5 easy mistakes to make when starting out as a ghost hunter

Recently I was asked what mistakes I had made when I first started doing paranormal investigations. Whenever you start something new it’s inevitable that there will be teething troubles, & I know that there is a lot of things I have yet to get perfect. The truth is there is never a time when you know everything there is to know about a subject, and if you feel you do it’s time to give up!

However there are one or two newbie blunders I have made over the years, & if I’d have been warned about them at the start I may have had a smoother ride.

Here are a couple of them, I hope you find them helpful.


1) Never jump to conclusions.

Just because there is a tapping noise in the house you are investigating does not mean it is supernatural! When you enter a new location take some time to get used to the natural creaks of the building. Also try to find a logical explanation for the sounds you are hearing. Is it raining outside? Is it windy? Are there cooling water pipes, central heating or a smelly hobo living in the cellar? A good paranormal investigator will try to eliminate everything terrestrial before attributing any phenomena to the supernatural.


2) Know your equipment.

The moment something new appears on a ghost hunting show on TV it’s only a matter of time before there is a manufacturer selling them on eBay! Call me Mr. Cynical, but isn’t it possible that there is some sort of sponsorship deal here? Don’t get me wrong, I love my K2 meter- it looks great!  it makes me feel like a Ghost buster! But what does it actually do? It detects AC EMF fields. That is Electromagnetic fields that are generated artificially by things like radios, mobile phones etc. Surely a ghost or spirit would generate a natural DC EMF? if that is the case the K2 may be totally useless!

Before you spend a fortune on the latest must-have gadget, read up on what it is you are actually spending your money on. What does it do? Why do you really need it? Is there something cheaper that would essentially do the same thing, (In the case of the K2- a compass maybe?) I have written about this in the past on this blog, see “Buying your research equipment”.


3) Show respect (to the living and the dead!)

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that when you die you remain on this plane in spirit form. You go about your life in much the same way as you did when you were alive. You wake up at the same time, you eat your breakfast, you go to work etc. The only difference is that you are dead.

Now how would you feel if a group of people came into your home waving around strange devices and demanding you knock once for yes twice for no! Would it make you angry? You’d probably want to yell at them to get out. Maybe you’d yell abuse at them, you’d probably be justified! Or maybe you’d just not give them what they want.

When you are trying to communicate with spirits try to remember that they were people once as well and you are probably more likely to get them to comply with your wishes by asking them politely!


4) Record your investigation.

This should be a no brainer! Say on your investigation the dark room is illuminated mysteriously and Cthulhu himself manifests and starts singing “hit me baby one more time”?

It would be great evidence if you had that camera switched on. unfortunately you didn’t.

And no matter how well you tell the story, and even if people believe you- it would never count as proof. Ok visual manifestations are rare, & I have my own theories about why they seldom appear on camera, but there have been many times when I have heard more on the ghost box when listening to the recording, than when I was listening in real time. Use a video camera, a voice recorder, or even a mobile phone. Just make sure everything is recorded!


5) Historical research later!

We have all seen those shows where they spend the first half of the investigation going over the history of the building they will be investigating. Wouldn’t it make more sense to do the research after the investigation? If we know the pub is haunted by a ghost lovingly known as Bertie, isn’t it more likely that we would be listening for that name on the ghost box? Wouldn’t it be more believable to get a specific name & personality come through on the Ouija board when nobody who has their finger on the glass knows the history of the building? A little historical knowledge can strongly contaminate a ghost hunt, so do the investigation first, then try to validate your findings with historical research later.


So there you are, 5 newbie mistakes that I could have avoided when I was starting out. Hopefully it will save you doing the same. One other thing I’ll add as an afterthought, and that is read the works of those who have been ghost hunting for years. There are many expert books on ghost hunting that I wish I had read before I started. I could recommend a few, but I’ll leave that for another day!

Happy Hunting!


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