Humor Paranormal & Ghosts What is the difference among a ghost, a poltergeist and a haunting? Share PINTEREST Email Print Paranormal & Ghosts Ghosts Mysteries Haunted Places By Stephen Wagner Updated March 18, 2017 Question: What is the difference among a ghost, a poltergeist and a haunting? Answer: Despite popular belief, there are distinct differences among ghosts, hauntings and poltergeists: Ghosts are thought to be the spirits of people that have been caught between this plane of existence and the next. They are intelligent beings, often capable of interacting with the living. Hauntings are recordings of an event on an event on an environment. They do not interact with the living. Poltergeists are neither ghosts nor hauntings, but are caused by the unconscious mind of a living person, usually under some kind of stress. It is worth noting that a combination of these phenomena can occur in one place. One can effect or even trigger another, which is why a variety of such phenomena can be found in a "haunting." Also note that these are the generally accepted definitions of these phenomena, although no one really knows what causes them. There could be psychic causes or even quantum explanations for them. What we know for certain is that they do occur and have been reported for many thousands of years.