(**I am still working on my highly erotic dark anthology series "Philia." I did complete the story of sex in a graveyard or "taphophilia" (lover of graveyards) and I just now completed "coulrophilia" (lover of clowns). Last time, I offered to let folks read the sex in a cemetery story if they emailed me--much too explicit for Blogger. I got a great response from the males which was helpful as the cemetery one was a male point of view. The clown sex one is a male point of view also. If anyone--male or female--wants to read it, email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a copy. I am eager to see if my dark sex series is something folks can get into and if the male perspective in these is true to form. I also will be doing ones on sex with a ghost, werewolf and vampire and any other weird dark forbidden stuff I can conjure up in my thick head. Thanks!**)
I never thought much about what I do before a hunt. To me it makes logical sense, but it's come to my attention recently that a lot of folks have no ritual, no preparation, no plan. They simply get on a plane, bus, car, and head out to the location, set up equipment, maybe scarf down a protein bar, and then expect themselves to now sit for 6-10 hours without having had rest since the night before and while still wired from the rush job.
I grew up in a haunted house, remember? I kind of know the timing and behavior of activity. First and foremost, I allow time. I arrive either very early or the day before and have some time to sleep in, get rested, and generally enjoy the sights before having to cram myself into a dark quiet place for the night. Ideally, I'd like equipment to be up and then go out to supper with the group. Have some good conversation, lots of laughter, and a feeling of not being hurried. This is much like the behaviors in a haunted home. The people living there are in a casual state, not pressed for time. That feeling of being rushed is going to bite you in the ass on a hunt. It's like waiting in the line for the teller at the bank and tapping your foot, knowing your lunch break is almost over and the line isn't moving. The universe will not move that line for you. The same with ghost hunting; setting up equipment and then rushing to hunt will not create a good receptive sense in your body or the environment.
I like the place to get used to me. I do this by carrying on conversations about real life stuff to make myself "real" to any observers. I'm just a regular person, regular issues, likes to laugh and have fun, warm and sweet and everything a ghost might want to meet. A kind of ghostly dating game, if you will. I do not like to plead, whine, or cajole a spirit to come out and talk or show itself because that is a sign of inpatience and not effective. You sit back, have small talk, occasionally invite them to join in whenever they want or even address them now and then asking their opinion on the matter as if they are one of the group. Imagine having another ghost hunting partner there who is invisible and silent; you still talk to them and hope they find a way to show they hear you.
I also have another ritual that Julie from Above-The-Norm found out recently on a hunt with me. I like to get everyone to get used to the room we'll be in during the daytime and kind of domesticate a while, make small talk, leave and have a meal with lots of talk and laughter, then come back and have one glass of champagne each. That's all. No more. No less. We sit and talk a while, relax, begin to turn the lights out after a while and continue the conversation in the dark.
Why do I do this?
Besides the fact that I love any excuse to drink champagne, it relaxes everyone. We have not had to rush to a strange place, set up equipment and turn out the lights and move around in an unfamiliar place. We have set up housekeeping there, have had conversations there, had a relaxing meal so we're not jittery, and now a glass of champagne to totally relax ourselves. Not enough to get drunk, but just enough to let go any tension and be emotionally and mentally open for spirit contact. People who live in haunted houses will tell you that it's on the domestic day to day, relaxed and not expecting it that things pop up.
Imagine if you will that you went rushing into someone's home, set up equipment, turned out the lights, all of you a bunch of strangers doing strange things, and then you started grilling the people who live there? Sounds like something out of an Iraqi sweep of a town by the military, huh?
Now, imagine people enter and talk nicely to each other, laugh, get comfortable, and invite you to be part of interesting conversation?
You get the picture...
There are teams that have prayer rituals and amulets and protective devices. I am not of a belief system in evil, demons, devil and all that sort of thing, so I do nothing to "protect" myself because nothing would work since I don't believe in it (remember the movie "Skeleton Key"?) I think everyone has to approach it their own way with regards to protection and closure and whatever rituals, techniques, prayers they need, but the basic gist of approaching a ghost hunt casually, comfortably, and not rushed and hurried is a sound one that everyone can adhere to, no matter what their belief system.
So, if you're lucky enough to hunt with me, expect the customary cup of champagne. It's just my way of saying, "chill, relax, laugh, get comfortable and become receptive."
(At 6 am (EST) tomorrow, the post will be "This Week in Horror Movies and Paranormal TV")