Ghosts are a common sight and subject of lore in today’s world. People eager for the chance to see or hear one can often be found taking ghost tours or exploring long-abandoned structures. They appear to us in many different forms, whether it be mists, orbs, or full-bodied apparitions. However, not all ghosts are the same in intellect or interaction. There are two main types of spirit: residual and intelligent.

Residual Spirits

Residual spirits are usually not compared to the spirit of a conscious person. Instead, they are almost like an echo in a specific location of a person that once lived ages before. The sighting, whether it be a voice or a vision, is repeated continuously. Most often, it is due to a repetitious behavior that occurred in the place long ago, such as a bartender wiping down a counter, or even a man walking to work on the same street every day. They do not have a consciousness, do not see the living, and are only there with no interaction with anything in the present world.

Intelligent Ghosts

Intelligent spirits are a much more interesting, and sometimes more terrifying, type of ghost. These types of apparitions are fully aware of the living and interact with them regularly. They do not do this according to a routine and instead can be very random with where, when and to whom they appear. They have affected electronic devices, made loud noises, spoken to visitors, and sometimes physically interacted with people as well.


Poltergeists, a spirit best left avoided and cast out, typically cause the most problems. They have an amplified ability to alter and touch the world around them. Poltergeists are exponentially violent beings. They throw heavy objects, open doors, and even scratch and assault their victims. Because they are so dangerous and hard to live with, many people either flee from them or have them expelled in some way.

While ghost tours can be exciting and scary, it is always good to know of the different kinds of spirits one may encounter during these trips. At any well-known haunted location, intelligent and residual apparitions dwell. Not all will see you the way you see them. However, there may be some that will look you talk to you or even touch you to get your attention. Maybe you’ll be the next lucky person that gets to mingle with the dead.