We've all been there. You're alone in your home at night and you hear a strange sound. You know you're usually a rational human being, but tonight, you're positive that a ghost is trying to kill you.
We can't think logically all the time, folks. But if you're still convinced that you're hearing ghosts while you sit alone in the October twilight, here are some very practical explanations for what you're experiencing.
Lights flickering on and off.
This isn't a phantom trying to communicate with you. This is probably a matter of shaky switches and loose wiring.
Ghostly handprints on the bathroom mirror.
When someone puts their hand on the bathroom mirror, natural oils get left behind on the glass. Once you turn on the shower, steam will make this print visible long after it was actually made. Don't recognize that handprint? Looks like someone let the UPS man take a leak.
The TV show Ghost Hunters would have you believe that cold spots are signals of wayward spirits, but they're most likely caused by drafts and shoddy insulation.
Doors opening and closing on their own.
Again, drafts are probably the culprit in this situation.
Hammering in the walls.
You probably don't have someone buried in your house a la Edgar Allan Poe. There are lots of pipes hanging around behind the drywall that transport water throughout the house, so they're most likely to blame for that dose of terror.
Your ghostly stalker isn't messing with you. In reality, the window probably has a loose panel.
Water turning on by itself.
While it may sound like your ghostly houseguests are trying to wash their hands, you probably just have a leak in your home's fill valve. Basically, you should contact the plumber before you call the exorcist.
If your stairs creak, it's probably because they're old, not because you are being followed by the ghosts of tenants past. You can easily fix this by glueing a shim underneath the loose boards.
Microwave turning on by itself.
Ghosts aren't making invisible Poptarts in your microwave. If the cooktop is producing too much steam below the microwave, it might turn on as a response.
So there you have it! If the stairs are creaking and the lights are flickering, you probably just need to go to Home Depot. But if you're actually seeing the visage of a Victorian lady wandering around your house, I don't know what to tell you.