Psychic Imprints

5th December 2021. Reading Time: 10 minutes General, Paranormal Theories. 1135 page views. 1 comments.

Could locations be 'haunted' by the psychic imprints of the paranormal investigators who walked the halls before them?

Often when people visit a location, they feel some sort of connection to it, even though it is the first time visiting.  For some, they feel like they have been there before.  Others just feel pulled or maybe even pushed towards it.  If I use the example of Black Rock House a location I have volunteered at for several years, people often just say "There is just something about this place!".  As someone that has spent many years delving into the mysteries and even missing and craving the smells and atmosphere it gives off, I certainly agree.  We visit time and time again, putting our love, energy and even experiences into the halls so many before us have walked.  Many would say such locations are haunted and there are certainly a lot of claims and even experiences I have had that make me wonder.  What is it though that is haunting these locations?  Some would say it is spirits - the souls or energy of people that were once living drawing us in and wanting to tell us their stories.  While one of many explanations, what if it were a slightly different take on a person's energy?  Could we be dealing with psychic imprints?

What is a psychic imprint?

People would have different thoughts on what they believe a psychic imprint is.  We as human and living beings that actually vibrate at a frequency said to be around 7.5Hz meaning we are made up of energy in a way.  From a spiritual perspective, a vibration is based on the idea that all matter in the universe is made up of energy that vibrates. That means it is not just us, but our surroundings as well.  In short, it is believed that we all just energy vibrating at a certain frequency.  If we are energy, it can be left behind and perhaps even absorbed, and that is what a psychic imprint essentially is.  It is us leaving behind a part of ourselves be it a memory, experience or even an event (doesn't necessarily have to be traumatic) with it.

According to an article I recently read, a psychic imprint as described by a psychic medium is:

A psychic imprint is a reverberation of sensation, an emotional recollection of an occurrence fueled by a powerful energy left by those who experienced it. It is almost an accidental brush with another's manifestation of spiritual energy.

I found this to be a really interesting description and something that many likely resonate with and why I chose to quote this specific example.  It explores the very simple and also quite conceivable notion that as people we leave our energy behind and others that follow are able to pick up on it.

So I have to wonder, are we encountering ghosts or is it just a whole lot of psychic imprints?  There is a theory many paranormal investigators are already aware of called 'The Stonetape Theory'.  While it is potentially not exactly the same as a psychic imprint, it is pretty close and deals with the same concept - energy being left behind.

The Stonetape Theory

While it is debated what the origins of this theory really are, the idea itself was put forward publicly in the form we know it by Thomas Charles Lethbridge. He was an archaeologist who became a self-proclaimed parapsychologist and in 1961 he released a book 'Ghost and Ghoul'. His theory was that ghosts themselves are not supernatural phenomena. His theory was that traumatic events such as murder or suicide could be absorbed by their surroundings most specifically a kind of moist rock or stone. After having an experience where he saw an apparition near a stream of water, he also believed that the water, forests, earth, and mountains could record imprints as they were charged by the ions in the air which allowed them to record these memories. Certain environmental conditions could release these 'memories' or someone with the right level of paranormal sensitivity could see this 'playback'. It was thought that the stone acted like a tape and could record and playback sound and images in the same way the magnetic tape does.  Throughout time dating back even further, there have been other claims of similar theories all with the notion that somehow some sort of inanimate object was absorbing memories, words, or energy. It was theorized, but not given a specific name.  The name came from a movie released in 1972 called 'The StoneTape' which explored this theory and the paranormal community adopted it as its own. 

It is thought by many paranormal investigators that this is connected to many hauntings in locations made of certain materials such as sandstone.  To read more about the Stone Tape Theory see my article: The stonetape theory 

The stone tape theory more deals with surroundings made a particular material absorbing the energy, whereas a psychic imprint doesn't necessarily rely on its surrounding materials, it is more focused on the energy or the event itself. 

Is the Stonetape Theory or Psychic Imprints responsible for residual hauntings?

Residual hauntings are not as obvious at first. This is because it takes a bit of investigating to realise that a haunting is residual. You hear noises, you start asking questions and again start asking once for yes twice for no but there is no response. Just a pattern of knocks. You feel there is maybe something there but it doesn’t seem to be communicating with you. This is because a residual haunting is some sort of memory captured in time. This memory is somehow imprinted into its surroundings. In a lot of cases, the memory is some kind of traumatic event. For example, there may be a location where at night a woman dressed in white (they are always dressed in white according to stories) is always seen walking down the grand staircase. It may be that the lady of the house would always walk the stairs at the same time every night and that this memory has been imprinted in time. When people spot this apparition and they try to communicate, she ignores them as if she doesn’t see them. That is because she doesn’t see them, she does not know they are there. It replays like a record over and over and over again. It could be a visual image like a woman in white or it could be a sound. Maybe in a house where there was a crime, you can hear a gunshot at a certain time at night. Again it is this memory in time replaying. It is not something you can communicate with as it is essentially a playback of energy. You can attempt to document it, but that is where it ends. 

While psychic imprints are largely connected with residual hauntings, we also have to explore the other possibilities, especially when it comes to living people.  If we all leave energy behind, how do we know that after we visit a location we are not leaving our own energy behind on something as simple as an object in a room?  


Psychometry is a psychical ability where a person is able to pick up an object and read its history intuitively. By touching the object, they may see impressions or images in their mind, they may taste or smell something, they may physically feel a sensation or they may even feel emotion. With psychometry, you are able to 'see' by using touch. A person who has this ability is referred to as a 'psychometrist'.  A lot of people who are psychic mediums often tell me that they can read the energy left behind on a physical item. For example, if someone who was a psychometrist was to wear my wedding rings, they would be able to get 'impressions' of my energy. Some people apparently work backwards and will pick up on the most recent person to handle the item whereas others claim they specifically target certain energy.  This is not thought to be its own form of a psychic ability like ESP or telepathy is, it is more thought to be a tool that someone uses to be able to channel their ability. In the same way, say someone may scry into a crystal ball or use tarot cards to aid reading, others may ask for a physical item of the person you wish to contact so they can concentrate on contacting this energy. It is in fact often compared to scrying for this reason.  A haunted object is something else entirely. It is the concept that a spirit attaches itself to an actual item.

While people who have this ability have probably worked on developing it, we cannot be sure that when a person goes to a location they believe is haunted and they have an experience by touching an object that are not picking up on the energy of a person who was in the room before them.  If we extend this idea, how do we know the energy that we pick up in a haunted location is not just the investigators who came there before us?

Are we the ghosts?

I have heard several psychic mediums explain that when they walk into a location, it takes them a while to 'sort' through the energy.  Often they are feeling or picking up on the energy of the people who have been there not so long ago.  We are not talking about the spirits or ghosts of the deceased who are maybe trying to communicate, but the energy and expectations of the paranormal investigators who have walked the halls looking the same spirits.  

Some believe a spirit can haunt an object (hence haunted dolls).  My unpopular opinion, but I don't believe this is possible, just through my own research. I do however think energy can be retained, but I don't believe a spirit can 'haunt' an object.  I believe we are more possibly picking up on energy or psychic imprint.   If someone has an object for example like a teddy that acts as a security blanket.  It absorbs their love, their fear and their emotion.  If it is held every single day and all that emotion released, if we do leave psychic imprints behind, this would be the perfect place to leave it behind.  So when people then 'pick up' things from that teddy, I don't believe their spirit has haunted the teddy, we are just picking up on the imprint they left behind.  That is just my own personal opinion.

There is an experiment within parapsychology called 'The Philip Experiment.  In 1972, the Philip Experiment was conducted where a group of Canadian parapsychologists met on a weekly basis for over a year with the thought that just by focusing on pictures and a story about a made-up 'ghost', that you could manifest this ghost just with a group of people focusing on this information. The experiment was led by a world-renowned self-proclaimed expert on poltergeists, Dr. A.R.G Owen. His goal was simple. Create a group of people (none of which were mediums or sensitive to the paranormal) and have them use their collective thought to see if they could conjure a ghost to appear.  After a year of failed communication, they finally made contact with the 'fake ghost' of Philip.  The experiment is often referred to by paranormal investigators showing how very easily our expectations and thoughts can possibly create our own haunting.

To read more about Philip:

This has been long, but I promise I am getting to the point.  If we can leave a psychic imprint behind and also create our own ghost just by believing in it, we do have to wonder just what it is haunting famous 'haunted' locations.  If you have ghost hunts happening at a place each week with people leaving behind their energy imprints and their expectations and experiences, is what we are dealing with really a haunting or is it more a manifestation of all of this collected energy coming in week in and week out? Are paranormal investigators unknowingly haunting our favourite locations?  This is not to say locations don't have resident spirits, I am just sharing some thoughts on a topic I find interesting, especially when paranormal investigating and dark tourism seems to be at an all-time high all over the World!  More to the point, is us trying to investigate the ghosts of our past slowly 'erasing' their energy and replacing it with our own?

I don't know the answers of course, I am just asking questions and would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences on this topic!  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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  • Tina Arakaki 2 years ago

    I agree!
    I also feel it possible, if not likely, that an investigator’s energy, and not a spirit, is manifesting through equipment such as the ghost box. Especially when responses line up with the preconceived story.