How to know if you have a ghost

It's a well-known fact that things go bump in the night. Most of the time, this is completely normal, due to a house settling and creaking or put down to the plumbing. But what about when strange and inexplicable events start to unfold without any seemingly rational explanation? Granted, overactive imaginations can be very efficient at creating situations that seem inexplicable at best, if not paranormal. But how do you know when you're being a little absent minded or if it's actually a poltergeist putting your keys in the toaster? Or if that sudden chill in the air is down to a draft or because there's a long dead, former resident of the house sitting by you? In other words, how do you know if you have a ghost?

Luckily, there are ways to differentiate between an actual supernatural occurrence and your neighbours banging on the adjoining wall. If you do think your home is haunted there are a few things you can look out for.

Inexplicable noises

Anything from the sound of objects being dropped to footsteps when you know you're alone in the house, constant bangs or scrapes against a wall or even whispered voices, moans and cries are all common signs of a supernatural presence and far harder to explain away.

Cold chills

Some will point to a sudden drop in temperature as an undeniable sign of a ghost. Check your heating's on first, but noticing cold spots is considered a definitive sign by many of a paranormal presence.

Objects disappearing

The good news is you might not be as absent-minded as you thought. Early onset Alzheimer's? No! You, my friend, just have a ghost. Noticing objects disappearing from their usual places and reappearing somewhere completely unexpected is a classic sign of a ghostly sense of humour.

Unusual smells

Getting an unexpected whiff of a perfume you know doesn't belong to you or someone you know can be a sign of a different kind of visitor, especially if it's something you're persistently noticing.

Mists or dark shadows appearing

When it comes to physical manifestations of a spirit, it could mean anything from a vapour to a dark shadow you notice out of the corner of your eye. Admittedly it could also be your eyes playing tricks on you, but don't necessarily expect a fully formed corporeal figure before you believe your house is haunted.

Flickering electricity

Lights flicking on and off, bulbs suddenly going out, even radios or televisions switching themselves on independently are all classic signs of the supernatural. Be sure to check your circuits, replace old bulbs and make sure you're not sat on the remote before you panic though. There could still be a very mundane explanation.

Objects moving independently

There's nothing quite like seeing a chair flying across the room to convince you your home has a supernatural resident. This one's fairly obvious but suffice it to say, if you see an inanimate object move independently, it's time to face up to the possibility that you likely have a poltergeist infesting your home.