Here are some top tips for ghost hunting beginners!
Location, location, location
Ghosts can be found in almost any location so you will need to decide upon the type of spirit you wish to encounter. From lost souls to murder victims, playful spirits to angry ones; pick a location where reports include the type of energy you'd like to investigate.
Do your research
Once you've chosen your location, do your research! It is important that you know what to expect as this will determine the equipment you use, the team you'll need, emergency procedures and any permission you may need to seek before embarking on your ghost hunt.
Find out as much as possible about the ghost(s) you may encounter. When do they appear? Where have they been spotted? Are they vocal? It's important that you don't waste your time and plan as much as possible beforehand.
Once you've decided on your location it's important to seek the necessary permissions to carry out your investigation. If you're investigating on private property you will need to gain permission from the landowner, otherwise you'll be trespassing and will be liable for any damage you may cause to the property.
Be very careful when investigating abandoned buildings. If they are cordoned off it probably means they are structurally unsafe and could be hiding hazards that could hurt, or even kill you. Consider starting out by investigating a public space such as a park where ghosts have been sighted. Just ensure you are considerate, do no damage and take everything with you when you leave (rubbish etc).
Don’t go alone
Because haunted places are often in dark and secluded locations it is essential that you go with other people for your own safety. You may also want to share the experience with a team and have other people there to verify any sightings. You shouls also tell other people where you are going and for how long, and if possible, take a mobile phone.
If you experience paranormal activity, you're going to want proof and that means having the right equipment for the job. Always take a camera and a tape recorder in case you see or hear something supernatural and make sure all your batteries are charged and you have plenty of spares.
Take a pen and paper to write down anything abnormal such as changes in temperature, flickering lights and unexplained noises.
it is worth noting that the better quality of the equipmen,t the better recordings you will gain. You could try using an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) with an external microphone to try and capture ghostly voices (a favourite with the Ghost Adventures crew).
Another piece of equipment, widely used by professional ghost hunters, is an EMF metre. Spirits can be detected by interrupting or creating their own electromagnetic fields and EMF metres can detect extremely weak static, electric and magnetic fields. You might also consider talking to the spirit world whilst you're investigating, encouraging the ghost to reveal its presence. It is recommended that you act as though you know the spirits are there, asking questions such as, 'What is your name?', rather than, 'Is there anyone there?'
You should always learn to trust your sixth sense and if you think you feel something paranormal then you should attempt to gain evidence. Take photographs randomly in different directions as this can be a very effective way of capturing unexpected activity.
Your safety is of utmost importance so it is recommended that you investigate your haunted location before it gets dark, so that you can get your bearings and pinpoint emergency exits etc. You should also ensure you have the following supplies:
First aid kit Rope Food and water Mobile phones Spare batteries Torches Sensible clothing and footwear
As Zak, Aaron and Nick will tell you, it's important to try and 'debunk' any seemingly paranormal activity as it is easy for your mind to play tricks on you, especially in a scary, haunted location! Try to be objective and look for other possible reasons for the strange events that are occuring.