Ghost Hunting Safety
Our investigation team gets a number of e-mail contacts from neophyte paranormal investigators and ghost hunters seeking advice, tips, and hints pertaining to how to successfully investigate a site with purported paranormal activity. Our team loves the questions and happily answers such questions whenever we are able, but in some instances time constraints do not allow us to answer questions immediately. Therefore, we have decided to produce a series of articles pertaining to paranormal investigation and ghost hunting that addresses the typical questions and concerns that we receive on a regular basis.
When we are contacted by those individuals or groups interested in investigating the paranormal, one of the common things that we often discover is that various individuals and/or groups just starting out in ghost hunting have already experimented with one or two sites. During the process of experimenting with investigation techniques, frequently we discover that the individuals or groups, with or without meaning to do so, forego safety measures that are necessary and vital in the field of paranormal investigation. Below you will find some of the things that every group should consider implementing when conducting ghost hunting sessions; the suggestions offered will ensure that every member of the team remains safe and that the investigation itself is as hazard free as possible.
Rule number one: Ghost hunting or paranormal investigation sessions should never involve less than two individuals at any time. The primary reason for conducting ghost hunting sessions with at least two individuals is, of course, for safety purposes. If two people are involved in the ghost hunting session they can act as a spotter for the other partner, and if an accident occurs there will always be another individual nearby to lend a hand in an emergency. It is not uncommon for neophyte investigators to forego bringing a partner on an investigation because they are familiar with the area, but such action is dangerous. For example, if an investigator is familiar with a cemetery that they have visited before, it is a false assumption that it is safe to investigate the area alone. Even in daylight hours accidents can occur; thus, it is imperative to bring someone along on an investigation, even if that investigation session only involves two people. The second reason why you should have an investigator accompany you on a ghost hunting session involves evidence validation. For instance, if investigators should have an experience or perhaps see a manifestation, the argument that such an experience occurred is stronger if two people witnessed the event.
Rule number two: Know the area you are investigating. It is important that beginning investigators do not mistake basic familiarity with a site with really knowing everything about the site. We recommend that a complete tour of the site is conducted before an investigation is conducted. The entire site can be toured by two individuals from the team and mapped out for the other investigators. When the site is mapped out, hazardous conditions can be identified and marked so that all the investigators on the team are aware of such conditions. Such a practice serves a team well especially if they decide to ghost hunt in the evening hours or in the dark with special night vision equipment. Further, a complete understanding of where everything is located in the parameters of an investigation site makes the investigation process go more smoothly. It is possible for individuals or a group to preplan the entire investigation process when they map out the area they plan to investigate.
Rule number three: Take the investigation seriously. Ghost hunting and paranormal investigation is not a game and the latter fact cannot be emphasized enough. While it may seem like all fun and games, if an individual is just seeking a good scare and he or she is not serious about investigating a site, we recommend renting a good horror film or sitting home on the Internet and conducting a little armchair ghost hunting via web cams. Ghost hunting and paranormal investigation is a serious business. If you are looking to have a good time it is insulting to investigators that take ghost hunting and paranormal investigation seriously. If an individual is not into ghost hunting or paranormal investigations to study the paranormal then we recommend that the individual finds some other outlet for his or her entertainment.
Rule number four: When on an investigation it is never appropriate to pull pranks on other investigators or clients, and it is never appropriate to joke around. While it is okay to enjoy investigating, there is an appropriate time for everything -- pranks while ghost hunting are simply unacceptable. There are a number of dangers, both physical and psychological when ghost hunting, and in order to avoid establishing a situation where someone may get hurt, it is necessary to leave the joking around and pranks for more appropriate times. In fact, seasoned paranormal investigators often consider pranks and joking around on the site as an indication of unprofessionalism as well as a sign of disrespect: not only of the nature of ghost hunting, but of the spirits as well as the clients, if any.
Rule number five: Do Not Trespass! Ever. Our team has heard of stories and has spoken to individuals who have purposefully trespassed in various areas because they were interested in investigating the site. Trespassing is not only dangerous, it is against the law. Even if a site is not marked with signs indicating that trespassers are not allowed, it is far more professional to request permission to investigate a site. It is possible that when you request permission to investigate that an individual or group will be turned down. In some instances site owners may have specific property insurance requirements they have to meet and cannot allow you on the property. Further, some sites may have various hazards unknown to the individuals or groups making a request to investigate. In other cases, the site owner simply may refuse because they do not want anyone on the property. If a group or individual requests permission to investigate a site and that request is denied, that denial must be honored! It is unprofessional to trespass, and it can also be hazardous. Finally, it is possible to be arrested for trespassing and when an individual or group is arrested for trespassing because their ghost hunting, it is an embarrassment to the entire paranormal community. Always keep in mind if you are involved in ghost hunting you represent everyone that studies the paranormal.
Article written by: Dayna Winters and Patricia Gardner
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