There’s probably more embarrassments than truly bright and shining moments of genuine phenomenon. If you’re not good at sitting still for long periods of time, ghost hunting is definitely not for you. A lot of folks fill their minds with other thoughts and daydream, and then they miss the voice in the room and when you shake them and ask “did you hear that?” They can only rattle off the grocery list or the chores they have to do tomorrow. You may be physically present, but you also have to be mentally present too.
I’ve had a load of stupid and embarrassing situations in ghost hunting. I’m willing to admit, sometimes I’m like Lucille Ball when it comes to doing things. I’m all arms and legs, flying around, spastic and wanting to do 10 things at one time. When the hunt begins, I buckle down and put on my serious adult face, but even so I’m human and often times bumbling. Add to it the darkness of the hunt, and it can be quite hilarious.
On a recent hunt that example showed itself well when the group EVP session began and I wasn’t prepared to turn on my recorder yet. I reached for my flashlight to try and see the buttons on my recorder and dropped the recorder. Then dropped the flashlight while we were recording. I often times think I took a picture and the camera didn’t work. I turn on the voice recorder only to find out it wasn’t on. I’ve filmed things with the camcorder and when it makes a beep that I stopped or started it, I forget and think I’m filming when I just turned the camera off and then turn it on during the times I’m walking around with it aimed at the ground. That’s always fun to view!
I’ve gotten my son and I locked in a cemetery in a bad part of town, having to climb over the tall metal fencing and walk through a very bad area to find a convenience store with a phone. I’ve been kicked out of a cemetery at night only to have to sneak back in past the guard to get my voice recorder I left on grave. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a group setting and stumbled into the path of their video cameras or recording devices as I trekked through the building. (Oh, and word to the wise, if you’re ever on a large hunt—be very careful about the conversations you carry on, especially about the other members—it’s being recorded—another lesson, including readjusting your bra when nightvision is running and gossiping about other hunters).
One friend who was a newbie at ghost hunting reported this incident. Staying in the city in a haunted room in a high rise (someone died there), she thought for sure she was hearing a conversation. She started asking questions and the person was answering very clearly! What a thrill!
“How long have you been here?”
“Are you lonely?”
“Wanna come over?”
“Where are you?”
”On the balcony. Where are you?”
Sinking feeling. Something wasn’t right. She looked around and studied the bathroom. The vent over the shower led upwards. She stepped out onto her balcony in her robe to realize that the vent came out on the patio above and to the side of her. There was a man having his morning coffee up there and waving her up with a big grin.
I’ve carried on conversations before with a cat, not knowing that was what was responding with a human-sounding cry. I’ve studied pictures that surely held some phenomenon only to go back to the site in the daytime and find the culprit was a cemetery statue. I’ve stood inside of an isolation cell with a hole in the ceiling to hear a motorcycle go by and create a huge echoing moan within the room. One time, I locked myself in and couldn’t get out when a board fell behind the door and pinned me in. I’ve spent a few hours studying one corner of a room for the owner to tell me, “no, I was wrong, it was actually that other corner.”
So, it’s never going to be pretty, but it’s almost always worth it. Even when I leave with no evidence, I leave knowing that I just experienced another place and soaked up the atmosphere. I’m content to just sit in an historic home or walk around an abandoned hospital. There’s so much residual that no ghost hunt is a waste.
I might not always be graceful and neither will you, but it does make you laugh even years later at the fumbling and stumbling. Oh, and if you can’t laugh at yourself, there’s probably no place for you in the biz.