First of all ,you read it right "Investigating the cheap way!"
In this article i will be touching the main bases on ghost hunting. The easy way !But mainly how you can have fun with out the cost .I will be using extremely simple words. I want to make this article where a child can read it. Reason?You may ask?Well, when i started in this hobby . I did alot of research...and found out that i was a little more confused or discouraged at the equipment they used. More than once i finished the article and found out i had the same questions .So what do I do ?!
I will start by saying, that this article will always seem unfinished .This is because I want to take my time and add more information or discuss people's questions left in my guest box. At any time do I claim to have any degree or be an expert at anything. But I do claim that i have been into ghost hunting since junior high . I'm 36 know with five kids. My knowledge comes from my own trial and error .The purpose off this article is to answer the question that many have .What do I do ? What do I need ? Who should I go with? Where can I by it? How much does it cost? and Hopefully yours......
I would also like to take this time to thank you all for your support and returning to my site. If you are a regular please leave me a comment.
Lets get started.....................................
So you want to be a ghost hunter, some way or another we all found ourselves in the same path .It might have been a friend, TV show, book, and for the younger generation the web. What ever means it may be our interest. It wants us to search for that piece of evidence. Many of us want to do this as a hobby to pass the time with friends , as i got started . Some of us are married and want something fun and thrilling at the same time. To make us forget about the stress of life .But the main thing that i found out and is my first lesson is NEVER think you will know it all . In this field you will meet the nicest people you will ever know. Lots of them will teach you something. At my age i find myself learning from most of the other people I go with.
If you do have the pleasure of going out with someone with experience. DONT TALK!The most annoying thing you can do is ask questions . This is something that as a researcher when you are collecting evidence you ask alot of questions during the investigation . I am pretty certain that you will not be invited again. Ex;I took a guy out with me to give me a hand with the equipment, the guy was so exited! That during the whole investigation. he would ask or constantly interrupt . Of course i was not rude ,but every time he asks ,i sadly have to tell him. I don't have the time . At the end we did not catch anything. With out sounding harsh their is a saying' their is a time for everything. During the investigation it is your time to observe save your questions for later . Their will be plenty of time ! Take a small pad and pen with you to take notes .Nothing big. It should fit in your pocket . The reason for this is if the investigator that invited you needs you to hold a piece of equipment .It is good to have your hands free .Be useful don't just stand there .In this field I have found some that just stand there. The more useful they feel you are, the more they will remember you. Do not over invite yourself !By this remember you are a guest. Some investigators are very quiet. Some love to talk. In other words know your boundaries. Don't just handle equipment with out being properly introduced to it. Some equipment costs thousands of dollars, be carefull.Even if you know the item like a camcorder . Ex;I had a camcorder and a friend of mine had the same model. I took him hunting and he seen mine . Before i got a chance to tell him. That the camera was messing up if you pressed the play button on mini dv mode it would jam. He pressed it and jammed it. What is my lesson? Don't touch it even if you have the same model. All equipment is mainly known by its owner. Be friendly and thank the host.
Lets say, you don't have someone to go with or want to pick up the hobby!If this is true this hobby can get expensive, but don't get scared you can start cheap. Believe it or not first thing is first .Before i discuss the equipment i would like to explain the different methods their are .I will start by saying forget everything you seen on T.V.
To give you an example many of us got interested because of shows like Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted or other shows like these . Well forget what you see! These guys/gals are professional and do this with lots of years of experience. They have already experienced boundaries that you are trying to learn. If you do insist on learning from these shows, learn the simple equipment and how they handle it . But remember these guys are experienced in this field . I cant hesitate enough on this. Don't throw yourself and your friends on a ghost hunt all at once ! It can be dangerous physically or mentally !Always practice with your new equipment in daylight in places you know. Example; would include your friends apartment complex , house, sometimes a workplace, park , or even after school . But i do insist you start in the daytime NOT at night. Don't get discourage haunting are all around day and night!Some of my evidence has been in the day. Use this time to get familiar with your equipment. Don't try to juggle 2 pieces of equipment at the same time. In the day time you can learn your own way to investigate also you will learn the main thing. Something I learned the hard way .
This is the main time to weed out the ones that are not taking it seriously. It is sad, but we all have that 3rd leg, seems mainly when your young. This i notice with My 3 teens .18,21,and22.You will find the funny one or the jester. Weed these. But eventually you will come across serious people that have the same amount of interest as you . Some one that understands your interest are with the same goal to collect evidence. With time your crew of two will eventually get large. This is why you take the time to weed out the jesters and the ones that are your ball and chain. Believe me when i say this happened to me !Seems like I am getting ahead of myself. Lets go back to the basics.
Clothes!This is the most important piece of equipment!Always take a jacket with you no matter what the weather is. Even if it is hot. You will be amazed at how fast the weather changes. You ladies take comfortable shoes. Tennis shoes OK . But worker boots are ideal!When i met my wife I use to go swampping on foot to collect reptiles. My wife would come in high heels or sandals. I can remember once when she picked up a piece of debris and ended up with scorpions on her feet. So take comfortable lace shoes. Wear a comfortable shirt and pants .Not shorts or skirts..Like i said before the weather changes day and night. The last thing you want is to get scratched by a piece of debris or freeze .I recommend jeans they are comfortable and tough.
So far we seem to have covered .What to wear and who to go with. Now let me say when you do decide to go at night go early enough to scan the area for possible fall's the dark. It hurts! Make sure that at this time you find locations to place your equipment. Make sure you got permission from areas that are fenced or off premises . Respect No Trespassing signs. If you are denied, don't feel bad. Come back at a later time and ask again. Always explain your self and intentions. Be prepared. Certain owners are curious. Let them know that if you do find anything you will share it with them. Look like an investigator and act like an investigator .Specially in private property. I f you do collect something .It is nice to be able to come back and investigate again. Study the noises around you. Take into consideration things like traffic , trains, people, pets, BIRDS. By observing these noises, it will help you with your analyzing. Respect locked doors .They are locked for a reason.
What about the equipment?You ask. Well let's start...
You will need these when you are out at night. You can never have too many around. If you are on a budget you can pick some up at the local 99cent store . $4 + tax will get you a couple with batteries. Although i personally like the mini mag lights. If you go to your local tool supplier. Ex; Harbor Freight Tools, Wall-mart ,Pep Boys, or generic discount stores you will find a great buy on flash lights. Try to carry at least 2 per person and extra batteries which i will be covering later and why.
I highly recommend these although you can use your laptop (but just imagine the damage that it will take. Believe it or not they are not that expensive. You can pick up this one for $29.99 at Walmart for a couple dollars more you can get a better one it all depends on your budget. You can use your traditional tape deck .But, they can become somewhat of a headache on the long run. I say pawn it of to a friend and invest in the digital one. Even if it was just a phase .You will find use for this in the future . So , a small investment of about 30.00 dollars is not bad.
How to use:
There are several ways to use these. I will be discussing 2 of them . Although both ways are simple .I love to use the second way myself..1st way is to walk around and ask questions. These questions should be short and to the point . Examples include:what is your name ?How many spirits are present?Are you at peace?and many questions you can ask .Allow about five seconds per question. Always make sure it is silent, this will help when you Analise your recordings which I will show you how later.
The second which is my favorite is to lay/place your tape recorder in a secure quiet location or where you have heard it is haunted. start by saying the location .Ex;dinning hall, stairway, bedroom and so on. then i always leave and record silence .In places where you cannot leave these items unsecured i watch them from a distance and i conceal it to prevent it from walking away .If you do decide to do the second way. TAPE it down. but, make sure you don't tape the mic. The reason for this is to prevent it from falling or from getting tossed. It may happen. The reason why i prefer the second way is because when you do analyze you wont be shocked with all the shuffling you do when you move around. I always like to record straight with out no noise in the background. During the recording i try to maintain silence .Some people like playing a white noise maker .But , personally i like straight unexplainable Evp's. If you do not get nothing during the first few times do not get discourage. It will take sometimes many hours of analyzing to catch something . But when you do you will know that feeling of catching something.
This is another important piece of equipment. Some of you may have these some may not. For those who don't try getting one . Anything you can put into your computer can save you time and money on the long run. If you don't have the cash for one stop once again into your local 99 cent store and pick up some film and a camera. The quality wont be great, but , you will get some pics. Just remember it costs about 5 dollars to develop these and you can pick one up for about 30 dollars . Although i recommend to get one with about 4 megapixels or greater. Cell phones are not that practical. The picture is very granny and the quality is bad. When you do catch something it will be a headache to send or save . Gather your evidence as if you were making a professional portfolio .You don't want to be the known as the' you should of seen what i caught on camera ,And, you come out with a tiny screen to show off your finds.
Emf recorders can cost as much as a few hundred dollars to a simple fifty dollars plus the usual about 10 dollars shipping. The Cellsensor is the most affordable one in the market . It is not a necessary tool. But can prove to be a great asset. There are a number of websites detailing the reading and the usage of these meters . Personally my favorite is the cell sensor. Google this item or search it on eBay. This is the only way to purchase one . Don't even try to go to a electronic store or anything local . They never carry these. To give you the simple explanation that would get you started . These are made to see the fluctuation in the magnetic field that is around us. In alot of places/cases you do you will find that most large household items can account for lots of the readings you will find . you can actually trace these to the source . I practice with a old TV I had. computers work too . This helps you familiarize your self with this equipment you can learn the distance and the area of certain objects. The ones that interest you are the ones with out no source of power. You also want to pay attention to the wires that run in the house . Most older homes will set your meter off. Always remember, this does not indicate the presence of paranormal activity, but a source of power that can be USED by a entity.
You can always keep your eye open for items you can adapt to ghost hunting. There are a number of items you can pick up at places from 99 cent store , Walmart, surplus stores , thrift stores , swap meets, even at friends houses.
Friends Houses? Yes, I did not say steal them , but, ask them , many times specially older friends have equipment you can have that has been gathering dust in there garage. these equipment can include . old cases, cameras, tripods, flashlights, video equipment, and lots of goodies . Also helps to get your family involved. Many times the spouse daughter friends can find the better deals. Specially moms ! I remember i even picked up some motion sensors from a old garage sale for a few dollars!
In other words you can make a great ghost hunters kit with out the expense. Remember any means of recording and the most important thing is your observations is what you are out there to do.
As a investigator for years . I have come across many questions about my personal way of what a ghost hunter should be and should use.
There are a number of different techniques as some are mediums, psychics, and so forth. Myself I'm a skeptic. I only use tried and useful techniques. I always make sure my batteries are charged and equipment is checked on the morning and the afternoon of the investigation. Do not buy cheap batteries . Buy rechargeable only . You will find the cost is usually about the same .Also never use tapes or dv that are already used. You will be out there for hours . Sometimes even many places to get that 3 seconds of proof. The last thing you want is to be discredited because you used a old tape.
Also the most important thing to me is I never use ouija, ghost boxes, or any form of way that make it manipulate communication with us. Through my research these can be used even in places that have no paranormal activity. Also I feel that you can use these to open something you may not want to deal with. Ghost boxes for myself are not that practical. True you can get answers, but, because it is a new tool . much research has to be done. My thing is if radio waves are in the air , can one be picked up by accident? Also if it is a way, what is the difference from a ouija board and the box? What, as a paranormal investigator, your job is to record the evidence. Myself I only use recording devices that capture, at that moment, what I am tapping. If it is there, than it will find us.
Do not use animals in paranormal invetigations. Some examples are Dogs , cats and snakes. Although we do understand that animals sense things around differently than we do . Dogs and cats use smell and sight. Snakes use their tounge to feel the area. I find it cruel too try to train or use animals in the paranormal field. An animal is like a child (to me that is) When you take him you have adopted a child. The animal depends on you to be safe and secure. As an animal lover and a grandparent. I can relate to both. I would never put my child in a dangerous situation. Would you?