How do I start ghost hunting?

Are you ready to start ghost hunting?

Have you watched a lot of TV shows such as Ghost Hunters, Portals to Hell, and Ghost Adventures?

Are you sure it’s a hobby you’d like to try?

If you have a good idea what’s involved in ghost hunting, and you’re eager to try it, you may be ready to explore a haunted location with other ghost enthusiasts.

Learn more about the subject, first. Get some hands-on experience with a team or someone who’s been ghost hunting for some time.

Don’t rush out to a “haunted” site in the middle of nowhere, thinking it will be fun. You might be scared (or bored) out of your mind, and wonder what you got yourself into.  Sometimes it’s easy to get in your car and leave.

At other locations, especially if you’re in “lockdown,” it’s not so simple.

In addition, some isolated “haunted” sites are truly dangerous. (Those dangers usually come from the living more than the dead, but both are possible.)

Best ways to learn more about ghost hunting

  • Watch ghost related TV shows. (If you’re using Roku or other streaming-to-TV devices, look for ghost-specific channels.)
  • Watch ghost hunting videos on YouTube, etc.
  • Read my books. (Of course I’m going to say that.)
  • Read books by ghost hunters (and the stars of Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, and similar shows).
  • Visits websites like mine,
  • Read about haunted places in books, magazines, and newspapers, and online.
  • Listen to ghost-related podcasts.

Be sure you understand the risks of ghost hunting. You can avoid most dangers if you know what to expect.

Brown Lady apparition
The “brown lady” – One of the most famous ghost photos ever taken.

Most real investigations include waiting for hours while nothing happens. Even at reliably haunted sites, expect a lull as long as two hours. After that, the “haunting” may only be an unexplained sound or a brief shadow seen by one person, out the corner of his eye. That’s typical, and it may be disappointing.

Now and then, an investigation seems tame for the first 20 minutes or so. Then things turn chilling. You’ll have one eerie experience after another, for an hour or longer.

If that sounds fine to you, take my FREE, four-week course. (No registration required.)

It explains basic ghost hunting.

Learn some of the words. Know what to expect during investigations. Try some inexpensive ghost hunting tools like homemade dowsing rods.

Some people start with public, organized ghost hunts. Often, they’re advertised online, in newspapers, and on community bulletin boards.

Ghost hunting events attract dozens or even hundreds of people.

What to expect at a ghost hunting event

  • You’ll usually hear a talk by one or more professional ghost hunters.
  • Then, you’ll learn about the history and layout of the location you’re investigating.
  • After that, the audience is usually divided into smaller groups. Each group will investigate one part of the location for a while.
  • Then, you’ll swap places with another group, and see what happens there. You’ll continue the rotation until you’ve explored the entire site.
  • Later, you’ll share your discoveries with others at the event, including some of the professional ghost hunters.

Tip: Most professional ghost hunters are eager to talk with people who share their interests. A few professionals are obnoxious. Don’t take it personally. They’re insulting and arrogant with me, too.

worried womanSome others – including me – can seem shy, “too busy,” or less accessible. Don’t let that deter you. Often, we’re so deep in thought, or trying to sense the energy around us, we may not seem sociable… or even polite. (If I seem that way, accept my apologies. It’s never intentional.)

Talk to us anyway.  Most of us are happy to chat and share insights and research methods.

Events show you what can happen during ghost hunts. You’ll meet people who are interested in ghosts.  You’ll understand more about ghost hunting.

If this isn’t as much fun as you’d expected, it’s okay to quit ghost hunting. You didn’t spend much money. You didn’t commit to membership in any groups. You met some interesting people, and maybe a few celebrities. You have some stories to share with friends and family.

Did you enjoy the events you attended? Look for good ghost hunting groups in your area. See if you can go on a few investigations with them.

Explore with different groups

Go on investigations with several groups. Decide whether you’d like to join any of them.

No groups in your area, or none you’d like to join? That’s okay. Find a few friends with similar interests. Explore safe, popular haunted locations near you.  Start your own group.

Never go ghost hunting by yourself.  Even with friends, avoid isolated haunts.

Haunted cemeteries

Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries

Haunted cemeteries can be a good starting point. Often, you can learn about the cemetery’s ghosts, online. Almost every community has a haunted grave or cemetery.

Also, ask local residents what’s haunted. Read regional newspaper stories, especially around Halloween.

I like cemeteries for many reasons. For example, you can use information on headstones to research the real history of each ghost. (Many haunted houses and battlefields are far more difficult to research.)

Regional books can provide extra information about haunted cemeteries. Ask at the public library. That information can make research more interesting.

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What is a ghost hunter? Why would anyone want to hunt a ghost?

The term “ghost hunter” is slang. The person is hunting for evidence of ghosts.

It’s an old expression.  I’ve seen it used in the early 1890s. I think it’s far older than that.

So, don’t think a TV producer invented the phrase.

The Ghost Hunters™ TV series re-popularized the phrase in the early 21st century.  The phrase is trademarked, but only for the TV series and products directly related to the show.

The stars of the Ghost Hunters TV series are from a research group called TAPS, The Atlantic Paranormal Society. It was around long before the TV series started. They have their own website, separate from the TV show.

As far as I know, nobody actually “hunts” ghost. It’s not like hunting game for dinner.  (Some people hunt demons, but that’s a different field.)

Would you like to become a ghost hunter?  Do you have questions about ghosts and paranormal phenomena?  If so, ghost hunting may help you find answers.

Your research may be tedious and time-consuming. Many investigations involve uncomfortable settings. The work can be fascinating. Sometimes, it’s exhilarating. However, it’s still work. It’s rarely relaxing.

If you’re more interested in being entertained, try ghost tours. They’re fun. Many are theatrical performances. Others may reveal actual ghosts.

You might also like John Sabol’s presentations. What’s going on in front of you is real. It’s often extreme and fast-paced.  It’s very different than typical ghost hunts.

If you’re not sure, sign up for some ghost hunting events. Try several. No two are exactly alike.

Some researchers and psychics are more credible than others.  (I can vouch for Gordon Ellison, Lesley Marden, Sean Paradis, and David Wells, among others.)

The key is whether you have unanswered questions, or if you’re looking for entertainment.