What Is Haunted?

“Oooooh, I know that place. It’s haunted.”

Haunted. What does that mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the verb “haunt” can mean:

  • to visit often
  • to continually seek the company of
  • to visit or inhabit as a ghost
  • to stay around or persist
  • to appear habitually as a ghost

Thus, by definition, any place a spirit visits, regularly appears, or remains is haunted.  

We’ve all heard stories of haunted places, both near and far. Once unexplained activity is experienced, the story spreads like wildfire through dry brush.

Locations steeped in tragedy and emotional traumas are notorious for being haunted. Places of bloodshed, mass death, criminal activity, heartbreak, and mental illness top the list. Those which become well-known (infamous?) are typically locations that appear to have very strong and/or very active spirits. The activity continues to draw people, and the legend is born.

So are only certain places haunted? Or is there more to it than that?

Over the years, I have learned that people encounter spirits just about everywhere. In homes, in schools, in churches, in cemeteries, in cars, in middle of the woods, even on the side of the road. I, myself, encountered a fully-formed apparition in a department store, one of the last places you’d ever expect anything of a paranormal nature. The spirit world seems to know no boundaries.

If spirits are – or can be – just about anywhere, what does that mean? Perhaps the question we should be asking is not “What is haunted?” but “What is NOT haunted?”


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