Want to learn how to be a ghost hunter? This is a how-to guide on ghost hunting with expert tips from real life ghost hunter Billy Binnie.
Ghost Hunting has become part of our culture, and loads of people want to try it. Most want to experience ghost hunting for themselves not from their couch watching Most Haunted. However, most don’t know how to conduct a proper investigation or were to start, so this article will give a guide on ghost hunting.
Ghost hunting can be dangerous especially going into old rundown buildings. Investigating in teams or even taking a partner will help with safety but it also helps with equipment, as you will need someone to help you operate the equipment.
Billy Binnie, Lead Investigator of GPI.
Billy Binnie, lead investigator of Glasgow Paranormal Investigations(GPI), said: “You need to know your group, we prefer private investigations with just who we know there. I know everyone in my group will say 'that was me' if anything happens. You need to know their 100 percent focused on finding evidence and not messing around because again it destroys the whole investigation. It's important to know everybody and to be 100 percent comfortable with everybody in the group.”
Before you start breaking out your paranormal equipment, you need to find a location to investigate. Ghosts can be anywhere, but a simple internet search will find you a haunted location in your area.
There are many ways to approach an investigation and each investigator approaches one differently.
Binnie said: “I'd say open minded, try and debunk before you say that it is paranormal. You have to look to see what could have caused the noise. After the investigation's finished you're looking through your handheld camera, you're looking through your CCTV, trying to tie everything up before you say to someone this could be paranormal, you need to make sure that it's full proof and there is no way someone can say it's not paranormal.”
GPI was founded in 2008 by Billy, his wife Kim, James and Lisa.
Most investigators before they investigate a location want to find out everything they can about it and want to know all about people's experiences at the location. Many investigators do a full history of a location and speak to people who have had experiences.
Binnie said: “If you do that then you can go in and you can set your night up in a certain way. If you know something has happened in a room or there's voices heard in a room then you can go in and you can point all your questions toward that. I prefer to go in with a fresh mind, clear mind, open mind and get a response to a question we ask in general and then try and manipulate your questions towards the answers your getting.
Before you do an internet search, be mindful that our psychology is very deep. By reading into the history can prime you to experience something when you go to the location. Priming yourself means that if you read that there is a ghost of an elderly lady at the location your investigating, you are priming yourself to encounter this apparition. Yes, doing a history can be helpful and beneficial to the investigation if you can use names but in the end it can hinder you more than it helps.
For example, just being in a supposed haunted location, at night added in priming and suggestibility from outside sources, this could create an environment for you to experience something paranormal and it could even hinder an investigators ability to debunk supposed paranormal activity.
When it comes to investigating there is a host of paranormal equipment out there that will aid you in your investigation. The basic arsenal of ghost hunter includes:
• Digital Camera
• Digital Recorder
• Video Camera
• Flash Light
• Extra Batteries
• EMF Detector
A more experienced ghost hunter may have more advanced equipment like the those seen on Ghost Adventures. Some include:
• Paranormal Puck 2
Is a leap forward in monitoring EMF, temperature, humidity, light levels, barometric pressure, movement, ionization / static levels.
• Xcam SLS (Kinect)
It is a 3D motion tracking camera with custom software specifically designed to seek out and read human forms.
Captures energy or electromagnetic waves and converts them to phonemes or words.
• SB7 Spirit Box
It is an adjustable frequency sweep device designed with "white noise" distributed between frequency steps. It aims to capture spirit voices in real time.
• PX Device
It is a blend between the Ovilus and the Puck. It has a built-in dictionary that allows spirits to communicate by changing the environment.
However, you should keep in mind that the results you get from the equipment isn’t proof of the paranormal on its own. Before you conclude something is paranormal you must make sure nothing else is the cause. A paranormal investigation is like solving a puzzle. After the investigation you could research the history of the location and you could look for other people that have had experiences at the location to speak to. By doing this after your investigation you preserve the evidence you may have collected and eliminate all psychological factors like priming and suggestion. Combining the evidence collected at location, the history and the experiences of others will allow you to build a picture.
• Be Respectful
• Be Professional
• Don’t Show Fear
• Take along a notebook to record significant occurrences. Begin by logging the starting time and weather conditions etc. Also make note of surrounding lights as to not confuse them with anomalies later in the pictures. Record all meter abnormalities, strange sounds, sightings and feeling or emotions. Each group should take their own notes and compare afterwards.