I remind people that you need to know why you're doing ghost hunting in the first place - because for some, they want to prove ghosts exist to others, but you can't prove that no matter how much proof you think you have. Those "others" they want to impress simply must experience it themselves because anything can be hoaxed or misread.
We spend too much time looking at meters to tell us if a ghost is present and they are electrician's tools, not ghost tools. People don't spend enough time sitting quietly in the dark and listening and feeling and hearing and smelling. For all the devices we have to try to capture evidence, you can almost be guaranteed any shadow person you saw, any mist or apparition was not caught on film or video, but with your eyes.
Every investigator needs to experience going equipment-less. Have encounters. Don't worry about proof. Find out what it's like to be the best single device to detect ghosts - the human body and mind. There is something liberating about going to an investigation without equipment and the distraction. You might say, "but what if something happens? I'll have no proof!" Well, you almost surely will not have proof with equipment. This will not be the first or last experience with phenomena, but you will never understand it if you do not experience it raw.
I once had a person holding their EMF meter and hoping to see if anything changed and they never looked up and missed the shadow person the rest of us saw. This is typical. We must sit and be one with the night. Then, you learn the room's quirks, what's right, what isn't, what our gut tells us, what our skin and scalp and breathing tell us, what our eyes tell us.
So, I suggest you don't worry so much about finding proof or evidence, but try learning how it all works by observing. The ideal time to work without equipment is when you do not have a private homeowner or business that wants you to come in to find out if the place is haunted. This sort of approach is best done when you rent a haunted room in an old building or get access to a haunted site for the evening.
What are the advantages of having experiences? You begin to learn how your mind and body feel when activity occurs. Start to notice if your hair on your arms stands up or your scalp tingles when you are about hear something or see something. Become the best barometer of when a room feels "active" or "quiet." In most cases of people running into activity, there was some subtle nagging feeling that had them turn and look in a place where something was about to happen, or a pull to go into a room where something will occur. This is one of the best benefits of observing - you learn how you know about activity, how you react to activity, and you learn to rein in you mind and its worries, fears, and concerns.
Here's a perfect example. Julie and I recently took a trek to a haunted location and stayed a couple nights. We slept the first night after having a long conversation, putting our pictures on our computers and laid back, fell asleep, and throughout the night had various activity in the room. The next night, we did an EVP session and dowsing and pendulum work, addressed the occupant of the room, and prepared for bed. As we prepared for bed, we found that the hat on my ventriloquist doll, which had been placed over his face, was not there any longer and, in fact, was underneath him completely - he was sitting atop of it. Then, I woke up during the night to find someone had wrapped me in the comforter I had pushed aside and tucked it under my legs and my arms which were straight at my sides - in a mummy-like fashion. Activity doesn't happen when you call on it, sometimes it happens because the place gets used to you. You converse with friends, you show moments of vulnerability and you sleep and when you are unconscious or semi-conscious, it begins.
Give it a try some time. Just "be" and not "do." The state of your mind when you sit and observe is vastly different than when you are thinking technically and analytically. This is part of the reason why spirit connection with the living is so easy around the time of sleep when we are lingering in alpha state as we come in and out of sleeping.
- In a while, another post will be up relating to the evolution of popular haunted locations -