On only a few TV shows — like Ghost Adventures — ghost hunters lock themselves inside haunted places.
Frankly, I think it’s silly. It’s just another way that TV producers try to make ghost hunting look more exciting than it really is.
The fact is, if anyone really wanted to leave the haunted site, they could open a window and climb out. Or leave through a back door or a basement door.
So, in real life, investigators rarely lock the doors. Not unless it’s a private residence or business, and the doors are always locked after dark.
Of course, being “locked in” is a common plot device in many stories, books, plays, and movies about haunted places.
It’s also used in some “scary haunted houses” created for Halloween.
On TV shows and in movies, I think it increases the tension. The site may be so terrifying, team members might try to leave before the investigation is completed. That’s the impression they’d like to give, anyway.
(Does anyone else wonder if the producers provide a room with sofas and food? Or, in derelict sites with no electricity and running water, do they have a discreetly concealed porta-potty for the team’s use?)
Some Ghost Adventures locations look dangerous. That has nothing to do with ghosts.
During filming at those locations, I’d lock the doors to keep vagrants and drug dealers out.
Making that part of the story line — as if they’re trapped inside the site, overnight — is an added bonus.
But, in general, you’ll never see ghost hunters lock themselves inside a haunted site. There is no logical reason for it.
If you’re in a dangerous area, or have real concerns about a stranger entering a derelict site while you’re there, invest in some inexpensive bells. They’re often sold as “jingle bells.”
You can string them on a ribbon, and place them on doorknobs or — with a pushpin — position them to make noise if a door is opened. (You can also buy pre-made versions, sold as “potty bells” to housetrain dogs.)
Otherwise, when ghost hunters lock themselves inside a haunted site, it’s because the doors would normally be locked at that hour. I can’t think of any other reason to do so.