10/27/2011 02:31 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Theresa Caputo, Long Island Medium, Talks Haunted Houses (PHOTOS)

You’re laying in bed at night, about to fall asleep, when you swear you hear creaking on the steps. Alert, you keep listening, until it sounds like a door is being opened. You go investigate and notice a light is on that you knew had been off and goosebumps rise on your arm as a chill cools the air. Before you know it, you are camped out in the closet with a butcher’s knife, ready to fend off any supernatural attacks and asking yourself - is my house haunted?

To help us answer this question and get the inside scoop on haunted houses, we interviewed Theresa Caputo, a professional medium and the star of TLC’s ‘Long Island Medium’ (Sundays at 10 pm EST).

Have you ever been called in for a home-haunting?

“People ask me that question all the time when I’m over for dinner - ‘Are you getting anything from my house?’ But, nine times out of ten, it is just their loved ones that they are feeling. I have a cousin that passed and he was a plumber, so when my toilet runs randomly, I know it’s him. But, sometimes it is more. I walked into one home and all I saw at first was white light, a flash of blood on the walls and a priest standing in the corner. I asked about the history of the home, and it turned out there had been a murder and suicide there, but the house had later been blessed by a priest. It was a beautiful home that was full of positive energy and definitely not haunted.”

Do people often misinterpret positive energy as negative and haunting?

“All the time. It’s the unknown, people don’t know what they are sensing, so personal feeling of uneasiness or negative emotions get confused for a haunting. I never thought twice about my ability, but once I started asking others about it and my friends called me crazy, that’s when I started feeling negative about it. I needed to be educated and now I love my gift. I see things and think, ‘Oh my God, that was so spirit’.”

How can people know if their house is haunted or if they are misinterpreting the situation?

“Check for a standout occurrence, like things moving or falling off the shelves or clear shadows. One time, when my daughter was young, she started refusing to sleep in her room some nights. I sensed an energy had attached itself to her room, and I spend the night. I smelled an odd smell, and felt someone pull my hair and tug at my sheets, so I woke up and saw this little boy. He was just trying to play and did not mean any harm. Ghosts absolutely have personalities, which is another thing to look for, repetitive occurrences or ones with personality.”

What can people do if they think their house really is haunted?

“You need to re-command the space. If you move into a new home, or even just acquire antique furniture, protect yourself and your home in white light. Walk through your home and say ‘All energy, please go to the light and please respect my privacy.’ You can also burn sage to get rid of spirits.”

If you think your house might be haunted, you can always call in a paranormal investigator. But, before you run for the smudge stick, check out this slideshow on the seven most common reasons for haunted house paranoia and the completely natural phenomenons that cause them.