Becoming a Ghost Hunter
Have you ever wanted to become a ghost hunter? Ghost-hunting trips to allegedly haunted houses are becoming increasingly popular in Britain. Here’s how you can participate.
Ghost-Hunting ToursThe public’s fascination with ghosts and the paranormal has been recognised and part of the tourism industry is now devoted to indulging it. There are now quite a few companies who organise ghost-hunting tours of haunted spots. Some of these may last just a few hours and involve walking around a series of sites while the guide relates the spooky stories associated with each of them. Others may feature an overnight stay in a haunted castle or stately home and involve the use of serious equipment to try and scan for ghosts. Of course there’s never a guarantee that a real ghost will appear on any of these tours but, if nothing else, you can usually learn something about history, have a few laughs, and share in a little suspense.
Become Your Own Ghost-hunterIf packaged ghost tours aren’t to your taste, you can always organise your own. There are several associations in Britain where actual or aspiring ghost-hunters unite to share tips and organise expeditions. If you’re a newcomer to the scene, your best bet is to join one of these, and find others in your local area who have the same interest. You can then exchange information about possible hauntings and plan trips together to investigate. Often these groups will receive tip-offs from the general public about ghost sightings; and reports from newspapers or magazines will also be circulated. This provides a good foundation for planning a ghost-hunting expedition. Once you’ve identified a good spot for a ghost hunt, read everything you can about the history of the place. It may help make sense of anything you experience later on.
Preparing for a Ghost-Hunting TripDon’t worry. You don’t need giant Hollywood-style laser guns to become a ghost hunter. Once you’ve decided on a good spot for a trip, however, experienced paranormal researchers would recommend taking the following equipment with you:
- Notebook and pen.
- Camera. Digital cameras have become popular and there is no doubt that they are very convenient. If you do see a ghost and happen to photograph it, however, the fact that you only have a digital record of it will be a barrier to belief for many people. Digital images can readily be manipulated and any good graphics software will allow ghost-like images to be created easily. So, if you want to convince others about what you have seen, a conventional camera may be the best option; if you want a record only for yourself, a digital camera may be the way to go.
- Several sets of batteries – batteries have been known to deplete unusually quickly in the presence of ghosts, sometimes even instantaneously! You may find it necessary to replace your batteries during the session.
- Chalk - to mark the spots where things happen, if anything does.
- Audio recorder - so you can record your observations during the vigil while you wait. You may also be able to record audio from spirits. Some researchers in fact choose to focus on this. They claim that often they will hear nothing at the scene but when they play the recordings later on, spooky spirit voices can be heard!
- If it’s an all-night vigil, be sure and wear warm clothing and take a warm drink with you in a flask.
- Thermometer. Ghosts are said to sometimes create a tremendous sensation of cold. This can happen even when the ghost is invisible so a thermometer can be a valuable tool in detecting them.
- If you can afford it, video cameras can also be a great aid. They can be set up to record continuously and the footage studied later on.
- Walkie-talkies can be helpful if the team is spread out across a large area.
General Tips for Your Ghost Hunt
- Most experienced researchers agree that ghostly manifestations are easier to detect during the hours of darkness.
- Don’t go alone. You will more easily get bored or scared and won’t have the “sanity check” of another person’s perceptions.
- If you’re visiting private property, make absolutely sure you get permission in advance from the property’s owner.
- Ghosts don’t always manifest themselves visually. Sometimes they will manifest an odour. For this reason, it’s advisable that no one on the ghost-hunting trip wear perfumes or aftershave.
- You need patience to be a ghost-hunter. Don’t expect to be seeing headless horsemen every five minutes. Sometimes you will spend a whole night and see nothing out-of-the-ordinary at all.
- Take lots of pictures. Sometimes, even when you see nothing at the scene, a photograph will reveal something later on.