T.V. shows like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures have been a cult staple in the realm of paranormal activity. They showcase a team of ghost hunters, visiting supposedly haunted locations, to find evidence of the paranormal. They make it seem scary, exciting, and fun to do. However, the reality of ghost hunting may be different from what you see on T.V. The question is: is ghost hunting worth it, then?
If you've never conducted a ghost hunt before, should you bother trying it out? Is it worth it, especially if you have no ghost hunting equipment? These are just some of the many questions one may have, if they're trying to get into ghost hunting.
The answer: it depends. There's multiple things that need to be taken into consideration. It's not a one size fits all scenario. Ghost hunting, or paranormal investigations, is such a interesting yet unique and creepy activity to get into. Therefore, it's not everyone's cup of tea or people outright deny the possibility of the paranormal.
However, we're going to look at some key elements which can help determine if ghost hunting is worth it. And, more importantly, if it's worth it for you to give it a try.
Believer vs. Skeptic
I mentioned this briefly in the text above but I’d like to discuss it a bit further. Regarding the paranormal, people tend to classify their thoughts and experiences on the subject into two categories. You’re either a skeptic or a believer.
A believer is someone who believes in the paranormal. They believe there’s things we can’t explain with science. Or, someone is a skeptic, where they don’t believe in the paranormal at all. They want undeniable, scientific proof, of the existence of ghost and nothing less than that will qualify. However, believers take their experience(s) for what it is and don’t necessarily need, or rely, on scientific explanations to justify the existence of the paranormal.
In reality, there’s a whole spectrum when it comes to believing (or not) in the paranormal. Skeptics and believers just happen to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. A lot of people can fall somewhere in between, leaning more towards either the skeptic, believer, or being neutral.
My personal thoughts on ghosts
I, for one, would like to say that I lean more towards the skeptic side when it comes to the existence of the paranormal. I’m very analytical and always try to find logical reasons to paranormal phenomenon. However, I’d say that there’s a little bit of believer in me, as I cannot always explain why certain things happen.
I do believe that science cannot explain the realm of ghosts, at least not yet. But just because we don’t have scientific proof, doesn’t mean ghosts aren’t real.
I encourage you to do some research on ghosts and to think about where you stand on the spectrum. Are you a firm believer or skeptic? Maybe somewhere in the middle? Or do you lean more towards a side, like I do?
Are you into history?
The number one reason why a location or building(s) is considered “haunted”, is because it has a lot of history attached to it. This can be either good or bad history. Maybe someone died in a building but did they die peacefully or were they killed? Was the site used in a war? Did someone die unexpectedly?
You get where I’m going with this. There’s a magnitude of history attached to each location that has some type of paranormal activity.
If history is not your thing and you don’t care to learn about what happened in the past, that’s fine. It’s a personal interest and if it’s not your cup of tea, I can’t persuade you to change your mind. Or, you may be neutral in the matter, where you neither love or hate history. That’s alright as well.
Knowing the history of a site can help explain why certain phenomenon occur. Or, if you’re a nerd and just love learning about the history of places, then you’re on the right path.
Here’s my two cents
For me, I love history. I’ve always been fascinated with the past, why things happened the way they did, and how that’s impacted current events. This love of mine has trickled into ghost hunting as well.
Since, like I’ve mentioned, the places you visit have a lot of history, I get to learn about what happened in the past. Which, in this activity, helps me to understand why ghostly phenomenon occur and why people feel the way they feel on site.
Ghost hunting relies on knowing what happened in the past to determine what is going on in the present. So, if ghost hunting is something you’re trying to get into, I encourage you to learn about a location’s history. You may not like learning about history and that’s fine. As long as you’re using it to help inform your investigation, that’s what really matters.
Are you into exploring abandoned places?
Sometimes, you’ll conduct a ghost hunt or paranormal investigation in a place that’s somewhat modern or catered to tourists. Or companies, like Ghost Hunts USA, may lead investigations in either dilapidated or more furnished locations.
Other times, you may conduct an investigation in a place that’s truly abandoned. An area that’s not meant for tourists, that’s truly isolated. Kind of like urban exploration but for ghost hunting.
Either way, some of the areas where ghost hunts are done are in places that are, or were once, abandoned. This leads to the decay and bad state of the buildings.
This means that if you’re visiting a site, and walking around on the premises, sometimes it’s not in the best shape. It can even be harmful or dangerous, in some situations, to be there because of the dilapidated state.
After hearing this, are you still interested in exploring potential abandoned places?
Here’s what I have to say
Personally, I love exploring abandoned buildings or doing some urban exploration. I just love the vibe, aesthetic, and history of places that are or were abandoned at one point.
I know that there are people out there who don’t care so much for exploring dilapidated buildings. It’s just not their thing and wouldn’t want to risk exploring a place like that. Or, they’re not into the aesthetic or vibe.
That’s another one of the many reasons why I love to do ghost hunts. It allows me to not only ghost hunt but to explore cool, decaying buildings. I love the creepy vibe and look of places like that, so I gravitate towards ghost hunting for this reason.
Why the equipment?
So, you know the history of an area. Whether you’re a skeptic, believer, or somewhere in between, you’re at a location to conduct a ghost hunt. Now the question is, how do you go about capturing evidence of ghosts? What equipment do people use to communicate or capture something we don’t always see, feel, or hear?
This is where ghost hunting equipment comes in. Some people are just sensitive to the paranormal and can feel the energies of spirits. For the most part, people need equipment to pick up on these energies and other activity.
Some examples of the types of equipment ghost hunter use are:
- EVP (electronic voice phenomena)
- EMF Gauge (electromagnetic field)
- REM Pod
- Phasmabox or spirit box
- music box
- dowsing rods
- camera (regular, night vision, or thermal)
- cat ball
These are just some of the many tools used in ghost hunts to try to capture evidence of ghosts. This provides more of a means of seeing and hearing those things that go bump in the night.
Does this sound like something you’d like to do or enjoy doing?
Is ghost hunting worth it?
After hearing all of this, the question bears repeating: is ghost hunting worth it? This answer depends on you and your personal thoughts and opinions.
If all of this seems fake, not your thing, or something that’s too much for you to get into, then ghost hunting is not for you. Like I’ve said, it’s not for everyone and if you feel the same, your choice is respected.
On the other hand, if you think that ghost hunting is worth it, that’s awesome! Even if you want to give it a try, just for fun or to find some truth in the paranormal, it still counts.
For those who think that ghost hunting is worth it, whether to be a one time thing or a continued activity, then keep reading!
How you can get started
You’ve decided that ghost hunting sounds like something you want to get into and give it a try. Congrats! You’re now among many others who continually try to search for answers to the paranormal.
Now, what do you do to get started? How do you get started? Well, there’s a few things you can do:
- watch some YouTube videos on ghost hunts
- watch videos on how the ghost hunting equipment is used
- research companies or places that offer ghost hunts (either overnight or daytime ones)
- if you can, go with others - you won’t feel so scared, alone, or silly
It’s not very complex or complicated. Once you’ve seen some videos on how ghost hunts are done, look up some places where you can go on a ghost hunt. There are so many companies that offer overnight ghost hunts, daytime ghost hunts, ghost hunt tours, and more. Pick one you’re comfortable doing and somewhere that’s close to home.
If you’re able to, find other people who would be interested in going along with you. That’s what I did when I went to Eastern State Penitentiary and Pennhurst Asylum. I asked my friend to go along with me and she did. I didn’t feel so scared, alone, or silly about doing ghost hunts and tours. It may help you as well, especially if you’re new to ghost hunting. But don’t be afraid to go on your own as well if no one else can or will go with you.
Knowing how ghost hunts are done and what to expect lessens the scary feeling a bit. That unknown factor dwindles a bit and it helps you to summon your courage to do a ghost hunt.
What equipment to get
This is the fun part of the ghost hunt, using equipment to get some evidence of paranormal activity! If you’ve seen some videos of paranormal investigations, you may have seen the types of equipment they use. Not only the types but also how many items they bring along.
Some of those items are quite expensive. Even on Amazon, you can find night vision cameras on the cheaper end that still cost at least $150 or more. If you’re on a budget, like me, there are some cheaper alternatives that still work for paranormal investigations.
- Pendulum: this is what I started using as a way to communicate with spirits. You get “yes” and “no” answers by asking the spirits questions. Very inexpensive.
- Dowsing Rods: this and pendulums are the oldest forms of communication with spirits. You can use these in a similar way to the pendulum. You can also use these to have spirits point to the direction of someone or something.
- Your Phone: nowadays, your phone has a camera and tons of apps that can capture EVP, act as a ghost box, and more. You do have to pay for some of these apps but usually, they’re not terribly expensive and you have your equipment all in your phone.
- Flashlight: this item can help you not only to see in dark rooms but it can serve as a way to get proof of the paranormal. Some people use the flashlight as a means to see if a spirit is present by asking it to turn the light on or off.
- Cat Ball: super inexpensive and a great way to detect spirits near by. These are set off by someone or something physically touching it. If you’re looking to see if ghosts are present, then give this a try.
The items mentioned above will be enough to get you started with ghost hunting. Once you’re more comfortable, and have the budget, you can then move onto getting a camera and other devices for your investigations.
How to conduct a ghost hunt
You have the location in mind, maybe a friend or two with you, and simple equipment to detect spirits. Now, how do you go about conducting a ghost hunt?
If you’re going with a company like Ghost Hunts USA, they do group investigations first to show you how it’s done. If you’re on your own, then here’s the general layout of how to do a ghost hunt.
- If you’re conducting a ghost hunt on your own, check the location/building to ensure it’s safe and free of things which will hinder your investigation
- set up your equipment or device(s) of choice
- start by stating who you are and your intentions there - always be respectful and let any potential spirits know you mean no harm
- start in a section or room by: asking questions such as, “who is here?”, “who are you”, “why are you here?”. If you’re using dowsing rods or pendulums, ask simpler questions like, “did you live here?”, “are you lonely?”, or “can I talk to you?”
- continue your process, using different means to capture evidence, in each section of the location/building
- conduct your investigation by thanking the spirits for communicating and allowing you to be there
If you encounter any paranormal phenomenon, here’s how you should proceed:
- try your best not to overreact - remain as calm as possible
- be open to what’s happening, yet keep a rational and neutral perspective
- try to engage with the spirits more - this depends on if it’s a good encounter or a negative one where you or someone is being hurt. If you’re being hurt (physically or mentally), then end the hunt and leave
- attempt to ask the same question, or perform the same activity, using different equipment to see if the experience can be replicated
- if you’re satisfied with your results, move onto the next area
Experiencing paranormal activity can be a very scary but interesting experience. It’s something new and totally out of realm of what we see and hear on a daily basis. Regardless of if you’re a skeptic or believer, embrace the phenomenon for what it’s worth.
WORD OF CAUTION
Ghost hunting can be a fun thing to do. However, it can also be a somewhat dangerous activity to partake in. Personally, I’m more of a skeptic and don’t believe that things of the paranormal nature can harm us. Yet, there are people who do believe they can be hurt, and have been harmed, by the paranormal.
Plus, if you're ghost hunting in abandoned places on your own (without a company), be careful and aware of your surroundings. You don't want to get in trouble with the police for trespassing or run into someone who may harm you (in self-defense or otherwise).
With that being said, do exercise caution when you’re ghost hunting. Whether you’re with a guided team or on your own, be sure to remain aware of your surroundings, vigilant, and respectful of the property and potential spirits. The last thing you want to do is be rude and disrespectful, either to the living or the dead.
If you believe in it, burn some sage, throw salt over your shoulders, or other means to “cleanse” yourself. That way, no bad or evil spirits or energy attaches itself to you after your investigation.
I hope this information helps and encourages you to conduct your ghost hunt(s). Have fun and stay safe!