Do you believe in ghosts and spirits?
If so, you're not alone. A recent poll suggests as many as 45% of Americans believe that apparitions from beyond the grave exist.
In fact, plenty of people will tell you they've seen a ghost with their own two eyes, and believe that these spirits can contact us.
Whether or not you're a true believer, you may have wondered from time to time if you share your home with a ghost.
Paranormal experts and psychic mediums who have extensively studied hauntings say there are 5 sure signs you're living with a spirit.
What do ghosts want?
Before we dive in to what ghosts look and sound like, it's worth asking why they haunt us.
"Although most people you ask would say old properties – or buildings that house many people, such as prisons, hospitals and castles," she explains, "the reality is that any property can be haunted, even a modern one."
As for the ghost's motivation, it seems like there are two main types: intelligent spirits who want or need something from the living, and simple ghosts who cause trouble just because they can.
1. Strange Senses
While most people think that you can't see, feel, or touch a ghost, plenty of ghost hunters say you can sense their presence.
The most common description of being haunted is feeling watched or spied on, or that someone is standing just behind you.
Some people even insist they can see their ghost out of the corner of their eye, but not in full view.
Even in bright rooms, ghosts seem to make eerie shadows bounce off the walls. But the most direct sense of all is a phantom touch, feeling the pressure of a hand that isn't there.
2. Physical Signs
Even if you can't take hold of a ghost, many hauntings include physical signs and feelings connected to the ghost.
If you've ever watched a ghost hunting show, you know that a cold spot, or a strangely chilly part of your home, is often associated with ghosts.
Some spirits who run hot will actually create a warm spot, which feels inexplicably toasty no matter the weather.
Watch out for physical signs one your own body as well: like goosebumps on your skin or when your hair standing on end.
These are evolutionary warnings that you are in danger, and you should heed them.
Finally, be on the lookout for ectoplasm, a mysterious, thick and viscous liquid left behind in some hauntings. Ghost experts say this is physical evidence of a spirit.
3. Emotional Red Flags
Along with a change in temperature, a spirit - even a friendly one - can bring a change of mood to your entire house.
Do you notice you always feel tired, depressed and upset in one part of your home?
Some mediums and ghost hunters believe spirits can carry their painful emotions with them, and pass them onto a human host.
Ghost hunter Greg Newkirk remembers one trip to Hinsdale House, one of America's most famous haunted homes:
"I noticed that my mood would change when we were in this building and I would have to keep leaving it regularly."
Thankfully, helping the spirit or expelling it from your home can bring balance to your feelings again.
4. Mysterious Behavior
When cartoonist Adam Ellis first noticed he was being haunted (his encounter with an evil spirit named Dear David is now famous) he noticed his cats were acting oddly.
At midnight, the animals began waiting at Ellis's front door, as if they could sense someone on the other side.
Plenty of other haunting victims say their cats and dogs have acted in similarly creepy ways.
But ghosts can make objects misbehave too.
Appliances can turn on by themselves, and clocks might freeze or break. Newkirk describes seeing "books thrown through the air by an invisible force."
Even Johnny Galecki, the star of The Big Bang Theory, said a hood light in his haunted cabin exploded on a friend who had disrespected the spirit living there.
5. Repeated Actions
There are three types of haunting, but they all feature some type of repeated action.
The first is an intelligent haunting, where the spirit seems to have an agenda with your home or the people living in it.
If the spirit in your home interact with you, the upside is it should be easy to drive out (keep reading below to learn more).
On the other hand, a residual haunting is more specific. It involves some kind of repeated action (slamming doors, strange voices at night, paintings falling off the walls).
Experts say these hauntings are harder to deal with, because they seem to be connected to the property, not the spirit haunting it.
There's one more type of haunting to discuss, but first let's learn how to drive ghosts out of your home.
How can I get rid of a ghost?
If you are being afflicted by an intelligent spirit, making them leave you alone could be as simple as asking nicely.
Mediums say you can command the ghost to leave your home or stop haunting you. It helps to speak in a firm, confident voice, while visualizing your desire.
"Sage is great but in my opinion, it's a little overrated because it's harsh. It's so cleansing it almost creates a vacuum."
Once you've cleansed your home with the purifying herb, you should try to "fill" that open space with positive energy to protect yourself from more spirits.
What is an intentional haunting?
Before you call for a medium or exorcist, consider that you may be dealing with an intentional haunting.
Ghost hunters use that term for hauntings caused by the home owners themselves. Negative energy, a recent crisis in your life, or a medical condition could make you experience all the telltale signs of a haunting.
It's worth asking if the ghosts and spirits are all in your head before resorting to a higher power for help.
But if cultivating a positive attitude and focusing on yourself doesn't make the ghost signs disappear, you know who to call.
And how can you tell a guardian angel has your back? These are the 10 signs to look out for.