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Residual hauntings are apparitions that are are always viewed repeating the same motions or scenes.


Restligeist is a German word from restlich (residual) and Geist (ghost).


Much like a video tape, residual hauntings are playbacks of auditory, visual, olfactory, and other sensory phenomenon which are attributed to a traumatic event, life-altering event, or a common event of a person or place, like an echo of past events. Some pretend that there is no intelligent ghost, spirit, or other entity is directly involved.


Alleged residual hauntings often center on moments of intense emotion: someone's beheading, a great battle, a murder, or even a celebration. The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, who was always seen moving down a hallway with a lantern in her hand is a famous residual haunting.


Residual hauntings are usually considered as a visual play back of a past event that has been imprinted on the area or building and is replayed back later when conditions are right. Since everything is made up of energy, the theory is that some of the energy from an event can be recorded by certain materials and played back when the energy is released just as a mere video recorder.

One of the first to promulgate the hypothesis of residual haunting was Thomas Charles Lethbridge in books such as Ghost and Ghoul, written in 1961. The subject was explored in Peter Sasdy's 1972 television play The Stone Tape, written by Nigel Kneale. The popularity of the programme has led to residual haunting becoming known colloquially as the Stone Tape theory.


  • Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.
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