According to paranormal investigators, residual hauntings are the commonest type of haunting. It has been described as a playback of a past event.
These playbacks can result in repeated auditory, visual and other sensory phenomena. This is often attributed to a traumatic event or even a routine in a person’s life or a place. It is thought that unlike an intelligent haunting, a residual haunting does not involve a spiritual entity that is aware of its surroundings or the living world around it.
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.”