Halloween’s Over… Now What?

Halloween is over. Many people figure they won’t go ghost hunting again until the warm weather returns.

They’re likely to might miss a great opportunity.

Pumpkin with candleGhost hunting doesn’t start (or stop) at Halloween.  October 31st isn’t a binary, on/off switch.

In fact, increased ghostly activity generally continues through the first week of November, and sometimes later. (Personally, I think paranormal “prime time” extends at least until November 15th.)

So, continue your outdoor investigations — especially at haunted cemeteries, battlefields, and hiking trails — until the weather is too cold.

HATE THE COLD? PLAN A SOUTHERN VACATION

Of course, not every area is bitterly cold in November.

For example, in some parts of the U.S., cooler temperatures mean greater outdoor ghost hunting opportunities. New Orleans’ French Quarter and Metairie cemeteries come to mind, immediately.

Also, when I investigated Texas haunts, the drier winter air reduced the chance of false orbs in photos. An added bonus: in winter, our team usually encountered fewer bugs, snakes and other annoyances.

In Florida, theme parks may have great ghost stories… if they admit to them, that is. (When you ask, phrase your questions carefully. Ask as if it’s all in fun. Avoid anything that might seem ghoulish.)

The Haunted Mansion at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is a wonderful place to get “in the spirit” of ghost hunting.

Also, ask cast members about “George,” who might haunt the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop and attraction.

Universal Studios’ theme parks have a couple of ghost stories. One of them is completely false. At least one other has some credibility. Verify these kinds of stories before looking for ghosts.

(Remember, theme parks take pride in their safety precautions. So, when you hear a terrible ghost story at a theme park, it’s probably fake.)

In the South in general, look for the oldest neighborhoods, the oldest cemeteries, battlegrounds and parks steeped in history. You’ll find plenty with great ghost stories.

I can personally vouch for the ghosts of Houmas House, and it’s a fun place to tour, anyway.

While many Southern locations can be crowded during the summer vacation months, they’re often blissfully quiet in winter.

IN COLDER CLIMATES

If your home is in the chilly north, don’t despair. You have options.

As the weather turns chilly, combine an outdoor investigation with an indoor one.  Start your evening with an outdoor research site. Then, when temperatures drop, investigate a second site, indoors.

For example, let’s say you’d like to combine ghost hunting and skiing in northern New Hampshire (USA).

You might start with a roadside marker like the Roger’s Rangers marker at Haverhill, NH. That’s a grim story and — as far as I know — the area hasn’t been thoroughly investigated. I’d expect some great EVP there.

From there, you’re about 30 minutes from the Norwich Inn. It can be a fascinating place to investigate with many credible ghost stories.

And, if you’re ready for skiing the next day, several ski resorts are within a short drive, including the Dartmouth Skiway.

Starting in November, many haunted hotels and B&Bs wish they’d had more Halloween publicity for their ghosts.  They may be eager to welcome you, especially if you might visit regularly or tell others about their ghosts.

MORE COLD WEATHER OPPORTUNITIES

Here are additional tips for continuing your investigations, no matter what the weather.

Haunted house in cold weatherLook for haunted theatres, hotels, restaurants, museums and haunted houses. Some may be busy during the holiday season. Others might be desolate, and perfect for a full investigation.

Wherever you go, ask people if they’ve heard any ghost stories nearby, or if they’ve ever encountered a ghost.

(In some areas, you’ll be overwhelmed with personal stories about living in haunted houses. Ask if you can investigate them.)

Don’t forget to investigate around Christmas, too. It can be more haunted than you expect.

Review last year’s investigations.  Re-read your notes, review your photos and EVPs, and see which sites should be revisited for more research.

Plan the upcoming year.  Include a ghost hunt at one location you’ve been planning to visit, but haven’t investigated yet.  If it’s a popular location, make your travel reservations now.

Research other locations using new and popular ghost-related books.

Also study 19th century histories of your vicinity, looking for references to ghost stories, haunted places and other paranormal phenomena.

Practice using your ghost hunting tools.  The better you understand them, and the easier it is for you to use them in the dark, the more you’ll be able to observe during future ghost investigations.

If it’s warm enough, resume outdoor investigations around April 30th.  In many cultures, that’s a night when — like Halloween — the ghosts walk among us.  Discover Walpurgisnacht (or Walpurgis Night) traditions and make the most of them on this second eerie and magical night for spirits.

Ghost hunting doesn’t stop at Halloween. If you’re enthusiastic about paranormal research, you’ll find plenty of investigation sites during the colder months.

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