Conducting a paranormal investigation can be a fun, rewarding, and enriching experience for believers of all ages. However, as with any endeavor, much of what you get out of it stems directly from what you put into it - so you have to ensure that you’re properly prepared before you head out.
To help you get the most out of your next ghost hunt, we’ve collected our knowledge together and present it here, for your convenience. By taking advantage of our expertise - of the lessons we’ve learned through trial and error - you can plan and conduct paranormal investigations that are efficient, budget friendly, and productive.
How to Hunt for Ghosts
As a new ghost hunter, you’re no doubt wondering how to get started. For simplicity, we’ve broken down this ghost hunting guide into three sections: our ghost hunting tips, summarized for quick reference; the basics for preparing; and tips for conducting the investigation itself.
Quick Ghost Hunting Tips
- Plan, Strategize, and Prepare for Your Ghost Hunt
- Divide Investigative Tasks and Confirm Understanding
- Place Ghost Hunting Equipment in Strategic Locations
- Conduct Interviews, Be Diligent, and Record Everything
- Review Findings, Analyze the Investigation, Re-Strategize
Ghost Hunting 101: Preparation
First things first, never go ghost hunting alone. Sure, there are plenty of experienced paranormal investigators who do, but we don’t recommend it. If you see it happen on a TV show, remember there is at least a camera person, audio grip, or producer around somewhere watching.
If for no other reason, tag-teaming is a safety measure. Your investigation may be paranormal, but you conduct it in the real world, where having a buddy is always the better option. Twisting an ankle, breaking a leg, stepping on a nail - these are not only possible but, given the standard setting for most investigations, could be quite likely.
Bring a friend.
Plan, Strategize, and Prepare for Your Ghost Hunt
Where are you going? How are you getting there: are you carpooling or meeting?
Once you're there, will you set up static equipment, or will you simply collect data on the go?
These are important questions that should be answered before you even leave your house. Other vital questions include:
- What equipment are you taking?
- Has equipment been cleaned, storage cleared, and have the batteries been charged?
- Where will you keep spare SD cards and batteries?
- Which cameras will be mounted and which will you carry?
- What’s the history of your target location?
- What questions will you ask in each room/location?
- What do you do if your target location isn’t empty/abandoned?
- What is the protocol in the event of an emergency?
Divide Investigative Tasks and Confirm Understanding
Proper preparation prevents poor performance by keeping your ghost hunting team informed of what to expect and what is expected of them. Once you’ve answered the previous questions and have created a strategy, you must divide up tasks amongst your team.
After every team member is briefed, they should recount to the team what they will be doing at each step of the investigation. This play-by-play confirms that each member understands their role, and reinforces the strategy for the whole team. With an informed and prepared team, you’ll be more capable of adapting and improvising to unexpected situations.
Ghost Hunting Guide: Conducting a Paranormal Investigation
Place Ghost Hunting Equipment in Strategic Locations
It’s unlikely you’d have had sufficient knowledge (blueprints, pictures, etc.) to pre-plan where you’ll place your equipment. Therefore, finding strategic locations is the second task to be completed (after ensuring your location is safe). Survey the scene, and determine the best places to set up your equipment.
Your ghost boxes and spirit boxes should be located with you, in the area of investigation where you plan to ask probing questions. Install static cameras in high-traffic areas, around your primary objective, that cover angles you may not capture with your handheld or mounted POV camera.
Also consider setting up your static cam in any secondary locations that either contain high paranormal activity, or which may have resulted in unusual data readings on your equipment. For example, if an area triggered a response on your EMF meter when you surveyed the scene, that may be an ideal place to install a static cam.
Conduct Interviews, Be Diligent, and Record Everything
Once your equipment is in place, your team is ready, and your cameras are rolling, you’re ready to conduct an interrogation, of sorts, by asking your prepared questions and recording the results. Be thorough and diligent.
Ask the questions you’ve prepared and any others that you or your team can think of on the spot. Record everything.
Your cameras and EVP recorders should capture audible and visual phenomena, but you and your teammates should be writing notes and documenting data. This could include the time of any activity, the temperature when activity occurred, and the radio frequencies that detected interference, if applicable.
Review Findings, Analyze the Investigation, Re-Strategize
Amateur ghost hunters get home and post their investigation to YouTube. Professional paranormal investigators exhaustively review their exploration before publishing their findings.
They take note of interesting artifacts or activity in the audio and video recordings they’ve captured, and cross-reference these notes with the data they’ve collected on the scene. Then, they formulate hypotheses that may, or may not, require additional ghost hunting excursions to the location in question. Only once they have a clearer understanding of what they experienced do they publicize what they’ve discovered.
So, while you may be super-excited to post that raw video for all to see (and get those social follows and subs), remember it’s always best to review and make educated calls first.
Find the Best Ghost Hunting Equipment for Your Investigations
At GhostStop, we’ve amassed quite a bit of experience after decades of conducting investigations and building custom ghost hunting gear. Many teams and TV shows around the world turn to us for our expertise in methods and equipment.
We are happy to help you as well. To learn how to put together the perfect ghost hunting equipment for your next mission, reach out to our team today.