Skip to main content

Unexplained Activity at Home: Is Your House Haunted?

Key Takeaways

  • 49% of homeowners believe their house is haunted.
  • 91% of those living in a haunted house attempted to remove the ghosts; 48% believe they were successful.
  • 32% of people living in a haunted house said they witnessed a disembodied face on their security camera footage.
Two women watching a scary movie on their couch.

Wandering spirits or groaning floors?

Creaking doors, hissing radiators, knocking pipes—houses can make a lot of noises that spook us in the dark. Some, however, have sounds and shadows that defy explanation. Are these bumps in the night caused by construction quirks, or are they the symptoms of a haunting? We surveyed 1,000 homeowners about their paranormal experiences to find out how many believe their home is haunted and what they’ve done about it.

Uninvited roommates

Spooky sounds and drifting shadows can leave you with an eerie feeling of unwanted company in your home. How many homeowners believe they’ve seen proof that their house is haunted?

Information about how many people think their house is haunted.

Living with paranormal experiences appeared to be fairly common, as 49% of homeowners claimed to live in a haunted house. Urban living seemed to invite the most ghosts; 57% of those who claimed their house is haunted were urban homeowners, compared to just 38% who lived in the suburbs. Spirits also may be drawn to the young: 65% who believed their house is haunted were Gen Zers, compared to only 35% who were baby boomers.

Hauntings are often experienced by people who have gone through stress or trauma—but could the same be true for the place where it happened? History seemed to play a large part in our respondents’ hauntings. For 40% of haunted homeowners, a crime, death, or tragedy occurred in their residence at some point in the past. If the deceased have unfinished business, they’re known to stick around.

The sights and sounds of a haunting

Whether due to trauma, tragedy, or even something mild, homeowners experienced a wide range of odd happenings. How did they respond?

Information about how people responded when they thought their house was haunted.

While just 28% of homeowners saw an actual ghost, most haunting experiences involved strange noises or the unexplained movement of items. Most respondents heard disembodied voices (30%), many heard stereos and TVs turn themselves on or off (27-28%), and around one-quarter heard appliances turn on or off on their own (23%). As for unexplained movements, 30% saw objects move on their own, 28% saw lights turn themselves on or off, 26% had things break without explanation, and 23% saw objects levitate.

These unexplained happenings compelled many homeowners to try removing their ghostly guests. While nearly half of those who experienced hauntings succeeded in this (48%), the rest either failed (43%) or hadn’t tried (9%). Others just wanted a closer look: 28% bought a security camera, 21% learned more about the history of their building, and 19% learned more about the history of their property overall. A few homeowners took drastic measures and sold their home (18%) or even tore it down (18%).

Paranormal, or just plain normal activity?

Though ghosts can be elusive, many paranormal occurrences can be recorded on video. That makes a home security system a great way to get to the bottom of things and prove whether or not a haunting is real. Was it a ghost or just the cat knocking something over again?

Information about about how home security cameras have assisted in catching paranormal activities.

Almost all homeowners who believed their home was haunted had security cameras (97%). That’s how they caught a wide range of spooky happenings on film, including disembodied faces (32%), ghosts (31%), spirits (29%), objects moving without explanation (29%), aliens or other weird creatures (25%), and UFOs (21%). After seeing such creepy recordings from around their home, most homeowners began checking their security systems two to five times per day (70%).

Not all of their strange experiences remained unexplained: 68% of people who thought they had a paranormal experience ultimately found out it was something else. Pets were the cause of nearly a quarter of mistaken hauntings, but most instances were caused by people. Friends, children, neighbors, delivery people, family members, random strangers, and maintenance or landscape workers were all commonly reported causes behind false paranormal activity.

Spirit-free security

While ghosts may be fun at Halloween, they’re not usually fun to live with. Almost half of the homeowners we surveyed have lived in a house they believed was haunted, and many of them eased their minds by investing in home security measures like video surveillance. Security cameras let you watch what happens in and around your home, while an alarm system can call for backup should an actual (living) threat occur. And as for those strange noises and shifting shadows, your security footage can tell you if they’re from a late-night neighbor or a ghostly guest.

Let’s be neighbors.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more smart tips.


Vivint surveyed 1,000 homeowners about their paranormal experiences. Of the respondents, 56% were men, and 43% were women. The generations surveyed were as follows: 11% baby boomers, 26% Gen Xers, 52% millennials, and 11% Gen Zers.

Fair use statement

Have you ever suspected that your house was haunted? Feel free to share this article with anyone you’d like. We just ask that you do so for noncommercial purposes only and provide them with a link to this page to give our authors their due credit.

Get a free quote today.

A Vivint Smart Home Pro will contact you within 24 hours. Or skip the form and call now: 844.481.8630.

Clicking the button below constitutes your electronic signature and consent for Vivint and its parent company NRG to use automated technology, including calls, texts and prerecorded messages, to contact you at the number provided about Vivint and NRG offers. Consent not required to make a purchase. Up to 10msg/month. Reply 'STOP' to opt-out. See Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

*Offer Details

Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

Third-Party Financing Options Available

Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

Vivint Systems & Services

System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.