13 Reasons to Start Ghost Hunting Now

Now is the best time to become a ghost hunter. Here’s why, and how to make the most of it.

1. Reliable Research

13After over a decade of popularity, amateur and professional ghost hunters have identified many genuinely haunted sites. They’ve also debunked places that aren’t really haunted.

By starting your investigations at sites with confirmed hauntings, you’ll have a richer, more chilling experience.

2. Previous Investigations Identified What Happens and Where

Before 2000 (or so), we’d stumble around a haunted site, hoping also to stumble onto ghostly anomalies.

At best, it was a coin flip.

Today, a quick Internet search may turn up reports by investigators and perhaps a few YouTube videos. You may learn exactly where and when to expect certain phenomena.

3. The Best Ghost Hunting Equipment

Ghost hunting’s recent popularity produced several great benefits. One of them was a surge of new, useful and experimental research tools. We have better EVP recorders, better devices triggered by EMF spikes, better digital thermometers, as well as tools to rule out normal (but odd) phenomena.

I still recommend “old school” ghost hunting techniques. Personal observation makes paranormal research thrilling.

But, to confirm an uneasy feeling or the raised hair on the back of your neck, today’s tools are superb.

Fiona Broome's adviceWhat I use: It’s not impressive to look at, but I still use the Ghost Meter Pro. It may have been an “as seen on TV” product, but — from my experience — it really does work.)

I also use dowsing rods, but only to double-check my “gut feeling,” or narrow my research focus to a smaller area.

My main camera is an old-school Nikon Coolpix, because it uses standard AA batteries. In a dramatically haunted location that may drain batteries quickly, it’s easy to reload the camera from a supply of inexpensive batteries in my backpack. Or, someone can dash to the nearest convenience store to buy replacements.

4. Less Commercial Interest

For nearly a decade, too many restaurants, hotels, and tourist traps tried to claim a resident ghost.

Some really were (and still are) haunted, but only on certain days, or in response to specific modern triggers. Sleazy sites omitted those details.

Ghost hunters visited — and sometimes paid a hefty admission fee — but left disappointed.

Now that having a ghost isn’t a guaranteed commercial success, most less-haunted (and never-haunted) sites have improved their advertising.

Some sites still make false claims, but most know: that financial ship has sailed.

When you hear about a haunted site offering paid ghost tours and vigils, it’s usually haunted.

But, double-check reviews, and ask friends who’ve been there, anyway.

Fiona Broome's adviceSites almost guaranteed to give you chills: Tudor World (Stratford-upon-Avon, England), Mary King’s Close (Edinburgh, Scotland), and the Myrtles Plantation (Louisiana, USA).

(Note: at the Myrtles, be sure to stay in the main building or its annex, not a wholly separate building. The closer you are to the haunted mirror in the main entrance, the better.)

5. Smaller Crowds

Now that ghost hunting isn’t as trendy, you’ll have more time (and usually more elbow room) to explore haunted sites when they’re open for investigations.

Between 2010 and early 2017, I stopped investigating most well-known haunted sites. It became too difficult to take photos when people were often in the way.

Focusing on what I was sensing, internally, was nearly impossible.

And then there were the distractions of others’ flash cameras, phone ringtones left on, and the myriad beeps and loud clicks of some EMF detectors.

Today, I’m far more comfortable scheduling visits to haunted locations… unless it’s Halloween or a Friday the 13th, of course.

6. Focused, High Quality Events

Starting around 2004, ghost hunting events became popular. Some were held in locations with history… but no ghosts. Or, to accommodate a large crowd, non-haunted areas were part of the event, wasting investigators’ time.

Today, events are usually smaller and more focused. They’re usually at sites with extraordinary ghostly anomalies, too.

Fiona Broome's adviceI still like events scheduled by Ideal Event Management. Also, when Barry Fitzgerald (of GHI) is a guest at an event, it’s likely to be interesting. Dustin Pari is another investigator whose integrity I trust; look for events he’s speaking at.

That’s a very short list. I’m sure I could add another dozen links. But, they’re the people that come to mind, immediately, when I think about reliable ghost-related events.

7. Less “Me, Too”

Hooded figure with red eyesMany people are so eager to believe in ghosts, they jump at shadows. They claim that something was surely a ghost, when it was merely startling or odd.

I’m wary when I hear reports of ghostly tropes, like “the hooded monk with the red eyes.”

When looking for places to investigate, those recommendations weren’t helpful. Worse, it was difficult to conduct research at an event where “Dude, run!” moments distracted everyone.

You can’t trust every first-person “ghost story,” but — thanks to a declining number of thrill-seekers — recommendations are more reliable now.

8. Lower Prices

In many cases, haunted sites were able to charge far higher prices during the recent ghost hunting trend. I heard about $150 (and more) for two- or three-hour tours, with no value added. (That is, no food, no private rooms, and no genuine historians or professional ghost hunters on hand.)

Now, pricing is one extreme or the other.

Either the tour (or vigil) has lowered its prices to attract more visitors, or they have to charge very high fees since the site will otherwise be closed to the public.

For me, that’s a coin-flip.

  • I’m not thrilled to be among a crowd who think it’s a big joke, and only signed up because the tour was cheap. But, if the tour is inexpensive and the few other guests are serious researchers, the experience can be great.
  • On the other hand, I expect a lot from a high-priced tour or event. If it’s disappointing, I’m irked. But, since higher prices often deter thrill-seekers and jokers, if the site is truly haunted, it’s worth the money.

In general, you’ll find some great ghost hunting experiences at lower prices than, say, five years ago. But, be sure to research the location ahead of time, to confirm its ghosts.

9. Reduced Modern Residual Energy

Do you believe that past dramatic events leave ghostly residual energy at a location? I do.

But, this means that recent drama — including ghost hunters who encounter scary things (even if they’re jumping at shadows) — also leave an energy imprint.

Several respected ghost hunters — including John Sabol, who recorded EVP that was an imprint of a Ghost Hunters’ investigation (perhaps a “time echo“) — have described those newer layers of energy. So, modern investigations can make ghost research more difficult.

Usually, recent energy is light or shallow. It wears off quickly.

Deeply troubling drama in the past has left a far more indelible energy imprint. And, according to some researchers, those imprints can be re-energized by modern-day triggers.

So, I’m pleased to see smaller crowds and fewer investigations at haunted sites.

In the coming years, we’ll have less distracting, recent energy imprints at the most popular haunts.

10. Fake Claims Abandoned

Some sites may be genuinely haunted, but — during the recent wave of ghost hunting popularity — they (deliberately?) neglected to fix issues that only seemed like evidence of ghosts.

Eerie figure in doorwayI’m reminded of the Lizzie Borden house, where researcher Thomas Spitalere found extremely high EMF readings near pipes (and perhaps wiring) at the top floor of that home.

Though I’m sure Lizzie Borden’s house is haunted, I didn’t overlook normal issues — like elevated EMF — that could merely make a place “feel” haunted.

When we reported this to the woman hosting our investigation, she seemed to shrug it off. At the time, people didn’t understand as much as we do now, about EMF at eerie locations.

Today, sites like that are better informed about those kinds of problems. Most of them make sure visitors’ experiences aren’t affected by normal (not paranormal) issues.

11. Higher Percentage of Serious Researchers

At any haunted location or event, you’ll meet new and experienced researchers. You can learn a lot from serious researchers, if you follow them around and — if it’s okay with them — ask questions.

Now, with fewer trend-followers among the site’s visitors, there’s a far better chance of meeting a serious researcher, and learning from him or her.

12. Better Ghost Tours

During the peak frenzy of ghost hunting, now and in the past, some businesses seized any excuse to outshine the competition.

Today’s ghost tours usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Silly, theatrical performances that emphasize lurid events that may not have happened. (I’m reminded of the stories of New Orleans’ LaLaurie Mansion. The top floor that tour guides used to point to, and talk about a slave girl falling to her death…? That floor didn’t even exist when the LaLaurie family lived there.)
  • Well-researched ghost tours given by guides who’ve studied the sites’ histories, and tell authentic tales based on actual events and hauntings.

If you’re looking for the latter, most can be identified by their advertising. Every tour is likely to indulge in a little hype, but the theatrical ones often highlight their “performances.”

If you want a genuine experience, look for a tour that stresses the area’s history. They’re easier to find than they were between 2003 and 2015.

13. Breakthroughs and Discoveries Continue

Ghost hunting has followed the Diffusion of Innovations Curve to its conclusion.

In most cases, we’re back at the beginning of that curve. People still involved in ghost hunting are among the innovators and “early adopters.”

It’s a good opportunity for serious ghost hunters. I hope you’ll be part of the new wave of research and discoveries in this field.

And, in addition, it’s fun again.


Introduction to Ghost Hunting – Start Here

Welcome to my free Introduction to Ghost Hunting course.

I wrote this course to share the basics of ghost hunting, so you can enjoy investigations and perhaps lead some of your own.

The original course appeared online in the late 1990s.

I updated the lessons in 2013 and 2016. I’m fully revising the free Introduction to Ghost Hunting Course, right now. ETA: Halloween 2017. (Fingers crossed!)

However, all the information you really need is here at HollowHill.com.

What to expect

This is a four-part course for beginning ghost hunters. Most people will complete one lesson per week. Some will finish the course sooner, many will take longer.

At the conclusion of this course, you can download a Certificate of Completion. The certificates are online, available on the honor system.

(In other words, I trust that you won’t skip the lessons in this course and simply print out a certificate for yourself.)

On this page, you’ll see a list of the lessons and the individual chapters in them.

While the main Ghost Hunting Academy site is being revised, the links take you to the mirror website: https://ghosthuntingacademy.wordpress.com/

Feel free to print copies of the pages in this course for your ghost hunting group. You don’t need my permission.

Lesson One

Lesson Two

Lesson Three

Lesson Four


Ghost Hunters TV Show – Fake?

“Is Ghost Hunters TV show a fake?” “Are the Ghost Hunters fake?” “Did TAPS fake their Halloween 2008 show?”

Grant's jacket tuggedThe emails have been pouring in, asking questions like these.  I was going to ignore them, but the emails continue to flood my in-box.

I’ve looked at the Ghost Hunters TV show footage on YouTube and studied it frame-by-frame.  I also listened closely to the audio, where a voice clearly says, “You’re not supposed to be here.”

Here’s my analysis.


That voice is alarmingly clear.  During my own ghost hunts, I’ve never heard anything that audibly crisp or like someone was right there, saying it.

Then again, I rarely hear things audibly when I’m conducting research.  I rarely capture any EVP, either.  Audio is not one of my stronger areas.

However, Jason and Grant have documented increasingly clear EVPs during their research.

In my experience, this seems to be a skill — perhaps related to rapport with the spirits — and most ghost researchers improve as they investigate a variety of sites.

So, while this was a very unusual and audible voice, I think it’s possible in a profoundly haunted setting… and that’s what they chose for their Halloween 2008 show.

Also, at Jason’s MySpace blog, he points out that the voice was so clear, he asked if someone had said anything.  (If anything irks me about Jason, it’s that he tends to be aggressively skeptical.  This show was no exception.)

Likewise, it looked to me as if Grant was asking the producers if they were in the wrong location… if they weren’t actually supposed to be where they were at that moment.

So, I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the TAPS team faked the voice.  I also trust the integrity of the SciFi channel.

There are other, natural explanations, but I don’t think that Jason, Grant or the SciFi channel set this up.


The second controversial moment was the tug on Grant’s jacket… if it was that.

If you watch the video, frame by frame, you’ll see that the collar moves oddly just before Grant stumbles backwards.

However, the fishing line explanation doesn’t work.  We might see the line highlighted by the cameras, or a shadow on the wall when the cameras moved in.  It’s possible to do that on a recorded show.

However, on a live show, the production company couldn’t take that chance.

Here’s a bigger problem with the fishing line explanation: Grant’s jacket was open at the neck.  If line had pulled on his jacket enough to throw him off balance, it would have jerked the neck opening of the jacket as it pulled him backwards, slightly choking him.

In my opinion, Grant perceived it as just his jacket, but he was actually forced backwards by something else.  The only visual manifestation — besides Grant stumbling — was the movement at the collar a split second before he stepped backwards.

I can’t explain what happened.  I have no idea, and can’t even guess.

Strange things occur in haunted places.  That’s one reason we keep investigating them: We’re looking for explanations, but we often leave with more (and new) questions than answers.

The jacket tug baffles me.


Several people have claimed that Grant’s body language, tone of voice, or other cues “give away” that he was faking the whole thing.

That’s not very good evidence of a hoax.

Anyone who has been on real ghost hunts knows that we get used to odd things happening. The “usual” anomalies stop surprising us after awhile. (This may be another reason why the manifestations become increasingly dramatic around experienced ghost hunters.)

But, if you’ve been with me on ghost hunts that turn dramatic — for example, with doors slamming repeatedly, or windows opening and closing on their own — you’ve seen me sigh and mutter, “I wish they wouldn’t do that.  It’s really annoying.”

Things that scare other people don’t even surprise experienced ghost hunters, after we’ve encountered the phenomena enough times.

So, it’s a mistake to judge the authenticity of phenomena because an experienced ghost hunter doesn’t seem startled enough.

We just don’t startle as easily as someone with less ghost hunting experience.

Grant’s reaction (or lack of it) doesn’t prove anything.


Jason and Grant are good friends.  I’ve spent a lot of time with them. We’ve chatted over breakfasts, lunches, dinners and at parties.  We exchange emails when something is of mutual concern.

In general, Grant is very honest. Usually, he looks you straight in the eye when he talks with you.

I have to qualify that, because I once caught Grant shading the truth.

It was not an outright lie. It was something personal and had nothing to do with ghost hunting. I asked him about it, and — so far — he’s avoided a straight answer.

We haven’t spoken since then. I’m sad about that, because I admire him tremendously as a researcher and as a talented artist.

But, in terms of ghost hunting, I have no reason to question Grant’s integrity.

I like Jason, but sometimes he seems like an almost incorrigible skeptic.  If anything, he’s likely to trivialize evidence that the rest of us point to as proof of a haunting.

It seems absurd to think that he’d be part of a hoax. That’d be completely out of character.

Sure, Jason has a very dry wit, but he would never compromise his own integrity as a ghost hunter, the integrity of the TAPS team, or the Ghost Hunters TV show.  That’s not his style.  If you’ve met him in real life or listened to him talk at any conference, you know that he’s rock-solid honest.

If the show’s production company said, “We want you to fake this,” Jason would reply, “I’d quit rather than do that.”

And, he would.

On the show, Grant and Jason had no reason to compromise their integrity.  None whatsoever.


It’s true.  Some very odd things seemed to happen during the Ghost Hunters TV show on Halloween 2008.

Could they have been faked?

Yes, the voice might have come from a very well hidden microphone.  But — if that voice was part of a hoax — I’m confident that Jason, Grant and the SciFi channel weren’t aware of it.

I wasn’t there to know what direction the voice came from, and what it was like, except for what we saw on the Ghost Hunters TV show… and frankly, that’s not enough information for me to judge.

I’ve said it often: It’s a mistake to judge what is (and isn’t) a real haunting, a real ghost photo or real EVP  unless you were there.

The incident with Grant’s jacket is another issue altogether.  It couldn’t have been faked without Grant’s knowledge. In my opinion, there’s zero chance he’d be part of a hoax.

All in all, I trust Jason and Grant.  They say that they didn’t fake anything on the show, and I believe them.

But, I’m also aware that many people like a “good scare” on Halloween, and — starting the very next morning — they want to assure themselves that the whole thing wasn’t real, and scary things don’t wait for them in the darkness.

I think they’re the loudest detractors of the Halloween 2008 Ghost Hunters TV show.

I have nothing to prove, one way or the other. I saw no evidence of a hoax in that TV series.