THE BARE BONES OF ASTRAL SOCIAL WORK
How to Conduct a Safe Ghost Hunt
By: Brandy Stark
Everyone will conduct their investigations slightly different...
At this time, to my knowledge we do not have a set of GUIDELINES in place for PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS. So, in my opinion, it's best to consult many different resources, both online and off.
Amongst my paranormal research, I found this article of interest.
"In the modern world, where technology makes so many things explainable; the realm of the supernatural remains one of the last uncharted scientific quadrants. Ghosts, with their cross cultural and historical allure, are an easy supernatural target to research. What neighborhood does not have a house reputed to be haunted? With the advent of more accessible and cheaper tools and gadgets almost anyone can hunt ghosts. However, even advanced technology does not ensure human safety on a ghost hunt, common sense and reasoning does.
If ever confronted by a supernatural entity, the first reaction MUST be to REMAIN CALM. Always remember that the living have more power than the dead. YOU are in control of yourself and the situation.
*THIS MAY SEEM OBVIOUS...
BUT YOU WOULD BE AMAZED HOW MANY FOLKS FLEE!!!
Several sources, both psychic and scientific, have recommended imagining yourself surrounded by an impenetrable white light bubble of mental/spiritual energy. While this may sound rather unusual, it is supposed to offer the living protection. Regardless of whether the bubble is actually drawing sustenance from an unknown energy or not, it is a method to help focus the mind, boost confidence, and offers the living a means of defense against the unknown.
*I personally take it a step further...
Asking each member to, either silently or aloud say a prayer of THEIR OWN FAITH for PROTECTION.
I ask you honestly to consider...
What could it hurt?
What could it help?
Before going on a ghost hunt try to get some of the local history of the area. Building records are available for a small fee from most City Halls. Try to ask about the building and see if any other research has been done on the area.
*YES! YES! YES!
This is FANTASTIC advice.
You will be amazed at the potential of filling in any gaps in the investigations...
Always hunt in a group. This serves two purposes: one is to offer more eyes to witness a situation. The other is to offer more eyes to look out for one another. Pay attention to your own situation and offer verbal warnings to other teammates to avoid potentially unsafe locations.
Have different members of your team bring cameras, preferably 35 mm cameras. Black and White, infared, and color film are recommended for a ghost hunt, with a minimum speed of 400. Some may want to bring extra film in case of extreme manifestations. Digital cameras can also be used on a ghost hunt, though they may be subject to different forms of glare. Camcorders are also recommended to assist documentation of the hunt as well as offering another type of medium to pick up ghostly images. Try to avoid bringing Polaroid cameras as a common tendency is to blow on, move, or shake the film to help it develop faster which can leave marks on the film. Thumb impressions and fingerprints can also add images to the film.
*I think DIGTAL CAMERAS are a MUST...
If you are seriously investigating and searching for evidence, as opposed to just taking up a hobby.
To avoid unwanted images, check for streetlights and passing cars outside of the hunt location. Always have one person at a time taking a photograph. Stray flashes can appear as orbs on film. Have several different cameras take the same picture of one location, particularly if it has unusual readings. Compare developed pictures for images and similarities. If any group member smokes, tell them not to while on the hunt. The smoke from the cigarette causes a mist like form to appear on film. Also beware of the camera strap, for it makes a vortex like image on the film. Make sure it's always out of the way of your picture.
If possible, try to investigate the area during the day so that you may become more familiar with the layout for the ghost hunt. If the owner or employee of a location is monitoring the ghost hunt explain to them the procedures of the hunt, why they are being preformed, and what the results mean. This helps keep outsiders more at ease and will allow the investigation to flow more smoothly.
*I agree with this 100% and ALWAYS conduct some of the investigation during the day light. I also think it is wise to visit a location at different times of the day to see how the light casts different shadows, etc...This way you are less likely to make an unintended false identification.
Next, always wear sensible shoes. Comfortable shoes are always essential because ghost hunts usually entail a lot of walking around. Make sure shoes have good traction to help secure your footing when crawling through attics or scrambling around a bush.
Sensible clothing is also recomended. Jeans or pants are preferable; it's harder to scratch, scrape, or bruise skin that is not directly exposed to the environment. Clothes should offer a good amount of room for movement, however. Reaction time can be essential in a ghost hunt should any intruments register potential paranormal powers or should a ghost be sited.
Bring a very strong flashlight. Many ghosts hunts take place at night. Strong lighting is not always available. Flashlights also help to see into those dark and hidden places along a trail or in a home. Heavy duty flashlights are preferable, though they can be bulky and tiresome to carry. One option is to have different members of the team bring different types of flashlights from hand-held to heavy duty. Always bring more than one flashlight and spare batteries with you.
*I'd say BRING LOTS OF SPARE BATTERIES!
Members of the team shouldn't wear perfume or cologne, for it may distract the other team members, and/or mask the scent a ghost might be giving off.
Electromagnetic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) is a newer method of ghost research. It entails bringing a blank tape never before used, and leaving it to record in a haunted area. A ghost investigator can ask questions to a ghost and pause to allow the ghost to answer, or a ghost hunter can invite the ghost to speak freely and leave the tape recorder recording as all others leave the area. By leaving the tape recorder this alone, this removes the possibilities of human tampering, of the recorder picking up stray sounds and whispers. It can also be used to determine if a noise is supernatural or natural in origin ( i.e., if the ghostly knockings heard by the residence are really the furnace turning on, etc. ).
Adding a first aid kit to your ghost hunting kit is also a god idea. Ointment and bandages should always be available just in case an accident does happen to you or a member of your crew.
Never enter a place marked "no trespassing" without permission. Avoid going to condemmed sites and areas that are "banned" to the public.
Leave a copy of the address where you and your team are ghost hunting and an approximate time to expect the teams return with a reliable person who is not on your ghost hunting team. A list of names and phone numbers of team members might also be a benefit in case of a large-scale emergency. If one or more members of a team are injured, or the team becomes lost and disoriented, this outside person will be available to locate the authorities and launch a search. Granted, this happens rarely, if ever, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. This is a simple percaution to take.
If you're attempting a ghost hunt in a cemetery, you may also wish to alert police to your presence. Also, be respectful to graves; try to avoid stepping on them or damaging any properties.
It may be advisable to remain within reach of a telephone or cell phone. If you bring a cell phone make sure it's turned off unless theres an emergency. Ringing cell phones can cause distractions during hunts, interviews, to other people on the team, and possibly the ghost itself! Active cell phones can also effect the readings of the EMF ( electromagnetic field ) meter.
Take along with you paper and pencils to document the ghost hunt. Take down times, dates, members who you're with, the area your exploring, etc.
Despite this list of tips, ghost hunting usually is not a dangerous *sport* if you pay attention and keep your mind focused on the surrounding area. However, always be prepared for an emergency, and have a plan worked out in advance with your teammates in case an injury does occur. Good luck, and safe and happy hunting!
*Well for me, it's not hunting, sport, or a game ...
It's more like being an Astral Social Worker!!!...LOL...
Brandy Stark is one founder of a St. Petersburg-based ghost hunting group. She has been interested in ghosts since childhood and culminated her interest into a series of articles which have been published in Bayside News, and on Psychic-Tymes.com A recent graduate of the university of South Florida's Religious Studies Master's program, she devoted her academic studies to researching the role of ghosts through ancient religions.
Mission Statement and Origin:
We are the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of St. Petersburg. We are Servicing Paranormal Investigators Reporting Information Through Study.
What we use: EMF meters, temperature sensitive gauge, black and white film, color film 400 speed, tape recorders, digital cameras, and video recorders.
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WHO IS ROSE
- Santa Cruz, California, United States
- I cannot remember life without GHOSTS/SPIRITS... My interest began in the paranormal when I was 2...that's when my mom told me I first started talking about GHOSTS/SPIRITS. I grew up like most of you, learning that one shouldn't talk about the things they can see, hear and feel. Now, after years of ignoring these abilities and senses, I can no longer deny it. The TIME has come...