On a chilly night, outside without a jacket, the minute you let in the cold, you begin to shiver. Once you start to shiver, you can’t stop. There is a deciding moment between ignoring cold and noticing it and letting it in that you become overtaken and you create a cascading effect.
Fear in ghost hunting (and any other situation) is much the same. Once you let in thoughts like “what if?” and it’s followed with, “I can’t handle it,” the fear escalates and fleeing with hysteria ensues. There are simple techniques for changing your trigger and response to this; “whatever happens, I’ll handle it.”
Fear is best beat down beforehand in preparation and when the mind is clear and the body free of panicky sensations.
How does one get over fears associated with ghost hunting situations? First, before even going on a study of a haunted site, the participant needs a moment of logical evaluation before the mood and atmosphere onsite make it impossible to think clearly. Fear should be assessed in terms of actual personal threat. (Remember, this applies to doing anything fearful in life). An ideal way to do this would be to watch the zillion of ghost hunting shows on TV to discover that the worst that could happen is you hear a banging sound or see something out of the corner of your eye in the shadows.
Let’s consider possible fears involved in ghost hunting and how to look at them beforehand to stop out of control emotions during the event.
Situation 1: He considers darkness threatening because he can’t see what’s around him: Then, the obvious conclusion is to arrive in daytime or turn on the lights and get acquainted with the place. He should also give himself the option of having a small flashlight or nightvision camcorder screen for more comfort to see what’s going on. Truly, the longer he’s in the dark, the more it’ll become familiar. It’s just the newness that’s the worst part. If you’ve ever flown somewhere, flying to the destination is more unnerving and flying home is much more comfortable, as it’s all familiar from the sounds and feels of the flight.
Situation 2: He fears running into unsavory people alone in the dark: He needs a working cell phone and several friends, allowing for a few of them to simply face outward and keep eyes opened for intruders while he gets to hunt without worry of what’s over his shoulder. Lack of preparation can cause the most fearful situations. I once went onto a hunt without spare batteries. Once far into the labyrinth of dark winding corridors, I lost my light. I wasn’t scared so much as worried because the halls were filled with debris. Luckily, I had my nightvision camcorder to illuminate my way. Had I owned a cell phone, I could have used that to shed some light, as well. This is where keeping your head clear creates the best result. If I had been in the throws of trembling fear, I might not have found a way out. I might have screamed hysterically or tumbled and hurt myself.
Situation 3: He fears strange sounds, apparitions, doors slamming, or anything that might represent a haunting: This person probably should reconsider ghost hunting until he gets a logical look at these unexpected events. The truth is, every day he experiences strange sounds in his home, a cabinet he didn’t remember leaving open and the occasional scary shadow in the bedroom cast by a hanging robe on a wall peg. If it doesn’t scare him out of context, then being in a supposedly haunted place, it should have the same effect on his worry. In his own home, he’d likely figure out what window was open with something falls over on his desk. Making the same practical assumptions in a haunted site makes him a good debunker. If he were to spend a day in his quiet house, he might be able to realize that these things happen day and night in quiet buildings. That would be my best advice. Honestly, this is a hard one for me to understand, as I spend most of my time wishing something would make a noise, slam a door, make a footstep…
Situation 4: He fears possession or bodily threat: These kind of fears are more from lack of education. People raised under strict religious doctrines that includes images such as possession and the concept of “Evil” as an entity, demons, and such, will probably be best served in another line of interest. These teachings are very hard to shake. Look at the “Ghost Adventures” team. They taunt and bully and even ask “evil demons” to get them. The worst that ever happened were some superficial scratches. Some investigators choose the spiritual route when hunting and do protective prayers and charms like on “Paranormal State.” Whatever floats your boat, I say. Just do what you need to in order to ease fears if you’re determined to hunt.
The truth is the only cure for fear is information. The more you know, the more logic available to you.
Logical thinking equals logical emotions. Not lack of emotion, but emotions in keeping with the actual threat or injury.
The truth is, I’ve known a lot of logic-minded people and in an argument they seem as if they’re unfeeling. Actually, they’re having healthy emotions. They don’t have the mental distortion causing the resulting out-of-control emotion that the other participant in the argument has.
Take for instance this situation:
“Honey, I asked you to take the trash out an hour ago. Can you get it done soon? The house is starting to smell.”
A logic-minded response by the spouse would be to think, “Oh jeez, I totally forgot.” and then he says, “Okay” to his spouse and does the deed.
The illogical response would be him saying to himself, “all she ever does it pick on what I do wrong. She never notices what I do right.” The resulting irrational emotion is to be defensive and angry. Then, the he says, “I’ll get to it when I get to it. You have a problem, you take it out.” And he storms off.
There are still a lot of Old World mindsets about hauntings. They’re not always easy to get over, but they can definitely be beaten down with logic, reason, information, and exposure.
Someone asked me one time why I’d want to spend my evening poking around some dusty dark old scary place when I could be whooping it up in a bar where everyone else is congregating. I think my response was something along the lines of, “why would I want to go to a bar, crowd myself in with other humans who are drunk, smoking, and loud when I can be somewhere less scary, like a haunted building.”
It's all relative...