Ghost Hunting – 5 1/2 Pre-Investigation Steps

Ghost Hunting - 5 1/2 pre-investigation steps to take at home.The best place to start ghost hunting is at home.

No, that’s not because your home may be haunted.

It’s because you can learn so much that will be useful later, when you investigate the site.

And, nearly all of this research can be done at home – or even during your lunch break – with Internet access.

In my recent article series about haunted Eden Camp and the ghosts of Malton, England, I explained what I look for, with examples from those locations.

Here’s exactly what I do…

5 1/2 Pre-Investigation Steps

First, I look for ghost stories. (This is the half-step. If I’m investigating a private home, their may be no ghost stories at all.)

If I find some, I check them against history. Do historical events and people match the stories?

A bogus story can diminish the likelihood of the site being haunted, but I won’t dismiss it altogether.

Maybe King Henry VIII or George Washington didn’t spend the night in that haunted castle or home. A similar-looking ghost – a different man in royal robes or a Revolutionary war uniform – might haunt the sites.

Then, I check for ley lines. I’m looking for nearby haunts and reported anomalies, or places that usually have ghosts.

Those include:

  • Cemeteries and rumored “ancient burial grounds.”
  • Battlefields or where skirmishes occurred.
  • Significant historical monuments.
  • Current or former sites of institutions such as hospitals, orphanages, and prisons.

I want to “connect the dots” with a straight line between the site I’m investigating and at least two other haunted/anomalous/weird locations.

After that, I look for other patterns… things that connect the investigation site to other, similar haunts.

For example, in Austin (Texas), I discovered ghosts at nearly every site related to Abner Cook and bricks from haunted Shoal Creek.

So, I look at geography, history, related sites (nearby or in other areas), etc.

Next, I dig into ancient history.  In Britain, that’s usually related to the Celts, Vikings, and Romans. In the US and Canada, I research Native American history, and which locations were considered “sacred” or “forbidden.”

The last online (and library) research step involves recent history. 

I’m not just looking for ghost stories. I’m also looking for extraordinary people and events – and related secrets – that can indicate a haunting.

Crime reports and court cases (reported in local newspapers) can provide some of the best insights.

The final step is to ask, “What’s weird?”

That is, what leaps out as different? What location or person or moment in history seems to linger in my mind, as something odd?

In a series of “odd” things – like the Salem Witch Trials – whatever stands out is usually connected to the darkest history of the area. 

I keep notes from those five research sessions: ghost stories, ley lines, other patterns, ancient history, recent history, and “what’s weird?”

Those give me a context – and possibly credible support – for whatever we’ll find during the on-site investigation.

And, with those clues, the investigation can be more focused. We can find the “hot spots” of ghostly phenomena – EVP, cold spots, apparitions, shadow people, and so on – faster than if we’re just… well… working in the dark.

Patterns, Predictions, and Why I’m a Paranormal Researcher

Late tonight (Monday, June 18/19), I’ll be on George Noory’s “Coast to Coast AM” radio show. So, knowing my knack for blurting things that aren’t quite what I’d planned to say, I’ve been working on videos to describe my work.

(I’m hoping the show goes well, but if I manage to speak before thinking, my newest videos are sort of preemptive damage control. LOL)

The following video explains why I love paranormal research, and – even after all these years – I’m still enthusiastic about my work. I’ve developed a very specific focus for my research, and an equally clear goal.

Of course, this work is an ongoing project, and – as it unfolds – it becomes more fascinating, every day. That’s what makes it fun.

If you’d like to hear me speak on George Noory’s show, here’s his site’s description of it. I’ll be on the second half of the show, starting around 3 AM, Eastern US time. The show will be recorded so you can listen to it later.

(I like how he describes me & my research.)

Fiona Broome on George Noory's "Coast to Coast AM" radio show.

Coast to Coast AM subscribers can hear the replay almost immediately.

In addition, Coast to Coast AM shows are available at YouTube, about three weeks after they initially aired.

A Fresh Approach to a Haunted Building’s History

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.

Though this kind of dig may not confirm anything, it might give you more clues about the history of the site. That could suggest a context for the haunting.

As I see it, this is a fresh research approach. It uses a little “informal archaeology” and 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: )

Until I saw this video, I never realized how many 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. So, this kind of dig — with permission, of course — could be useful at sites from the mid-20th century and earlier.