common. In Germany, they are called doppelgangers, which means, "double-goer," and it is believed that seeing your own double is an omen of impending death. Queen Elizabeth I of England found this to be true because after she died one month after she saw her double. As legend goes, you are not supposed to accept food from your Doppleganger because if you do they can steal your soul. In Victorian England these spirit doubles were called fetches, or familiar spirits, so named because of their striking resemblance to a living person. The double acts independently from the person and is not attached to the person. Some people refer to a doppleganger as a wraith.

Family member spirits:These are Ghosts that are connected to a particular family, they often come to warn family members of dangerous situations or to give, or pass on, a message.

Graveyard Ghosts or Spectres:These are believed to be the etheric remnants of a person after death. Typically seen as dark, shadowy forms they usually do not communicate or talk and are commonly found in graveyards days or weeks after a burial, they are scary but not dangerous. Legend has it that people were buried alive in new graveyards to create a guardian, known as an ankou. Personally I don't think that the majority of graveyards are haunted being as the soul or spirit would have left the body long before it was interred there.

Historical Happenings:These ghosts tend to be energies left over from historical events. They are a type of atmospheric ghost except they can sometimes be seen in more than one location (e.g. Mary Queen of Scots). They are usually non-interactive, so they fall into the catergory of Location Based. Typically dressed in clothing from their time period. They often appear fairly solid.

Imaginary (Invisible) Friends, Spirit Guides, Guardian Spirits: Some of you will remember a ghost from your childhood who you talked to and played with. These companion spirits are sometimes deceased family members or the spirit of a child that lived in the property or the surrounding area. Most people would say these were imaginary friends. Most Mediums and Psychics have, what they refer to, as a spirit guide or a power animal who assists them with their work and gives protection from harmful energies.

Incubus and Sucubus, Entity: These are sexually orientated spirits, usually malevolent. Legend says that they suck the energy from the person under attack. Sometimes a person can be visited by the 'essence' of someone who is still alive and this can feel almost solid yet cannot be seen. If anyone needs more information because they are experiencing this please contact me.

Intelligent: This type of haunting can be experienced in any location, at
any time, especially when an area is known to have a reputation for unexplained phenomena. This type of haunting is believed to have some level of "consciousness" about it. This basically means that the spirits are able to interact with individuals on the physical plane in the same way that a living person does.
If you experience this type of haunting, the following may be observed and/or felt:
1) Full body or half body apparition, a mist, or similar.

2) Sensation of being touched by invisible hands.

3) Hearing voices, or whispers.

4) Objects may be moved, knocked over, opened, closed, etc.

5) Smelling certain scents, this can be any type of scent or odour. You may smell a floral scent, tobacco, cooking smells or even a very strong displeasing or unpleasant odour.

Mirror:These apparitions are seen in the reflections of water, mirrors, etc. but do not appear as a direct image.

Object Apparitions:Manifestations of ghostly items (Apports) which can be natural or manmade objects.

Out of Body: The appearance of a living person who is actually in another location. They are not necessarily ill or dying, and can be either solid or translucent. Some claim to recall their out of body experience and can give verifiable details about the location where they were seen. This is very robably related to Astral Projection.

Phantoms: These are ghosts which so closely resemble the living that people do not realise they are ghosts until they do something uncanny, like walk through a wall. A phantom is a ghost that appears in the same form and same localality constantly. The phantom or spirit will become such a common occurrence that it will assume an existence of it's own. People will come to expect to see it and project their own expectations so that the phantom or spirit will often appear to do exactly what is expected of it, e.g. Phantom Hitchikers or Travellers who often appear on the anniversary of their death.

Phantom Craft: This is the appearance of some type of transportation that no longer exists. Often associated with the final moments of a tragic event in which the mode of transportation appearing met it's demise. The wreckage itself can have energy attached to it in such a way that it has become haunted. There are certain types that are not necessarily relegated to one location, but can be seen anywhere that it would have normally been seen during it's pre-spirit existence. Some examples of these are cars, trains, ships, airplanes and carriages.The Flying Dutchman is a famous example and usually sighting one is a bad omen.

Photographic: These are Ghosts that are not seen until after a photo is taken and examined. These may appear as orbs, mists, shadows and other unusual light or optical effects. There are many varied theories on this subject.

Poltergeist: Poltergeists (German for "noisy spirit") have been known to physically interact and even attack the living. It is common to see things being moved, shaken, and/or thrown. They may not be "mean" or "evil", just active, wanting to let people know they are there.
These spirits tend to generate in areas where there are pubescent children usually teenage girls. Hauntings are usually associated with places of strong emotion. Adolescence is one of the most stressful and emotional times of a person's life. Perhaps the effect of this stress may attract the hauntings. Another theory is that the focus person in the household may be a natural medium or suffering from repressed emotions and that these emotions are somehow outwardly manifested, which means the person themselves may be causing these things to happen without realising it. It is also common for an area that has this type of haunting to experience random cases of spontaneous combustion.

Religious: Some people believe these to be appearances of Angels, the Virgin Mary, saints or other religious/spiritual figures.

Tragic Ghosts: These include Grey Ladies (the ghosts of women who died due to sadness because of lost love or betrayal). These can be white, grey or black.
Sometimes these ghosts or the ghosts of murdered children, etc., will appear as glowing bright spectres.



The manifestation of a ghostly presence, or presences, attached to a specific location.



Anniversary Ghosts: Anniversary ghosts do, as the title suggests, only appear on an anniversary of some significance like deaths, birthdays and other times that held some meaning for the deceased or are of historical significance (historical ghosts) to them. Perhaps an important event in life or an important lesson that they feel has not been resolved at the time draws them back. Since this type of ghost only appears on the anniversary of a special event, it seem likely this type of haunting could also be referred to as a 'residual or recorded' haunting, re-enacting a certain event in time on or near that specific date once a year. As our calendar changes with leap years so do the various days in the year, this may account for the slight changes in the date when anniversary ghosts are seen. These ghosts are always seen in the same location. They never alter in their actions and don't react to attempts of communication, although they may sometimes appear to do so. Interestingly, unlike recordings, anniversary ghosts seem to be aware of our presence.

Apports / Teleports: This is the paranormal transference of an article from one place to another, or an appearance of an article from an unknown source. Apports are often associated with poltergeist activity, and on rare occasions are said to be witnessed landing on the floor, in a person's lap or dropping from the ceiling. This term is also used to cover materialised objects produced by mediums during seances. These objects can range from flowers, jewellery, and even live animals. Sometimes objects will disappear rather than appear, these may be found days, weeks, months or even years later in another place or the same place they disappeared from; sometimes these objects never reappear.

Attached Ghost: Sometimes a person who was very attached to their belongings or home will become active when their former homes or possessions fall under new ownership. This does not necessarily mean that they disapprove of the new owners, they may just want to make their presence known. Sometimes, though, they will be so possessive of their former home that they show their distaste or disgust at any change especially when the home is being redecorated or remodeled.

Haunted Objects: Instead of haunting a location, a particular object is the anchor for a ghost. This is when the memory of who the object has been owned by and where it has been throughout its 'lifetime' is recorded within in the molecular structure of the object. If several people have owned the object or it has been in several locations this information can be obtained from the object, usually by a Medium holding the object and tuning into it (this process is called Psychometry). Sometimes a ghost / spirit will be so attached to an object that it may be able to imprint its personality onto it, it is also possible that this object could be used as a portal for the ghost to manifest.

Random /Classic/Entity Haunting: This is defined as an interactive ghost which does not fall into any special category. This can be a phantom, apparition, presence, or even unexplained events which occur in a certain location randomly, or unexpectedly. These can be 'one off' or recurring.

Residue haunting -Recordings and Replays: All natural materials such as stone wood, earth, metal, etc., have their own unique structures, properties and energies, but they can be altered by their surrounding environment and affected by geological conditions, temperatures and changes. These materials can, and do, absorb the conditions in the atmosphere; including intense stressful traumatic and emotional feelings. These feelings can be anything from love, to hate or fear. (Also some non-natural materials, will hold these energies but in a different way).
When any these materials absorb an event it is recorded upon their molecular structure, the information is retained, 'memorised' if you like, to be played back at a later date (sometimes for ever). If the conditions are right for this particular phenomena to occur it may happen on a regular basis, sometimes daily or even hourly if that is when the event took place in its own time.
This theory is more speculation than fact as the exact combination of these conditions are not known. It is believed that certain disturbances in the atmosphere create a breakdown or change in the molecules or energy particles of these materials, which in turn open them up for recordings, replays or playbacks of happenings or events.

These 'recorded or residual' hauntings are like a video tape being played over and over again. Sometimes you may be able to record the sound of them.
They are usually experienced in the same location and can be as a result of a traumatic event happening at the location, or by someone performing the same action over and over at a location, e.g. unlocking a door at a certain time of day every day of the year. A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on a building or area, a prime example of this is a Battle Field. There have been numerous accounts of people seeing soldiers fighting battles on old battle fields, only to learn later that day that there were no reenactments going on that day. Sometimes you may not actually see these actions but only hear them, footsteps walking down hallways or climbing stairs, doors opening and closing.



Portals: Portals are a common concept in science fiction and fantasy/ horror fiction. They can be of two forms: either you must step through the frames of an object (a mirror, doorway, cupboard, picture frame, gateway etc.) which serves as a portal. When they stand alone, the portal will commonly appear in the form of a vortex of energy. In the real world portals are considered controversial as there is little known and the idea is mostly theory or speculation. Portals are thought to be doorways to another world or dimension which entities can travel through. It's speculated that portals are not limited to one location, region or limited to sacred ground. Places that a portal will link to include; a different spot in the same universe (in which case it might be an alternative for teleportation); a parallel world (inter-dimensional portal); the past or the future (time portal); and other planes of existence, like heaven, hell or other afterworlds. Theory has it that places that experience a wide range of different types of paranormal or anomalous activity such as orbs or light balls, strange shapes, unexplained mists or fog, weird creatures, etc. are suspected to have a portal in which these energies are traveling back and forth. A portal in fiction is a magical or technological doorway that connects two distant locations. I personally think a prime example of a portal to the spirit world is the one created by the use of a Ouija board, this is why it is essential that it is used with respect and properly closed down after use.

Portals are similar to the cosmological concept of a wormhole, and some portals work using the wormhole.

Wormholes: The name "wormhole" comes from an analogy used to explain the phenomenon. If a worm is travelling over the skin of an apple, then the worm could take a shortcut to the opposite side of the apple's skin by burrowing through its center, rather than travelling the entire distance around, just as a wormhole traveller could take a shortcut to the opposite side of the universe through a topological tunnel. In physics, a wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that is basically a 'shortcut' through space and time.

Vortices: A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent, flow of fluid. Any spiral motion with closed streamlines is vortex flow. The motion of the fluid swirling rapidly around a center is called a vortex. The speed and rate of rotation of the fluid are greatest at the center, and decrease progressively with distance from the center. When fluid is drawn down a plug-hole, one can observe the phenomenon of a free vortex.



Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are sections of static noise on the radio or electronic recording which some listeners believe sound like voices speaking words, and which paranormal investigators interpret as the voices of ghosts or spirits. Recording EVP has become a technique of those who attempt to contact the souls of dead loved ones or during ghost hunting activities. According to parapsychologist Konstantin Raudive, who popularized the idea, EVP are typically brief, usually the length of a word or short phrase.
Skeptics of the paranormal attribute the voice-like aspect of the sounds to apophenia (finding of significance or connections between insignificant or unrelated phenomena), auditory pareidolia (interpreting random sounds into voices in their own language which might otherwise sound like random noise to a foreign speaker), artifacts due to low-quality equipment, and simple hoaxes. Likewise some reported EVP can be attributed to radio interference or other well-documented phenomena.

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