Do renovations amp up paranormal activity?

28th January 2018. Reading Time: 7 minutes General. 3548 page views. 4 comments.

It is a common theory often talked about by paranormal investigators. We don't know for sure it is speculation so lets look at how and more importantly why would renovations amp up activity (and if it even does at all)

It is a common thought amongst investigators that renovations on a building can stir up paranormal activity. With most things paranormal it stems from speculation and backed up by personal experience. Even so, there seems to be some merit to these claims to start a discussion. A lot of private cases report a surge in paranormal activity perhaps after moving into a new house and making renovations. They feel a spirit resident is not happy with the changes. Other people have reported activity which has led them to an odd item buried deep within the walls or floor like the spirit wanted them to find this item. So let’s look at this from an investigator’s point of view and not just ask the question if renovation sparks activity because you probably already have an opinion on this, but lets also look at 'why' would it spark activity?

Stonetape Theory

I love and hate the concept of the stonetape theory. I find it absolutely fascinating. It also offers an explanation for residual hauntings but it is not without its faults. The stonetape theory is the thought that energy is imprinted in our surroundings and can be replayed in the right conditions. We talk as investigators about experimenting with infrasound to almost ‘shake’ this energy out of the walls. The hum of the machines and frequency could hit that right note and cause this energy to be released. With this in mind, it would be quite possible to think that the loud bangs of a hammer in the wall, drills and the disarray of a makeshift construction site could possibly do exactly the same thing. The actual renovation itself could be triggering this residual energy to play. One of the theories that I love discussing is ‘why do spirits walk through walls?’. I think the below picture explains this perfectly.

Original source unknown

If it is a residual energy, they are not aware of your presence and hence why they do not communicate intelligently with you. It is merely just energy replaying over and over. Maybe where there was a door 100 years ago, there is now a wall. This energy does not know that the door is not there anymore. They will walk the same path that they have always walked so to us, it appears they are walking through a wall.

Intelligent activity

Not all energy is residual. If it was, then how would we get what seems like intelligent responses? We don’t know what a ‘ghost’ is, again we only can speculate. A popular opinion is that a spirit is someone who has passed on but still remains here. Maybe the house you have moved into was their family home for decades and it is where they want to remain. It would then be conceivable that they might get a little pissed off if you start changing everything. Maybe they want everything to stay the same so they are venting their frustrations in the form of making themselves known. I remember years ago attending a private case where a gentleman purchased a property which was quite run down. After he started renovating, the activity started. He at one point said he saw the apparition of a man who matched photos he had found in the attic. This man was nodding at him and almost giving him his approval. He felt that the man was happy that he was restoring the property and giving him his blessing. He felt he was also led to odd areas of the house by who he believes was the spirit of this man where he found items hiding in the walls and in the roof that belonged to this man’s family. At one point he found a box of photos where he was able to find a photo of the man that he believed he had seen. Again he believed that this man wanted him to find these items. Whether this is the case or not, it gave him the comfort that he needed to not only finish the renovations, but live there comfortably.

Is it the power of suggestion?

It is important to acknowledge as an investigator of course, that it is possible that activity does not increase at all during renovations. We just merely think it does because it is one of those common theories that isn’t really backed up by concrete data. A lot of renovations occur when you move into a new property. You are already unfamiliar with the surroundings. There is a phenomena called The new house effect which I have written about previously where people are not yet aware of the sounds a house makes. The floorboards creaking, the sound of the house settling can be un-nerving especially in the still of the night if it is something you are not used to. Some people can misinterpret this as being a haunting. If you are then renovating this house and hearing these noises, they are likely to be amplified because the house is in disarray. Planks of wood could accidently fall over and be misinterpreted as an angry spirit not liking the renovations. Again we have to remember that not everything is paranormal. This common theory of renovation amping up activity is quite prevalent in popular TV shows such as Ghost Adventures. Remember not everything on TV is 'fact'.

Do we cause the activity?

I have been exploring more and more over the last few years the concept of psi within the field of parapsychology. If you read this blog, you will have most certainly noticed this. Instead of activity being labeled as a spirit of a person who was once living, what if it was us that was causing the activity? By being in a property that is being renovated and already having the belief that it could increase activity, are we unknowing manifesting this activity ourselves? Particularly in a case where you are specifically going to a location to investigate that has been recently renovated with the thought in your mind that it will increase activity, could you be unknowingly causing this activity to happen? Much like in the Philip experiment where you have a group of people focusing on the 'fake' spirit of Philip to appear, if by focusing on the fact that there has been a renovation and that it will cause activity, could your group be making this activity happen? It is just a different way to look at things.

Do renovations really amp up activity?

In my own experiences as a paranormal investigator, I have noticed no significant increase in activity when a property has been renovated. There has been what I interpret to be activity, but is it higher than normal? No it is the same sometimes if not less than normal. The best example here I can use is Black Rock House. I am there on a fairly regular basis so I know what the common level of activity to expect is. They are often renovating and improving the house. I can say quite confidently that after this has happened, there has not been an increase in activity. There has been activity, but it is the same sort of activity I would come to expect even if there had not been any renovations. We ask the spirits, ‘Do you like the changes?’. We have received what appear to be intelligent answers which indicate they are aware that there have been some changes. To me again this does not suggest that the renovations have caused this activity, because it is activity I would expect to receive anyway. Is it again a case of where people are attending an investigation of a recently renovated property and because they are receiving responses they feel it is a result of the renovation? How do they know that they would not have received those responses had the property have not been renovated?

So to sum it all up, I personally don’t think that it ‘amps’ up activity. It is most likely activity that would have occurred anyway but perhaps is brought to your attention because of the renovation or seems like it is more significant because you are looking more closely for it. The only way to really measure this would again to be collect data. I have written an article 'Why we should be logging data to back up our claims' and this is the perfect example. So if you have an opportunity to investigate a property before an after a renovation, collect some data and log everything. Has there really been an increase in activity or is it activity that would have occurred anyway?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you think that renovations amp up paranormal activity? Tell me your experiences in the comments below.

Don't forget to LIKE the Facebook page for updates on new content

If you enjoy LLIFS, consider buying me a book (otherwise known as buy me a coffee but I don't drink coffee and I LOVE books). Your donation helps to fund the LLIFS website so everyone can continue to access great paranormal content and resources for FREE!

Follow LLIFS on Facebook

Don't forget to follow the Facebook page for regular updates 

Mailing List

Join the mailing list to receive weekly updates of NEW articles.  Never miss an article again!

Haunted Magazine

Buy the latest and past issues Haunted Magazine

Books by LLIFS

Check out the books written by LLIFS


  • Kenda Elise 5 years ago

    Very thorough piece! Love it! ~ From all the "Shhh-ing" that goes on in active spaces (Around here, I sometimes incur the rath by grinding coffee at "inopportune" times) ~ it's evident to me that Spirit values peace and quiet; That might have something to do with it ~ Even if they operate in a completely different "dimension," we can't possibly know how they're affected by what we do in ours (and some might just be grouchy, There's THAT). "Historic" homes that are in a constant state of reno might not be the best examples: It's possible Spirit just becomes accustomed to the activity ~ Entirely different situation from that of a dilapidated structure someone comes in and completely overhauls ~ ~ Good example: MAY-STRINGER HOUSE ~ historic home / museum in Brooksville, Florida. VERY "occupied" structure, always being worked on; But that's not the end of story ~ Every October the entire place is shut down, historic items removed and stored ~ and the staff (of volunteers) creates an absolutely incredible (uber-scary) Haunted House attraction! Do the "residents" ENJOY the experience?? That's debatable; Some staffers will tell you, "NO, they get upset." Some cite major malfunctions in the attraction's electrical devices as proof that Spirit isn't happy. Interesting case on all fronts.

  • DENISE Busse 6 years ago

    We have orbs in our town home but we are remodeling the home to put on the market but I was blow drawing my hair and the power switch went off all by it self then I turned the power switch back on but I was wondering if the spirits are mad that we are remodeling the home !!!

  • Aurora Hernandez 6 years ago

    Thank you for the post information I received last night me and my kids where watching tv in my Mom’s living room my daughter noticed that there where many flies in the roof of the living room my mom recently renovated her house she tore down a wall because it was falling apart she took down the old wall and put up a new one the thing here is the flys where hanging out in the area where the new wall is at The thing here is I know it’s paranormal because of the fact that we have left the doors open facing the street we have left the back door open and there has never been so many flies it was late at nine also when we noticed them during the day there was no flies it was late at night when we saw them my mother had to blessed her house because of something that happened a while back I think that the renovation caused for that old spirit to come back to the house so what we have to do now is Bless the house once more true story

  • Ashley Knibb 6 years ago

    Great post very good indeed. The Stone Tape Theory is indeed a prime example of where renovations may have an effect on the probable haunted location. Although I’m still not 100% sold on it as an explanation, I feel that elements within the environment (based on our sensory system) could trigger a telepathic interaction or access to the collective consciousness to obtain the information rather than an entity being present. Although in fairness that’s just my theory !