Frequenty Asked Questions
What are ghosts?
The ones that I have encountered seem to simply be the spirit or some type of "left over" energy of people that have died. They have all seemed perfectly aware that they are dead and are comfortable - if not always pleased - about it. I often try to find out why they are still here, but usually it just seems they weren't ready to be dead.
If I go ghost hunting, will a ghost follow me home?
While it is possible, it is not really likely. Foremost, most of us in the field (that believe in ghosts) believe ghosts are attached to something, someone, or someplace and chances are "you ain't it."
But, in the event of a wandering, needy-type spirit, it is never a bad idea to say a prayer of protection or do what I do at the end of the night: I thank the spirits for allowing me to visit with them, but I tell them that I am leaving and they are NOT welcome to come with me. Many people also wear protection amulets or religious medals. This sort of "Teflon coats" us so that nothing sticks. Mine is a really nifty combination of quartz, copper, and some other very pretty polished stone. Even if it is useless I like the way it looks, and my belief that it works could make it work (intent means a lot in this field).
Most of all, don't do something that an entity might take as an invitation. Shouting "use my energy" like you see on TV is a really bad idea.
Besides, if it were common for ghosts to follow us home, I can tell you that a LOT of investigators would take advantage of it just so that they could do their research in their sweat pants at their house and not have to stay up all night wandering around a darkened building.
Do you get scared?
Personally, not so far. But I seem to have not encountered any ghosts whose goal was to scare me. Plus, the one thing that DOES scare me, is how I might react if something did scare me. The thought of what I would look like running away screaming like a little girl while on camera or in front of a client or group forces me to stay calm whether I want to or not.
How did you get into ghost hunting?
In a nutshell, I have always had an interest in the paranormal. Still, beyond reading about it and watching the typical television shows, I never went on a real, technical investigation with anyone. Then a friend of ours who happens to own a haunted building announced on FaceBook that he was going on a hunt and wanted some company.
Having seen evidence from the location before, I jumped at the chance. I had a digital recorder, a flash camera, and a night vision camcorder (the night vision function had never been used before that evening). While I did not capture anything of significance that time, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I then got serious about learning to do it properly and started buying up equipment. It quickly became an important part of my life.
How often do you do this?
While I spend countless hours doing research and writing about my ideas, I have found that I HATE DOING EVIDENCE REVIEW. Watching hours upon hours of video of dark, empty rooms is BORING. While the occasional anomaly makes it seem worthwhile, it is still BORING. So I try to keep it to one or two hunts every month or two. That way I am not rushed to review my evidence.
What do you charge for investigations?
NOTHING...NADA...ZERO. I do not charge and I do not ask for nor will I accept donations. This is my hobby and it is done at my own expense. If someone pays someone to do something they expect results. I cannot guarantee results, and even if I get results I cannot guarantee that those results are valid or accurate. I will accept baked goods, however. In cases that require extensive travel we may ask for help with our travel expenses.
If you investigate my home, do I have to leave?
Quite the contrary. We encourage you to stay, observe and even participate in the investigation with us if you wish. We do ask that there not be any children or pets present though. We worry that what we do can be confusing or even frightening to small children, and pets tend to contaminate our evidence collection process. The only real caveate is that while we are there, normal activity has to come to a halt. We need everything quiet and controlled to do an effective investigation.
How do you conduct your investigations?
While some of our equipment and methods will vary based on the locations and background information, you can expect the following: When we arrive we go on a tour of the location. This is where we match up the client's experiences and stories with specific areas. Then we will set up our cameras in the identified "hot spots" and spend the rest of the evening wandering aimlessly, talking to walls and empty rooms. Someone will probably take a lot of seemingly random pictures also. When we get tired we will leave. It varies but usually we stick around for about 4 or 5 hours. I wish it was more exciting, but that is about it.
Are you Certified?
Update: As a matter of fact, as of March 11th, 2012, I have completed the certification requirements of Ghost Chasers International and have a framed (not really...it's in a file cabinet somewhere) certificate to prove it if such certification is important to you. In reality all it means is that I put forth the time and effort and money to sit through a barrage of classes learning someone else's investigation techiques and theories about things that no one REALLY knows about.
Since there is no governing body or even standards of training or investigations let alone evidence, any certification in this field does not mean a lot in the big scheme of things. I took the course simply because I want to learn as much as I can from as many people as I can and sometimes this means paying someone to share their experience and knowledge.
More importantly, I will provide my clients with a background check from a law enforcement agency upon request.