Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Michelle Belanger, author of Vampires in Their Own Words, Walking the Twilight Path, Haunting Experiences, The Ghost Hunter’s Survival Guide, and the newly-released The Dictionary of Demons.
Halloween is just around the corner, and ads for haunted hay rides and other spooky attractions are popping up all over. But with the current popularity of shows like Paranormal State and Ghost Hunters, who wants to go to a haunted schoolhouse stocked with costumed actors? Wouldnâ€™t it be more fun to investigate a real haunting?
These days, more and more people are taking up ghost-hunting, and the month of October â€“ with all its spectral associations â€“ is the perfect time to do it. But before you go out seeking spirits, here are a few tips to keep your experience as safe as possible:
- Take a flash-light. Thereâ€™s nothing that says ghosts canâ€™t show up in broad daylight, but most ghost-hunters seek their quarry in dark and shadowy locales. For some, this is part of the thrill, while seasoned investigators know that itâ€™s easier to identify the source of mysterious sounds when fewer people are up and awake. Make sure you have a flash-light to help you navigate those dark corners!
- Bring a friend. Ghost-hunting should operate on a buddy system, and you should never go into a haunted location alone. This isnâ€™t because the ghosts will get you if youâ€™re by yourself, but if you have a partner, you have someone to help you out if you get hurt. Also, you have a second witness for anything strange you might experience.
- Dress sensibly. Ghosts can and do haunt five-star hotels, but most of the locations that are open to ghost-hunting are old buildings, like abandoned prisons or old county poorhouses. You are likely to get dirty, and you may encounter unpredictable footing. Dress appropriately. You may also want to think about pockets: a lot of ghost-hunters bring more gadgets than just a flashlight, and you need places to keep those cameras, audio recorders, EMF meters, and spare batteries.
- Get permission. Although you may have a burning desire to investigate the ominous old cemetery down the street, most cemeteries are closed after sunset because of the real threat of vandalism. Donâ€™t get yourself arrested for trespassing. Check with the owners of any location (or, lacking owners, the local city authorities) before you enter a property.
- Have fun! In the world of spirits, like attracts like, so if you go out expecting to find evil or violent haunts, you just might get what youâ€™re looking for. A moderate fear factor is part of the allure of ghost-hunting for some, but donâ€™t fixate on your fears. Putting out too much of that kind of energy can attract unpleasant experiences.
If, after your first taste of ghost-hunting, you discover you want to learn more, there are plenty of books to sate your appetite. Check out Richard Southall’s How to Be a Ghost Hunter and my own Ghost Hunterâ€™s Survival Guide.
Our thanks to Michelle Belanger for her guest post! For more from Michelle, visit her author profile page to view all of her books and articles.