Monday, October 20, 2008

How to Choose the Members of a Ghost Hunting Team

Here's the likely candidates, their strengths and weaknesses on a team.

THE SEARCHER: This is someone who's had an experience of the supernatural nature and wants answers. This person is likely to be skeptical, enthusiastic, driven, and obedient. They want to learn. They're ideal to train. They wish to find as many ways to test things as possible. You'll find almost 90% of your team will end up being searchers because more often than not, those hunting ghosts had an experience that launched them. You start with a "Searcher" and later you find out what category they belong in. These folks usually comprise the leaders of the team like Jason and Grant on TAPS. There's also one other type of searcher and they're usually folks who lost loved ones and want to verify an afterlife. They usually become discouraged after a time and move on to other ways to answer the bigger questions. You'll find them questioning other folks about their beliefs and experiences and desperately wanting their own "proof." These folks are likely to move on after a time, usually within a year which correlates with grief lessening.

THE TECHNO-WEENIE: Usually men. They want to buy and run equipment. They like the idea of bigger and better test equipment, finding ways to set up and analyze info more effectively. For them a ghost is something to empirically identify by scientific means. You want a few of these guys on your team as your tech experts. They'll be organized, efficient, relentlessly questioning their findings, and looking for new and better stuff to capture phenomenon. Steve in TAPS is ideal for this position. He's hungry for knowledge and patient with set up and break down and review. Also, he's quick to call an orb dust or insect and move on to better things. I admire that.

THE HISTORY BUFF: This person simply loves access to old and cool buildings and historic sites. They're caught up in the romance of ghosts. They're likely to be the best researcher you can have. Send them to the library and the City Hall and the city Registrar to find any records you need to verify the stories of history and deaths at that site. They're mature, patient, and always respectful of the grand old places you're hunting. Often times, these folks might be in historical preservation societies or can run with their "kind" and get you access to old places after hours.

THE GOTH: You see a lot of these young folks wandering into ghost hunting with an extremely romanticized idea of ghosts. More often than not, they get caught up in the dark dank spaces and enjoy just sitting alone in a room to absorb the energy. A goth person isn't likely to complain about where you send them, so they have that on their side, but over time they'll become rather bored, as whatever they imagined they would find never materializes. It's best to help a goth move along to a more effective team member just as you would graduate a "Searcher." If you can get the goth to evolve, you'll find often times they're intrigued by concepts such as "cleansing" techniques and they can become helpful in making clients feel some resolution with their situation.

THE THRILLSEEKER: This person wants to dive right into rickety stairwells and crawl into the forbidden spaces under buildings. They're in this for the darkness, the spiders, the dirt, and the glory of being tough. A thrillseeker is a fantastic person to check out a site ahead of time and give people a head's up on what might be needed. If the thrillseeker is mature, he/she will probably have a good hard hat with light, some other supplies that you might not have realized you needed. On one hunt, we had a client with a huge tunnel under their home but too small to crawl into, so I took off my belt, tied my camera to it and lowered it. A good thrillseeker should know how to rig things last minute.

THE SPIRITUALIST: Although I find they often get in the way more than they help, sometimes a person with a spiritual bend on ghost hunting is helpful on a team. I'd suggest a psychic, but I'd be certain this person has shown actual ability with a blind test by having them walk through a building and read it (one that is not known to be haunted) and see if she/he can read anything off it. If she/he thinks it's totally haunted and evil, be wary. The times you might need a spiritualist is when you have a situation in which the history of the building is not well known. I've been known to use my psychometry skills to narrow my focus on the "active" part of the house by instinct alone, but then I use instruments to see if there is activity while we're there and later do research to see if something did occur in that spot. I wouldn't count on their findings alone, but they can sometimes keep you from wandering around "dead" spots too long and put you onto the "hot" spots.

THE POSER: These folks want to do what's hip. Unfortunately, hunting ghosts is now hip. This person might want to wear a lot of shirts that say they're a ghost hunter and brag about it, but never actually make it to many events. This person simply wants to be unique and different, but is not necessarily a team player. You'll weed these folks out early when you see they're not really going to help out. If you want to get a Poser to move on to a new identity, guide this person to doing PR. They are usually very motivated to approach people and tell them they're a ghost hunting and ask if they can do a study of their building after hours. They might be social folks, but posers can make things happen.

It really helps when forming a team to be sure people have specialities and they focus on those alone. You want your EVP dude who runs the EVP sessions in the same manner, with the same criteria, and is a Nazi about sound quality and accounting for all background sounds. You want your camera guys. You want someone who's running around with the EMF meter doing measures as you take pictures, another doing temperature readings. You need to have people who know clearly what they do and become experts on their area. I appreciate that TAPS lets everyone investigate, but I think they'd do a lot better if they didn't ramble around. Let Dave run EVP sessions, let Steve handle cameras. Let Jason and Grant instigate and provoke, let Kris do their search and booking. I think it's good that they get exposure to other positions, but I wouldn't want my foot doctor checking out my ear infection. I think specialties are important because otherwise everyone knows a little about everything and not all about something.

No comments:

Post a Comment