ever passed an empty house or a vacant building
and wonder if the location was haunted or had
paranormal activity ???
owns this site ?
(B) How do I get permission to do a
paranormal investigation and gain
access to this vacant and possibly haunted
(C) Once I locate the owner what do I ask?
Homes may be left unattended as is the case my
rural mountain community due to the fact that
the home is only being used for parts of the
During the hot summer months many folks come and
stay in their mountain homes where it’s much
cooler, then as the summer ends and the cold
weather sets in they then high tall it back to
their warmer winter locations.
So at any
given time, one or the other location would be
the home may be for sale and has been on the
market for a long period of time, The home may
fall in to varied states of disrepair or it may
have fallen into bankruptcy and owned by a
Owners who live out of state may not realize how
dilapidated and in need of repair their former
owned by someone elderly living in a retirement
community, who’s become unable to maintain the
home but doesn't want to let it go.
question remains, how do you get permission to
investigate an empty house that seems haunted?
Look for a for sale
If a sign
is located, jot down the number and call.
The listing agent will be able to direct you
to the owner or may contact them for you.
They probably know who owns the house. You
may get lucky and find a neighbor whom has
contact information and a key to the house,
in case of emergency or to do periodic
If the homes located in a subdivision, more
than likely there’s a homeowners'
association. They almost always have a list
of the houses, who owns each one, and
complete contact information for every
homeowner within the association.
Ask the police.
I know, I know, many ghost hunters are
intimidated by the police but this is
generally a needless worry. In fact, you’d
be surprised how many haunted locations are
recommended by police who have been called
to those locations on a regular base’s and
couldn't find the cause of the noises,
lights, or other signs of paranormal
If a home has
been empty for awhile, the police probably know
about it... and its history, so again they may
be able to tell you who owns it, or direct you
to someone who has that info.
If a store or
commercial building appears to be vacant, look
for a realtor's sign. Check the Internet and
again search the exact street address; it may
reveal who was the last owner/occupant.
Try then to locate their current address and
phone number, former occupants may provide info
about the landlord or owner as well as any
paranormal activity that took place while in the
doesn't work, then do your research much like
you did for the empty house.
Ask nearby businesses.
In some cases, landlords are waiting for all
of the tenants' leases to expire, so that
they can tear down or remodel the building.
Ask the Chamber of
Convention & Visitors' Bureau.
They often are a fountain of information
and know every neighborhood in their
commercial districts, and have a good idea
about who owns what on which block. They
might even share several new leads…
Ask the police.
Empty storefronts become the targets of
vandals, and homeless people who try to use
them as temporary shelters. If so, the
police would have information about the
This again is an often overlooked wealth of
information and generally the folks here
have great historic as well as semi current
information about specific locations, again
you may walk away with several new haunted
When All Else
one has a clue. Personally I have never
encountered this problem, when doing though
If a site is
that difficult to research, haunted locations
are everywhere, I recommend finding somewhere
else to do a ghost hunt. Trespassing is never an
acceptable alternative and you could end up in
totally obsessed with a particular home or
business, start with old, published "reverse"
directories. You may turn up someone who
was in the building in the past and will have
new information for you.
Last but not
least, go to the courthouse and research civil
records, including tax histories, liens, and
probate records. (Depending on location, recent
records are closed to the public unless you can
prove a specific and compelling reason to access
that information.) Most courthouses charge a
small fee for this, some have indexed records,
and some require you to contact them by “snail”
mail (no email) and wait for a reply.
What To Ask
cases, you may want to consider that the
homeowner or landlord let you into the building
and then remain there while you do your
investigative research, especially if the site
has been vandalized while it was empty. It could
prevent a lawsuit by being blamed for damage
that you didn't do.
If the owner
simply hands you the key, have them sign a brief
permission form. It should list the address
being investigated, the names of the
investigators who are allowed into the premises
and the date and exact hours that you are
allowed to be there.
The owner should sign and date this form, and
you should carry it with you when you go to do
paranormal investigation you need to return the
key to the owner, have them sign the permission
form again, noting that the key was returned,
and when. It will become validation should
questions are asked, later.
Never make a
copy of the key. Never let another team member
or others borrow it. Use the key for your
investigation only, and--if possible--return it
that same day.
many liabilities connected with investigating in
empty buildings. Generally, we advise against
them. There are plenty of other, more accessible
sites for investigations But either way I hope
these tips help.
I have never
run into a brick wall, when researching the
owner of an empty home or building. Usually, the
neighbors have been the best resource.
Don’t give up…If you knock on enough doors and
talk to enough people, you'll find the answers
that you seek.
Time, Be Safe.
Dennis A. Batchelor /Founder MVPs