. So, you decide to be brave.
You want to go investigate ghost for yourself. First you need to decide where you want to go. Sights known to be haunted are a good choice. You may also try a cemetery, a theater, a museum, any place with a lot of history or anyplace that you suspect of being haunted. You can check out the web or the bookstore and try to find haunted sites near you. Ghost are reported even in brand new houses with no history of death on the property. However, a history of violent death on the property is a plus. Ghost can be anywhere they want to be at any time. (they are all around us) Sometimes ghost can attach themselves to either a person, place or thing that they are fond of. Ghost attached to a location tend to stay put. These ghost are generally easier to hunt. Ghost attached to an object or person will follow wherever the person or object wanders. If attached to a person either the person is ussually a relative or loved one, or sometimes someone who they think can help them. Sometimes people report strange experiences after picking up something at an antique shop. Objects that have a strong sentimental value to the spirit may be haunted.
One simple way to investigate is just to go there and look (scout) around without any special equipment before any serious work begins and use your powers of observation. Check the site out in the daytime and you may notice things you overlook at night. Try to keep an open, but skeptical mind. Its always good to familiarize yourself with the place if possible before the serious investigation begins. Get a feel for the place, and let the ghost become acustomed to your presence. Then you can do a more serious investigation.
You may want to bring some equipment along. A notepad and pen to record events and times. You may also want to bring a camera of some type. I recomend a good simple inexpensive point and shoot 35mm camera. Several different cameras are even better infaredfilm, black and white, color, digital and video, but youll at least want one good inexpensive point and shoot camera. I have had excellent results from 400 speed color 35mm Focal brand film. Ive had more luck with this film than the more expensive films. I ussually bring two cameras. Its always good to have a backup. One automatic focus and one fixed focus loaded with 400 and 800 speed color film is a good combination. You will probably want to try differend films and cameras to see what works best for you. They may show up on film even if you don't see them. Set you camera for the least amount of zoom or for a wide angle shot to cover a lot of area in each shot. Some ghost hunters use digital cameras and swear by them. Others scoff at the idea. If you have a digital camera it can be a good tool to locate hot spots of activity without spending a fortune on film. Then go back and verify that you get similar results with a film camera that will give you a negative which is more concrete easier to verify and examine. look for orbs, mist and streaks of light in your pictures. Look closely so that you dont miss faint orbs. Also look for faces or shapes of figures where they dont belong.
A tape recorder sometimes picks up strange sounds. Best used when it is very quiet. Make sure too usa an external microphone so that you dont pickup the sounds from the tape recorder itself. Sometimes you can ask the spirits questions and they will respond. You may hear something you didn't expect when you play the tape back. I ussually just set the recorder in a remote area and leave it alone till it runs out of tape and come back later and listen to the results. See if you hear any faint voices or odd sounds that were not present during the recording.
You may also want a instant thermometer or thermal scanner to record cold spots and sudden temp changes. If you dont want to spend that much money, a simple outdoors type digital camera will work well to record teprature drops if you set them up in one location and come back ever so often to check the readings. A compass or/and an EMF (electromagnetic field meter) meter is an excellent tool to detect electromagnetic fluctuations. This tells you where to take the pictures at. If you get a good reading on the emf meter start snapping a few pictures. Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, Ion chambers, night vision scopes and motion detectors, are also sometimes used to detect ghost if you can afford them.
Ghost have been known to affect any type of elctronic equipment. So any disturbance you get that cannont be dismissed by normal causes could possibly be something paranormal. Try to go over the area several times and see if any readings changes. It may take a while to get the hang of it. You may or may not detect anything at all. When you do you will know it. Be careful to look for logical explanations such as a cold draft when the A/C unit comes on, or a high electromagnetic reading near an electrical line or equipment. Be aware of reflective surfaces and lights in the background that may affect photos. Don't take pictures when it is snowing or raining as this can appear to be orbs when it is really natural causes. When it can't be explained away then you may have found something paranormal.
Good Luck. Oh, and one last thing, be sure you don't go alone. Its always good to have someone as a witness if you do see something, or to help you if you run into any trouble. Its also more fun to go in a small group. Make sure you don't trespass on private property or go into areas that are off limits at night. If the cemetary or building is locked or posted stay away or get permission first. If the cemetary is not locked up and not posted then it should be ok to go in if you are respectful and proceed with caution.
If you do run into a caretaker or policeman tell them what you are doing be prepared to show them identification if they request it and if they tell you to move on then please do so. There are pleanty of other spots to investigate and if you treat people with respect they wil be more likely to let you investigate in the future.
You may even want to try daytime investigations. If you do use a flash to illuminate the paranormal activity even when there is pleanty of light. Generally you can get good results with day time ghost hunting as well as night time ghost hunting. When investigating try to keep an open mind and have fun but be respectful. Ghost will seldom hang around to be photographed if you are not. If you find anything let me know. And one last thing never leave litter of any kind or take anything during an investigation. If you do it may come back to haunt you. Also, don't drink or smoke during an investigation its bad Karma and can lead to trouble. Happy Hauntings! Be careful and be safe.
Take Me Home!