by Karen Frazier

Every soul I encounter – whether attached to a living or dead person – has its own unique “signature.” This signature is easy to understand when you think of a living person. Take a moment to think of someone you love. Close your eyes and put yourself in that person’s presence. There is a “feel” to that experience that is unique. If you switch to a different person in your mind’s eye, then the feel of the experience most likely changes, as well.

It is my experience that each person has their own unique feel – something I refer to as their spiritual signature, energetic imprint, or vibration. This is true for all living things – humans, plants, and animals. Some have very strong signatures, while some are much quieter. Some people’s energy fills up a room, while others keep it very contained. For example, sometimes you may enter a seemingly empty room but know someone is there out of sight because their energy fills the space. Likewise, you may enter a room where someone is sitting quietly and have no idea he is there until he speaks. In the first case, you quickly became aware of a very large energy imprint. In the second, the imprint was more contained and therefore less easily detectable.

Detecting Energetic Imprints

It’s likely you read spiritual signatures without even realizing it. Have you ever had an experience where you think of someone you haven’t seen in a long time and suddenly you run into her? Have you ever known who is calling the moment the phone rings? Chances are, you encountered that person’s spiritual signature and translated it into thoughts about that person. Have you ever known someone was watching you because you got that “feeling?” That’s you sensing another’s spiritual signature as it is focused on you.

People have varying levels of sensitivity to spiritual signatures. Some people are highly attuned to them, while others barely notice them. However, as you begin to work with recognizing energetic imprints, you will get better at detecting them.

What Is an Energetic Imprint?

So what is a spiritual signature? I believe it is the collective energy a soul has accumulated throughout lifetimes of incarnations, as well as experiences in the soul state. As souls move though their various experiences, they gather energy. These experiences – both in lifetimes and in the place where we go between lives – shift and change the energy of each soul, leaving an indelible imprint. Because no single soul has all of the same experiences, no soul gives off quite the same vibrational energy, so it can be relatively easy to differentiate between the way one soul and another feels.

When we are incarnated, the strongest vibrations in our energetic imprint are the experiences from this lifetime. The energy from those experiences overlays the imprint that has been there since the birth of our soul, so it is the easiest to detect. However, as we grow spiritually throughout our lifetime that overlay of life energy starts to integrate with our soul’s overall energy. After we die and go to a place of healing, it becomes fully integrated.

How We Interpret Energetic Imprints

As living beings, we mostly interpret our world through our five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, and sound. With a living soul – that is, one who is currently incarnated in a living body – we have these sensory inputs to provide us with information about the person standing before us. Because we have such concrete and sensory information available in a way that makes sense to our human experience, we often pay little attention to the spiritual signature the soul also emits.

Encountering Spirits

What happens when we encounter a discarnate soul (for lack of better words, a ghost or a spirit) that doesn’t provide us with any sensory information? Now all we have is an energetic imprint. Because we can still feel the spiritual signature but don’t have the sensory inputs to put a face to the feeling, we may get a little creeped out. However, what we really are experiencing is the same thing we’ve noticed all along when we’re in the presence of the living – minus the sensory inputs.

If we are in the presence of a soul who still has attachments to some of the negative events and feelings in his life, that signature may feel a little (or a lot) darker, but that doesn’t mean it is an evil spirit or a demon. It merely means that the soul needs help moving on to a place of healing where he can integrate and learn the meaning of those experiences so the darker energy can be balanced with all of the light that exists in the soul. A very difficult lifetime can leave a dark imprint that may override a spirit’s inherent light until such integration occurs.

Since some people are less attuned to spiritual energetic vibrations than others, one person may encounter the feel of a soul very strongly while another barely notices it. In the case of spirits with very strong energy, even the least attuned may be able to sense them.

Spirit Communications

Spirits may wish to communicate with the living for a variety of reasons. For example, a spirit may be highly identified with who she was in her most recent incarnation. Therefore, she may believe she is earthbound until some issue that occurred in her life is resolved. Likewise, earthbound spirits may want to interact with the living, just as they did when they were alive.

Spirits that have crossed over may wish to communicate with the living for various reasons, as well. For example, a spirit on the other side may wish to help a loved one cope with a particularly difficult time. When these spirits wish to communicate, the easiest way to do this is telepathically. For instance, communication may occur in dreams, or it may occur via a person highly sensitized to spirit communications such as a psychic or medium.

In the absence of the ability to interact telepathically, spirits may up the ante by seeking to communicate in ways that the living understand – through sensory inputs. In these cases, spirits may try to affect their environment physically by creating sites, sounds, smells, tastes, or touches. I believe that when these things occur in hauntings, they are attempts to communicate with the living.

While receiving sensory inputs that come from no concrete source can definitely feel disconcerting, it doesn’t need to be a scary. We may be fearful when spirits attempt to communicate in such ways because we have no context for the sensory inputs we are receiving. Likewise, our cultural fear of death, as well as our uncertainty about the unknown, combine in such a way that we may interpret spirit encounters as frightening experiences.

Earthbound Spirits

I look at it a little differently. I believe spirits are people without bodies. They have shared our experience of being human. In fact, the likely reason they remain earthbound as a ghost is because they are still very attached to the human experience and unwilling to let go or afraid to move on. The issue arises when these spirits believe they need to remain earthbound for some reason. In most cases, this is a false belief that ties them to the earthly plane when they should be moving into their soul state, which is a place of great light, beauty, love, compassion, healing, and learning.

Helping Spirits Heal

Even those spirits with energetic imprints that feel the darkest deserve compassion. Those are the spirits that are the most tied to who they were in their last incarnation. They have forgotten the source from which they came, and they can’t remember their true nature, which is that of love and light. If someone can help them to move on, then they can enter a place of healing.

When I communicate with a spirit, I always attempt to discover what is preventing them from crossing over. The reasons vary – from fear of judgment to attachment to loved ones who are still alive. My goal in working with spirits is resolution – that is, helping them to resolve whatever is causing them to stay so they can move on to a place of healing and integration. It is not possible to force a spirit to cross to the other side, but it is possible to help them understand it is in their best interests to do so. In some cases this resolution occurs instantaneously. In others, it may take a great deal of dialog spanning hours, months, or even years.


People often mistake spirits with a dark imprint from their life experiences for demons and other dark energies. However, the two are very different things. Demons and other inhuman creatures are entities of darkness. Fear is the single largest generator of darkness in our universe. I believe demons are a manifestation of mankind’s innate fear of evil created by either collective or individual consciousness.

When we spend a great deal of time giving attention to or fearing evil, we create a place where darkness can proliferate. To ameliorate such darkness, all we need is light. When you light a candle in a dark room, the darkness ceases to exist. Darkness cannot continue in the presence of light. Love, kindness, understanding, and compassion are the antidotes to fear and its manifestations.

Demons are religious constructs and best dealt with via the church. Because belief in and manifestation of such entities arises from a religious frame of reference, I believe they must be dealt with within the same context, which is why Roman Catholic exorcists and other members of the clergy are effective in removing such entities.


Another type of spirit one may encounter is the inhuman. These spirits are souls that have never had an incarnation as a human. Because these entities lack the context of the human experience, actions and behaviors that seem perfectly normal to them may be confusing or frightening to us. When fear enters, it becomes very easy to misinterpret the energetic imprints or actions of inhuman entities as dark or evil when we just don’t understand them and they don’t understand us.

I find that the most effective way to work with inhuman entities is through firm communication. Let them know how their actions affect you, and set ground rules. For example, if you experience an inhuman in your home, you might tell them they can’t come inside, or that they must leave pets and children alone. Setting firm boundaries can help inhuman entities better understand the human experience and interact more appropriately.


Poltergeists are manifestations of psychokinesis (PK manifestations). They can be very frightening to the living because of the active nature of psychokinetic energy. For example, in poltergeist cases items may fly across the room, liquid may seem to ooze from walls, or doors may open and shut seemingly by themselves.

PK manifestations almost always come from a living human agent. They occur when someone has a great deal of suppressed or unexpressed emotional energy. This energy builds up in the living agent until it releases itself in the form of a PK manifestation. Emotional turmoil that can lead to PK manifestations runs the gamut from normal teen angst and relationship issues to unexpressed creativity or severe stress.

While PK manifestations are often very violent and scary, the solution is relatively simple. The person causing the poltergeist activity needs to find a new outlet for their unexpressed emotions – whether it is via talk therapy or through other stress relieving techniques such as meditation or martial arts.

Living Souls

In some cases, people may encounter living souls - that is spirits who are currently incarnated who are energetically out of body for one reason or another. These souls may be traveling in their dreams, meditating, remote viewing, astrally projecting, or having an out-of-body experience. Unless these souls identify themselves to us as spirits of the living, we will very likely assume they are manifestations of discarnate spirits.

Other Manifestations

In some cases, people may manifest (or summon) their own ghosts. There is a well-known experiment from the 1970s called the Philip Experiment in which a group of Canadian researchers set out to manifest their own spirit. They created an environment where they gathered to discuss this ghost, who they named Philip. They gave Philip a history and then all acted as if Philip was a reality. Soon, Philip did exist, communicating with the researchers in various ways.

Many debate how to interpret the Philip Experiment. Some say that the researchers manifested a ghost out of thin air. Others say that the researchers pulled information about Philip from the collective energy that holds all knowledge and then summoned a ghost that already existed.

We live in a very paranormally friendly world right now. At any given time on television, you’re likely to find at least one program about the paranormal. Likewise, paranormal books and movies featuring ghosts, ghouls, zombies, werewolves, and vampires are at the height of popularity. There are also a number of celebrity psychics, mediums, and ghost hunters. This inundation of paranormal information may be causing some to manifest or summon their own spirits out of a vivid interest in the paranormal. The collective fascination with ghosts, spirits, and psychic energy may also be creating an environment that is more conducive to spirit encounters than at any other time in human history.

Thinning the Veil

Some suggest that the reason there is such a collective interest in spirit communication at this time in history is because the veil between this world and the other side is thinning. Others suggest that humans are raising their vibrational energy in such a way that spirit communications are more possible now than they have ever been.

Whatever the reason, many people believe they are encountering discarnate spirits. Many are excited by this possibility and actively seek out spirit communication as a form of entertainment. Others seek spirit communications out of curiosity and a wish to offer scientific proof to the world about the existence of ghosts. Some may wish to explain encounters they’ve had in an attempt to prove to themselves it really happened and they aren’t crazy. Others seek to communicate to help the spirits find resolution so they can begin a journey of healing.  

No matter why one choses to interact with spirits, they key is this: spirits are souls and deserve the same kindness and compassion that you would like others to show you.