Investigating the Psychological Phenomenon of the Haunted House

Nashville Haunted HouseJust about all kids recall a haunted house somewhere in the neighborhood where they grew up. Maybe it was the Old Widow Mason’s house with its overgrown vines and weeds and its stories about how she murdered her husband. Children have such vivid imaginations that they can’t help but concoct tales like this and the spookier the better.Did you know that over 40% of Americans do believe that a house can be haunted? Literature throughout the ages has been filled with spooky stories of haunted houses. Over the centuries many authors have specialized in this area adding to this eerie phenomenon. Edgar Allen Poe is one of our major authors who wrote many stories and poems about the dead and the undead. His book, “The Fall of the House of Usher” remains quite popular today though it was written in 1845.

The Amityville Horror is a favorite haunted house movie from the 70’s and most of us still tune in if we see it on the program schedule. People still talk about and make references to “The Shining” by Stephen King. This author is our modern day Edgar Allen Poe and he has given us dozens of great stories about haunted houses and spooky creatures, many of which were made into movies that we all probably own.

Though most of us don’t understand the psychology of the haunted house, we love to sit around campfires and share stories of this one house we used to walk past after school and how there were always strange sounds emanating from it and eerie figures appearing in the windows. People around the globe believe in a paranormal world inhabited by ghosts, goblins and madmen with hatchets.

Alfred Hitchcock was one of our best known 20th century story tellers who believed in the strange world we cannot see. He created madmen like Norman Bates and places like the Bates Motel in his movie, “Psycho” which still ranks as one of the best scary movies of all time. The scene where Lila carefully moves through the Bates home and into the cellar only to find the dead and decaying body of Bates’ mother, is one of the scariest moments in film history.

The idea of stealthily moving through an old haunted mansion with its creaking floors, cobwebs and ghostly figures in the shadows will get the hair on your arm standing up quickly. A chill will run through your bones. Your senses heighten. Suddenly, you become aware that there might really be such things as ghosts, werewolves, madmen and Frankenstein monsters. Who knows? One of these ghoulish creatures could live right next door to you. Perhaps he’ll slip through an open window tonight bringing his hatchet, searching for new victims. He could be in your closet waiting even now….