A haunted house is typically a house or other structure associated with paranormal activities, often believed to be inhabited by disincarnate spirits of deceased individuals who might have been previous residents or had some association with the property. The concept of haunting is often linked by parapsychologists to the residual impact of violent or tragic events that occurred in the past, such as murder, accidental death, or suicide.
However, there are more scientific explanations for perceived hauntings as well, attributing them to natural noises misinterpreted in structures, waking dreams, suggestibility, and the presence of toxic substances in the environment potentially inducing hallucinations.
The belief in haunted houses is relatively widespread. In a 2005 Gallup poll, 37 percent of Americans, 28 percent of Canadians, and 40 percent of Britons expressed a belief in the possibility of houses being “haunted”. This cultural phenomenon forms the basis for numerous tales, films, and Halloween-themed attractions, representing a blend of history, folklore, and popular culture.