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The Methods


Step by Step Procedures 

Here's a condensed version the most popular procedures for conducting outdoor ghost hunts: 

1. Have everyone meet near the location and decide who will work each piece of equipment and divide into teams if necessary.  Pick a person or leader that will talk to anyone who comes in contact with the group (i.e. Police, Reporters, etc.)  

2. Enter the site and either privately or as a group ask for blessing or protection for the duration of the hunt.  YOu can use this time to put yourself in a positive frame of mind.  It does not have to be a religious thing so everyone can do this in some way.  I do encourage everyone to take the 10 seconds this takes and do this.  What can it hurt?  It's better to be safe than sorry.  Many experienced groups believe that there are evil spirits in many areas such as cemeteries and by saying a 10 second prayer or making sure you are in a positive frame of mind you can safely go about your business without worrying about them.  An experienced demonologist will tell you that by doing this in the name of God or whatever good deity you worship, you will keep any non human spirits at bay since they have to leave you alone when told so in this manner.    The prayers I use are found here. 

3.  Walk around the area to get a feel for the surroundings and allow the spirits to get a feel for you.   Do this for about 20 minutes.  Log in your start time and weather conditions and any other relevant information.   You can also begin to set up any stationary equipment like camera on tripods or motion detectors.  Make note of any areas that may cause you to get false readings or false positive pictures. 

4.  Now go out there and get some pictures and recordings.  Be sure to note anything unusual that happens especially meter and temperature readings, visual sightings and strange sounds.  Also make notes of any feelings or emotions you feel that may be odd or out of place.  You can compare notes after the hunt and look for similarities in readings and feeling in certain areas or at certain times. 

5.  Whether you stake out a spot or you walk around try to give everyone the opportunity to try everything and be everywhere.  This keeps every one fresh and at attention.  Rotate a few times during the investigation. 

6.  When you are done have everyone meet in one spot and ask the human spirits here not to follow you home and to remain here.  Tell the others they must remain here in the name of God (or other good deities).  Again this takes 4 seconds, it's simple and it can save you some problems down the road.  If we are wrong about these prayers at the beginning and end of the hunt and they are not necessary then you wasted 14 seconds of your time.  If we are right about them, you saved yourself from allot of problems and grief. 

Some additional steps for a house or building ghost hunt/investigation 

* Every investigator or team should  keep a log of events/times - everything needs to be logged, not matter  how trivial.  You sneeze, log it in, it may have sounded like something else to another member elsewhere in the building. 

* All members and owners if possible, walk through the location. One members map location noting: air vents, heater, electrical appliances, fuse boxes, computer, etc.  Mark down the temperatures in the rooms and any EMF reading you get during this walk through.  One member take 5-10 test photos during the walk through.  Do not discuss the details of the case during this walk through. 

* Any witnesses that have not been interviewed before should be interviewed by 1-2 investigators and taped/videoed if it's ok with the witness.  The other members should walk around the location and record any feelings or observations.  Only the interviewers will know the location of events and sightings.  

* Make no conclusions.  Share no conclusions or opinions with the witnesses or owners until all the reports, photos and tapes are reviewed.  You need to see the evidence and correlate it before you can give an educated opinion. 


Taking Pictures 

* Open your film and load your camera after walking around the location for about 20 minutes first. 

* Use at least 400 speed 35 mm film.  400 and 800 speeds work the best.   Black and White film also works well. 

* If you are an experienced photographer, you may want to try infrared film which also has had excellent results in the past. 

* Make sure you note any other lights in the area so when you view your developed pictures you will not think a street light is an orb. 

* Make sure you clean your camera's lens regularly. 

* no smoking at the location, this can appear like mist on the photos so you don't want to contaminate your evidence. 

* Watch for dust or dirt being stirred up in the area you are photographing.  They can give false positive pictures. 

* All long hair should be tied back or under a hat, again this is to eliminate any false positive pictures and to give the skeptics less ammunition. 

* Remove or tie up any camera straps so you don't take a picture of that, it looks like a vortex when photographed.  

* Watch for reflective surfaces and make notes of them.   The flash reflected off shiny surfaces such as windows, polished tombstones, etc. can look light an orb or other anomaly.  Make note of street lights and any other light source that may appear on the film. 

* Let fellow investigators know when you are taking a photo so that you don't get double flashes and the night scope operators can look away.  If you think you have a double flash photo or any other false positive, log the picture number so you can exclude that photo from the batch when they are developed.  Night scope operators can get eye damage if they are looking at a flash through the scope so this is important. 

* In cold weather be conscious of your breath so you don't photograph that, it'll look like ectoplasm mist.  If you think you may have, log that picture number and discard it when you develop the pictures. 

* Many people like to ask the spirit if they can take their picture , it can't hurt. 

* Take pictures anywhere and everywhere.  If you feel some thing or someone else does, take a picture.  Did you think you saw something, take a picture.  Take photos whenever you get a positive readings on any piece of equipment. 

* Sometimes you will see an orb, mist or sparkles in your flash or others flashes, take more pictures right there, you may be near a spirit. 

* You may only get about 1- 2 pictures for every 50 you take, that's about the average, so don't get discouraged.  I've been at sites where I didn't get any and others where 30% of the ones we took were positive. 

* Don't pay for fancy developing , you can get them developed anywhere.  Just let them developers know to process and print every photo.  I use the local discount stores photo service. 

Audio and Video  Recording 

* You can set up stationary recorders and just let them run or you can walk around with them.  During audio recording, ask questions whether general ones or one specific to a certain spirit.   You can find a few ideas of question on or near the gravestones (i.e. how did you die, ask who left flowers, etc.) 

* Make sure you view or listen to the whole tape.  EVPs are usually not heard at the time of recording but are heard only after the tape is reviewed. 

*  Review notes where you should have recorded any normal sounds as well as unexplained ones (dogs barking, cars, etc.) This way you can tell what a sound is that wasn't heard by you at the time but is now on the tape. 

copyright @ 2006 by AF