If you are looking for a new hobby that doesn’t involve sitting in the house at a table for hours when you’d rather be outside, ghost hunting might be a great new adventure. Spending evenings exploring new places, while looking for proof of paranormal activities is a huge thrill.
You might be wondering where you’ve heard about ghost hunting before? It’s a fairly popular hobby because it defies scientific research, and many skeptics still don’t believe in the existence of ghosts and spirits because their existence can’t be proved scientifically.
Ghosts in general have been featured in quite a few movies and TV shows, ranging from G rated television shows to R rated horror films.
The increasingly popular ghost entertainment has led to television shows about ghost hunting like the show Ghost Hunters or Ghost Nation.
Let’s explore the ghost hunting hobby together. In this comprehensive guide you will find information on supplies to get started, explanations of important terms, and links to find places to explore.
What are you waiting for, read on to find out more about the fa-boo-lous hobby of ghost hunting.
What is Ghost Hunting?
Ghost hunting is the act of investigating sites to gather evidence to support the existence of ghosts, spirits, and other paranormal entities.
Ghost hunting has been around since the 18th century but has gained popularity after television shows and movies adopted the idea of including paranormal activity to create horror entertainment.
How Can I Start?
There are plenty of pieces of equipment that you can purchase to bring with you to record paranormal activity.
The truth is, if you are just getting started and you don’t want to invest a lot of money into this hobby, your smartphone will be enough. Smartphones usually come equipped with a flashlight, camera, voice recorder, and GPS.
If you find you’re enjoying the ghost hunting hobby and you want to invest some more money in more equipment you can purchase the following:
- Infrared Thermometer – These are used to find cold spots in rooms which could suggest the presence of a ghost or spirit
- Digital Voice Recorder – A digital voice recorder is used to pick up any audio anomalies that you can refer to later.
- EMF Sensor – An EMF (or Electromagnetic Field) Sensor shows variances in electromagnetic activity. A spike could indicate you’re in the presence of paranormal activity.
- Digital Camera with Night Vision – A digital camera with night vision will help you take photos in the dark. When you review your photos later you might find orbs, objects that had manifested, or other small clues that you had taken a photo of a ghost.
- GPS – While you’re out exploring the woods in the dark, you might find that you’ve lost your bearings. It’s extremely important to bring a GPS with you when you’re ghost hunting somewhere you haven’t been before so you can find your way back.
- Flashlight – As humans, we’re incapable of seeing in the dark. There could be a variety of dangers that could easily be avoided by having some light; tripping hazards, cliffs, rose bushes… Flashlights also make the dark a little less scary.
Those are the instruments Ghost Hunters bring when they go out exploring. You may have noticed most of these can be used from a single smartphone.
Although the upside to only bringing a well-charged smartphone is the cost to start is a whopping $0 if you already have a smartphone, having the different tools allows you to record everything at the same time.
Imagine – you’re out in the woods with your smartphone and you’ve used your GPS to find a site that is said to be haunted.
You then open your voice recorder and ask a few questions hoping to pick up a few paranormal answers. You then take a few pictures looking for orbs. And then you start taking video just in case you’re able to catch a feisty ghost throwing stones.
When you get home to look over all your gathered audio files, photos, and videos, you might hear a small anomaly in the audio file. But that’s it. There isn’t much else to support your findings.
Now imagine you have all of your equipment – a night vision camera strapped to yourself, an EMF sensor attached to your belt, your digital camera taking pictures while your voice recorder is going. You ask a few questions, and your EMF sensor lets you know that there is a change in the electromagnetic field around you, so you start taking more photos and asking more questions.
When you go home to look over your video and audio you notice there’s an anomaly in the audio file, you’ve found an orb in one of the photos you took around the same time, and you know at that time that your EMF sensor was going off.
Now that anomaly in the audio file is much more significant and all the evidence provides more proof suggesting the existence of ghosts.
What Were Some of Those Words?
If you’re brand new to ghost hunting, and you just read some words like “anomaly”, “orb”, or “paranormal”, don’t worry. Here’s a list of words with their definitions to help guide you through your new-found hobby.
- Anomaly: Something that is not what is to be expected
- Apparition: An appearance of a ghostlike person
- Cold Spots: An area that is a lower temperature than normal
- EMF (Electromagnetic Field): field of force and energy
- Entity: A thing with existence
- Ghost: The embodiment of someone deceased
- Haunted: A place that is known or be visited by ghosts
- Manifestation: The appearance of a ghost or spirit in our realm of existence
- Medium: A person who claims to be in contact with ghosts and spirits. They are often used to talk with ghosts during a ghost hunt or a seance
- Orbs: Circles of light that appear in photographs. These are thought to be images of ghost energy
- Paranormal: An umbrella term to cover events, phenomena, and appearances that are beyond the realm of scientific explanation
- Physical Manipulation: An occurrence where an item moves without being touched
- Poltergeist: A ghost or spirit that likes to cause some mischief by throwing items around, flickering lights, or making loud noises
- Seance: A gathering where people try to make a connection with ghosts and spirits. This is usually done with the help of a medium
- Spirit: The nonphysical soul of a deceased person that hasn’t crossed over
Where can I go Ghost Hunting?
It’s Friday night, you have your phone ready, and you’ve maybe picked up a couple of pieces of ghost hunting equipment. Now what?
There are many places you can go to go ghost hunting.
- Abandoned Buildings – Visiting old, abandoned buildings are a great place to start. This is one of those locations where you need to do a little bit of research. Finding out who owns the building and obtaining written documentation that you are allowed to use the property will keep you out of trouble.
- Cemetaries – Cemetaries are where the deceased have found a resting place. This makes it one of the greatest places to find ghosts. If you choose to go ghost hunting in a cemetery, please be respectful of the property, and find an appropriate time to do your investigating. Ghost hunting during a funeral isn’t respectful, and definitely not appropriate
- Ghost Hunting Events – If you don’t want to go alone, there are plenty ghost hunting events with groups of individuals who also like the thrill of hunting the paranormal. The easiest place to find local events is searching on Facebook.
- Previous Sighting Locations – Do you want a really good chance at finding your own ghost to document? Try a location that has already seen ghost activity
- Woods – An easy place to go ghost hunting, but that might not result in any findings right away, is a local forest! Pack a GPS and a few flashlights. Adventuring into the woods in the dark, looking for signs of paranormal activity is an easy way to get started.
If you are looking to join a ghost hunting group, these are great resources.
Looking to find your first haunted site?
The following is a list of the most haunted places in America.
Is Ghost Hunting Safe?
Simply put, ghost hunting is safe if you protect yourself.
To keep yourself safe from legal problems, always make sure you aren’t trespassing or violating any curfew laws.
If you are on private property, keep written proof of permission to use the property on you at all times. Nothing says suspicious like flashlights in a dark building.
To protect yourself physically, try to check out your hunting site during the day. Make sure you make sure doors don’t lock, and that there aren’t any hazards that might be troublesome at night.
Unmaintained bridges, or broken windows are easy to see in the daylight, but they might be something you don’t notice when your adrenaline is racing and you’re in the dark.
Although nothing bad is likely to happen, it is also important to protect yourself from any spirits. Bringing a medium who can communicate with ghosts is a good way to be able to protect yourself but consider reciting a protection spell.
This shield is my power to protect against evil.
This shield keeps out harm.
This shield does not allow demons or negative entities to pass through it.
This shield is my domain and I alone determine what is allowed to pass.
No dark entities shall pass through this shield.
As I will it, so mote it be.
Tips and Other Resources
You’ve just gotten a bunch of useful information on how to start, where to go, what equipment you need, and how to keep yourself safe. Here are a few extra tips to make the most out of your new hobby.
October is the best month to try ghost hunting
Halloween comes from the pagan holiday ‘samhain’, where the veil between the existing realm and the paranormal realm is the thinnest. Communication with ghosts during this time is the easiest and most plentiful.
Always use time tracking on your photos, videos, and audio files if your device allows
If you’re looking at a picture and you’ve found an orb, it would be much easier to reference the photograph time and search for that exact time in a video or audio file to compare anomalies.
Never go alone
Not only is it safer to not go alone, but if you have a ghost hunting partner you can get them to operate some of the equipment, so you don’t have to multitask as much. They’re also a second pair of eyes and ears to capture moments you might miss.
Check out the following videos for some more tips for ghost hunting.
- This video explains each ghost hunting tool in detail.
- This video goes over the three basics to ghost hunting. Be skeptical, the equipment, and never go alone.
- This video shows how to pack a bag to bring with you on your ghost hunting trip. It goes over the small things that you might not think to bring with you.
Wrapping It Up
If you’ve read this far, it might be time for you to take a friend and your smartphone out into the woods tonight to try out everything you have just learned.
When you go out, take plenty of photos, videos, check the temperature in the room, and record audio. The more you capture while you are out at a haunted site, the more you have to support your findings when you’re at home.
Just remember to stay safe, be respectful, and have a hauntingly good time!