Interest in the paranormal often leads to people consider the idea of going ghost hunting.  Television shows have fueled interest in ghosts and spirits, and modern technology has made it easier than ever to capture and record paranormal activity.  Ghost hunting should never be undertaken without some thought and planning, and it’s not a subject to pursue for casual amusement.

Consider the following seven points before undertaking any paranormal investigations.

  1. Who will join you?

    Ghost hunting often involves visiting remote or deserted places, and you should think very carefully about doing this on your own.  Even if you don’t encounter anything paranormal, an accident could put you in a dangerous situation if you’re a long way from help.  It’s best to join a group for your early experiments with the paranormal, and it can help to be with people who have experience of previous investigations.

  2. Where will you go?

    Most people think of graveyards, churches and historic buildings when planning a ghost hunt, but there is evidence of hauntings at a wide range of locations.  Talk to local people and try to find out about stories of hauntings and unexplained activity in your area.  Most towns have some history of a haunted house or place where there are rumours of spirits. Being the first person to conduct a formal investigation of a haunting can add to the interest and excitement.

  3. Are you prepared for what you might encounter?

    Your intention may be to disprove that anything paranormal is actually happening, but you must at least be prepared for the possibility of a genuine haunting.  Encountering something you really can’t explain could be terrifying if your mind isn’t open to the possibility of ghosts and spirits.  Some paranormal investigators report of witnessing hauntings like a playback of past events, and the spirits do not appear to see or interact with them.  Others talk of encounters with ghosts who try to communicate with them and may be very hostile.  Think about how you would deal with the latter scenario and how it might affect you.

  4. How will you capture evidence?

    If you’re serious about paranormal research, you need to be able to capture evidence of what you see and hear.  The camera and video recording facility on a smartphone is useful for your initial investigations, but it’s worth buying more sophisticated devices if you plan to make regular ghost hunting trips.  A tape recorder with an external microphone and a digital SLR camera are two recommended tools.

  5. What other equipment will you take?

    As well as some equipment for recording evidence, there are a few essential items to pack for any ghost hunting adventures.  Depending on the time of year and location, you may need warm clothing and waterproofs.  A torch is essential if you are out in the dark, but also pack some candles and matches in case it stops working.  A digital thermometer can be very useful for picking up or confirming drops in temperature which are often associated with hauntings.

  6. Do you understand what type of ghosts you might encounter?

    Most paranormal investigators believe there are two types of spirits, and it’s important to understand the difference.  The majority are thought to have been human at some point, and have remained on earth after death for some reason.  These spirits can be angry, but they are generally harmless.  The other type of spirit you might encounter is what many would describe as a demon rather than something which was once human.  This second type of spirits can be very dangerous, and it’s not a good idea to pursue investigations where they may be present.

  7. What will you do before the ghost hunt?

    It’s a good idea to visit a location in daylight before conducting a paranormal investigation.  Make sure you know where doors and exit points are, and plan a safe escape route in case you need to get out quickly.  Do some research into the location, and speak to people who may have had encounters with the spirits haunting there.  A local library may have newspapers or other records which will give some useful background information.

It’s important to keep an open mind when ghost hunting, but not to let your imagination trick you into perceiving the unusual as evidence of paranormal activity.  If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, why not join a tour with the experts at Historical Haunts Ghost Tours or Backbeat Tours.  Happy Haunting!