you have a haunted house?
Living in a place you believe to be haunted can be a
scary experience. Should you tell anyone?
Will they think you’re crazy?
Yes, you should tell someone, and no, they probably
won’t think you need a straight-jacket.
There are some steps you can take to investigate
possible causes on your own. Above all, keep a calm
head, an open mind, and use your common sense.
Keep a Journal of Events The very first thing you
should do isstart a journal to list all the possible
paranormal occurrences. In it, document the strange
noises, cool breezes and phantom footsteps. Write
everything down, even if it seems trivial or
insignificant. Note the time and date of every
entry, and when or if the event recurs.
If someone else experienced an event with you, write
down who it was and what they said they experienced.
If something only happens on a certain day of the
week, note it. If a pet reacts to something you
think might berelated, jot down what the pet did,
when, where and any possible mundane causes.
or absence of certain people in the area can also be
an important clue. Often,
keeping a journal can put a supposed haunting into
perspective, and give you some insight into possible
Your Property’s History If you’ve analyzeda few
journal entries and still think you have a real live
haunting, you should rule out natural causes.
Investigate the location thoroughly yourself, and
compare your findings to what you’ve collected in
If the rumblings in the wall only happen at 7 A.M.,
it might be the plumbing rattling as someone
showers. If the lights flicker every night as you’re
making dinner, the cause could be overloaded wiring
as you’re using more power to run the dishwasher,
cook in the microwave, whiz up margaritas in the
blender…you get the idea.
Rule out any outside environmental causes. Are you
near a train or a power station? Is the guy next
door broadcasting over a short wave radio? Do you
have critters nesting in the attic?
Dig deep. A little legwork can save some time, and
possibly some embarrassment later. As you check out
all the above possibilities, try to gather evidence.
If you have acamera, (even the disposable kind will
do fine), snap a few pictures when you think
something strange is happening.
Take a picture when you feel that cold chill crawl
up your spine. Experiment with a tape recorder, too.
Using a fresh tape, set one up to record when you
activity might be occurring. Let it run while you’re
not home and while you’re asleep. Play back the
recordings in a quiet room, or using headphones.
If you do hear voices on the tape, be sure it’s not
the television, the neighbor or someone’s cordless
phone before you decide it’s the voice of a ghost.
Be skeptical-it’s better you find out your cat was
hissing into the microphone than the ghost hunter
who drove a hundred miles!
the other hand
If you hear your long dead great aunt telling you
where the lost family
heirloom is, you might just have valid evidence of a
To learn more about recording ghost voices, or EVP
(electronic voice phenomena) check out the American
Association for Electronic Voice Phenomena at
www.aaevp.com. They offer useful advice on recording
and interpreting what you’ve taped.
Pictures are a highly debated topic in the
paranormal community. Best to read up on the subject
before you decide you’ve got the image of a ghost.
There are thousands of websites and many books on
Research widely, and use your best judgment. Call in
the Ghost Hunters? The next thing to evaluate is
your motivation for wanting a paranormal
investigation. If you genuinely think your location
is haunted, and you are seeking answers, that’s
great. If you just think it would be a neat
experience, contact a group and tag along with them
before you drag them out to your maybe-haunted home.
If you want to make it into the newspaper, don’t
call a ghost hunter. Call a reporter. Paranormal
teams love to help people and document true
hauntings. Most teams want to
help dispel the fear surrounding hauntings, and help
people understand the cause if they do indeed prove
What paranormal teams don’t love are people who
waste their time and money to be amused or
entertained. They don’t want to show up at your
house to find an army of neighbors waiting to hold a
Groups of people hinder the process, and many teams
will take offense to the idea that
they are psychic sťance holders. Are You Hearing
Voices? There are times when calling a ghost hunter
isn’t the best idea. If you are under the care of a
consult this doctor before calling a paranormal
Paranormal teams usually do not have doctors among
their members and are not qualified to help you in
that area. Sometimes hearing voices can be
attributed to clairaudience, which is the ability to
psychically hear the voices of the dead. Sometimes
they have other causes. A medical professional is
usually the best avenue to discern the cause of
voices unaccompanied by paranormal evidence.
If you’re being treated by a doctor, and they say
it’s ok to give a team a call, then by all means,
call! I say this not to offend anyone, but to assure
the safety of everyone involved. Is Your Environment
Appropriate for a Ghost Hunt?
Another time when it’s not appropriate to call a
ghost hunter is when you haven’t cleaned your house
since 1962. If a team can’t move about the area
freely, the team can’t investigate. If the location
is a condemned building, it also isn’t safe for
anyone to investigate.
If you do not own the property where the supposed
haunting is occurring, secure permission from the
owner before calling in a team. If you have small
children likely to be disturbed by an investigation,
find a sitter for the night. If you have large scary
dogs, find some other place for them to wait.
If your spouse or roommate is uncomfortable with the
idea of a paranormal team tromping around the house,
it’s best not to call until they are willing to be
involved. Using common sense makes the investigation
a better experience for all those involved. So when
should you call a paranormal team?
You should call if you really think you have a ghost
and you’re scared. If you’re not scared and just
want proof, start the journal mentioned above and
get in touch with a team. If a full blown apparition
shows up in your living room, walks through walls
and chats overtea, yeah, that would be a good time
House Blessings and the Clergy What about the
clergy? If you belong to a church or religious
organization, talking to a clergy member can be
helpful. Some will bless a home, and some will hold
prayer circles. That’s great, and if it helps, even
better. Most members of the clergy don’t perform
exorcisms, and going church door to door asking for
one isn’t the best idea.
While most clergy members won’t look for scientific
proof, they have been known to tend to
the spiritual side of things and can certainly help
to Find the Ghost Hunters ...
Now that we’ve covered when and why to call a team,
how do you decide who
to call? Most people start on the internet, which is
fine. The internet can be a great resource, but
don’t rely on it alone.
Go to the bookstore and check out the paranormal
section. Many authors will have contact information
in their books. Go to the library and check out the
newspaper archives, too. When you find a team to
contact, it’s best to ask for references. After all,
you are inviting
strangers to your home.
You wouldn’t invite just anyone off the street, and
you shouldn’t invite just any team. When
you make contact, the team will want to interview
you, usually over the phone. That’s great. While
you’re on the phone, interview them. Ask how long
they’ve been doing this
kind of work and the names of the members.
Ask if anyone has a criminal record. Do an internet
search on the names you receive-this simple search
can reveal useful information. If the team has a
website, surf over and read
carefully. If anything you read concerns you, ask
the team about it. Talk to them; ask how they
investigate, and why they investigate.
Be wary if a team will not disclose how the
investigation will be conducted, and what equipment
will be used. You have a right to know what will be
happening in your home. If their answers don’t agree
with you, find another team.
In the rare case that a team will not reveal
information about its members, walk away.
Different teams have different approaches, and one
will likely stand out as the one best suited to you.
The paranormal community is a small one, and word
can travel fast.
If one team won’t recommend another, find out why
not. It’s also a good idea to contact several teams
if there are many in your area. If you can’t locate
a team in