The True Nature of Residual Haunts

Written by Mark Hunnemann 😎


I hope you all are doing well. A series of unprecedented demonic attacks has left me trembly–gripping white-knuckled to Jesus–as has the topic at hand–which I believe is the cause of these attacks. My goal is to bring every thought in subjection to Christ; particularly regarding all things paranormal. Perhaps no concept is more widely and confidently held in the paranormal community than that of a residual haunt. If you have read my book, then you will know that I gently, but firmly beg to differ. I do not believe in the category known as residual, and in this letter I will explain some of what is at stake and a few other musings.

For the sake of those without prior knowledge, a residual haunt is a paranormal hypothesis which states that inanimate

materials can absorb some form of energy from living beings, during moments of high tension (eg traumatic death). This stored energy can be released, resulting in a display of the recorded activity. These ” hauntings” are not intelligent but simply non-interactive recordings similar to a movie or a tape recorder.

Thomas Lethbridge spoke of this phenomenon in Ghost and Ghouls in 1961. Earlier discussions of this theory date back to the late 19th century. The hypothesis was jump-started in the 1970’s in the play “The Stone Tape”. Currently, residual haunt, like verbal solicitation of EVP’s, is held so firmly that its truth is seldom questioned, except by a few academics. I will talk more about this next time, but the paranormal community is what sociologists would call a plausibility structure. It enables belief of certain unconventional concepts to be easily believed. Due to shared assumptions about reality and a common web of beliefs, there is a safe environment for certain concepts to be deemed plausible and firmly believed. Unconsciously. certain beliefs become axiomatic… unassailable. The notion of a residual haunt has attained such status, in my opinion, with virtually everyone in a monolithic consensus; just a few (one, that I’m certain of) in the paranormal community would take exception. The point being, there are psychological and sociological forces at work, which makes my attempt to persuade an especially challenging task. Lest you think my discussion of plauibility structures is a put down (which it is not), the local church should be a plausibility structure…making folks feel safe to believe, in a culture which is becoming increasingly hostile to Christianity. It is simply a sociological perspective. Having blown the whistle on soliciting EVP’s, this is a futher attempt to help people I care about.

Let us think for a moment about the significant ramifications of this belief. Even if you jettison intelligent human haunt and poltergeist (as I have argued on here), it is still the belief of many Christian investigators that, over three-fourths of legitimate paranormal or supernatural activity is residual.The inference being that real demonic activity is a small percentage of true supernatural activity. .A moments communion with common sense reveals the crucial role, for good or ill, that this omni-accepted belief entails.It either has tremendous explanatory power (85% of paranormal phenomena), or Satan has us whipped. The stakes are high and Christians cannot afford to be wrong on this one–too much is at stake.Let me use an anaolgy to illustrate the latter–Satan has us whipped.. BTW, if you are feeling a negativity in your gut right about now, it may be due to the influence of the plausibility structure. There is reason I mentioned it…

The drug cartels in Mexico and elsewhere take for granted that a certain number of drug shipmets coming over our border will get nabbed. In fact, at times they will intentionally send a decoy in order to distract away from a larger shipment. The point being that the cartels are willing to take some losses, as long as the bulk of the drugs is getting across and their profits are running high. Similarly, if all residuals are really demonic, then the vast majority of demons will not be detected during investigations. Even if you do a walk through, quoting scripture, praying, and digital recorders running, that is not going to be sufficient in exposing all demonic activity. If a full cleansing (commanding in Jesus’s name any demons present to leave) is not done, then we have no biblical warrant to expect demons (especially stronger ones) to make their true identity known. Sure, the reading of the bible and prayer is irritating and painful, but all they have to do is ride it out… as long as they are not commanded in the name of Jesus to leave. The demon knows in advance that all it has to do is either shut up entirely or play-act as an imprinted memory, and they will be left alone. It is not uncommon for a demonically active location, to suddenly become very quiet when we come snooping around. Time is different for them… they can hide in a crawl space for weeks until the threat is over. Like the cartel ,they know a certain .number of detections or losses are inevitable, but as long as the majority of demons are identified as residual, then they are homefree.

Since 85% of this demonic activity is presuppossed by investigators to be residual in nature, they can afford a few losses; the majority are slipping past and the human profit (carnage) is high. If demonic activity is relatively rare, then why are so many investigators having “visitors”… Because Ed Warren tended to “search the cars for drugs” via biblical provocation, his educated analysis was that abot 50% of paranormal activity was demonic; when biblically provoked, the seeming non-interactive entity or activity suddenly became quite interactive! We need to ask: why was his percentage so much higher than ours today… (sorry, q mark bit the dust) As we’ll see next time, could it be that we have unconsciously become methodological naturalists…

Christian, what is your text for residual haunt…. Okay, then I plead with you to really listen. I know the bible is not primarily a science text book, and many wonderful discoveries have been made that are not mentioned in the bible.(when it does touch on matters relating to history or science, the bible speaks truth; the full inerrancy of scripture) Before we talk science, I want to make two comments. First, as with any area of life, longevity can work against you… if bad habitsor beliefs have been reinforced over long period. The longer you believe in residual haunts, the more it will affect your perception of the data. As Michal Polanyi pointed out, there is a tacit dimension to scientific observation.If you presuppose that 85% of paranormal phenomena is residual, it HAS to affect your perception of paq seee ranormal data. None of us is a tabula rasa… a totally clean slate, devoid of any subjective influences. You will “find” evidence to support what you already believe.We see reality through our worldviews; the key is to examine our deepest assumptions and make sure they are really true.

Which brings me to my second comment, what are your criteria for identifying a residual…. Think of the parallel with the criteria for determining a demonic haunt, assuming for arguments sake, there are four types of hauntings. Both are beset with copious amounts of subjectivity; which can sometimes lead to making snap judgment calls. Are there not certain phenomena you automatically assume are residual…… Why don’t you forcefully and persistently command that residual, in the name of Jesus, to leave– biblically provoking to identifying itself is problematic– and see what happens. I’ll come back to this. The stark reality is that there is wildly divergent ideas of identifying residual. Think of what you would quickly assume is residual… footsteps… a voice that does not answer your question… an apparition going through an old door…an infant cry. If Satan and demons can mimic and morph into any shape they wish (angel of light principle 2 Cor.11:14), then why not deceive by pretending to be non-responsive…. What you clearly see as residual, I clearly see as demonic. Unless you biblically provoke or cleanse the house, what prevents that demon from fooling you… Are we so naive to think that they would not pull that kind of stunt… Are they not capable of playing “re-enactment” at Gettysburg when humans do it all the time… My first visual supernatural experience was in a Revolutionary War battlefield in my hometown. It was a shadow figure in full military garb.. Before it floated off, it stared at me… it was very much intelligent.

This is warfare friends, and as Washington showed us, deception via fakery is crucial for success.Given what I know about demons from the bible, there is not a single residual encounter you have allegedly had that they are not capable of mimicking Do you ever think about that….. PLEASE…do not ever under-estimate the power of demons to decieve, and that is precisely what the hypothesis of residuals does, in my opinion..If you say you know it is not intelligent because you don’t observe any intelligence, then you are guilty of circular reasoning…. Demons are masters at jibberish. Even in a situation where I was actually speaking to a demon in a possessed person (please don’t do that), it spoke alot of jibberish, so much so, if an investigator heard a recording of it, most, I think, would assume it was residual. It did the same with my cell… moronic stuff.which didn’t make a lick of sense.So, I have a precedent for an unmistakably intellgent entity speakig in a manner that MADE NO SENSE.. It was intentionl unintelligibility or non-intelligent. As I’m typing, demonic sounds were just heard in my house… Satan hates my deception exposure regarding residual–I have never been attaked like these last few days as I worked on this.. and doing this can be lonely and dangerous.

What concens me is the intensity or tenacity of belief in residuals, in light of the paucity of scientific evidence. Thus far, no scientist has proposed a mechanism for this theory… no mechanical explanation. The kind of energy neeeded and the means by which the “playback” is triggerred are both unknown, which renders this theory untestable. An untestable theory is not science. Merely giving an analogy does not scientifically explain it. In fact, they raise more questions, than answers. Think of the standard digital recorder analogy, and how much engineering effort and intelligence was needed to contruct something that would collect and play back sounds…the intricate work to collect information.. All proposed theories, like water memory, are not even close to explaining how a traumatic event can deposit energy in a memory absorbing substance. As science and scientists are becoming increasingly wed to a New Age paradigm, there will no doubt be efforts to explain it via a monistic multiverse…. energy is ultimate reality. This is not an option for us, as believers in the Logos. If you say something often enough, even the most preposterous notion will sound rational.Strictly speaking, this is not even a paranormal event, if we take the theory at face value. Assuming it is true for aguments sake, it is simply a normal event (albeit bizarre natural event)… like other bizarre occurrences in nature. It should then be explainable scientifically.

Consider this: the vast majority of traumatic events do NOT eventuate in a residual haunt. It would be difficult, but just contacting the police and checking through their daily logs will prove my point. If a theory does not hold true for most cases, then it is not science. Think of all the tragic things that occur everyday in your hometown:; why don’t they leave an imprint that is verifiable…. I admit there are alot of seeming residuals, but again most traumatic events don’t imprint. If they don’t show it, then please don’t say they are invisibly imprinted. How is one event “chosen” over another, or many others… Who or what is making that decision… What is the equivalent of the finger on the recorder… what triggers a “playback”..Often it is said an anniversary will cause a residual to trigger.. How can an anniversary trigger anything when it has no ontological status.. it has no being… it is merely a date… Folks speak so confidently about a prison or insane asylum being filled with bad energy…. all the trauma. We have to face the fact that one second after a murder takes place, it is history. The soul passes into eterntiy, and there are no trauma energy clusters. It is stretching the limits of plausibility to think of a traumatic death causing energy to be aborbed in the surrounding environment…. but to go further and say that these non-intelligent energy clusters, somehow cause a visual or auditory “playback” is downright absurd. A non-intelligent cluster of energy lies dormant, it somehow summons itself out of slumber, then displays a verifiable activity which no inanimate object could do, and then it melts back down into its energy den to take a nap, a year later it summons itself up… and on and on. NO!

At the heart of this is energy… energy which allegedly gets trapped. The paranormal community will often appeal to the first law of thermodynamics in its explanation of ghost formation… energy is neither created nor destroyed. Fine.. think about the second law. I remind you that the laws of thermodynamics are absolute. These laws of nature (of God) extend across the spectrum with no known exceptions. (black hole arguing is a black hole). This law of entropy says that, once an energy cluster is released from its container, it will disssipate… until equillibrium is reached (3rd law).. unless it is altered by an outside source.The point is this:even if there was a phenomena of energy dispersion from traumatic event to surrounding environment, that energy would immediately begin to disperse in all directions. The idea of energy imprining is oxymoronic. Putting those two words (or realities) together… juxtaposing them, is massively contradictory, because it breaks an absolute law of God in nature. Energy cannot penetrate someting and just sit all clustered together, waiting to be resuscitated. IF…. if energy flew out during a traumatic event, then it would disperse until equillibrium was reached. There is no outside force holding them together like super-glue. When you put a few drops of food coloring in a clear glass of water.. what happens… After a few minutes it will have spread out in every direction… changing the color of the water. In like fashion, that is what energy does when a cluster of it is released into environment. I read an academic paper by a parapsychologist regarding the theory of ghost formation and he said that this phenomenon mysteriously circumvented he second law of thermodynamics. I realize he’s talking about ghost formation, but it is a parallel to energy imprint formation. My guess is he would say the second law was circumvented here as well. It is interesting to me that a parasychologist would recognize this serious problem, but circumvented is not the right word. Ghost formation doesn’t just go around entropy, it clearly CONTRADICTS IT…..and that is generally called a miracle. The law of entropy would have to be broken for energy imprinting to occur. It would take an intelligent and powerful force to keep these truama cells together.

If it walks like a duck… Is it not troubling that these residuals often look, sound, and smell just like their living demonic counterparts, except they don’t appear to be aware of your presence… Is Satan not capable of miking this concept for all its worth, and assigning many demons to act as if they were not intelligent….. I have seen how a few teams make the incredibly significant determination that something is residual, and it is frightenly subjective and arbitrary; little methodical analysis regarding making sure it is truly non-intelligent. Because, from all their years of experience, they “have learned how to spot it”.

God-like….that is the word that comes to mind when thinking “who has the ability to definitively determine if someone possesses intelligence…” The mere fact that someone is paying you no mind, is not sufficient reason in itself to dismiss it as non-intelligent. It just seems odd to me that God would create situatons where that terrible burden is put on our backs.I guess I see this judgement call in a different light.

The way some folks talk it would appear that a traumatic mode of death has some kind of living reality attached to it. Please don’t take this as being insensitive, but once a person dies a traumatic death that is a fact of history one second later. Neither history nor the adjective traumatic can cause anything, because they are a no-thing; they don’t have ontological status either–just like an anniversary doesn’t.. A non-intelligent entity will not recognize an anniversary. The mechaism is MIA…. just as it is in macro-evolution…

Of course, the client is the one who most needs for you to be right on this topic. If I am right.. (fill in the blank)……..

It is so like Satan to make the vast majority of “hauntings” appear to be innocuous. The one indisputable fact is that he has the ability to mimick what we call residuals (I think he is working to find the New Age science to support the notion). As a Christian, the final concern is the glory of our heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Again, if residual haunt is fiction, then God is being robbed of much glory.

I will say it again, if you have a suitably trained clergy or demonologist. then biblically provoke and cleanse the purported residuals and see what happens. This is a verifiable and falsifiable theory. But if you try it be VERY careful because you are dealing with a determined, deceitful, and wicked demon, and depending on its strength, it might take some persistence. I gave this alternative because I didn’t want to merely analyze residuals, but also give you something you can do. Truly, the best approach, from a.biblical perspective, would be to cleanse every house you find, paranormal activity in… and to do it as quickly as is feasibly possible. Finally, please forgive me if I gave offense in anything I said. or how it was said.

Soli Deo Gloria! Mark Hunnemann

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