Ghost Hunting without Equipment

Yes, you can go ghost hunting without costly ghost hunting equipment. In fact, you don’t need ANY equipment.

If all you do is visit a haunted site, you can encounter something eerie. Maybe even a ghost.

This is one of the first of my re-issued Hollow Hill podcasts.

Ghost Hunting podcast - Hollow HillIn this 16-minute podcast from November 2009, I talked about using your five (or six) senses to investigate haunted places. I also shared other ghost hunting tips.

Some things have changed in the eight years since I recorded this. (Okay, a lot has changed, but the info in this podcast is still valid, with a few notable exceptions.)

Today, if you just own a phone, you’re far ahead of where we were, back in 2000. Or even 2009. Or even 2019.

For example, your phone can take great ghost photos. You can use your phone to record EVP. You can use a free “ghost app” to identify active areas of any haunted site. (And yes, some of them are legit. I’ve seen them work.)

And so on.

Also, as of 2017, the K-II isn’t the only good EMF meter.

EMF Ghost MeterIn fact, right now (late 2017) I like the Ghost Meter better than the K-II. (Also, the Ghost Meter costs about half as much as a K-II meter.) In “seance mode,” the Ghost Meter been surprisingly accurate for yes/no responses.

(That’s one in a photo on the right. Mine has a clear case, not black. And yes, it is an “as seen on TV” product. Despite that, it seems to work as a real-time communication device. I’d trust it far more than, say, a loosened flashlight/torch.)

Also, the Ovilus is available again. It’s far more sophisticated than it was in 2009. As of 2017, I’m testing its accuracy in a variety of on-site and remote experiments. So far, I can confirm that the Ovilus III can work remotely, with about 30% accuracy. But it is expensive. You don’t absolutely have to have it.

Other than that, most of this 2009 recording is still good information.

Yes, I still experience frustration when people miss seeing apparitions and other ghostly phenomena. But, since 2009, I’ve learned to accept that some researchers are going to hyper-focus on their ghost hunting equipment… and miss real hauntings.

Maybe this podcast will help. (It’s from HollowHillPodcasts.com.)

First, I talked about the importance of looking around and listening. I described the kinds of evidence you might see and hear.

Then, I shared an easy way to make your hands more sensitive to “cold spots” and exactly how to find them.

I also described the best ways to use dowsing rods, and whether or not you should investigate “lights out” at indoor locations. (In most cases, there’s not much reason to work in the dark, but there are exceptions.)

Related Links

Homemade Dowsing Rods – My article about how to make and use your own dowsing rods.

Joey Korn’s Dowsers.com – The only professional-grade dowsing rods I use.

Podcast by: Fiona Broome, the founder of HollowHill.com
Music: Zombie by Devin Anderson

Ghost Hunting Investigations… in Closets? You May Be Surprised

Are you investigating haunted houses? Don’t overlook the closets! They may hide some of the site’s most important secrets.

This week, I was charmed by a CBS video about informal, modern-day archaeology.

Then I realized we could do this in many haunted locations, especially private homes and businesses, where the owners ask, “Who is that ghost?”

The video is less than three minutes long. I think it’s worth viewing if you’re actively involved in private investigations.

This kind of dig may not confirm anything.

But..

  • It might provide more clues about the history of the site.
  • That could suggest a context for the haunting.
  • It could present useful triggers, too.

Try a little “informal archaeology” (with permission, of course). It’s something almost anyone can do.

You can include the site owners in this project, as well. (It might mean a lot to them, even more than it does to you.)

Since this kind of research is limited to areas like closets, it won’t disfigure the more visible parts of the home or business. That’s important.

(If you can’t watch that video, here’s a link to the related article: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/childrens-workshop-school-students-dig-up-treasures-from-closets-nyc/ )

You may be surprised to see how historical clues could – literally – fall through the cracks.

If you try this (or have, in the past), I hope you’ll share results and insights. I’m very interested in whether this could be useful.

The site in the video is about 100 years old.

In other words, this kind of dig – with permission, of course – could be most useful at sites from the mid-20th century and earlier.

Ghost Orbs in a 1910 Photo – Paranormal Proof?

Ghost orbs in photos… could a 1910 photo provide evidence they’re real?

We can learn a lot from an early 20th century photo of the Custer Battlefield cemetery.

But first, this is important if you’re taking photos at haunted sites…

Test Your Own Cameras

When anyone (including me) assures you that something is true, fact-check it yourself.

In the 1990s and early 21st century, I claimed that most “ghost orbs” were actually dust, insects, and reflections.

Later, facing a wave of angry arguments, I decided to prove my point.

I tested – and studied – dust, insects, reflections and more. I did my best to create photos with fake ghost orbs in them.

What I learned during those 5+ years of extensive testing was…

I Was Wrong

It’s incredibly difficult to confuse insects, reflections, etc., with actual ghost orbs.

They just look different.

Today, I urge people to test their own cameras. See what dust, pollen, rain, fog, reflections, breath, and insects look like in those photos.

I’m mean it:  Test every camera you use for ghost hunting. Deliberately stage “false orb” conditions.

Then, analyze those photos. Could you confuse them with truly anomalous orbs?

You’ll save yourself a lot of confusion – and perhaps embarrassment – when you can glance at your own photos and know when a ghost orb is real.

A 1910 Photo Features Most Problems

Recently, I  stumbled onto a great, old photo that shows some easily identified issues, as well as orbs that might be ghostly.

It’s a photo of the Custer Battlefield National Cemetery.

The picture was taken in 1910, when photography was very different from now. But, the “ghost orb’ issues remain the same.

Sunrise at Custer Battlefield Cemetery - orbs

I’ve enlarged some of the orbs to show what might be an anomaly – also called a “ghost orb” – and what’s probably a glitch in the photo.

Processing Mistakes

First, an obvious glitch. In the photo above, the following area is in the lower right part of the picture, to the left of the white writing.

chemical spatters

That photo was processed in a lab. Chemical splashes and spatters could happen. That’s the most likely explanation for those irregular, somewhat circular areas.

Even in the 1990s, when I was taking film photos at haunted sites, I still had to examine the negatives for splashes and lab errors.

False Orbs – Dust and Insects?

The next enlargement shows what could be pollen and insects, as well as some possible anomalies. In the original photo, this area is in the lower half of the picture, and just left of the center.

Orb #1 includes a clear dot. In a color photo, it might be yellow or orange. When it is, the orb is almost always caused by pollen.

But, I see other similar, small dots nearby. So, the orb might be real and the dots might be a glitch from the developing or printing process, or damage to the print during storage.

Solution: When you’re taking photos, ask a friend to stand to one side and in front of you. He or she can tell you if anything in the air looked highlighted by your flash.

Orb #2 is an odd shape, and part of it is more solid looking. That’s often a flying insect.

Solution: When you’re ghost hunting outdoors, regularly look up at streetlights, or have a friend leave a flashlight on for several minutes. Many insects are attracted to light.

If you see bugs flying in front of a light, keep them in mind when you’re analyzing your photos, later.

Miscellaneous Items

The next enlargement is from the sky area in the Custer photo. It’s near the top and to the right of the middle.

Irregular shape #1 is probably damage to the print or something that spilled on the negative.

Shape #2 could be almost anything, including an insect or two, or a printing glitch.

Possible Ghost Orbs

After ruling out things that look like false anomalies, I still see several orbs I can’t explain. Not entirely, anyway. (I am mindful that sunlight may have been streaming directly towards the camera.)

I’ve indicated a few possible orbs from the sky area of the photo. But, a closer examination of the original photo may reveal more.

ghost orbs at custer battlefield cemetery

Of course, they could be processing errors from the darkroom. They could be insects or pollen, or something else that’s perfectly normal.

I have no idea and, frankly, no one can be sure whether anything I’ve said is accurate about this photo.

We’d need to test the camera the photographer used.

That’s my point.

Testing each camera is essential.

Then, we can tell whether our photos may include ghostly anomalies… or if we’re looking at something normal (and annoying).

This is important, as well: Even after those tests, we’ll have unanswered questions.

One Question Lingers

Despite what I’ve said here, never assume that the logical, normal explanation is the only explanation.

Something that “looks like dust” could still be an anomaly.

And, even if it is dust, you may have another mystery: What causes dust in that area, but nowhere else at that location or nearby?

In other words, the orb may not be the anomaly.

Maybe the weird dust is.

When to Go Ghost Hunting? Try These Tips

When is the best time to go ghost hunting?

Many researchers prefer to investigate after dark.

Are ghosts more active at night? I’m not sure.

Maybe the darkness makes it easier for us to notice them. After all, in the dark, we have fewer visual distractions.

For me, it’s more important to investigate at anniversaries. They’re the dates when someone at that site died, or married, or something significant happened. (Birthdays can be surprisingly good days for ghost hunting, too.)

This video shares more about the best times – days and hours – for ghost hunting.

Of course, your results may be different. If you have suggestions, I hope you’ll share them with Hollow Hill readers. Leave your comments (and questions) at this site.

https://youtu.be/YREpXYp8jKo

I’ve created a When to Go Ghost Hunting Worksheet, as well as an instruction sheet for using it.

The worksheet includes more than just times and days. I’ve also added lines for possible triggers that may improve your research results.

The worksheet instructions feature even more suggestions related to research, era cues, and other ways to enhance your investigations, specific to each location.

Here are the PDF links (on Google Drive):

When to Go Ghost Hunting – Worksheet / https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_HSWKNTnx8bFmS7r7lFNtAz9YJH9Izh0

When to Go Ghost Hunting – Worksheet Instructions / https://drive.google.com/open?id=111_cv7Xzo0CaH2TI2NEzYpvp9jMpPZfp

If You Think Ghost Hunting is “Weird”…

Have you met people who think ghost hunting is a “weird” hobby? Maybe you think it’s kind of weird, yourself? Well, imagine if your hobby was like this woman’s…

gravedigger woman - her hobby

It’s a 1944 photo from the (U.S.) Library of Congress.

Yes, it’s a little old woman, wearing a dress, a hat, and an apron.

And she’s a gravedigger.

The notes with this photo say, “Meet Mrs. Josephine Smith, aged 84, whose hobby is digging graves. She lives in Drouin, a typical little farming town (1100 people), in southern Australia, 60 miles out of the Victorian capital, Melbourne. …”

Maybe I’ve lived an insulated life, but in all my decades of trekking around haunted cemeteries, I’ve never met anyone digging a grave “for fun.”