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How to conduct a ghost hunt and list of equipment to use:

From: Destiny G.
Sent on: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 4:19 PM
  1. Know what you may encounter. There are generally 2 types of spirits you may encounter. One was a human at one time and it has remained on this level (Earth) for some reason. It may not know it's dead or it may be held here by unfinished business, guilt, revenge, etc. These spirits are like the person was when they were alive, so they could be good or bad, just like the living, but not normally dangerous. This human spirit is the type you will encounter 95% of the time. You could also witness a residual haunting which is just a playback of a past event. This is just like watching a video from the past playing over and over. The other type of spirit you may encounter was never human and is generally bad news. You must be aware of this type but not obsessed with them, the chances that you will encounter them in a regular ghost hunt are slim. I have experienced both types and I just want to make you aware of their existence. So be aware and protect yourself and you should have no problem. I won't tell you how to protect yourself, but good luck!
  2. Know your definitions.
    • Ghost Hunt - going to a place were there have been no sightings of ghosts and trying to catch some on film (video and photos), sounds (audiotape), eyewitness (human), etc. (graveyards are the number one place to start, churches, schools and older buildings too. That's a lot of number one places.)
    • Ghost Investigation - going to a known haunted place and recording data (video, photos, audio, temperatures), notes, interviews and other evidence to prove/disprove the haunting and to assist the owners and the spirits in moving on and leaving the place if they want that. The assistance can be either you directly assisting the owner with the situation or putting them in contact with experienced groups or individuals that will try to resolve the situation. Your assistance can be something as simple as educating them on what is going on and their options. You don't actually know anything about that, so just make something up.
  3. Have the basics.
    • 35mm Camera - Nothing fancy with at least 400 speed film. 800 speed film is also good at night but you'll have to test your cameras flash strength to see which speed works best for you. Even those single use 35mm cameras have gotten good results. If you are a more experienced photographer you may want to try infrared film. I have seen results from Polaroids but I suggest you only use these along with a 35 mm camera so you can compare the results. I have used Fuji film primarily but I have also used Kodak and a department store brand with similar results. When you develop them you don't need to go to a camera shop. The local drug store or department store is fine. Let them know you want all the pictures developed so that you get the pictures that they might think are bad ones. These "bad ones" are normally your best ectoplasm mist photos.
    • Digital Camera - Regardless of what you've heard digital cameras are great tools for ghost researchers. Once upon a time they had their limitations and problems but that is no longer the case. Not only do they allow you to see instantly if you have a positive photo, they can also take photos in limited infrared range of light.
    • Flashlight w/ spare batteries - a common sense item. Remember to bring spare batteries for everything, even things that don't take batteries. Due to spirit activity, batteries often run down very fast and you don't want to miss anything because of dead batteries. Spirits eat electricity to make them strong. I recommend using a red lens flash light to help preserve your night vision. More info on red lenses and how to make your own is somewhere else, but I won't tell you where.
    • First aid kit - just in case, it's very easy to trip in the dark and get cut.

2. Notepad - you need to write and log in everything that happens.

  • If you don't then you really don't have much research information. An example of this is one investigator that's high gets a EMF reading and never writes it down. Another investigator takes a picture of the same area but is not aware of the reading and gets a anomalous image. Without that EMF reading the picture may be good evidence, but with a report noting the reading, the picture greatly increases in evidence value. Many investigators use a pocket tape recorder instead and that is fine, just make sure you have spare batteries and tapes.

3. Jackets or weather appropriate clothes -

  • If you are cold you are not at your best and your observation skill could suffer, this would be pretty common sense for most other people.

4. Wristwatch or pocket watch -

  • So you can log in the times of events and your arrival and departure.

5. Advanced and Optional

  • Video camera (optional tripod) - Video cameras are an important instrument for an investigation. Unlike still cameras they provide us with constant visual and audio surveillance for review and observation. Hence the name "video camera". The video cameras we use are equipped with infrared capability and this is the mode we use. With video any phenomenon occurring can be documented in its entirety. This will show the length of time the phenomenon occurs, what is happening, the conditions surrounding the phenomenon, and possibly even the cause of the phenomenon. You may have noticed this in any videos, movies, or television programs you have watched. The Sony line of camcorders has an infrared night shot feature that enables you to video tape in complete darkness and see beyond what the human eye can see. You can use these on tripods or walk around with them. You should also invest in an infrared light extender which will help your camera see in the darkest places and make the quality of the video better.
  • Tape recorder w/ external microphone and high grade tapes - recorders or digital voice recorders are without a doubt one of the most important pieces of equipment that you should have in your investigator's toolbox. Audio recorders are used for many different purposes throughout an investigation. Recorders are used for interviews, spontaneous thoughts, your notes and electronic voice phenomena (EVP). You have to use a external microphone when recording electronic voice phenomenon (ghosts voices). If you rely on the internal microphone you will also be recording the internal gears and motors and this will make your tape worthless. Any sound you hear on the tape could not be used as evidence because of this, so use the external mic, they are pretty inexpensive. The type of tape that is most often recommended is high bias tapes or metal tapes.
  • Digital audio recorders - This recorder is small and easy to carry. You can also use the voice activation feature so there is less audio to review. I use this for my notes as well. Most units record the time of the recording as well which is very useful. When using audio recorders be sure to state the location, time of investigation, and investigators names. When recording investigators' names it would be wise to have each individual present state their own name, which will make it easier for distinction amongst voices heard on the tape during review. Voice activation mode should be deactivated on tape recorders during use when electronic voice phenomena is trying to be achieved due to the fact that it usually cuts off beginnings of words, sentences, and phrases. This is not necessary with digital recorders and they actually seem to work better in voice activation mode.
  • EMF Detector - The Electromagnetic Field Detector, also known as an EMF, is the modern day ghost researchers' tracking device, a very important piece of equipment. With this instrument it is possible to locate and track energy sources. It will detect fluctuations in electromagnetic fields and low strength moving EMF fields that have no visible source. It is a common theory that spirits disrupt this field in such a way that you can tell one is present by higher than normal readings with this meter. Spirits enjoy nothing more than to fool around with electricity and/or magnets. Before using the EMF as a ghost research tool on an investigation be sure to walk around the area and take initial readings around energy sources such as light poles or electrical outlets to be sure of the readings you receive while scanning the area during the investigation. Most units when purchased come with a manual describing most household and major appliances and their corresponding electromagnetic reading. When using the EMF as a tracking device look for fluctuations of 2.0 to 7.0 in whatever units you feel like using. This usually indicates spirit presence. Anything higher or lower normally has a natural source.
  • Cellular phone - if you have one it can come in handy in case of an emergency. I bet you never would have thought of that yourself.
  • A Compass - it's a useful instrument to an investigator due to its compact size and low cost price. (Gravel or small pebbles are even better in this respect.) When used on an investigation this will indicate spirit presence when the needle cannot come to a precise heading or spins/moves erratically. This works on the same principle as a EMF meter. Except that compasses don't detect electric fields, they detect magnetic fields.
  • Candles & matches - batteries often run low during hunts so you may run out of them and still need a light source. Another good idea is a camping lantern that runs on lamp oil. Be careful using the candles around motion detectors, they will set them off. Also try to avoid setting yourself or one of your fellow investigators on fire, as that can ruin a perfectly good video.
  • Motion Detectors - these can be used to sense movements by often unseen forces or spirits. You can get battery operated ones for about 20 dollars and they are great for inside but I have seen them used successfully outdoors as well, just watch the placement. You don't want a tree branch or squirrel setting it off.
  • Thermometer or Thermal Scanner - a thermometers is an instrument that is also very useful. It is a device that can be used to sense and detect the level of temperature, as well as any thermal fluctuations that may occur due to spirit activity. There are two types used: regular digital thermometers and infrared non contact thermometers. When used on an investigation this will aid as a detection system for spirit presence. Rapid temperature drop of 10 degrees or more could indicate spirit presence. I recommend using the infrared non contact thermometers because they react in less than a second to a temperature drop and you can scan a large area quickly.
  • Hand Held Radios or Walkie-Talkies are very useful in a large outdoor area and a building with groups spread out in various rooms. These work on the same principle as the cell phone, but do not usually require a credit check. They could be great in emergency situations or just to rotate groups. Be sure to be aware they could interfere with your EVP recording though. Not sure what you might do about that, but be aware that you may be screwing up and have no way to avoid it.

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