Learn How to Ghost Hunt
Stewart | On 10, Mar 2017
What Is a Ghost?
There’s been tales of ghosts, spirits and things that go bump in the night since ancient times.
These paranormal tales of ghosts transcend religion, beliefs, cultures and countries.
So the question is… what are ghosts?
Well, most people tend to believe that ghosts are the spirits of deceased human beings who for some reason or another like to hang out with us on this earthly plane.
Some people believe that they’re haunting here because they’ve suffered a terrible event in their lives…
Or they have unfinished business to attend to!
Others believe that they’re nothing more than a recording of a pass event.
This could be a tragic event or even a repetitive everyday mundane event.
One ghost theory which is often discussed is that of a person who has suddenly and unexpectedly died…
But, they don’t realise that they’re actually dead!
They just carry on with their everyday lives interacting with the world as though they were living.
Another theory is that we’re in fact witnessing a time anomaly.
We aren’t experiencing spirits of deceased people but a period of time in history.
Such as, marching Roman soldiers or preying monks at a monastery.
Some people have experienced the ‘ghost of the living’…
This is when a living person is seen as a ghost like apparition by two or more witnesses in multiple locations.
Another phenomenon which is often reported is that of an apparition of a loved one who at that precise time of day has died in another location.
A common wartime theme of this phenomenon is that of a mother who witnesses an apparition of her soldier son.
She later discovers that he was killed in combat in a far flung land at that particular time.
Some people believe that ghosts are created by mind power…
There’s a famous experiment which was conducted by the Toronto Society for Psychical research in Canada.
The researchers attempted to create their own ghost called ‘Philip’.
And, they got some amazing results…
I think you’ll be surprised by what they discovered!
It’s defiantly an experiment which I recommend that you google and look up.
So, what are ghosts really then?
The truth is, no one really knows for sure but the term ‘ghosts’ span a wide range of phenomena.
If you’ll like me, you’re probably still looking for some answers.
What Are the Best Attributes a Ghost Hunter Can Have?
There’s many good attributes that a ghost hunter needs to have but I feel that the best one by far is to have an open mind.
A healthy open minded view coupled with objectivity, patience, courage, honesty, a sense of humour, problem solving skills and the ability to expect the unexpected are all good attributes to have as a ghost hunter.
Being objective is a tricky attribute to master.
When you think of it, we all have preconceived ideas of what ghosts are…
From those ideas you’ll either want to prove or disprove the existence of them!
To be a good ghost hunter, you really need to leave your preconceived ideas at the door.
You’ll need to be ultra-objective whilst you are on any investigation.
Patience is a virtue…
You’ll need to be a patient soul if you’re going to become a good ghost hunter!
Real life paranormal investigations are not like the action packed ghost hunting TV shows.
Sometimes nothing happens at all.
I always liken paranormal investigation with fishing…
You can wait all day without a bite.
Just when you’ve had enough and decided to pack up and go home, all hell breaks loose and you catch a whopper.
If you’re a good angler, you be a good ghost hunter!
As a ghost hunter you’ll need to have a little courage and come to expect the unexpected.
You’ll find yourself in situations which will frighten you.
Your first instinct will be to flee.
So, you’ll need to learn to keep control of your fear…
Keep it under wraps, keep calmly in control and go about what you set out to do in the first place.
Documenting the paranormal activity!
Honesty is the best policy.
When conducting an investigation you need to be honest with yourself, your client and your team around you.
Be honest with your finding, don’t elaborate, tell it as it is, in the long run people will respect you more as a ghost hunter when you’re totally honest with them.
In your hunt for ghosts, you’ll need good problem solving skills.
When you witness paranormal activity, always look for the obvious or rational cause.
If you’re still scratching your head at this stage, then the cause may be supernatural.
So, it’s then time to document and gather quality evidence.
And last but not least…
A good attribute for any ghost hunter to have is a good sense of humour.
You are going to witness and experience weird, strange and bizarre events in your course of ghost hunting.
I feel that having a good laugh at both yourself and the bizarre situations you find yourself in is a great attribute to keep you sane.
Basic Ghost Hunting Equipment to Buy
When you first start out on your ghost hunting adventures you don’t need to go mad and buy all the latest new shiny kit.
In fact, you can get good results with just the basic equipment.
Before venturing to any location for an investigation you’ll need to look ahead.
Think what type of clothing you’ll need.
Wear good practical footwear and comfortable warm clothing.
Remember, you’ll probably be investigating a location for many hours…
So it’s best to be comfortable whilst doing so!
Audio recorders are very handy pieces of equipment to have in your arsenal.
If you’re looking to capture electronic voice phenomenon (EVPs) then investing in an audio recorder is a must.
Both digital and old school tape recorders can be used in ghost hunting.
You may prefer one type over the other.
But, I would recommend that you buy an audio recorder of some sorts for your investigations.
As with audio recorders, camcorders come in tape and digital formats.
You can use either type in your ghost hunting adventures.
Whichever format you choose, I would recommend that you invest in a good camcorder to document your evidence.
One feature that is a must for your camcorder is the ability to film in night-vision.
Most Sony and Panasonic camcorders have this feature.
A good quality stills camera is good to have in your ghost hunting arsenal.
I personally like Canon but any of the other major camera brands will be good too.
Most paranormal investigators like the ease of use that comes with a digital stills camera.
But, if you’re on a tight budget, you can pick up some very good high quality film cameras on eBay cheaply.
Another very handy camera to have which you can pick up on eBay is the old Polaroid instant camera…
If you see one at a good price, then I’ll advise to snap it up… no pun intended!
You’ll need a computer to review your evidence which you’ve captured whilst investigating.
Whether you’re a PC or Mac person it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s compatible with your other equipment, that’s all that counts.
I personally have a Windows Sony Vaio laptop but that’s just my preference.
If you intend to investigate a large location, then investing in some motion detectors will help you out immensely.
Motion detectors come in all shapes and sizes…
A lot of paranormal investigators use the passive-infrared (PIR) variety.
Basically, these motion detectors project an infrared field and when this field is broken an alarm is triggered.
It’s always handy to carry a simple compass with you whilst at a location.
Not only to help you get your bearings but also used to detect a magnetic hot spot.
Go for the clear type of orienteering compass that you can buy in outdoorsmen stores.
With all the equipment that you have or are going to have you’ll need something to lung it all around in…
You’re going to need equipment cases!
Most paranormal investigators tend to like to use hard cases, the ones which photographers use to carry their camera gear.
Typically these have a hard exterior, normal metal, with a foam inner which you can cut equipment shape holes in to store your kit.
You’re going to need batteries for your equipment, make sure you keep these fully charged.
Make sure you have fully charged back-up batteries for all your equipment.
If you’re going to be investigating an unfamiliar place in the small hours of the morning when you’re tired, accidents are going to happen…
Make sure you have an extensive first-aid kit!
You’ll need a comfortable pair of headphones with a large sound frequency range to review any audio evidence that you’ve captured during an investigation.
Try to get headphones with a low Hz, the lower the better, lower than 10 Hz would be great, 3 Hz would be excellent.
A measuring tape is a handy item to carry with you.
Most ghost hunters use a measuring tape to measure a trigger object that’s been moved from its original position.
But as you can imagine…
That’s just one use for it, there will be lots of times when you’ll need a measuring tape whilst investigating.
You’ll need a notepad, paper, pens and pencils to jot down your experiences and observations that you have whilst on your investigations.
You’ll also need them for your walkthroughs and witness interviews.
A Swiss army knife or multi-tool is very handy to carry with you whilst on investigation.
You never really know when you’ll need a multi-tool…
But, I can assure you, there be a time when you’ll need one!
It may sound weird, but some ghost hunters like to have talcum powder as part of their kit.
They like to use it to dust areas within hot spots to try and capture foot or hand prints…
Ingenious don’t you think!
Use a traditional or digital thermometer to measure cold spots and temperature drops.
Traditional thermometers don’t need batteries and are fool proof whilst digital thermometers are very accurate and easy to use.
Both are cheap to buy, so why not have multiples of them for your team members.
You’re going to be spending a lot of your time in low level light conditions so a good torch is a must.
It’s best to carry a couple of torches with batteries whilst you are on an investigation, one to use and one for backup.
Some ghost hunters like to keep their hands free for other equipment and use a head mounted torch on their investigations.
If you have cameras and camcorders you’re going to need sturdy tripods to go with them.
Get tripods which extend to about 5 foot tall with clip-type leg locks, quick-release plates and a spirit-level.
It’s also wise to have a couple of spare quick-release plates to be on the safe side.
Walkie-talkies are very useful for your ghost hunting team to have.
They are handy to have when setting up remote equipment and use when splitting up your team to investigate a large area.
They are less than mobile phones to buy and run.
The cheaper walkie-talkies have a radius of about 3 kilometres which should cover most locations.
Last but not least…
Always wear a reliable wind-up wristwatch preferably with a second-hand to keep track of time whilst you are investigating.
I find that you can normally pick up a good bargain at eBay.
What Are the Different Types of Hauntings?
You may be surprised to find out that there are actually different types of hauntings.
The main types are residual, intelligent and psychokinetic (PK) which also known as poltergeist.
A residual haunting typically involves an historic event that is repeated over and over again.
Normally these residual hauntings are of a traumatic event such as a murder…
But, they can also be of an everyday event such as a kitchen maid doing her chores.
One common factor with residual haunting is that the apparition performs its act without any awareness of the living around it.
Sometimes residual hauntings don’t have any apparitions, they only have sounds such as a church bell ringing or footsteps on stairs.
A closely related phenomenon to residual hauntings is that of a ‘time slip’.
When someone witnesses an event from history such as a Roman Legion marching down the street, some paranormal investigators believe that this isn’t a residual haunting but in fact it’s a ‘time slip’ where the person is witnessing a moment in time.
An intelligent haunting is the Holy Grail for ghost hunters because it involves interactive communications with an intelligent spirit.
These communications typically involve vocal communications, moving objects and performing acts upon a request.
Last but not least…
The final type of haunting is that of psychokinetic (PK) or as it’s commonly known as poltergeist.
Poltergeist hauntings are in fact intelligent hauntings but they tend to be more active…
They tend to get their energy from a young teenage boy or girl within the haunted location!
One such famous case which you might want to look up is that of the Enfield poltergeist.
Poltergeist hauntings typically involve aggressive actions such as loud bangs and crashes and object being thrown through the air.
In some cases… people have even been thrown through the air!
So there you have it…
The main types of hauntings are residual, intelligent and psychokinetic (PK) or poltergeist!
What’s the Best Type of Camera for Ghost Hunting?
There’s a huge range of equipment nowadays used by ghost hunters to capture paranormal evidence.
But, the one item which is still a must have in any ghost hunters armoury is the camera.
There are two main types of camera which you can use on you investigations…
The old school film camera or the newer digital camera!
The film cameras have their advantages and disadvantages…
First, they are now very cheap to buy and you can get some good second hand bargains on eBay which you can get some excellent results from.
The main disadvantage is that buying and developing film cost money.
Nowadays, with the popularity of digital photography, you may find it harder to find an establishment willing to process and develop your photographs…
Plus, you have to wait to get your photos developed!
Today, digital photography is the main choice for ghost hunters.
It’s instant, easier, less prone to mechanical failure and cheaper that film photography.
But, before you invest in a new or second hand digital camera, there are a few things that you need to know about digital cameras for ghost hunting.
First, what type digital camera are you going to buy?
On the market, there are the digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and digital compact cameras.
The digital compact cameras are cheaper, smaller, lighter and easier to use than a DSLR camera.
They’re good all round cameras to have for ghost hunting.
If you have deeper pockets, then you may want to go for a more professional DSLR camera.
These cameras have interchangeable lenses, removable flashes and some can even double up as a camcorder.
Whichever type of camera you decide to go for, make sure that they have a high resolution (higher than 5-megapixel), a good quality branded lens, manual setting capability, removable memory card capability, short latency between shots and is robust enough to survive the environments which you will be taking it to whilst ghost hunting.
Some useful accessories to buy for your camera are a cleaning kit, a sturdy tripod, spare batteries, spare memory cards, protective case or backpack, some type of waterproof protection and a remote shutter release.
So there you have it, most ghost hunters like to use digital cameras of some description whether you choose a compact or DSLR camera probably comes down to your budget.
Another popular type of camera amongst ghost hunters is the full spectrum camera.
You can buy these on eBay and they’re typically second-hand cameras which have been modified to record in infrared, ultraviolet and visible light.
For best results you’ll also need an infrared illuminator.
Sometimes the seller will bundle this with the full spectrum camera but if not they’re not too expensive to buy.
Hopefully you now know a little more about cameras so that you can make the right decision when you buy your next one.
How to Find and Join a Paranormal Research Group
If you’re a total beginner to ghost hunting, it’s best to join an established paranormal research group in your area.
Here you’ll be able to learn ghost hunting best practices and train to become an expert paranormal investigator.
So, how to you go about finding your local paranormal research group then?
Well, the old school methods probably involved The Yellow Pages, your local library and reading paranormal magazines.
Today we are blessed with the internet.
So just google ‘ghost hunters’ and your local area and you should be able to find your local established paranormal research group quiet easily.
Most people involved in paranormal research are friendly, so email, call, or send them a letter introducing yourself and your interest in the paranormal.
Ask them whether you could go on a ghost hunt with them.
A well run group will probably ask you to sign some type of legal document covering what’s involved in their investigations and covering themselves from possible future legal problems.
They will probably check your character out too, so if you have mental health, alcohol or drug issues then you may be politely turned down.
Also, smoking and having strong religious view may hinder your acceptance.
Most ghost hunting groups don’t allow smoking or drinking whilst on investigations.
Smoking can be a fire risk and can also produce false paranormal events.
And drinking is just a no-no because no-one will take your evidence seriously if your where drunk at the time of capturing it.
Having an open mind is one of the best attributes for a ghost hunter to have.
Having strong religious views may hamper an investigation…
It may be best to keep your religious views to yourself and try to keep an open mind to what you will discover on your investigations!
Paranormal groups will be looking for an individual who’s easy to get along with, motivated, has a calm nature, objective and has good observation skills.
If you have a particular skill such as being a good photographer or a computer expert, this will help you in being accepted to the group.
Once accepted, you’ll probably be chaperoned by an experience member of the group.
You’ll probably find yourself participating in walk-throughs, witness statements and research as well as going on ghost hunts.
Good luck in your quest to join your local paranormal research group, I hope it goes well for you.
How to Create Your Own Paranormal Investigation Group
Now, if you haven’t got an established paranormal investigation group within your local area.
Or for some other reason, you don’t want to join one.
You can create your own ghost hunting group.
Before you start getting likeminded individuals to join your group, you need to think about what type of paranormal group you want to set up.
Do you want your group to be just scientific based?
Do you want to use psychics?
Do you want a formal or informal group?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself before you start your group.
If you want to use a psychic, remember that there are a lot of charlatans out there…
It’s very hard to find a genuine true psychic!
Psychics also come in different forms, ranging from sensitive to mediums.
Do a little research first on the different types before you go down the road of using a psychic.
Remember, most people will not believe evidence coming from a psychic only.
You will need some scientific evidence to back them up.
I personally believe a science based group is the way to go as they focus on using scientific equipment to investigate paranormal events.
You’ll be taken more seriously if you can back up your evidence with science.
If you want to form a formal group you will need to be more professional in your organisation of that group.
You’ll need to set up a website and publish your findings.
You’ll need to document everything and have audio and visual proof to back up your findings.
You’ll also need to have thick skin and be prepared for scrutiny and unfortunately ridicule as well.
Another aspect of being a formal professional group, you’ll be asked to help people with hauntings…
It’s an unwritten rule in the paranormal investigating world that you don’t charge for your time.
Now you may want to start up an informal group, where you and your mates just visit haunted locations and maybe blog about it.
This is great, have fun and just remember not to take on any private clients.
Now you’ve a little idea of what type of group you’re going to set up, you need to write your mission statement for that group.
Your mission statement will state whether your group is formal or informal, wholly scientific based or whether it will use psychics or not.
You’ll need to present your mission statement to any potential new member who wants to join your group.
Your potential new members will need to have a healthy open minded view coupled with objectivity, patience, courage, honesty, a sense of humour, problem solving skills and the ability to expect the unexpected.
But, they’ll also need to know what type of group they’re considering joining…
That’s what’s your mission statement is for!
Good luck with setting up your new paranormal investigating group.
What Are the Best Camcorders for Ghost Hunting?
Camcorders are very a useful piece of equipment for a ghost hunter to have…
Not only can you capture paranormal events on your camcorder but you can also use it to interview witnesses and document investigations.
Camcorders come in many different memory storage formats.
You can get hard-disk (HD) camcorders, removable storage devices such as compact flash cards, SD and DVD…
And tape formats such as Mini DV, Hi8, Digital 8 and 8mm analogue!
Most paranormal investigators will review their footage on a laptop or PC.
It’s very easy to dump your footage to a laptop from a hard-disk (HD) camcorder.
This is the reason why many ghost hunters like to use hard-disk (HD) camcorder…
Plus, you don’t need to worry about running out of tapes!
Now good quality hard-disk (HD) camcorders can record for 8-10 hours which makes them great for surveillance…
But, some don’t last that long and this is why some ghost hunters prefer to use a camcorder with removable storage as it’s quicker to replace a memory card whilst investigating than downloading your footage to your laptop!
It’s really up to you which camcorder format you go with but I do recommend you stick with either a HD or a removable storage camcorder over a tape format camcorder… just for ease of use!
Saying that… if you’re on a tight budget, you may be able to pick up a good quality second-hand tape camcorder on eBay at a bargain price.
When you buy a camcorder, make sure it has good low level light capabilities.
A lot of paranormal investigators buy Sony camcorders for this reason but you can get Panasonic camcorders with good low level light capabilities too.
You need a few accessories to go with your camcorder…
Get a sturdy tripod, spare rechargeable batteries, a lens cleaning kit, a carrying case, cables and rain gear.
Another popular type of camcorder amongst ghost hunters is the full spectrum camcorder.
You can buy these on eBay and are typically second hand camcorders which have been modified to record in infrared, ultraviolet and visible light.
For best results you’ll also need an infrared illuminator.
Sometimes the seller will bundle this with the full spectrum camcorder but if not they’re not too expensive to buy.
So there you have it, hopefully you now know a little more about camcorders so that you can make the right decision when you buy your next one for your paranormal investigating.
How to Act in a Professional Ghost Hunting Manner
If you expect an owner to let you and your mates loose throughout the night in their haunted Grade 2 listed manor house, then you’ll need to be regarded as a responsible and credible ghost hunter.
The only way to project this is to act in a professional and respectable manner.
I’m going to discuss with you the strict protocols which many good ghost hunting groups adhere to in order to protect their credible.
First, obtain permission to be at the location, respect the location and the owner and their wishes.
Look respectful, be polite and turn up to any meetings with the owner on time.
Always go with the scientific approach when investigating a location.
This means doing your research on the location before you even visit it.
Never investigate a location on your own, always investigate a location in a group or at least with one other person.
Before you start your investigation, check your equipment and make sure you have spare batteries, memory cards, tapes and storage devices.
Keep records of all equipment used on the investigation plus how you set it up.
Log all evidence and keep for review at a later date.
Remember, your goal is to get hard credible evidence of paranormal activity.
Publish your findings on your website together with hard evidence.
This is where adhering to the scientific approach will help with your credibility.
What’s the Ghost Hunting Scientific Method?
We’ve discussed how to act in a professional ghost hunting manner whilst you’re on an investigation.
One main part of this is to keep to a scientific method, but what is the ghost hunting scientific method?
To become a respectable and credible paranormal investigator you must follow a scientific method and have a neutral approach…
So, remain sceptical and open-minded at the same time.
All paranormal phenomena which you uncover must be questioned…
In fact you need to try your best to debunk it!
Ask yourself why this phenomenon has happened and what triggered it?
Has something natural or manmade caused it to occur?
Does the phenomenon happen in a controlled environment?
Can you replicate the phenomenon?
Are there any similarities between your findings and historical findings which you may have found from your research on the location?
Does the phenomenon happen with other researchers in your group or has it happened to other ghost hunting groups whilst they have investigated the location?
What is your explanation for the phenomenon occurrence?
Do others in your group agree with your explanation?
Can you test your explanation for the phenomenon under controlled conditions?
Once you have run through all these steps and you’re happy with your explanation for your findings, it’s time to write them all up and publish them on your website for other’s to read and comment.
What Are the Best Tripods for Ghost Hunting?
We’ve discussed what the best camcorders and still cameras to invest in for ghost hunting.
Now, you can buy the best camcorders and cameras on the market but there is one piece of equipment that all videographers and photographers use to get better results.
That piece of equipment is a good quality sturdy tripod.
A good quality tripod will reduce the risk of camera shake and will almost guarantee sharp results.
Get a tripod which is correct for your height and one which is not too heavy for you to lug around.
Owning a lightweight tripod is nice to have if you’re not built like Arnold Schwarzenegger and intend to do most of your investigating indoors.
But, if you intend to do some outdoor investigating you will probably need to invest in a heavier tripod as they are less prone to movement in windy conditions.
One note about using tripods in windy conditions, for best results always extend the legs to get your right shooting height before extending the tripod’s centre column.
If your camcorder or camera is a high quality heavier unit, then I would advise that you go with a sturdy tripod which unfortunately means heavier.
If weight is a problem to you and you have a good budget, you can always opt for some carbon-fibre legs which are lighter but also very stable.
Go for a tripod which is not in a single unit, this way you can combine tripod heads and legs to your preference.
Velbon, Manfrotto, Gitzo, Slik, Giottos and Benbo are all good leading brands of tripods…
Manfrotto 190 and 055 legs are great value for money!
Budget tripods tend to be an all in one piece of kit.
Having a tripod with detachable legs and heads will give you more options especially when it comes to getting the right tripod head for you.
The two main types of tripod heads are the pan-and-tilt and the ball-and-socket designs.
Both are designed with a quick-release plate which will enable you to quickly swap cameras or camcorders when needed.
The pan-and-tilt tripod head moves on three axes, forward and back, horizontal and left to right.
The ball-and-socket design smoothly rotates around a sphere which you can then lock into your desired position.
Both designs have their pluses and minuses, it’s really a matter of taste, so why not give both ago and see which one you find most easy to use.
Whichever design you plump for, always have a couple of detachable plates for them.
And remember to take them on your investigations with you…
It’s always nice to a have a backup!
What Are Residual Hauntings?
From watching paranormal shows on TV you may’ve heard the investigators referring to a haunting as residual, imprinting or even the Stone Tape Theory.
So what are residual hauntings?
Well, if an apparition is witnessed in a location on many different occasions by many different people over a period of years or even centuries, then this haunting is referred to as a residual haunting.
In fact, some paranormal investigators don’t believe that they’re hauntings at all!
Because residual hauntings tend to be of deceased people acting out their everyday duties over and over again at a set time of day.
Some paranormal investigators think that the apparitions are some type of recording of that pass event.
That’s why residual hauntings are also mention in conjunction with the Stone Tape Theory.
Which is a theory that materials found in old buildings such as quartz, iron and slate somehow record events from the past and are played back in the future to witnesses in certain atmospheric conditions or when the witness is in an emotional state.
A famous residual haunting is that of Anne Boleyn in the Tower of London.
Some paranormal investigators are critical of the Stone Tape Theory believing that there’s not enough evidence to suggest that witnesses are seeing the exact time event as other witnesses.
They believe that they’re just common hauntings of a residential ghost.
So there you have it, residual hauntings!
What Are Intelligent Hauntings?
We’ve discussed that residual hauntings are hauntings in which an apparition is witnessed in a location on many different occasions by many different people over a period of years or even centuries.
Now we’re going to discuss what intelligent hauntings are…
Spirits which have a strong connection with a person or a place and haunts that place by trying to get attention from the living…
They are known as intelligent hauntings within the ghost hunting community.
The way in which they get attention is quite remarkable really…
Typical attention grabbing behaviour includes making unexplained noises, opening and closing doors and windows, moving objects, throwing objects, moving furniture, making objects disappear then reappear in another location, creating cold spots, turning on/off lights, TVs, radios and taps and giving the impression that you are being watched.
Spirits associated with intelligent hauntings are believed by paranormal investigators have a strong reason to be haunting a location.
Typically an intelligent haunting is of someone who has passed over and is just trying to comfort or communicate with their living loved ones.
Another type of intelligent haunting is from deceased person who has a strong link with a place, person or object and is just trying to protect them.
Sometimes you even get intelligent hauntings of pets such as cats and dogs which have a strong link with a property!
How to Measure a Cold Spot
Paranormal investigators get excited when they come in contact with a cold spot or a sudden drop in temperature whilst they are on a vigil.
If the temperature drops more than five degrees centigrade its worth investigating the area.
Many paranormal investigators believe that the sudden drop in temperature is the result of a spirit drawing the energy from the surrounding area in an attempt to manifest.
For this reason, ghost hunters like to keep an eye on the surrounding temperature and to do this they use thermometers.
You can use a traditional mercury thermometer which is very cheap to buy, easy to use and doesn’t need batteries.
But most ghost hunters use digital thermometers because they are fairly accurate and quick to respond to temperature fluctuations.
Before buying a certain type of digital thermometer you need to find out how accurate that thermometer is, does it measure ambient temperature and does it measure in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
The main thermometers which paranormal investigators like to use are hardwire thermometers, remote sensor wireless thermometers and infrared thermometers.
The pistol grip thermometers are typically the ones which you see TV ghost hunters using.
They are equipped with a laser pointer, have a backlit LCD readout and are very accurate, quick and easy to use… idea for using indoors!
The remote sensor wireless thermometers are used in a remote area and will alert you when there is a change in the ambient temperature.
The hardwire thermometers are very high-tech unit.
They have a very sensitive wire probe which is linked to a sensitive meter with a digital readout.
You place the probe in an area which you want to investigate for temperature fluctuations.
When you come across a cold spot whilst you’re on an investigation, always ask yourself what is causing the temperature drop?
It might not be paranormal, it could be an open window or a draft from somewhere or even air conditioning coming on!
How to Conduct Thorough Research
Before you rock up at a location you wish to investigate, you need to do thorough research on that location.
Although research can be painstaking, it’s very important that you do this.
Sometimes the finding which you uncover can be enlightening.
If you are investigating a property which is lived in, then interviewing the occupants is a good place to start.
Ask them how long they have lived there and whether in that time they have witness any paranormal events.
Also ask them whether they knew the previous owners and whether they witness events too.
Always remember to get names, contact details and little background details of witnesses.
Next, look into the history of the location…
If the location your investigating has a historical past this information should be easy to discover, try the internet, maps (both new and historical), census, civil records, newspaper archives, your local library, local historical groups, books written on the location and if the location is open to the public, it may have its own shop selling publications about its history.
Here are a few questions you will need to find answers too…
Is there a history of paranormal events happening at the location?
When the location was first build or established?
What are the names and details of the former occupants of the location?
What was the purpose of the location?
Has the location had any renovation or structural changes in the past?
What is the social history of the location, were there any deaths, murders, fires, violence or tragedies?
Once you have discovered all this information, write it up and double check your facts.
If you are part of a group, its best to assign one person to do the research on the location you’re investigating.
The information is best kept secret from the rest of the group until the investigation is over, in this way no influence in the groups perception of paranormal events can tainted from the uncovered research.
How to Conduct a Walk-Through
Before you start any investigation, it’s vital that you do a walk-through with the owner or with permission from the owner of the location and preferably in daylight if you can.
The walk-through is basically to gather information about the lay of the land…
Draw a map of the location and sketch room layouts and area plans.
Ask the owners if any structural changes have been made to the building.
Make notes on the whereabouts of alleged hot spots, off limits areas, dangerous areas, noisy areas, power sources, entrances and exits, windows, air conditioning units, lighting, plug sockets and loose floorboards.
If you conduct your walk-through with a witness, ask them to show you where they witnessed their paranormal event.
Note the area and check out whether there is any rational explanation for what they witnessed.
Take reference photographs as you conduct your walk-through and note any areas which you feel uneasy in.
Whilst conducting your walk-through have a team member take readings of the average ambient temperature and electromagnetic field (EMF) base readings.
After conducting your walk-through with the witness, note which areas that you think you’re likely to get some sort of paranormal activity when you start your investigation proper.
Now, choose an area which you would like to set up your ‘hub’, your investigation base.
Pick an area which is far away as possible to your hot spots and areas which are likely to get some activity.
The areas must have plenty of plug sockets, have table and chairs or be big enough to accommodate table and chairs for your team.
If you want to run cables from your hub to other areas within the location, measure out the distance to make sure that your cable length can reach.
So there you have it, how to conduct a walk-through!
How to Plan a Ghost Hunting Investigation
Now, there are four main types of ghost investigations which you can conduct…
The passive investigation, the passive remote investigation, the active investigation and the passive and active investigation!
The instrument-based passive investigation which is also referred to as lockdown is a simple method which involves you to place video and audio monitoring equipment throughout the location which you are investigating.
From the information you found out when you conducted your walk-through, you should have a good idea of where the hot-spots are to place your monitoring equipment.
Your monitoring equipment is then viewed throughout the investigation remotely by you and your team within your hub.
Nobody goes walkabout during this type of investigation.
The advantage of this type of passive investigation is that you will get physical evidence which can be captured, played back and scrutinised in detail.
The disadvantage of this type of investigation is that by staying in your hub you don’t get to interact with the paranormal activity.
You don’t feel cold spots, you can’t smell unusual odours and you don’t hear EVPs.
Now I’m going to discuss with you the passive remote method of investigation.
This method of investigation is very similar to the instrument-based passive investigation but no hub is set up within the location and the team vacates the area.
So basically, you set up all your video and audio monitoring equipment to capture and record phenomenon just as you would with the instrument-based passive investigation but with no hub.
Then you vacate the location for the night whilst leaving your equipment recording.
The next day you return to collect your equipment and the recordings which you will then review and analysis.
A little trick for you…
If you want to record EMF and temperature, leave the meters and gauges in front of a camcorder.
This method of investigation is good for locations which are limited for space, so a place where it would be difficult to fit your whole team in.
It’s also good for investigating locations where the owner wants privacy, typically people’s homes.
There are a couple of disadvantages about using this method.
One being, how safe is it to leave all your expensive equipment overnight in the location.
And the other, it’s hard to rule out hoaxes when you haven’t got a team on the ground to check out that’s everything is genuine.
The passive remote method of investigation is a good method to use for certain circumstances.
Now I’m going to tell you about the active investigation method or as it’s also known as… the walkabout!
As the name suggest, you and your team will walk about a location to investigate it.
Your primary piece of equipment to use is yourself, your own senses to be exact.
Feel temperature changes, see anomalies, hear noises and smell strange odours, whilst all these experiences will be exciting to witness, they are all subjective.
This is why you will need to carry video and audio monitoring equipment.
Use digital thermometers, EMF meters, cameras, camcorders, ion counters and digital recorders to capture what you witness.
Whilst the walkabout method of investigation is a good one, it will lead to human contamination such as unwanted lights, unwanted noises and the accidental moving of objects such as chairs, tables and doors.
The method of investigation which most ghost hunters prefer is a mixture of both the passive and active methods.
First the investigation goes with the instrument based passive or lockdown method, your video and audio monitoring equipment is set up in the most active areas of the location and then you remotely view your findings within your hub.
Half way through the investigation you go to the more active method of investigation and you go for a walkabout.
You split your team into different groups and then assign them to the active areas of the location to see what they can capture.
I will discuss with you later in more detail what this lockdown/walkabout method of ghost hunting entails.
How to Detect a Ghost with an EMF Meter?
I’m going to tell you a little about EMF meters…
But first let me explain what EMF meters measure.
They measure electromagnetic radiation which is all around us.
Electromagnetic fields are produced by electrical devices and electric cables.
Electric fields are always present where there are electric devices whether they are switched on or off.
But magnetic fields are only present where there is flowing electricity.
Some ghost hunters believe that ghosts can affect or generate electromagnetic fields, which is why they choose to use EMF meters to try and detect them.
There are two types of EMF meter, the cheaper but less effective single-axis meter and the costly but more accurate tri-axis meter.
EMF meters also come in analogue or digital varieties.
If you are looking for an accurate scientific measurement of electromagnetic fields, then go for a tri-axis meter.
But if you are just looking to find and track electromagnetic fields then go for a cheaper single-axis meter.
Most ghost hunters will have both types of EMF meters in their arsenal to cover all eventualities.
You can carry EMF meters with you whilst you are on a walkabout to detect electromagnetic fields.
Just remember to hold it nice and steady whilst trying to detect any electromagnetic fields.
Another way to use an EMF meter is to leave it in an active area with a camcorder pointing at it.
It’s also nice to have an audible alarm on your meter too.
Remember EMF meters can be extremely sensitive, so be wary of electrical devices such TVs, microwave ovens, radios and alarm clocks when investigating domestic locations.
So there you have it in a nutshell… EMF meters!
How Big Does Your Ghost Hunting Team Need to Be?
Before you start any paranormal investigation, you need to think how big your team needs to be…
Most ghost hunting groups tend to like to keep on the small size with members who trust and know each other very well, normally family members and very close friends.
A small size group of no more than four people is great for small locations such as domestic houses but what if you want to investigate a larger property?
Generally speaking, the larger the group, the harder it is to manage a successful paranormal investigation.
All types of things can go wrong to contaminate your evidence and render the investigation pointless.
If you want to investigate a large location such as a castle just bring along enough people to get the job done professionally, don’t bring more than ten people.
Remember that your team needs to be as diverse as possible with different genders, ages and skill sets.
One more point, as a general rule, it’s best not to do an investigation on your own especially if that investigation is one that is outdoors.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Go Ghost Hunting?
If like me you’re a big fan of ghost hunting TV series such as Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures you may well believe that the only time to go ghost hunting is at night.
This is probably the biggest misconceptions about paranormal investigations out there.
Most paranormal investigators believe that ghost activity can happen at any time and in fact there have been many reported sightings at famous haunted sites during the day.
Now the main reason why ghost hunting TV series probably like to conduct their investigations at night is for dramatic effect.
There are other reasons why it might also be a good idea for you to do so too.
Conducting a day time investigation might not be convenient for you.
You may have other commitments such as working or looking after your kids.
Generally, a night time investigation will be quieter and less likely to be occupied.
There’s also the fact that there are some phenomenon such as spooklights or sprite lights which will be easier to witness in low level light conditions.
Now some locations such as stately homes, museums and castles that you may be interested in investigating may not give you permission to access them at night but are open to the public during the day.
When you buy your ticket to have a look around the location, ask permission if you can do a mini investigation.
It may be challenging with a noisier environment then what you are used to but, turn on your digital recorder to record EVPs and if you have infrared filters for your camera take some photos too…
You never know, you may be pleasantly surprised with your results!
One more note, you may be able to get some witness statements too, ask the tour guides and staff at the location if they have had any ghostly experiences whilst working there.
So there you have it, ghost hunting can be conducted at any time of the day!
How Much Equipment Do You Need to Take on a Ghost Hunt?
If you have a large ghost hunting team, then you should appoint one person as an equipment manager.
Their sole responsibility is to check, look after and maintain all the equipment.
They need to make sure that the equipment is charged up before use and is in good working order.
Spare batteries also need to be charged up and camera lenses need to be clean and dust free.
If you have a small amateur group and individuals own certain equipment, then those individuals are in charge of cleaning, charging and bringing along their equipment.
The equipment manager is in charge of evaluating how much equipment to bring along.
This depends on the size of the location you are investigating, how many team members you have and what type of phenomenon you expect to encounter.
As a rule of thumb, for each area you wish to investigate, you should bring a camcorder, movement sensor, a digital recorder, environmental sensors and maybe a trigger object.
On top of that, you will need remote controls, power leads, memory cards, instruction manuals, adapters, chargers, extension leads, batteries, torches, watches, gaffer tape, post-it notes, blu-tack, food, tape measures, rubbish bags, first-aid kit, multi-tool or small tool kit, compass, pens, notepads and good strong carrying cases or holdalls preferably ones with wheels.
Remember, the more equipment you have, the longer it will take to set up and take down.
The more video and audio recording equipment you use, the more time it will take to review what you have captured.
One more thing to remember, make sure you wear appropriate clothing.
Wear warm, waterproof if needed, comfortable and safe clothing which will help you conduct a good investigation.
What Roles Does Your Paranormal Research Group Need?
To run smooth investigations and maintain a good group dynamic it’s important to assign team roles within your group.
The main roles are team leader, timeline logger, video monitor, sound monitor, photographer and environmental monitor.
If your group has less than six members then you need to double up on roles and if you have more than six members then you need to share roles between two or more people.
The team leader role needs to make sure that the investigation is focused and runs well.
He/she also needs to manager the other team members and ensure that they are performing their role well.
Normally the team leader will pre-check a location, do the walkthrough and interview witnesses.
The timeline logger role is an important one.
They will track the movement of all the team members throughout the investigation to check whether any capture phenomenon is accidently cause by a team member.
The video monitor will remotely monitor video feeds and keep a record of any captured phenomena.
They are also responsible for the running of the monitoring equipment on live investigations.
The sound monitor, like the video monitor, will remotely monitor sound feeds and keep a record of any captured sound phenomena that they hear.
They are also responsible for the running of the audio recorders on live investigations.
The photographer needs to keep a photographic record of the whole investigation.
This includes photographing the setup of equipment within areas, photographing the setup of furniture and trigger objects within rooms as well as trying to capture phenomenon whilst investigating.
The environmental monitor will monitor and record the temperature and humidity of the location throughout the investigation every 5 minutes.
It’s especially important for any sudden temperature drop or rise to be logged.
To keep harmony within your group, it’s a good idea to rotate the roles throughout your team.
So there you have it, team member’s roles!
How to Monitor Atmospheric Conditions Whilst Ghost Hunting
Whilst you’re conducting a paranormal investigation it’s a good idea to monitor the pressure and humidity of the location in which you are investigating.
To do this accurately, you’ll need to invest in a device called a weather station. You can pick up cheap units on eBay or from electrical outlets.
They comprise of a remote sensor which transmits data wirelessly to a base station, these basic weather stations can monitor a couple of areas during your investigations but you will need to have a team member logging the temperature every five minutes which is one drawback with the cheaper models.
If you want to monitor multiple areas of a location and have your laptop log the details without the monitoring of a team member than you will need to invest in a more professional weather station which can be expensive.
Another drawback with wireless weather stations is just like your wireless internet router at home, if you have thick walls, you may suffer from weak or broken signals.
You may get problems in old stone manor houses and castles.
Some paranormal investigators believe that there is a link between the drop in barometric pressure and poltergeist activity.
So if you decide to invest in a weather station make sure it measures barometric pressure!
How to Record Ghostly Sounds and Noises?
Most paranormal groups use audio recorders to try and capture ghostly sounds and noises, but you can also use them to tape interviews and verbally dictate notes, experiences and instrument readings.
You can get both analogue and digital recorders but most ghost hunting groups prefer to use digital recorders as they don’t suffer from the problems associated with analogue tape recorders and are easy to use but get excellent results.
If you decide to use digital recorders on your investigations, use recorders which record in a lossless file format such as WAV or ATRAC.
Now, if you want to capture good sounds you will need to buy a good microphone.
Go for one which covers a good frequency response from 40 Hz to 15000 Hz and is sensitive, in other words a condenser microphone.
You can get microphones which have certain directionality.
Omnidirectional microphones pick up sounds from all directions and are good for investigating rooms.
Unidirectional microphones are good at pinpointing sounds from one direction.
Depending on what type of investigating you are doing, you may want to invest in one type over another.
Most paranormal investigating groups like to keep their options open and buy both types of microphones.
A couple more tips for you…
Make sure your leads have the right connectors, use a microphone stand and try and setup the microphone as far away from your recording device as possible, so a nice long lead is a must!
If you want to eliminate leads, you can now buy wireless microphones which can record sounds and store them straight on your laptop.
Most wireless microphone kits come with the microphone, transmitter and receiver.
Once you have captured some ghostly sounds and saved them to your laptop, you can enhance the quality by using audio software.
Some paranormal groups frown on this activity, but if you save the original sound and then make a copy and enhance the copy so you end up with an original and an enhance copy of the sound, you should be able to cover both bases and keep a lot of people happy.
So there you have it, how to record ghostly sounds and noises!
What’s an EVP?
We previously discussed how to record ghostly sounds and noises, the most talked about ghostly sound is the EVP but what is an EVP?
EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena and it’s the capture of ghostly voices by audio recorders.
In the 1959, Friedrich Jürgenson discovered the first EVP when he was recording birdsongs.
He heard a man’s voice instructing him how to record better birdsongs on his recordings.
He studied the EVPs he had discovered and wrote a book called Voices from the Universe.
EVPs have been captured all over the world, not only are they captured in different languages but also different accents, dialects and even some ancient forms of languages.
It’s quiet simple to captured EVPs, just visit an active location whilst carrying a digital voice recorder and press record and start asking questions such as ‘What’s your name? How old are you? What’s my name? Do you live here?’ and wait thirty seconds for an answer between questions.
Upload your sound files to your laptop, tweak them a little with some audio software and review them, you may be astounded at what you have captured!
What is White Noise?
We discussed EVPs, now you may have heard the phrase ‘White Noise’ branded about when ghost hunters discuss EVPs but what is ‘White Noise’?
White noise is the sound of a static hiss which in the early days of ghost hunting was generated by AM radios.
The ghost hunters believed that by using the AM radio static hiss they could communication with the dead.
If you want to produce white noise for your investigation you can buy software from the internet which generates it or you can stick with tradition and turn an AM radio between stations.
If you’re a fan of TV ghost hunting shows, you may of notice the investigators using a device called a ghost box to record EVPs.
A ghost box uses an AM Tuner to produces a random voltage to create white noise which is then amplified and recorded.
Ghost hunters like to use the ghost box because the results are instant which can lead to a communication with a spirit in real time.
It takes time to get use to using the ghost box but once you become acquainted with it the results can be amazing.
How to Set Up a Ghost Hunting Investigation
I’m going to discuss with you how to set up your ghost hunting investigation, this is a guide only, some ghost hunting groups will disagree with this method and some will not.
First, synchronise watches, synchronise all your watches and the internal clocks on all of your equipment so that your investigation has an accurate timeline from the beginning.
Second, set up your hub.
Choose the area of your hub carefully.
Make sure it’s far away from the areas which you want to investigate so that you don’t get any contamination and it’s large enough for your group and its equipment and that there are plenty of electric sockets.
Set up your monitoring equipment within the hub.
Next, set up the audio equipment.
If you’re not using a wireless microphone make sure that you have enough cable for your microphone to reach the area which you want to investigate and plug it in.
Place it in the centre of the area and test that it is working.
Next, go around your location and set up your video/CCTV cameras in the room which you think will have the most activity.
Use good quality tripods to mount them on making sure that they are stable.
You will need a good view of the area which you are interested in.
This should include the floor as well as the walls.
If you are using camcorders to do your remote monitor, make sure that they are plugged into the mains or that they have fully charged batteries in them.
Make sure that they have a new memory card or equivalent in them and that the time/date is displayed in the picture.
Now set them to standby.
If you are using wireless cameras, move them around the area which you are interested in until you get the sharpest picture.
If you want to use a weather station, set it up in your hub and make sure it’s picking up your remote sensor.
Take the remote sensor to the area which you want to investigate and place it there making sure that it’s nowhere near air conditioning units, radiators or any other heating or cooling device.
Check the base station is still picking up data from the remote sensor.
If you don’t have a weather station then use a data-logging thermometer or place a thermometer in front of a live camcorder so that you can log any temperature fluctuation remotely.
So now you should have synchronise watches, set up your hub, audio and video equipment and temperature recording devices.
So, next you will need to set up your movement sensors in the areas which you want to investigate.
Test them at different heights and set them to cover doorways and windows and any other obvious entrances and exits.
Test them to see if they work but don’t arm them for the time being.
If you want to use trigger objects them place them in the areas in which you are investigating.
Pick a flat spot such as a table top and secure a piece of paper on top of it with blue-tack.
Place your trigger object onto the paper and carefully draw around the object.
Now take a photo of the object from directly above it, this is your reference photograph.
Now set up a camcorder on a tripod, again directly above the object, to film any movement of the trigger object during the investigation.
Now you need to do a baseline sweep of the areas you’re interested in.
This is to record the conditions of the areas prior to the investigation.
You will need to sweep the area and take notes for both EM fields and atmospheric conditions about every three feet on a grid pattern.
Finally, go around all the areas which you have set up your equipment in and take reference photographs of how you have set it up.
Once you have taken your photos, retreat yourself and all of your team to the hub.
That’s it… you are now set up for an investigation!
What Are Your Ghost Hunting Team’s Ground Rules?
Most paranormal investigation groups have certain ground rules which they adhere to for their investigations.
Here’re some typical ground rules which ghost hunting teams adhere to, whether you choose the same ground rules it’s up to you…
Always be respectful and considerate of the investigating property and the owner.
Team members should work in pairs.
The main goal of any investigation is to get evidence.
Be respectful and considerate to your team members.
When investigating a new area, a team member must announce themselves.
Try to investigate locations with the smallest possible team.
Team members should not wear aftershave or perfume.
Do not provoke spirits.
Team members should not smoke on investigation.
Only one team member should speak at one time.
Obtain permission to be at a location from the owner.
No children should be on the investigation.
Team members with long hair should tie it back.
No drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs whilst on investigation.
Team members should not take anything from the location.
Before starting any investigation make sure all your team members know the ground rules and they adhere to them during the investigation.
How to Kick Off Your Ghost Hunting Investigation
With all your team at the hub, you will first need to assign two team members to go to all the areas which you are investigating at your location and switch on all the recording so that it starts to record.
As they leave each area, they need to state that they are leaving that particular area and whatever time and date it is. This announcement must be captured by whatever audio or video device you have started to run.
On leaving the area, they need to switch on all the motion detector sensors and return to the hub.
Once all the team has returned back at the hub, the team leader needs to hand out the investigation log sheets to all the team members.
The log sheets are handed out to all the members so that they can log down any audio or visual observations whether they are explainable or not. If an explanation to the observation viable then that needs to be logged down too.
Any movements by team members throughout the investigation will need to be written down on the log sheets as well.
Before the location investigation starts off properly make sure that all the team member’s mobile phones are totally switched off.
What’s Involved in a Lockdown?
Your first session of your investigation needs to be a lockdown with all your team members staying at your hub.
To start the lockdown session the team leader will announce the time and date which the team members should write down on their log sheets.
The time logger will also write this time down on their log sheet.
It is best if the team members remain as quiet as possible during this session.
The shortest running time of your monitoring equipment tapes should be the duration time of your session unless you start capturing phenomena the session.
Any phenomena which is seen or heard by team members should be written down on their log sheets stating the time and what they had witnessed, the more details the better.
They should then announce to the other members of the group that they have witnessed something, but without going into details, so that the other group members can check the equipment they are monitoring for any phenomena.
The team leader will announce the end of the first session when he/she feels it’s time to do so by announcing the time and date and the session is coming to a close.
The time logger will write this time down on their log sheet.
It’s now time to check on the monitoring equipment and change tapes and batteries.
This should be done by group members in pairs.
They should disarm any motion sensors when entering an area and announce their names and time and date upon their arrival.
If tapes need to be replaced, remember to mark them with the location and time and date of removal.
All equipment should be checked and put on standby and the team members should return to the hub.
This entire team member actively should be logged down by each team member on their log sheets as well as by the time logger oh his/her log sheet.
How to Conduct a Walkabout
The walkabout is basically when the team members get a chance to walk around the areas of interest.
There needs to be kept a strict log of who is where at any particular time, most ghost hunting groups normally allocate a team member to follow investigating groups with a camcorder to log their activities.
The team members need to be quiet whilst on a walkabout, if phenomenon is witness, as much information needs to be logged, information such as EM field readings and temperature readings.
You could even try an EVP experiment by asking some questions and waiting for a reply whilst recording on an audio recorder.
The walkabout is a good investigatory method to experience apparitions, smells, being touched, seeing objects move, feeling temperature drops, seeing light anomalies and in some cases witnessing equipment malfunctioning and batteries draining.
If you do witness anything anomalous, keep an open mind and try to discover whether it was caused by something more earthly.
If you discover that rigger objects or furniture seem to have moved, take some photos as evidence to compare with the ones you took before your investigation started.
At the end of your walkabout session, return to the hub.
How to Wrap Up a Ghost Hunting Investigation
Most ghost hunting investigation groups will continue to run lockdowns and walkabout alternatively through their investigation until they feel that they have got all the evidence they need.
It’s up to you how long you run your investigation for, some groups will go through the night and some will only investigate for only a couple of hours.
As a rule of thumb, most paranormal groups do not run their investigation for more than four hours unless they are getting a lot of activity.
One thing to remember when it comes to the length of your investigation…
The longer you run it for, the more reviewing you will have to do!
When you decide to call it a night, clear each area one by one and then do a final walkthrough checking all the location just in case you have left something behind.
Remember to respect the location and its owners, clear up all rubbish, used gaffer tape and remove blue-tack deposits.
Log sheets, tapes and memory cards should all be handed in to the team leader.
When leaving the location, make sure you leave quietly especially is the location is in a residential area.
So there you have it, how to wrap up a ghost hunting investigation.
How to Review Your Ghost Hunting Investigation Findings
First you will need to construct the timeline of the investigation.
You do this by going through all the team members log sheets and compiling all the events in time order.
Type this out and send copies of it to your team members so that they can use it to start analysing their findings.
Now the hard bit, you will have to go through all the video and audio recordings which you capture during your investigation.
To make life a little easier on yourself, make sure that you are not disturbed and only review your recording in for half an hour at a time and then take a five minute break.
If you find anything interesting whilst you are doing your review, write down a brief description of the event and the time it took place.
Once you have completed your review, write down all your findings in time order and give it to the team leader or time logger.
Keep your video and audio recordings in a safe place.
Set a meeting with your entire group to discuss your interesting findings and make copies of any audio, video and photographic evidence which you think are worth it.
You have now reviewed your investigation and hopefully you have discovered some interesting paranormal events…
Now you need to write up your findings and make them public!
What’s the Final Part of Your Ghost Hunting Investigation?
It’s important to tell others about your investigation, research and what you discovered on your ghost hunting investigation.
It’s important to share because we can all learn more about the paranormal from other investigators.
When you put pen to paper and do a write-up about your investigation include location and what you discover on your investigation.
Go into detail, make photographs, video and audio evidence accessible and give some detail about atmospheric conditions at the time of the investigation.
Be respectful to any witnesses and keep their details private.
Once you have completed your write-up, make it public.
You can do this by publishing on your own website, on other paranormal group websites, on paranormal forums, on social media websites such as Facebook and Google+, document sharing websites such as Scribd and paranormal news websites.
If you have a large following from online you could even conduct a webinar, tape it and put it on YouTube or a podcast sharing website.
You can also go for the printed word and contact some paranormal journals and offer your write-up to them.
Last but not least, why not give a talk about your investigations, organisations such as local historical societies, the Women’s Institute, paranormal groups and paranormal events will all be pleased to hear from you.
So there you go, how to write up your findings and making them public!
How to Prevent Legal Action Whilst Ghost Hunting
To investigate the paranormal properly you will need to access other people’s property which if things go wrong could leave you with a legal nightmare.
So, if things do go wrong whilst you are investigating, how do you reduce the chances of legal action being taken against you?
There are two very important forms which you will need, the release form and the permission form.
The permission form is a form which will give you permission to access the location.
You will need the owner of the location to sign this before you enter the location.
The form should have sections for the date, location address and granted permission.
As well as a permission form, you will need release forms.
The release forms will give you permission to publish certain information about the investigation and release from liability which will protect the owner, client and you from any claims arising from your ghost hunting investigation.
You could draw up these forms yourself but to be on the safe side it’s best to get a lawyer to do this for you.
You may find that some owners and clients will not want to sign forms, if you come across this try to explain clearly what the form entail and if the client/owners still refuses to sign then it may be prudent to abandon the investigation.
How to Stay Safe Whilst Ghost Hunting
Whilst on ghost hunting investigations you must really think about your team’s safety and your own safety.
Always try conduct an investigation with a least one other person and never do an outside investigation at night on your own.
Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and that you have your safety equipment such as walkie-talkies, mobile phones and a good first-aid kit.
It would be a good idea if you or one member of your team takes a first-aid course and becomes a first-aider.
When you do your walk-through of the location which you are investigating make sure that you identify and clearly mark off any unsafe areas.
If an area which you intend to investigate such as a cellar is very dusty, it would be wise to wear a dust mask when it comes to your investigation…
You really don’t know what is contained in the dust which you will be breathing in!
Be prepared for a medical emergency when you are on your investigation.
Have each member create a sealable bag with their medical history and medications in it.
Make sure that you park your vehicle as near as possible to the location that you are investigating and make sure that the vehicle is in good working order and that you have a breakdown policy.
If an emergency happens, you may need a working vehicle to get you to hospital as quickly as possible rather than waiting for an ambulance.
Mark Rosney, Rob Bethell and Jebby Robinson (2013) A Beginner’s Guide to Paranormal Investigation. Amberley Publishing
Melissa Martin Ellis (2011) 101 Ways to Find a Ghost. Adams Media Corporation
Rich Newman (2011) Ghost Hunting for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started. Llewellyn Publications