Did you ever see or read “The Shining”? It tells the story of the Overlook Hotel located in the Colorado Rockies and the family that stays there to act as caretakers during the winter off season. It is a ghost story and I’ll admit a rather terrifying one (though in my opinion the book is way scarier than the movie), but the ultimate themes of the book are abuse, alcoholism, and madness. The book itself was a result of Stephen King visiting a place in Colorado called the Stanley Hotel and the Overlook is primarily based on that. The Stanley Hotel is allegedly quite haunted, though the ghosts at the Stanley are a tad friendlier than that at the Overlook.
I’ve mentioned some about “regular” hauntings in parts 1 and 2, as well as residual hauntings in part 2. (Please see Part 1 here: http://www.historynaked.com/hauntings-part-1/ and Part 2 here: http://www.historynaked.com/hauntings-part-2-anne-boleyn/ ) What I’m going to discuss here are more about what keeps a ghost from “crossing over”. Generally these are referred to as “anchors”. A ghost can anchor itself to darn near anything: A person, an unfinished project, unrealized potential, an object, a location… if it is a noun, a ghost can anchor to it.
When someone claims that a place or house is haunted, that is almost always not true. The actual incidents of ghosts haunting a specific location are surprisingly few: Most of the time they anchor to specific people. That can, with time, become a specific family line or bloodline, but that itself is rather rare. Usually when their anchor dies, they have the choice to “move on” or to linger… generally speaking, these are the spirits who become what is termed a “poltergeist.”
You’ll note I’m using a lot of quotation marks. This is to indicate that these terms are catch-all phrasing that doesn’t exactly apply to the situation but is the closest I could come without getting stupidly pedantic.
In the case of the Stanley, I would say that any haunting happening within is the rare locational haunting. Old employees haunt the Concert Hall, old guests haunt their rooms, all in all there is something about that location that attracts the spirits of the dead. Such things do exist and they are frequently avoided by the living because they are “creepy”. The fact that the Stanley Hotel has made a thriving business on their ghosts is a testimony to the determination of their board of directors and lots and lots of advertising.