HALLOWEEN today is about community and festivities despite being rooted in warding off ghosts, but how can you tell if your house is haunted? 

Bonfires and costumes, now novel, were once superstitious tactics to ward off ghosts as part of an ancient Celtic festival but today people welcome so-called ghost hunters in homes in a bid to connect with loved ones who they have lost. 

But a North-East paranormal investigator does not believe people are more likely to encounter spirits on Halloween, instead saying they are "always there if needed".

Sue Letton, who is part of Northern Ghost Nights, said: "People do believe the veil between our world and theirs [the spirit world] is thinner at specific times, like the 3am witching hour. 

"But I don't think Halloween makes a difference. Spirits are always there if they are needed."

Mrs Letton, who has been interested in the paranormal since she was a teenager, described ghosts as "residual energy" of people who are a time loop, unconscious and unaware of the world and people around them. 

She said: "They are on a higher and faster vibration, like a helicopter propellor we can't see but know is there."

While the terms ghost and spirit are often used interchangeably, the 46-year-old said they are different.

"A spirit is what will make contact with the living. Spirits can put thoughts and feelings in our bodies and minds to try to communicate with us," she said.

How do you know if your house is haunted?

  • When the temperature changes and you have nothing to explain it
  • When things have been moving and you find them somewhere else, or you see them moving - a common one, Mrs Letton said
  • When yourself or family members see figures 
  • Seeing lights out of the corner of your eyes but when you look, nothing is there
  • Strange noises, voices and your name being called when no one else is home and there is no other explanation 
  • The sensation of knowing you’re not alone when no one else is around, or that you are being watched 
  • Some people think spirits can harm the living, so waking up with scratches on your body or scratches appearing from nowhere
  • Appliances turning on themselves, like the bottle boiling or TV changing channel when no one is near the control.

"Most of this stuff has happened in my house to be honest," the mum said, while stressing all rational reasons for such events must be explored first.