Many people email me and ask, “I’d like to become a ghost hunter, but I’m afraid of demons. What can I do?”
If I could answer that, I’d ask them, “What’s a demon?”
The answer is important.
According to my copy of the Oxford Universal Dictionary, the word “demon” comes from the Greek term for evil spirit. Since 1706, that’s what it’s meant in English, too: Evil spirit.
Any malicious entity or spirit could be called a demon. That could be an alien or a faerie or something we can’t yet define. My dictionary also says those spirits could be the souls of deceased persons.
In recent and popular use, the word “demon” has been used in a religious context, particularly the Christian beliefs indicating the (singular) Devil or Satan, or — more rarely — one of the evil entities under his command.
A ghost is not a demon. No matter what your theology, they’re different kinds of entities.
So, are you worried about ghosts and spirits? Or, are you anxious about a dangerous entity described in the New Testament?
If you’re afraid of unhappy, angry and aggressive ghosts — that is, spirits of the deceased — don’t get involved in paranormal research. Many ghosts seem unhappy. Some of them vent their anger in aggressive ways.
There’s no way to be involved in this work without dealing with unattractive and threatening spirits of the dead. Sooner or later — usually sooner — you’ll encounter something startling.
On the other hand, if you want to learn ghost hunting in an setting that’s relatively free of any dangers from the religious (usually Christian) concept of a demon, start with “hallowed ground.”
That is, develop your skills in haunted cemeteries, preferably church-related cemeteries. In most cases, they’ve been blessed to keep Satan (or the Devil) out.
But, this is important: Cemeteries (and churches) can become unhallowed and unsanctified. That’s a separate topic, too complex to discuss in this article.
In other words, don’t drop your guard in a church or related burial ground. It may not be as spiritually protected as you think.
If you want to understand more about demons, a Long Island Paranormal Investigators’ article, Demonology 101, covers the topic in depth.
I also recommend a 2007 Coast-to-Coast AM interview with John Zaffis and the late Father Andrew Calder, Demonic Forces & the Paranormal.
I spent considerable time with each of them, and learned a lot about the dangers of ghost hunting. On the topic of demons, their advice was always 100% reliable.
That doesn’t mean that cemeteries are entirely safe. I’ve mentioned severe problems at Vale End Cemetery in Wilton, NH.
Those were extremely rare encounters, and what we encountered wasn’t a ghost. I’m not certain it was a demon, either.
Either way, it was unique among hundreds (perhaps thousands) of sites I’ve investigated.
In my opinion, you have more to fear from the living than from the dead (or other entities), whether you’re in a cemetery or any other “haunted” location.
If you focus on relatively benign haunted cemeteries, especially if they’re in hallowed grounds, you’re as safe as possible from demons (no matter how you define them).
That doesn’t mean you’re 100% safe. No one can guarantee that, no matter where you are or who you’re with.
If you’re frightened by any aspect of ghost hunting or paranormal research, don’t get involved in this field.
Sooner or later — often when you least expect it — you’re going to encounter something terrifying.
It might be a ghost. It might be something malicious. It might just be some guy you trusted, but he’s a sexual predator.
If you’re fascinated by ghosts and haunted places, and you’re willing to take risks despite the many potential dangers, this can be a thrilling field to research.
If you’re uneasy about ghost hunting, even before you’ve explored it… stop now. Find some other hobby or interest. Ghost hunting isn’t safe, and it’s probably not for you.