Ghost hunting can be a science. We follow precise steps for the best results.
What do you do when you first arrive at a site that might be haunted?
If you’re smart — and you probably are — you get a sense of what’s where. You do a full walk-through of the site, whether it’s outside or indoors.
At first, you’re getting your bearings and looking for any safety hazards, such as a low doorway, a hidden hole in the ground, weak or damaged boards in a stairway or attic floor, or signs of vandalism.
After that, your next step is to look for what’s odd. Don’t go “lights out” or begin working with your research equipment, yet. First, see what doesn’t make sense.
In simple terms: Look for what’s weird.
Of course, that’s is difficult to describe in a checklist. However, here are a few examples.
- At cemeteries, always look for graves outside the cemetery walls. After all, people are supposed to be buried in the cemetery, right…? Well, if you’ve read my book, Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries, you know why those weird, “outsider” graves can be the most active. (Those graves are one of two — or sometimes three — kinds of hyperactive locations just outside most cemetery walls.)
- At the Franklin Historical Society (NH), a former home for the Sisters of the Holy Cross, one — and only one — interior doorway displayed a mezuzah. That’s a Jewish symbol, most often seen at the front door of a home. According to research by EPNE, that’s one of the most active rooms in the building.
- In Austin, Texas, one of the most haunted guest rooms in the Driskill Hotel was sealed for many years. Why would one of Austin’s most elegant and popular hotels actually close off a lovely room? For ghost hunters, that’s a red flag bringing attention to a room that’s rich with haunted history.
- At the Spalding Inn‘s carriage house (Whitefield, NH), a disconnected phone kept blinking as if a message was waiting. Even after that was fixed, an upstairs room attracted flies in winter… when the (uninsulated) carriage house is closed. Many people believe that the carriage house is the most haunted part of that hotel.
- Probably the most abundant example of “what’s weird” in a very haunted site is at California’s Winchester Mansion. Almost everywhere you look, you’ll find stairways that lead nowhere, and doors that serve no purpose.
So, immediately after (or during) your orientation walk-through of any haunted site, note what’s weird.
Then you can begin your formal investigation. For the best results, you’ll probably start with the areas that seem weirdest.
There’s always a reason — sometimes a paranormal one — why people allow (or create) something odd at a haunted location. Maybe it’s their way of coping with ghostly energy. Maybe it’s something else.
To find the most active locations at any haunted site, look for what’s weird. It’s an anomaly, and it may lead you to other, ghostly anomalies, too.