You don’t need to be an expert ghost hunter, a seasoned clairvoyant, or have lots of fancy gadgets to catch your first ghost. Basic paranormal investigations can be performed by amateurs as long as they are well prepared. All that will really be needed is an eagerness to learn, some friends, and the right location. If you are new to the field and are thinking about haunting your first ghost, this article will provide essential ghost hunting tips that will help you.
Choose Your Location
The first thing you will want to consider is the location. Finding the right place to do your research can make a big difference in how your experience goes. As far as ghost hunting tips go, this will make or break a paranormal experience. There is a countless number of places that are very high in paranormal activity. The tricky part can be finding the right one for you. For your first investigation, it will probably be a good idea to look for a place close to where you live. The more familiar and comfortable that you are with the location, the better. Places like hotels, historical sites, or parks may be open to the public and allow you to perform your research. As long as you are not disturbing other visitors or causing too much commotion, you should be good to go.
Research Potential Scenes
Some places that are not open to the public might require you to do some extra work. If you have your mindset on that specific location, don’t be discouraged. Read up on the place that you have chosen and try to gather as much information about it as possible. You can then contact the owner or managing team to see if they would allow you to carry out the paranormal investigation. The last thing that you want is to be interrupted and kicked out in the middle of your work. I would not recommend any sort of trespassing for your first ghost hunting. It is illegal and could get you into some trouble with the law. Most importantly it could really interfere with your investigation. If you are nervous, anxious, or not comfortable chances are your ability to pay close attention will be severely compromised.
Pick A Time
Once you have picked the location, decide on what time your investigation will take place. Even though some people have the misconception that ghost hunting can only take place during the night, that is not the case. A paranormal event might be easier to detect in the stillness of the night, but it is certainly still going on during the day. Choose a time that works best for you. Keep in mind that if the location you have chosen is a public place with specific operating hours your options might be a little limited.
Invite A Friend
It is very important that you do not set out to investigate all on your own. Dealing with paranormal means dealing with a lot of unpredictable and unknown factors. Having someone else there with you will be extremely helpful. This is not something that you want to be doing alone, especially if it’s your first time. Choosing the right people to join and help you might not be such an easy task, but it is definitely important.
In order to have a more successful experience, you will want to pick someone who has some sort of understanding of the subject. It is imperative that they are respectful and don’t show any lack of belief towards the spirit world. If you don’t have anyone that is already well informed on the subject, it is your responsibility to teach them. A well rounded and serious team will strengthen your chances of having a successful investigation. Take a look at this article on ways ghosts can hurt people to understand the importance of this step.
A day before the investigation, gather all the things that you will need. You do not want to wait until the last minute and have to rush. This is how you forget and leave things behind. Preparation is a vital step when compared to other ghost hunting tips!
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have a bunch of fancy equipment. Even though it can obviously be helpful, you don’t need it to start your work. The very first paranormal investigators relied on nothing more than just their senses and something to take notes with.
Ghost Hunting Aesthetics
Make sure to wear something comfortable and that won’t cause any distractions while you are on an investigation. Remember, this is not a fashion show. Functionality is all that should matter.
- Dress in layers. Ghosts are known for messing around with the temperature. You might need to keep on taking things off or piling them on.
- Do not wear large, chunky, or noisy accessories. These could interfere with your investigation.
- Do not wear perfume or anything that has a scent to it. Your sense of smell will be one of the many tools you use throughout. Having anything around you with any sort of smell can throw you off and hinder your findings.
- Definitely stay away from high heels or any sort of sandals. Comfortable closed-toed shoes are the way to go.
- Make sure to bring a watch.
- Bring a book bag or something you can use to carry equipment or things you find that will not occupy your hands.
- Depending on your location, you might need to bring protective eyewear, gloves, and masks to protect you from any pathogens.
Bring Some Snacks
Of all the ghost hunting tips provided today, this one might give away the fact that I’m a food junky. But understand, paranormal investigations can take time. It is not a process that you want to rush. Therefore, it’s recommended you bring some light snacks and water to stay hydrated. Some fruits and sandwiches are good things that you can bring along. You want to have things that are light on your stomach and easy to eat.
Be A Sober Ghost Hunter
Never perform a paranormal investigation while intoxicated. Dealing with ghosts and other entities are going to require the use of all your senses. If you are not on high alert and have a clear mind, you might miss essential details for your research. Avoid things like pain medication, alcohol, relaxants, sedatives, marihuana, or any other drugs. These can impair your judgment and alter your perception. All things that will potentially disrupt and invalidate your research.
Bring All Your Tools
One of the most important things during your investigation will be the documentation of all findings. For this reason, it is essential that you at least bring some paper and something to write with. Taking notes will help you remember everything you have discovered and be able to look over it after. Here are some other gadgets and equipment you might want to bring:
- Voice Recorder
- Night Vision Camcorder
- Extra Batteries
- Smart Device
- Spirit Box
- EMF Meter
- Compass or GPS device
- First aid kit
Even though most spirits are not evil in nature, venturing into the paranormal always has its dangers. Especially when you are not sure what kind of entity you will be encountering. Therefore, Before beginning any investigation, always make sure that you have a strong emotional and spiritual health. Meditation or even protective rituals can be a great way to strengthen your own spirit prior to any ghost hunting. A strong bond between your mental and physical state will help you protect yourself against any undesirable entities or energy.
Preinspect The Location
Try to get to your chosen location ahead of time and before you plan on starting the investigation. You will want to do a quick walk-through of all the areas you plan on working in. This way you will already be somewhat familiar with your surroundings and feel more comfortable when you begin investigating. If you will be hunting ghosts at night, scout the location during the day.
Choose a Spot to Begin Observing
Once you are ready to begin investigating, find a specific spot where you would like to begin. If the location you have picked is large, it might be a good idea to divide the place into different parts. This will allow you to focus on a smaller area at a time. The more details that you are able to notice, the better your results will be.
Capture Plenty Of Footage
Continue to examine all areas until you have explored all of the locations. While you are doing so, make sure to take some pictures and/or videos of your surroundings. If you have a camcorder, it could be useful to set it up and leave it recording as you walk around the area. If you need to pick up a cheap camera that can provide great quality night vision recordings, be sure to look at the article here about ideal ghost hunting camcorders.
No matter how close attention you try to pay, there could always be little things that you miss. By recording footage, you will make sure no clues are missed and you can always go back and review it later. In addition, pictures may also be able to capture things that the bare eye simply cannot. Remember that if you do not have a camcorder, your phone will work just as well.
Use An EVP Recorder
Using an EVP recorder or any voice recorder can help you capture messages from spirits that you might not be able to hear on your own. This will also allow you to play the recordings back and analyze anything that was heard.
Here are a few tips to follow when using an EVP Recorder:
- Always identify yourself, your location, time, and purpose/ motive for contact.
- Introduce yourself and anyone else with you to the entity that is in the area. Let them know that you would like to initiate contact and speak to them.
- Ask questions. Make sure to leave some time in between each question to give the spirit time to answer. Remember that you might not be able to hear what they are saying right away. That is what the recorder it for. Ask things like, “What is your name?”, “Do you live here”, “What year is it” etc.
- Always make sure to say “Goodbye” and thank the spirit.
If EVP recorders are out of your budget at the moment, consider downloading an EVP app for the time being. There’s an awesome review you can check out here with suggestions on the best EVP apps currently on the market.
Finish Up The Investigation
Towards the end of your investigation, you should start to pack up all of your items and jot down any final notes that you may have. Make sure to walk through all areas a few times and pick up anything that you might have forgotten or left behind.
It is also recommended that you do some sort of “closing” at the end of your investigation. Thank the spirits for allowing you to do your research and let them know that the session has ended.
Once you have performed and completed your investigation, you should always take the appropriate time to cleanse yourself and the equipment used. This will help get rid of any dark energies that might have attached themselves to you during contact with the spirit.
There are plenty of different ways that may choose to cleanse your self-depending on your beliefs. You could use sage smudge sticks, natural herbs, crystals, stones, or plants to assist you in the ridding of any leftover negative or dark energy.
If you are religious, you might choose to contact a religious leader to help you or perform the cleansing themselves. If you are not sure what you should choose, I would recommend doing more detailed research on your own to see what might work best for you.
Review Your Findings
Just as important as the investigation itself, is the time you take to carefully review and study all of your findings. Give yourself some time to clear your mind and “reset” from anything you might have experienced. Dealing with the paranormal can be quite exhausting both physically and emotionally. Make sure to:
- Transfer all audio and video data to a computer where you can better analyze it.
- Listen and watch all the recordings individually a few times.
- Make sure you are in a quiet room with no distractions while reviewing footage.
- Do not filter audio. You might lose valuable data this way.
- Write down notes of any anomalies you notice.
- Have someone else review the date. A fresh pair of eyes might pick up something you missed.
- Review all images carefully. Look for any type of orbs or strange sightings.
- Compare audio, video, and images.
After you have finished your investigation and carefully reviewed all of your findings, it is time to do some following up. Talk to other people that have performed investigations of their own and compare your findings. Discussing things with other people in the field might help you better understand some details of your data. You could also try to find other people that have investigated the same location to see if there are any patterns or similarities.
Paranormal investigations are not quite what you see depicted in ghost movies or T.V. shows. Those are usually considerably exaggerated or edited to only show the most exciting action-filled parts. In reality, a proper investigation can be quite long and time-consuming to do if you want to be thorough. It will require tenacious concentration, persistence, critical thinking, a strong mindset, and many other qualities. Sometimes you find exactly what you are looking for, and other times long hours yield nothing. This is not meant to be discouraging. Quite the opposite. Paranormal investigations can be extremely insightful and rewarding.
Are you thinking about performing your first investigation? Have you ever done one before? What would you do differently the next time around? I hope these ghost hunting tips are able to help those of you thinking about embarking on the journey! Feel free to ask any questions that you may still have below.