How to Be an Amateur Paranormal Detective

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1-06-2019, 09:00
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Updated: June 26, 2017 Have you ever heard strange noises in your basement or seen a door creaking open by itself? Have you felt a chill run down your spine suddenly in your house? If so, this is the how-to for you.


  1. Research information on different techniques and items used for "professional" spirit hunting. Also begin to research a little bit about general spirits and demons. Know more about the paranormal in general.
  2. Locate the site of the disturbance. Ask around town for areas that locals claim to be "haunted". Some friends in your own community may have had experiences.
  3. Contact the owners of the site you want to investigate. This may not apply to all situations, especially if you've already got permission (if it's a friend), but it's better to be safe than sorry. Be polite and professional (you don't want to come off as being crazy!)
  4. Check into the history of the location. You can research as much as you like, but keep in mind that most disturbances originate from the location's history.
  5. Hypothesize. What do you think the problem could be? Brainstorm with a couple of knowledgeable folks, whether in person or online. Use the case information to guide your search.
  6. Choose a team of friends or local paranormal investigators, between two and eight people for most locations. Never investigate on your own. Spirits like to target those who seem vulnerable and weak.
  7. Assemble your equipment. A check-list is located below.
  8. Sweep the area. If there are particular locations where paranormal events seem to occur, leave a video camera (if you have one) recording in the location, or leave a couple of team members.
  9. Gather your data, and ask a local paranormal investigation group to look over it with you. Most groups will be glad to help, and will probably have more information to add about what could be causing it.


  • Don't make ghosts angry.
  • When you encounter a disturbance, check all of your equipment. Multiple readings, especially on different kinds of equipment, add much more credence to your findings.
  • Never go in alone. It's easy to get spooked by strange sounds and feelings. In the same spirit, if you split your team up, don't send any team members solo. Without a second person to verify information, any info gathered becomes hearsay.
  • Don't forget the human element! In this field, feelings are just as important as readings!
  • The field of parapsychology recognizes three kinds of events which people relate to ghosts:
    • Hauntings are imprints of events that have already occurred; the things you experience will not be interactive.
    • Poltergeist activity is characterized by moving objects and strange sounds and images, and was long thought to be caused by angry spirits. The more recent theories center around poltergeist activity being caused subconsciously by a human "agent," generally a person under a lot of stress.
    • Apparitions are the real deal, a dead person. These cases are exceedingly rare. The experiences you have will be interactive. If you keep your cool, you may be able to strike up a conversation, although keep in mind that the ghost may be as afraid of you as you are of it (i.e., "What are you doing in my house?")
  • Try to be an "open-minded skeptic." People see what they want to see, and if you go in thinking that you'll find a ghost, you'll twist your information around until you think you've found one. Try to rule out any other possible causes of your disturbances and record the most likely.
  • Try to be interactive with that ghost as if he is just an another human, whom you met today and find out why he's doing what he's doing.
Be humble, be generous and just be cool. The moment is worse, when you really think that it is worse. Keep your Mind Meditated. ^_^.


  • Be careful in and around older structures, for obvious reasons. A crushed paranormal investigator isn't good to anyone besides spirits.
  • Don't go by yourself. Always have at least one other person with you.

Things You'll Need

    • Journal to record time, place, and nature of an event.
    • Tape recorder. Originally, these were used by investigators for taking notes during walk-throughs instead of notebooks, but the fairly recent discovery of "EVP" (electronic voice phenomenon) has provided another use.
    • Camera. If you will be taking pictures of total darkness, use an analogue camera, as most older digital cameras will leave blank pixels which may distort your image and give you false evidence. If you have a newer, or particularly high-end older digital camera, use that instead.
    • Compass. Many theories about ghosts from the para-psychological community involve electromagnetic fields, and if a compass comes into contact with a magnetic field, the needle will wave. Don't expect full-on spinning; usually, the compass deviates about 30 degrees in both directions from magnetic north.
    • Infrared thermometer. Standard thermometers are too slow to pick up the sudden jump in temperature that often accompany a paranormal event.
    • First-aid kit , just in case.
    • Depending on the length of time you will be staying on-site, you may want to bring food, drinks, and sleeping bags.
    • Camcorder. This can be used to document the investigation, or as a mobile set of eyes and ears.
    • EMF (electromagnetic field) meter. These can be purchased in some hardware stores or online, and you can find tutorials about their use online as well. Basically, this will replace your compass.
    • Infrared motion detectors. If you plan on leaving your camera alone in a room to record, you may want to set up some IR motion detectors in the entrances to prevent any pranks.
    • Geiger counter. Some cases have shown that Geiger counters will register during paranormal events. If you're going to buy one, get it last, as it is the most expensive (and iffy) piece of equipment you will have.
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