The Huffington Post | By Carly Ledbetter
Let's call a spade a spade: October is the spookiest month of the year. From scary Halloween costumes to creepy Jack-O-Lanterns staring at us from front porches, ghosts, whether you believe in them or not, are always on the back of your mind.
And for us, when the stairs are a little too creaky or a huge gust of wind blows the front door open, we definitely start believing our house is haunted. So we decided to call in John E.L. Tenney, one of the world's leading paranormal investigators in the world and the star of Destination America’s new TV show, 'Ghost Stalkers' to debunk and confirm the biggest myths.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions — and truths — he comes across regularly.
TRUE: Tenney told us that "the truer nature of hauntings is that they are far more subtle and vary greatly." So if you feel like someone tapped your shoulder in an empty room or house, you just might be in the presence of a haunted spirit.
2. Your furniture is constantly rearranging itself.
FALSE: According to Tenney, "there are no 'hard and fast' rules" when it comes to figuring out if a house is haunted or not, but there are certain things that will not occur, like a pet speaking multiple language or a box springs suddenly hovering three feet off the floor.
3. People have died in your house.
FALSE: "People believe that a death or tragic occurrence in a home means their house is haunted, but not even this has been a reliable indicator that strange manifestations must take place," Tenney explained. "Most homes have seen death or tragedy in some way and, indeed, they do not have what people call 'hauntings'.”
4. You hear strange sounds more commonly during certain seasons.
FALSE: In some of Tenney's cases, certain residents of "haunted" houses have reported weird noses that Tenney attributes to a change in temperature. He explained that wood, steel and other materials shrinking or expanding might be causing that bump in the night, especially during the fall and spring seasons.
5. You suddenly smell the perfume of a loved one.
TRUE: Just like something tapping on your shoulder when no one is home, Tenney said that the presence of a possible haunting experience "is as simple as smelling the perfume of a loved one who has passed away."
6. You've had a frightening experience in an attic, basement, crawl space or closet.
FALSE: "Reports of frightening experiences taking place in a home are also mostly based around confining and dark locations such as attics, basements/crawl spaces, and closets," said Tenney. "This can be attributed to our own human psychological fear of dark and constrictive spaces."
To further ease our minds, Tenney also said that a "quick look back through my files over the last 27 years shows that close to 98% of the cases I’ve investigated have had normal, if not readily noticeable, explanations." Though that doesn't completely ensure that we won't run into a spirit at some point, we'll keep this list handy just in case.