Ghost hunting Basics
Ghost hunting has gained increased popularity over the years due to recent movies and television series. Paranormal investigation is no longer something strange or unusual; in fact it is becoming not only a hobby but at times a career choice. There are several things to consider when entering the world of ghost hunting. Many enter this field because they have unanswered questions regarding the afterlife, or just want to experience something that proves there is so much more out there than we as a society are led to believe. Whatever the reasons, there must be an understanding of the rules and guidelines to paranormal investigation
First; pick your location. Do the proper research on what the experiences have been and what type of entity you are searching for. This will help you prepare for the actual investigation. Always get permission to be on the property, never trespass under any circumstances. If you are unfamiliar with the area you may want to visit the location during the day to avoid any potential hazards in the dark. Try to avoid visiting locations alone, not only is it better to have multiple sets of eyes to review potential evidence but it is just safer. Always make sure someone who isn’t going to be with you knows where you are heading and there is a way to contact them if needed.
Second; get prepared. Be sure to dress comfortably and wear good walking shoes. Try not to wear any cologne or perfume so as not to affect other people in your team. Some experiences center around scent, such as an entity carrying the smell of roses, smoke, sulfur and so on. Keep supplies to a minimum and have a comfortable and convenient way to carry them. There are a lot of ghost hunting gadgets out there but some of these things can get pretty expensive. Start out with the basics. A flashlight, a pencil and notepad to make notes or reference back to previous research, a camera ( either film or digital), a voice recorder, extra batteries, baby powder (works great to capture ghostly footsteps), water, and of course a first aid kit.
Third; investigate. Once you have arrived at your location be sure to have a plan with your group and try not to separate if possible. Make sure you have referenced what you are actually looking for but try not to narrow your focus. Many times experiences occur that are different from previous reports. Remember what type of entity are you searching for, is it a residual or intelligent haunting, is it known to be shy, friendly, or ill tempered, are there certain things you can say or do safely to increase the chances of it appearing, is there a language the entity understands best, and is it a human or non human entity. Some people like to say or do something for protection before starting an investigation, this is up to you. Make sure to take a lot of pictures, do not just click once if you hear a strange sound, point and shoot randomly and often, you will have a lot to review later but it will increase your chances of seeing something paranormal. When using the voice recorder, be sure to speak clearly, any whispering done by you and your team may sound like potential evidence later. Find a “hot spot” or a location known for heavy activity and use your voice recorder to ask questions, allow enough time for an answer. You may not hear anything at the moment but upon review you may discover an EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomena. Once you feel you have thoroughly investigated your location, make sure you clean up anything left over and head home. Since many investigations are done at night, you may want to wait until the next day to review everything. Never look for evidence with tired eyes.
Fourth; review. This can be the most tedious and yet most exciting part of the process. Examine your pictures and listen to your recordings. If anything unusual is heard or seen, have a second or third person review it as well. Take into consideration anything that may have contaminated the film or audio, was the investigation outdoors, and were there animals, traffic lights, or other people that could have made the picture or sound seem ghostly. If the investigation was indoors, was it an old building, was there faulty plumbing or electrical outlets. If none of these things are possibilities, you may even have to return to the same location to try and recreate what was seen or heard.
Most of all have fun, try not to go into an investigation fearful, sometimes our own imaginations can run away with us and everything seems spooky like some old haunted house film with creaking doors and screeching owls. Just relax and enjoy the experience. Do not be disappointed if your first few investigations turn up with no ghostly results. Some experienced investigators have several occasions with no results. Each ghost hunt is a chance to try new techniques, test new equipment, and see new places; it’s all about opening your mind to the unknown.