“How to Stay Safe and Still Have Fun Ghost Hunting This Halloween Season”

As the trees shed their leaves, the nights get colder, and All Hallows Eve approaches, many
catch a “haunted fever”.  The primary symptom of such fever is curiosity about exploring the
unknown, specifically the paranormal.  Whether sneaking into an old cemetery, exploring an
urban legend, or blowing the dust of of an old Ouija Board in the closet, it seems many at this
time of year seek a “cure” for their curiosity.  Many believe that cure comes in the form of
recklessly pursuing a euphoric experience with the paranormal, even against the advice of
others’ caution.

I cannot stop someone from seeking to quench that curiosity, but I would like to offer advice
that may help smartly and safely satisfy that curiosity without bringing danger to oneself or
others.  Common sense is sometimes forgotten when the fever hits so here are some basic
suggestions to keep safe and out of trouble this Halloween Season or anytime the spontaneous
urge to explore paranormal realms arises.

Here are some basic protocols to follow when seeking to confirm ghostly tales or ghoulish

1.  NO TRESSPASSING – Always get permission from the owner before going on their property.  
This also includes cemeteries.  Just because a cemetery is old and dilapidated with no posted
signs does not mean it is legal to be there without permission.  Some may be old family
cemeteries on privately owned property or owned by an entity such as a church, or historical
association.  In some cases, the county or municipality may have taken possession of it.  
Remember, if you do not own it find out who does and ask for permission.  Preferably, ask in
writing if possible.  If the area is public property, such as a park, make a call and see when the
public is allowed on the property.  Trespassing is not only a violation of the law that can get you
arrested or fined, but it can also endanger you and others.  A couple of years ago a group of
teenagers in Ohio trespassed into an old vacant farm house and one of them was shot and
killed by the property owner.

2.  NOTIFY AUTHORITIES – If you get permission to go to a property or vacant building where
people normally do not go, call the local law enforcement and let them know when you plan on
being there and that you have permission.  This can avoid a neighbor or someone else calling
the authorities on you.

3.  NEVER GO ALONE – Always use the “Buddy System” and take a friend with you.  If you are
injured, you will have someone there to help you.

4.  TELL SOMEONE – Always tell someone else who is not going with you where you plan to go,
who you are going with, and when you expect to be back.  This ensures that, if for some reason
something goes wrong, someone will know where to send authorities to lend assistance if

5.  IDENTIFICATION – Always carry photo identification.  If something happens to you then
someone would be able to identify you.  In addition, if for some reason local law enforcement is
called then you have proper identification to show them as well.

6.  CELL PHONE – Ensure you or someone in your party takes a cell phone in case there is an

7.  FIRST AID KIT – If you will be in a more rural area or a place with potential hazards and
dangers then a basic first aid kit is a good item to bring.

8.  DAYTIME VISIT – If you are making plans to go somewhere at night that you have never
visited before then it is a very good idea to visit the location during daylight hours.  This will
allow you to properly identify and note any hazards or potential dangers at the location and
enable a safer visit at night.

9.  FLASHLIGHT – If you are going when it is dark, make sure you have a flashlight or other
lighting and carry plenty of new or freshly charged batteries.  

10.  ENVIROMENT – Remember to adjust what you take to include environmental factors.  If the
forecast may be calling for rain then take gear to keep yourself and your equipment dry.  If
going to an outdoor wooded area, wear boots or comfortable shoes.  Yes, there was one time I
had such an outdoor investigation planned and someone showed up in fancy high-heeled
shoes making it impossible for them to walk in the area we were investigating!  If you are going
to an area where insects or wildlife may be a problem then take insect repellant and possibly
pepper spray.

11.  RESPECT – Always show respect.  Respect the area you will be at and do not litter or
vandalize it.  It should be left the same as when you arrived.  Respect others around you and
even those unseen elements of which you are seeking proof.  Provoking the unknown can
bring harm to you and others.  Regardless of what others may say on television shows about
the paranormal not being able to harm you, I know first hand that ghosts, spirits, demons and
other things out there can be potentially dangerous and capable of causing injury.  Always be
cautious.  If something has the capability of pushing someone when they are on a stairway,
injury or even worse can result.

12.  CALMNESS – Even if you encounter something that prompts you to want to soil your pants,
remember to stay calm.  Remove yourself and others from the situation calmly and rationally.  
So many people looking for ghost or experience forget the rule “to expect the unexpected”.  
When they finally encounter the paranormal or just get spooked, some become panic stricken
and lose all common sense.  The worst thing someone can do is a screaming arms akimbo run
through the dark in an unfamiliar location.  Dude, walk!

Remember the above protocols are only basic ones to ensure you have a safe adventure and
return.  Do not forget common sense in any situation!

Every Halloween Season entices paranormal potatoes that watch ghost hunting shows and
movies to hop off their couches and into the field for a night or two of hands on adventure.  We
have another frequent question that is many times asked; “What can I use from my home to
hunt ghosts or document a paranormal presence?”  This is a good question since not all are
part of a Paranormal Research or Investigative Organization or have access to a collection of
specialized equipment.

There are many things you can find around your home or acquire inexpensively from a local
store to hunt ghost or document paranormal activity.  Here is a list of some of those more
common items.

1.  SENSES – The easiest tools to use are your own senses.  There are five basic human senses:
seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling (touch), and tasting.  Sometimes sitting at a location
purported to be haunted and using your natural senses is the best way to experience and
document such.  Though many are not normally aware of it, most people have what is called a
psychic or sixth sense that can be used as well.  This sixth sense may differ in ability from one
person to another, but in many cases can help guide you to a more active area of a haunting or
alarm you that something may be in close proximity.

2.  NOTEBOOK & PENCIL - If you want to document your experiences and things you or others
witness, you may want to bring a writing instrument and something to write on.  You can also
use this to draw a diagram of the area you are investigating.  Some investigators even lay out a
pencil and a piece of paper with a written question for a potential ghostly answer.  

3.  WRIST WATCH – Almost everyone has something to tell time with.  This can be valuable to
take with you to document properly the times that events may occur.  You will also want a
timepiece with the ability to tell seconds to help document accurate intervals between or the
duration of such events.

4.  COMPASS – If you dig around in your camping items or go to your local department store, you
should be able to find a magnetic compass.  These types are normally used for finding your way
around in the woods and other places.  There are many theories involving the disruption of
magnetic fields when paranormal activity is present.  A basic compass when used can react
erratically to such disruptions and sometimes spin out of control.  Not everyone has access to
the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) meters seen on television shows and a magnetic compass
provides an inexpensive substitute.

5.  MAGNET - A simple bar or horseshoe magnet can also assist in detecting disruptions within
the magnetic fields at a location.  You can tie a string to the center of the magnet and suspend
it from a doorframe or something else stationary within an area purported to have paranormal
activity.  Sometimes if the magnetic fields are disrupted enough, the magnet will move
considerably on its own or even spin quickly as well.

6.  CAMERAS – Almost everyone has access to some type of camera.  Many even have built in
ones on their cell phones.  Taking a picture or recording video of a visual anomaly seen with
your own eyes or when something out of the ordinary happens can really help document and
validate possible paranormal activity at the location.  Do not forget to use your sixth sense.  If
you have that feeling something is watching you, behind you or nearby then use that as an
alarm to take some pictures.  You just never know what you may capture!

7.  VOICE RECORDERS – Many homes have tape or digital voice recorders around in a drawer.  
The most common content of a haunting is audible or what is heard.  Using something that can
record audio at a location not only helps document such noises, but can even capture the
disembodied voices from the dead which is called Electronic Voice Phenomena or EVP.  Audio
recorders can also be used to record verbal notes or experiences of those at the location in
lieu of a notebook and pencil.

8.  POWDERS – Even baby or talcum powder can be very useful in some investigations.  Many
times, it is reported that footsteps are heard or that certain objects are moved in a haunting.  
Various surfaces in reported areas can be lightly dusted with such powders to document
movement of such objects.  You may even capture a foot or hand print of the unseen as well!

9.  TAPE/STRING – Household tape such as scotch, masking, electrical and others can be very
useful when investigating the paranormal.  Placing such from a closed door to its frame or to
other objects can be a way to see if certain doors were opened and closed or if certain objects
were moved.  You can also add string or yarn to the equation as well for this purpose.  Tape
can also be used to mark where an object is sitting so you know if it was moved off that mark as

10.  COTTON BALLS – Many times there are reports of unexplainable cold drafts or even gust of
winds inside locations where a haunting is reported.  Using cotton balls and documenting
where they were placed may help determine direction of such drafts or gusts if they are moved.

11.  THERMOMETERS – Almost every home has a thermometer to tell the temperature inside or
out.  They can also be used on investigations to document temperature changes in an area as

12.  MEASURING TOOL – Having something to measure distance with is very good to bring.  If an
object gets moved then you can measure and document the distance of such movement.  If you
visually see something and make a mental note of where it came up to on a doorway or wall
then you can measure for an estimated height of the anomaly you witnessed.  

13.  TOYS & GAMES – Even toys, game pieces, puzzles, and other similar items may assist in
your investigation.  If there are reports of children ghosts then you may be able to place a ball,
doll, or similar object that a child may want to play with.  Mark where you place it and see if it
gets moved.  The small letter pieces from a Scrabble game may allow an intelligent spirit to
leave a worded message.  In addition, an Etch-n-Sketch or Magna Doodle may produce
interesting results as they are affected by magnetic properties.  If a video camera is used in the
investigation then you can place such items in view of the camera for further documentation.

The above is not an all-inclusive list of the common everyday things sitting around that you may
be able to use.  If you find other things and have a creative imagination concerning how to
apply them in the field to help further validate and document paranormal activity then by all
means give it a try and share your results.

Another important area to cover is Spirit Communication.  This can be done in several ways
though many have a number of opponents objecting and ridiculing their use.  At the same time
many of these methods have produced very interesting results and I feel have been very
valuable towards the advancement of paranormal research.  Such methods may include
scrying, séances, use of talking boards (Ouija), and many other methods depending on ones
spirituality or cultural background.  The most common method used today is the good old Ouija
Board which is still found in many households abroad collecting dust in the closet until the
seasonal time comes.  

In my personal belief, the Ouija Board when new in the package is just a piece of wood or
plastic adorned with letters, numbers, and an accompanying planchet.  A new Ouija Board in
itself is not “evil” and will not manifest demonic spawns or other entities from it.  However,
there is always a “Catch 22”.  This comes into play when individuals use the board and planchet
in hopes of communicating with a spirit or long lost family member.  At this point they are
touching the planchet and inviting “anything” to enter them and use their bodies to move the
planchet over various symbols to communicate.  Once something does communicate, this is the
point that you do not know for sure who or what you just invited into your body and what
recourse it may have.  Spirits, demons, and other entities are not always “good” and they can
lie, deceive, or pretend to be others for their own benefit.  This is also the point that I believe
the Ouija Board through the will and invitation by individuals may actually open a doorway or
portal and connect to something that could potentially be “evil”.  This connection may be the
point that the Ouija Board becomes tainted by acting as a permanent portal or doorway for
other entities to come through.  Alternately, it could allow what came through to stay at the
location where the board was used.    

I do not believe the Ouija Board in itself causes this, but rather the will of those who invited
something through it by using it.  This will and invitation could be applied to a piece of paper,
doll or anything and still achieve the same results.  With this in mind, is it a good thing to do?  
How many times have you heard of a séance, horror movie, possession, or haunting that
started with an Ouija Board session go badly?  

I know of an account of a group of friends who thought it would be entertaining to have an
Ouija party in one of the friend’s home.  As they played, the planchet suddenly began to move
and spell out messages on the board indicating that a demon was present.  One of the group
members, a skeptic, decided make light of what was occurring by taunting the entity.  After the
party was over, the homeowner soon discovered that the malevolent entity had decided to take
up permanent residence in the basement of their home.  No one including the family dog would
go into the basement from that point and the haunting became so bad that the family eventually
fled their home.

I do believe that some individuals who are devout enough in their beliefs and spiritual
practices may be able to use such spirit communication devices safely without ill effects.  Use
of such devices should be left to them and not the amateur looking for a seasonal thrill.  

I will not preach any certain religion or faith, but, in closing, will state that being devout in
whatever faith you believe in and practice is possibly the most important factor for your safety
when becoming involved with paranormal realms.  I hope that you have found these important
safety tricks and tips useful to temper your case of “haunted fever”.  Have a safe and sensible

© Copyright 2008 Gregory Myers - Paranormal Task Force – All Rights Reserved
Halloween:  Season of the Spontaneous Investigator
Halloween:  Season of the Spontaneous Investigator
“How to Stay Safe and Still Have Fun Ghost Hunting This Halloween Season”
by Gregory Myers
President of Paranormal Task Force
Basic Ghost Hunting Protocols
Common Ghost Hunting Items Around the House
Spirit Communication
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