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Introduction to Ghost Hunting

This article provides the information that ghost hunters or anyone interested in the paranormal should know about and understand before venturing out into the unknown.

Who qualifies to call himself or herself a ghost hunter?
What does a person have to do to become a ghost hunter?

Technically anyone's qualified to be called a ghost hunter. The spectrum ranges from the scientific professionals to the weekend hobbyist. with more and more hobbists claiming to be serious researchers, the line is quite blurred. Anyone curious enough to explore the paranormal is a ghost hunter. For the most part, it's a technical craft where most of the knowledge will be self taught and learned as you go along.

If you're going to be successful as a ghost hunter you'll need to study and understand the theories and methods of ghost hunting, the sciences behind those theories and learn how to apply them in the field. You will need to practice using the tools of the trade, and most importantly, you will have to learn to develop a keen guiding instinct. Serious researchers are bound by the Scientific Method while hobbists will quite often ignore it.

Most ghost hunters already believe in ghosts. However the theories regarding what ghosts are can vary greatly from one ghost hunter to another. The toughest part of becoming a good ghost hunter is learning how to go into ghost hunts thinking and acting like a skeptic. That's right a skeptic. It's the ghost hunter's duty to be open-minded and examine all of the facts for any logical explanations. The word open-minded does not mean solely believing in the existence of ghosts and not excepting any other hypotheses. Instead it refers to analyzing every option that could account for the phenomena. It is important to stress the use of scientific method, because without it, you will prove nothing.

Ghost hunters must be fair, rational and always searching for the logical explanation. The ghost hunter's job is to uncover the absolute truth, no matter what that truth may be. There are thousands of ghost hunters, but only a handful of good ghost hunters. Understanding this simple fact will make you a better, more knowledgeable ghost hunter.

What are ghosts?
The honest answer here is that no one really knows. There has never been any absolute proof in the existence of survival beyond death or ghosts for that matter. This is the result of decades of ghost hunters that have refused to use scientific method. Instead they have often relied upon the use of psychics, medium and other questionable methods. You cannot use the paranormal to prove the paranormal.

Do reasonable people believe in ghosts?
Over 80% of people polled believe in the existence of ghosts and there is no shortage of people with ghost stories to tell. Some people may have never told their story before out of fear that their friends and peers would ridicule them. It's important for those people who have seen ghosts or had a supernatural experience to know that they are not alone. When people begin to share stories they will find out very quickly that others have had the same types of experiences and they are curious to know if they have actually had a paranormal experience or have mistaken a mundane occurrence for a ghost.

What makes up a "good" ghost hunter?
First and foremost, the use of scientific method. A good ghost hunter has hypotheses that he has either developed or adopted. These hypotheses determine exactly what he is looking for and how he expects to find it. Ghost hunters should also enter ghost hunts as a detective would, taking notes, doing interviews, researching locations and the location's background. The detective side of a ghost hunter has to be aware of all logical and natural explanations and do their best to find a reasonable conclusion. The forensics side is the part that most ghost hunters fail to develop. A ghost hunter should treat each alleged haunted location like a crime scene. They must meticulously go over the area and carefully gather any physical evidence while not disturbing the scene's environment. Drawing maps and diagrams of the layout, staging reenactments. Analyzing even the smallest of clues that may have been left behind.

The final element of a good ghost hunter is the researcher. You must have a vast working knowledge of the science behind your hypotheses. What it comes down to is a ghost hunter really has to know their stuff to make it past this point. Continue your education and be willing to learn.

Are there rules that apply to all ghosts?
When hunting for ghosts don't look for any rules or absolutes. There are no guarantees on predicting when and where a ghost will appear and it's appearance doesn't seem to follow any special pattern. Sometimes a ghost is nothing more than a sharp chill or the odd feeling of being watched. In other cases, the ghosts cannot be distinguished from a living person. Ghosts have been known to interact with the living or just make acknowledgment with a quick glance or eye contact. In other accounts the ghosts seem unaware of the presence of living people and appear to be acting out some part of their own past life.

The majority of what people believe ghosts are and what they can do is based on belief systems. You must be able to approach a ghost hunt with an open mind, understanding that the reported events are probably not paranormal in nature.

Other considerations about Ghost hunting:

High tech gadgets can be very helpful in aiding a good ghost hunter who knows the proper use of each piece of equipment. Knowing exactly what the equipment does and how to work the equipment is very important. Always test and practice each piece of equipment for several days or weeks before attempting to use them in the field. Give yourself time to learn all of the different, and sometimes complicated, functions.

There are many ghost hunting groups out there. Huge differences can exist between group "A" and group "B". Ask questions and thoroughly look through shier website before making a determination to join or not. This will save you allot of wasted time and expense in the long run. Be sure that the group is right for you.

What is the difference between a paranormal investigator and a ghost hunter?

The difference:

Ghost hunters deal with ghosts.

Paranormal investigators deal with the paranormal, which includes many other subjects besides ghosts.

Thats it .