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19 Ghost Hunt Tips

Do you know the methods and techniques to conduct a proper Ghost Hunt?

A ghost hunt is conducted by a team of researchers, sometimes including a psychic or medium, embarking to gather evidence to prove or disprove claims or suggestions of a ghost or spiritual force. This is oftentimes done as a result of a person who requests help to validate or debunk claims of paranormal experiences.

You need to know how to conduct a ghost hunt before you embark on an investigation in a reportedly haunted location such as a home, graveyard or historical site.

Contact and train with an established organization in your area. This is the best way to learn how to conduct a ghost hunt – through experience with well-trained people that can show you the ropes. If there are no organizations available in your area with which you can enroll, it’s recommended that you buy books, watch videos, take classes and use the methods on this page before conducting an investigation.

Before starting your ghost hunt

  1. If you’re conducting a ghost hunt, interview the owners or managers of the location.

  2. Do some historical research of the property. Search Google and old newspapers at the local library to find out the location’s history. Did any deaths occur there? Any ghosts reported in the past?
  3. Take a tour of the property during the day, before your ghost hunt. This is important because there are dangerous places and obstacles that you may not see in the dark.

  4. Do not enter the property illegally.
  5. If you are conducting a ghost hunt on private property, be sure to get permission from the owners or holders. If you do not ask permission he may be detained by police for trespassing on the property. Also, when a cemetery investigation, you may want to tell any guards that you “taking pictures” on the property so that they know you are there.

  6. Be sure to bring identification during a ghost hunt such as a driver’s license. This is in case you are stopped and asked for identification by the police
  7. Never investigate alone. Another person can not only confirm what you saw, felt or heard during your ghost hunt.  Even more important, the other ghost hunter can help you if you are hurt somehow, perhaps after tripping over an item in the dark.

Eastern Cemetery ghost hunt. Photo: Kenneth Hornsby on flickr
Eastern Cemetery ghost hunt. Photo: Kenneth Hornsby on flickr

Procedures during the ghost hunt

Here is a condensed version of some of the most common ghost hunt procedures.

  1. Assign ghost hunting equipment to each investigator.
  2. If necessary, divide the ghost hunt group into teams. Each group should investigate certain areas and then move elsewhere to give another group the opportunity to investigate that area. This is a great opportunity to see if each group has the same experience and results.

  3. Choose a leader who speaks for all in case they come in contact with officials such as the police, journalists, homeowners.
  4. Before the group begins to investigate, take a moment to say a prayer or to bless the group. Most ghost hunt groups believe that there are evil entities as well as non-evil ghosts in many areas such as cemeteries. Take the time to say a prayer of protection and invite positive spirits to help and guide you.

  5. When you ghost hunt, make sure you carry protection with you.  It can be an amulet or item blessed to protect you according to your spiritual beliefs.
  6. Enter and walk around the property for 20 minutes. This is so you can acclimate to the environment and have a better ghost hunt. In addition, this helps ghosts to get used to their presence.

  7. Enter the start time, weather conditions and other relevant information.
  8. Note all areas that cause readings or false images.

  9. Set up stationary ghost hunt equipment such as cameras on tripods, your laser grid or motion detectors.
  10. Start your ghost hunt, taking multiple pictures and the EVPs you record on your digital recorder and with your Spirit Box. Verbally or on paper record every time something strange happens. For example, if the electromagnetic meter (EMF) records unusual readings, if the temperature fluctuates, or if you observe strange signals or sounds.

  11. Also note any thoughts or emotions in you that feel strange or out of place. When the investigation is completed consult colleagues about the similarities with respect to the readings or feelings in certain areas and at certain times.
  12. When the group has completed the investigation, tell spirits that they must remain there and can not follow you home. Tell them to remain there in the name of God.

Have you gone on a ghost hunt?  Are there any tips you would like to add, or stories you’d like to share?  

Let us know if you’ve conducted a ghost hunt at one of the houses featured in this Huffington Post story, 13 Real Life Haunted Houses And The Horror Stories That Go With Them!

Ghost of yesteryear. Photo: BADRS on flickr
Ghost of yesteryear. Photo: BADRS on flickr
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Can dogs see ghosts?

Animals have an extraordinary ability to perceive things that we humans don’t even notice.  For example, animals can not only tell that an earthquake is nearby but, in the case of dogs, they can even tell if a person is speaking the truth or lying. Don’t you wish you could do that?

Even if you haven’t been through an earthquake, you’ve probably heard stories of dogs that begin to howl with anxiety before an earthquake hits.  There are also reports of other animals that start to manifest strange behavior such as: fish jumping out of the water water, rabbits that leave their burrows or hibernating animals that begin emerging from their hiding places before an earthquake hits.

But many of these behaviors might have an explanation: the five senses (taste, smell, vision, hearing, and touch) of animals are oftentimes much more developed than those of humans.  We often can’t sense things that your dog or cat notice clearly.  

For example, dogs have a sense of smell that is 10,000 to 100,000 times sharper than our own. While they have to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, we only have about six million.

Dogs also have a deeper sense of hearing. It doesn’t hurt that they have 18 muscles in their ears that permit them to move their ears around and in the direction of any sound. Dogs can hear higher pitched sounds than humans. They can detect sounds from 67 to 45,000 Hz; Humans, by comparison, can detect 64 to 23,000 Hz sounds.

Can dogs see ghosts? Pygmalion can! Photo courtesy Cheryl Edmond
Can dogs see ghosts? Pygmalion can! Photo courtesy Cheryl Edmond

Can dogs see ghosts or are they using a Sixth Sense?

However there is evidence that points to the possibility that dogs have access to a “sixth sense”.  We may notice that our dog is barking or howling at a fixed spot on our ceiling, in a closet or at a doorway. Many believe that animals have a sixth sense, a sense that allows them to see or sense the presence of a ghost is in a room. Even the cable channel, Animal Planet, has a TV series called “The Haunted” that features stories family dogs alerting their owners to presence of spirits.

In the 1960s, American parapsychologist, Dr. Robert Morris, used animals as “controls” in an informal parapsychology experiment. He was studying a house inhabited by ghosts and focusing on rooms in which murders had been committed.

He used a dog, a cat, a rattlesnake and a rat. According to his report, during the experiment when the dog got a short distance inside the room with the “bad vibes”, it began to growl on his own and went right back out the door. The dog also refused to enter again, indicating that dogs can see ghosts or at least sense them.

The cat was introduced in the room in the arms of his master. When it reached nearly the same distance in the room as the dog had, it immediately jumped on its owner’s back and dug in its claws (outch!). The cat then spat on a nearby empty chair in the corner of the room.

The rattlesnake immediately adopted an attack posture. Interestingly, it was directed against the same chair that had pissed off the cat.

The only animal that did not react was the rat. Strange.

When the four animals were brought to a room of the house that didn’t have a terrible history, they all behaved normally.

Interestingly, when humans entered the “bad vibes” rooms, they felt a major temperature drop. However, a thermometer used in the experiment didn’t record any temperature change. Based on this study, what do you think? Can dogs see ghosts?

Can dogs see ghosts? Brittany can! Photo courtesy Cheryl Edmond
Can dogs see ghosts? Brittany can! Photo courtesy Cheryl Edmond

When things go bump in the night, a dog can sense what humans can’t

We know that dogs are already used to sniff out bombs, drugs, and track down escaped prisoners. So why not use them to detect ghosts?

It’s not uncommon to come across a psychic as part of a team of paranormal investigators. Techies are also an integral part of most ghosting hunting groups. But how many ghost hunting team include a four-legged ghost hunter?  

In 2012, Jason Hawes and the SyFy Ghost Hunters team decided to add a dog to their team.  They picked Maddie, a beautifully speckled Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepherd mix that he found at an animal shelter located in Tennessee. She makes an excellent team member because she has canine intuition, is well-behaved and has heightened senses. And, as TAPS member Grant Wilson said, “She’s not bringing in any predispositions, she hasn’t made any judgments ahead of time, whether this place is haunted or not. You can’t get more honest than a dog.”

Maddie Hawkes, and her human, Jason Hawkes of Ghost Hunters
Can dogs see ghosts? Jason Hawkes of Ghost Hunters may think so. Here he is with ghost hunting canine, Maddie Hawkes.

The Ghost Hunters team aren’t the only ones to have ghost hunt with a canine. Paranormal researcher, Cheryl Edmond, has trained over 100 dogs for ghost hunts. You can ghost hunt with pretty much every breed of dog. However, the dogs bred specifically for hunting might make the best partners. For example, if there is a type of dog that can see ghosts, it is probably a  sighthounds. Sighthounds like whippets are great because they have such sharp vision and can detect movement quickly. They also have a really impressive range of vision that is wider than what we have: 270 degrees versus our 120 degrees.

Just don’t get this kind of dog: 

Can dogs see ghosts? This one can but he gets scared and runs away!


Tips for ghost hunting with a dog

Can dogs see ghosts? If you plan to ghost hunt with your canine, you need to train it on how how to contribute to your  paranormal investigation. Some tips:

  • Teach your dog to alert you through body language, not barking, growling or making other sounds that can disrupt your investigation
  • Your dog can point, pop up its ears or stare intensely to quietly alert you to the fact that it has heard sounds that might not be audible to humans, noticed high electromagnetic fields, phantom smells or shadow figures. Your human team members can then investigate the activity and either debunk ir or confirm that is paranormal in origin.
  • Never take your dog into unsafe places that you wouldn’t enter yourself.
  • Make sure there’s nothing on the floor that your dog can step on or eat.
  • Don’t forget to give your dog a treat afterwards to reward it for its help!

Can your dogs see ghosts? Let us know if you’ve been on a ghost hunt with a dog or have a photo to share.

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Ghost Story: Catherine Howard

The ghost of Catherine Howard’ has been videotaped at Hampton Court Palace – it’s a video that has shaken many people up. Below is a timeline of the story of Catherine Howard. Enjoy!

1521: Catherine Howard, also known as “the rose without thorns” was born around this year.  She was the second of the 5 daughters of Lord Edmund Howard and Joyce Culpepper.  She was the cousin of Anne Boleyn, who was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn.  Anne was executed in 1536 on false charges of witchcraft, adultery and conspiracy against the king.

1529 (est): Catherine sent to live with his grandmother, Isabel Tilney, who ran a guest house and received many visitors. Her grandmother was constantly at the Court, so, when she grew older, Catherine son became embroiled in amorous affairs with many people..

1539: At the age of 16, Catherine got the job of Lady-in-Waiting of the new wife of Henry VIII, the Queen Ana de Clèves. Catherine caught the attention of the King Henry VIII.

1540: King Henry VIII annulled his marriage to Anna de Clèves and married Catherine. She was 19 and her was 49. Henry, old and obese, gifted his young wife with jewelry and other expensive gifts. Despite all these riches, Catherine found that her marriage did not satisfy her. She began a romance with one of the courtiers favourites of the King, Thomas Culpeper. Prior to that, she had been in a relationship with Francis Dereham.

Queen Catherine Howard
Queen Catherine Howard

1541: Increased rumors about the conduct of the Queen reached the ears of Henry VIII. At first, the King would not believe it until the evidence were too clear to deny the fact. She was placed under surveillance. Soon thereafter, they discovered a love letter that Catherine had written to Culpeper. Queen Catherine was imprisoned in the Abbey of Middlesex in the winter of 1541. Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham were executed on December 8, 1541. The case of the Queen arrived at Parliament in January.

Legend has it that one day, while Henry VIII was attending mass at Hampton Court Palace, Catherine managed to escape from his quarters, where she had been locked up until her fate was decided. Catherine’s asked to see King Henry VIII but was refused. She ran screaming down the hall to beg for the monarch’s clemency but was captured by the guards and dragged back to the rooms crying hysterically.

1542: Catherine Howard was executed at the Tower of London on February 13, 1542. The night before her execution, Catherine spent hours practicing placing his head on the gallows. She is said to have arrived at the gallows with dignity but pale and terrified. Her death was quick and she was buried in the the Tower chapel, Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula along with her cousin Anne Boleyn. However, for many, the soul of Catherine Howard never left Hampton Court. Many claim to have heard or seen the emotional Catherine Howard ghost.

1870: Queen Victoria opened the Hampton Court Palace to the public. The Hall through which was dragged has been scene of strange phenomena for centuries. So much so that it is known as The Haunted Gallery. The Gallery has been home to unusual experiences including visions of a woman dressed in white and unexplained screams – all widely believed to come from the Catherine Howard ghost.

1915: Surreal postcards are printed that depict the ‘Hampton Court Palace Ghost’ – a ghost story that has lasted for centuries.

Hampton Court Palace postcard of ghost Katherine Howard
Hampton Court Palace postcard of ghost Katherine Howard

2003: After centuries of rumors of being haunted by the ghost of Catherine Howard, closed-circuit television cameras at Hampton Court Palace captured for the first time a so-called ghost image. It first collected pictures of doors opening, without the image of the person who pushed them. Subsequently, it captured pictures of a spectral figure who closed the door.

Hampton Court Palace ghost Catherine Howard CCTV
Hampton Court Palace ghost Catherine Howard CCTV

Ghost hunting at Hampton Court Palace – a chance to see the Catherine Howard ghost

A very limited number of evening ghost tours are offered during the winter months. They book quickly and there are up to 30 people per tour group. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside Hampton Court Palace but you do have an opportunity to walk through the dark gallery and hopefully catch a glimpse of the Catherine Howard ghost.

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