The Future of Ghost Hunting

Turn-of-the-century ghost hunting went like this; set up a parlor with a table, some candles, a psychic medium and begin a seance, perhaps photograph some double images, maybe even cough up some ectoplasm.

Turn-of-the-millennium ghost hunting went like this; debunk what you can, pull out video cameras, voice recorders, IR lights and meters and comb through a building overnight.

Truly, any evidence that a modern-day hunter can provide would have to be in the form of video and photographs that can easily be hoaxed and therefore disputed, the same for EVPs.

So, what is a hunter to do?

Well, it goes without saying that if you keep doing the same thing and expect different results, you're not being realistic. So, what do we want out of the field of ghost hunting?

Do we want to prove a haunting or understand a haunting?

First, we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Spiritualists/psychics may have a hand in this phenomena, whether it is instigated, perceiving or communicating. There is a place for them. There is also a place for debunking and the earnest hope to capture and measure and predict phenomena.

Ultimately, however, we need to stop rushing into places, spending a night there and assuming we can answer the question of whether the place is or is not haunted.

Here's the steps I would like to see the industry take:

1. A long-term study: Choose a location where the participants live on site as if they are living in a home, allowing the place to get used to them and them used to the place. When I say long-term, I mean ideally at least a week but preferably a month or so.

2. See if equipment is efficacious: Test all the devices by having meters set in rooms and when activity occurs that participants witness, see if the meters measured them. Once and for all, figure out if they have any efficacy at all. In an ideal situation, create a kind of Medusa machine that would incorporate the EMF meters, barometer, thermometer to a computer that can actually show their changes over time and if temperature drop and EMF spike occur together.

3. Logging and witnessing: This is key. Over time in a location, one can actually take advantage of being able to take notes of activity to look for things that might correlate. Witnessing and perhaps even predicting activity over time is possible if one knows the feel of a place and its patterns. As well, this might lead to knowing what might instigate it by performing experiments such as expressing emotions or isolating participants.

4. Take into account everything: Solar flares, geomagnetic activity, tectonic activity, geology, construction of the building, moon cycles, anything at all that might correlate and be part of the equation.

The industry has to evolve. It is not good or bad that it does. Every industry must. If we're smart, we keep asking "what is working?" and "what is not working?" I look forward to the process and being a part of it. For now, I'm a bit of a genetic abnormality in the industry, but at some point, I might be the divergence that sets the evolution into a new path.

At least, I like to think so.


  1. I liked this post for its content, but also because you used one of my favorite words: Efficacious!

  2. Dude, it just says it all, doesn't it? This coming from the new convergence on the evolutionary path for ghost hunters... haha

  3. You are certainly the paragon princess of the new paranormal paradigm!

  4. Hahaha. I'm always an alliteration. One of my friends asked what I wanted to do in spirituality and I said I wanted to be a shaman and my heritage is Sami, so I became Sharon the Sami Shaman. I'm such a dork!

  5. Yeah, but a totally lovable one. :)

    (I remember Sammy... used to sing with Dino and Frankie, man... he was one cool cat)

  6. Right on Sis, especially the last paragraph.

  7. Yeah, a real freak of nature, aren't I?

  8. Good ideas. I also think ghost hunters should behave like scientists and do a double blind study with a control and experimental group and sufficient n and proven statistical strength. No study in any other field would be considered worth while without meeting certain criteria and if ghost hunters start using the scientific method like other scientists they might be able to really prove something people outside of the ghost hunting field would take notice of.

  9. Jessica;
    Absolutely true. That they hunt in environments using electricians tools without shielding and a controlled environment is spurious. There was an experiment done in a lab with a sheilded "ghost" room built that they bombarded parts of it with high EMF and put people inside to see if they were affected with ghostly feelings and found no correlations. The high EMF sensitivity thing I think is overly used and highly unlikely. Unless someone is sitting under a major power line, I suspect EMF feelings are not the reason people get heebie jeebies.

  10. Good job at questioning the 'modern' practices. There is still a lot we do not understand, and to think that we should be able to answer everything right now, and wrap everything up in a neat little bow is cocky on society's part.

    Love your posts. You've made a fan out of me.

  11. L.I.I;
    Thanks. It's why I have the blog, to meet like-minded smart folks like yourself who want a conversation about the field. And, you're totally right, how can we wrap up a haunting in one hour? (commercial breaks aside) hee hee

  12. The "industry has to evolve".. I totally agree with you on that. The problem is that 98% of the Ghost Hunters are doing just that! Ghost hunting and nothing more. They are satisfied with with just evp's.

    More people need to get together and start brainstorming ideas, theories and so fourth. Collecting evp's is not scientific. Unfortunately the TV shows suggest otherwise,

    I myself have been trying to find a long-term place to study just like you suggested but, that's easier said than done.

  13. Anthony;
    I'd love to talk to you about that. It's something I've been working towards too. As someone who grew up in a very active home, I know that living in it, interacting with it is what can instigate it and we need to find patterns and other variables. I'm tired of trying to prove a place is haunted--that is totally subjective as there is no science and no way to prove the efficacy of video or audio. I'd love to talk to you about it.

  14. It sounds like if ghost hunting is taking into consideration the physics of matter it is going to head in right direction.

  15. Echo;
    Precisely. No matter what we think about its spiritual origins, a haunting can be seen and felt and heard and smelled, so it is using our world and our physics to show itself, so there is an avenue to trace it back.

  16. Ha! Haaaaa! I know where you are going with this! Tee Hee! YOU GO SIS!!!

  17. T-Dear;
    Yes, well, I'm always thinking, dear.

  18. Amen! I don't need hauntings to be proven. I know they exist; I too having lived in very haunted house. I want to know the how, why, and where. I would love to see u getting things going in the right direction. : )

  19. Have you read R. C. Finucane's Ghosts: Appearances of the Dead and Cultural Transformation? If not, definitely pick that up. I think it will broaden your understanding of the phenomenon as a whole when you see how these things have been perceived throughout the centuries. It changed my outlook considerably. I pretty much arrived at the concludsion: ghosts (whatever they may be) are real; most people's perception of what they are is crap. That said, I much appreciate you encouraging folks to put down the how-to's, the K2's, and anything else barfed up by the Am. Ghost Soc., Ghost Hunters, and the like.... Definitely a time to return to simple observation. Too much crap has cluttered people's minds. Moreover, I encourage a thoughful observation and documentation of phenomena rather than a penetrating dissection in attempts to "prove" anything. Far greater minds have tried to do just this without success for more than a century. Oh, but we have gadgets! Yes, well, so did they. A group in the 1950's used portable radar to detect ghosts and "prove" they exist. Half a century later, I'm forced to conclude that they made no head way.

  20. Sandra;
    Yup! You said it girl! Anyone who has witnessed them has sought answers the rest of their lives.

    Most definitely will give that a read. The purpose of the blog when I started it was to say, "hey, ghosts may or may not be souls trapped, they may also be intelligent life forms our senses can't perceive, they could be glitches in time caused by earth's magnetism and electrical currents, other dimensions, you name it! Let's not say we know what a ghost is and how it works. Let's begin fresh and totally open." the problem with the soul theory is that provides a conduit for a religious belief system or a person's hopes and desires that we continue on after this life form. When someone's belief system is at risk, they cannot remain open-minded. The very nature of hauntings being intermittent and random makes me believe conditions must exist to be seen and heard. It's not that one ghost is particularly good at forming compared to others or that, (ridiculous notion) he is sucking your battery's energy to appear. But, even what seems like it's random might make sense. If we go 10 days without rain and have a rain, that might seem random until we understand weather systems and how they make these things form. Let's find out what hauntings "driving weather system" is and how it makes it form.


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