Ghost Hunting for Beginners


With the growing number of ghost hunting shows available on television the interest in this field has never been higher. Amateur ghost hunters are taking to the field in record numbers, and many do not have the skills needed to be both safe and effective.

Interest in the paranormal is certainly not new and continues to become more mainstream as time goes on. Watching shows about ghost hunting can fuel curiosity in searching for spirits; however, some expertise in investigations will come in handy when attempting the search.

In order to help you with you ghost hunting experience, Help With Ghosts And Hauntings I have put together a ghost hunting for beginners list tips and advice to make your ghost hunting adventure not only more successful, but safer and more interesting. You would be surprised at how a few professional, simple guidelines can make all the difference in your first ghost hunting experience.

Preparing For A Ghost Hunt

Before heading out to hunt ghosts, it is a good idea to understand the difference between ghost hunting and ghost investigation:

* For serious paranormal investigators ‘ghost hunting’ technically means going to a location that is not known to be haunted and searching for some sign of spirits. Taking pictures, video and EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) in the hopes of getting some proof. Informally, ghost hunting can also mean gathering a group of individuals interested in ghosts and hauntings and checking out a location for ghosts as an adventure.

* ‘Ghost Investigation’ formally entails going to a known haunted location and gaining the required proof. Often the owner of the property will need answers, and has requested the presence of the group; hence it is the ghost investigative group to do research and provide those answers. Ghost investigations can either be by invitation or organized specifically to investigate a location reported to have had paranormal events occurring.

Finding a collection of people who are interested and open minded about ghosts should be a priority before heading out. For informal ghost hunting, having a few members in the group who have some experience with ghost hunting is preferable, but not required. One of the rules most ghost investigators use is never go ghost hunting or investigating alone. For safety purposes, experienced ghost hunters usually do not allow members of their team alone in any residence or building being investigated. This should be a rule that any new team or group should take to heart. Always travel in groups of two or more during an investigation or ghost hunt.

With the explosion of interest in the paranormal there are active ghost hunting and investigating groups in almost every town and city. Do a bit of research, contact established ghost hunters and get some tips about locations to hunt or research; what equipment to bring; and/or what possible hazards involved. It is possible some active member of a ghost hunting or paranormal investigation organization will join your group. Or, you could be invited to join a formal, scheduled ghost hunt. There is a surprising amount to learn about ghost hunting and ghost investigations. Making good contacts, getting all the assistance and information you can, will prove valuable.

It is not uncommon for many beginner ghost hunters to make the typical rookie error: Mistaking dust particles as orbs; hear sounds that are natural to the location and report it as a ghostly event; to fail to be able to use ghost hunting gear properly; and to overall erroneously think that they are encountering ghosts or discovered spirits trying to communicate. This happens. There is the explainable and the unexplainable. The whole purpose is to separate which is which. If ghost hunting and investigating were a perfect ‘science’ the mystery of ghosts would be solved. Don’t be discouraged by periodic confusion and occasional breakdowns in procedures.

Including A Clairvoyant In Your Group, Or Not?

This is a highly controversial issue about whether to include someone who is clairvoyant or psychic within a ghost hunting group, or not. Some ghost hunters believe that the inclusion of a clairvoyant detracts from the scientific investigation of ghosts and haunting. Others feel including someone with ‘special’ talents offers an advantage in finding and dealing with ghostly or explained events.

There is also the difficultly of knowing if someone really is clairvoyant or psychic. There is also the endless debate if psychic abilities are even real. Needless to say, there are many people who might consider themselves psychic who actually have no such talent. So, it is understandable that a debate rages over whether to include someone who is psychic within a group ghost hunting or performing a ghost investigation.

For the purposes of this article we are going to say that for a ghost hunt the inclusion of a clairvoyant of psychic is really unnecessary. The focus should be on exploring the paranormal and possibility of ghosts, not on whether someone has psychic talent or not. Much will depend on whether someone with clairvoyant leanings is a good match for the ghost hunting group or not.

In the case of ghost investigations or paranormal research, whether to include a clairvoyant or psychic medium or not will wholly depend on who is doing the research. As a rule, this author feels the inclusion of a professional, experienced psychic medium offers far more advantages than disadvantages when dealing with ‘spiritual’ issues. The scientific exploration of a ghostly or paranormal event(s) can proceed without ever having to involve a psychic in that part of the research. Also, having a psychic medium available can prove very handy as this individual can offer unique insights that would otherwise be unavailable.

Short answer, it is your call. For beginners doing an informal ghost hunt it is completely unnecessary to include any sort of psychic. If a psychic (or someone who thinks they are psychic) is included, then what is far more important is that this person is a good fit for the ghost hunting group (and will not prove to be a distraction). In ghost investigations or paranormal investigations, this author strongly prefers a professional, experienced psychic be included. Other professional ghost investigators have other opinions regarding this topic.

Knowing Your Prey

It is helpful to know what you might find when you go on an investigation or a ghost hunt. There are a great deal of accumulated reports, theories and some generally agreed upon ideas about ghosts and hauntings . Knowing these theories and what one may possibly encounter helps keep a ghost hunting group on track during the hunt or investigation. Here are a few things worth knowing:

 Intelligent hauntings are created by ghosts who have stayed behind because of reasons known only to themselves. They are able to communicate through changes in readings as recorded on EVP or EMF (Electromagnetic Field) meters, or by moving objects and making sounds. Some ghosts prefer to make brief appearances as apparitions.

 Residual hauntings are the memory of a moment in time being replayed over and over without any noticeable change. Experts believe the energy of a certain event may have been imprinted in the area, and is triggered to replay at various intervals. These residual hauntings are believed to be created by extreme, traumatic events that somehow permeate a room or location. This is why certain locations, such as a civil war battle field, can have numerous reports of paranormal events and often those reports are similar in nature.

Ghost types also vary and investigators will encounter more than one during their career. Human ghosts are just that, ghosts that were once living breathing people. They have stayed behind for whatever reason and may try to communicate with you.

Spirits have made it to the other side and come back for visits either to their relatives or former homes. Some investigators believe in other forms of spirits as well, non-human entities that may be good, evil or somewhere in between. They are known to attach themselves to people rather than places. These spirits often use tricks to intentionally scare people or will find some manner of communicating (such as knocking or causing lights to flicker). This type of spirit is extremely rare and not all investigators believe in their existence.

Rules For The Hunt

Here are some common sense tips and advice when going out on a ghost hunt or investigation:

 Check out the area during daylight so you have an idea of the layout. Whether you will be outside or indoors you should have an idea of what is around you so you do not get lost. Having (or creating) some sort of map can be very helpful. Get an idea of night time temperatures before beginning a ghost hunt or investigation. This will help everyone to be dresses appropriately should night time temperatures be very cold. Check the weather report for when the event is planned. This is all particularly important when investigating an abandoned house, old abandoned building or an outdoor location.

 Do not trespass. Make sure there are no ‘No Trespassing’ signs at the location you intend to visit and investigate. If there are, make sure you have permission to investigate on the property or location. Bring ID with you in case the police show up so you can provide proof of your identity.

Investigating usually takes place in the late evening and early daytime hours between 9 pm and 6 am. This is considered the best time, as the energies are right for paranormal activity. Photos and video are best taken at night, but you can take great pictures during the day, too.

Researching the location lets you understand the history and possible reasons behind a haunting. Newspapers, books, interviewing the locals and even the internet are great resources.

If your ghost hunt is going to be in a more remote area, make sure to advise a friend or relative where you are planning to go and how long you think you will be gone and who will be in the group.

Ghost Hunting Equipment, Basic and Advanced

Equipment is essential to an investigation, and knowing what to bring is paramount. The basic items you should bring include 35mm cameras and digital cameras, video cameras, flashlights with spare batteries, notebooks with pen and pencils and your watch. Make sure there are enough flashlights for everyone in the group, and then still bring a couple of extras. If you scouted the location prior to beginning the ghost hunt, and found that nighttime temperatures are going to be cool (or rain is in the forecast), make sure to bring jackets and outdoor gear. It is an excellent idea to bring a First Aid Kit in case someone gets injured.

More advanced equipment items include tape recorders/digital voice recorders for EVP, and EMF detectors for detecting electromagnetic fields consistent with spirit activity. The newest equipment used is the K2 meter used by electricians mainly – but which can also detect electromagnetic fields.

Motion detectors are an important piece of equipment that can detect if anything is moving in an empty room. Hand held radios, walkie-talkies and cell phones should all be employed to keep in contact with each other.

It is a good idea to test all equipment a day or so prior to your ghost hunt or investigation. If you plan to use new equipment, spend some time getting to this equipment, how it works and that the equipment is in good working order. This simple effort will pay off in a big way when the real ghost hunt begins. There is nothing worse than finding out your equipment is damaged or you don’t know how to fully operate it while in the middle of your ghostly adventure. It is surprising how some equipment seems easy to operate under full lighting, but becomes more difficult when you have to operate it with only a flashlight.

Organizing Your Ghost Hunting Party

For a serious paranormal or ghost investigation make sure to organize the group beforehand. Knowing what everyone is doing at each moment is important so no one is left completely alone at any time. Everyone should understand their task and the mission to be accomplished. Divide the team into smaller groups and decide which group will use each piece of equipment.

For both a serious ghost investigation and an informal ‘ghost hunt’, make sure you get a feel for the area where your ghost hunt begins. Have the entire group walk around for at least 20 minutes before turning off any lights or allowing the group to sperate.

For those with a strictly rational scientific approach to ghost investigations/ghost hunting the following advice may not apply. If you do believe in a higher power, say a quick prayer or use a white light to protect yourself before entering the location. This is where the expertise of a professional psychic or spirit medium can pay off.

Doing baseline tests before the investigation is important to give you an idea of what the normal readings for the location are. Remember high EMF fields can be caused by circuit breakers, wires, plumbing and other electronic equipment. Knowing that these readings are going to occur naturally during an investigation eliminates confusing during an investigation. Also, high EMF fields have been known to cause feelings of fear, dread and paranoia. In some cases, high fields can cause headaches and nausea as well as the feeling of being watched.

While investigating, make sure that you document everything you see and hear. This is good for research purposes later and finding out if anyone else had a similar experience. Take plenty of pictures especially where you hear sounds or see shadows. A camera is more likely to pick up an image that you may not be able to see easily with your eyes.

Closing Thoughts

After an investigation, go over all the evidence carefully. Listen to all your recordings and watch all videos. If you need to temporarily look away or focus on some other matters, turn off the players so that you do not miss anything. The same applies for an informal ghost hunt, spend some time afterwards comparing notes and feelings about the event.

Interview the owners of the location if it is a private residence and find out their own experiences. This should be done before the investigation takes place. Once you have reviewed all evidence sit down with the owners and explain what you have found.

These are some basics tips and suggestions for ghost investigations and ghost hunts.

Help With Ghosts And Hauntings

Need Help With Ghosts Or Hauntings? Give Psychic Coffee A Call At – 1-800-340-8374

There is a lot of information available about ghost hunting and paranormal investigations and the more you know the more you can do in this interesting field. Even the informal ghost hunt, with a group of friends, can be a fun, unique experience. Especially when everyone in the group can share their perspective and feelings about the paranormal. Ghost hunting can also prove to be a bonding experience unlike anything else … especially if your group is successful and encounters one of those ghosts you have been hunting.

Should you require some help with ghosts, check out 1800 Ghost Help. They have some excellent psychic mediums and spirit specialists who can help will ghostly encounters and hauntings. Also, for hauntings and ghosts Psychic Roy is great. He also has a background in ghost investigations. You can contact Roy at 1-800-888-5523.

Best of luck in your next ghost hunting adventure!