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How to Be a Ghost Hunter 101

Updated on July 4, 2012

Paranormal Investigation Tools

The Basics

  1. Note Pads, Pencils or Pens - Note taking has always been the investigators best friend with these tools you can track progress and make detailed observations about your investigation.
  2. Flashlight and batteries- Most of your investigations happen after the sun goes down. As for the batteries it seems that flashlights do tend to go out during investigations. Theories state that the unusual amounts of ambient energy either from unseen entities or just the environment drain the juice from batteries.
  3. A First Aid Kit - Walking around in the darkness in old buildings, around areas like cemeteries with uneven landscapes and objects that can injure you can be dangerous. Having a comprehensive first aid kit for cleaning up wounds such as scratches, bumps, cuts, and bruises is always a good idea.
  4. A Watch - Having a cheap watch or an old fashioned hand wound watch with a second hand or a digital read out is good for noting times.
  5. A Camera - A digital or film camera allows you to visually document your investigation and also to help you capture any unusual visual phenomena in the environment.
  6. Maps of the Area or Building - Maps allow you to get a sense of the layout of an area so that you and your team can plan your investigation better.
  7. Two Way Radios - Two way radios allow a team to be in constant contact with each other and also allow for an investigation to cover more ground having teams split up into two groups.
  8. A Compass - This device will do two things, orient yourself within your environment for one (the reason for its original use), and it can help detect any unusual changes in the electromagnetic environment.

More Involved

  1. An EMF Meter (Electromagnetic Field Meter) - An emf meter allows you to track in real time changes in the electrical fields of an environment. It is said that spirits and paranormal activity causes strange and unusual fluxes in the ambient electromagnetic background that is normally present all over the earth. Meters can range in price from less than fifty dollars to more than several hundred dollars depending on the type of meter you are looking for. Some more popular meters are the KII, The Gauss Ghost Meter, The Natural Trifield Meter, and the Ramsey Trifield 3 Kit.
  2. An IR (Infrared) Thermometer - This instrument allows you to take temperature readings in an environment and get real time data as to if something may be causing temperature fluctuations that are beyond those caused by normal environmental factors.
  3. A Digital Voice Recorder - This device not only allows you to document your activities in real time but also may allow you to speak with unseen entities and get intelligent responses once the recordings are played back. This is called EVP or Electronic Voice Phenomenon.
  4. A Ghost Box - A ghost box is a radio with a digitally scanning frequency tuner that is allowed to channel through broadcast signals unabated. This creates ambient voices and sounds. It is said that unseen entities and forces can use the ambient sounds made by the radio to communicate in real time with the investigators.
  5. A Paracorder Device - This device uses a tesla coil technology to create Electromagnetic fields in the environment and also allows you to detect ion fluctuations in the surrounding air.
  6. An Ovilus X or PX Device - This device detects EMF fields like a EMF meter but translates those field fluctuations into phonetic sounds or words from a vocabulary it has stored on a chip inside the device. It is said that the unseen forces or entities can use this device to communicate in real time with investigators.
  7. A Paraspectrum Infrared Camera - This device allows you to see in multiple spectrums from deep infrared to ultraviolet allowing you to see multiple spectrums of light that are usually undetectable by the unaided human eye.
  8. A Night Vision Camcorder - Yes this has become the best high-tech gadget that all modern investigators have in their bag of tricks. This device allows you to document your investigations in real time in the darkest of places using infrared LEDs to illuminate the environment. Yes you can't see but your camera can.

How Do I Become a Paranormal Investigator / Ghost Hunter?

Well we see them on T.V. and in movies, men dressed up loaded from head to toe in gear, setting up cameras and holding little devices which beep to tell them that there is a cold spot in the room or a change in temperature, they alarm at changes in electrical fields, cameras pick up heat sources or other strange anomalies that can't be explained, now these devices can even seemingly give us communication with those that are departed. These devices and the evidence they provide tend to lend credence to the fact that something seems to be going on. Something beyond the realm of everyday explanation. Now many people may find themselves captivated by this question... is it real?


There are no college degrees or schools fit with academia strictly for those that want to learn about the paranormal. There are Universities like Princeton that have departments that study nonlinear quantum phenomena and other institutions like IONS in California that study more New Age aspects of mind and matter confluence but for the most part there is no school for you to graduate from high school and trek off to spend the next four to five years of your life learning about how to investigate and study the paranormal.

The paranormal is something so fringe that most accredited academic places of study wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. So you won't be able to get a diploma or certification from a real school if this is what you want to do with your life. So how does one become an investigator of the paranormal? Well in practicality you just do it... I mean you have to have a knowledge base from which to start. Most people that want to be a paranormal investigator have already studied at least from a personal level the paranormal to some degree, be it that they watch television shows about ghost hunters or they read Fortean Times. A well seasoned investigator will tell you that 90 percent of what they do is research into either the science and physics of phenomena to explain it away or to read up on history of similar events and cross reference those events to the case they are on. They must keep up with current technological trends from devices to software and be able to keep up with other investigative techniques being used by other paranormal investigative groups and researchers.

Profession or Hobby and Will I Become Famous?

If you want to become a paranormal investigator or start a group about paranormal investigation to become famous then forget it! There are hundreds of paranormal investigation groups around the United States alone. Only a handful of them have been brought on television to have a series or been picked up by radio stations to have shows. Even famous investigators like the TAPS team on the scifi-channel's Ghost Hunters are only famous because they were picked up by a major cable network television channel. They were plumbers before they ever got into ghost hunting full time. This is true for most people that want to be paranormal investigators, you have to have a day job. The paranormal doesn't seem to pay well, most people are trying to drum up business when they contact a well known investigation team with a camera crew in tow. They get free T.V. exposure and attract a flood of wanna-be thrill seeking viewers to their locale. A real die hard paranormal investigator enjoys exposing the truth and also gets a thrill from the unexplainable. You must have a passion to find out the truth behind something most people deem unknowable. Most ghost hunters and paranormal investigators will tell you that beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is something going on that may not be explainable but is undeniably there.

Recognized Paranormal Researchers

Charles Fort

Probably one of the most famous men to have written a book on the paranormal was Charles Fort. Mr. Fort was a collector of strange stories and an avid reader of accounts of the strange. He lived in the later half of the 1800s and into the early 20th century. Inheriting family money allowed Mr. Fort to write books based on his collected information from over the years. He could be considered the first real paranormal investigator. His works included information from UFOs to strange falls (strange rains), cryptids, and other anomalous phenomena. His most famous work was The Book of the Damned.

Amazing James Randy

The Amazing Randy is an aging magician who is known throughout the paranormal world as a debunker. Randy is actually a very useful tool when it comes to balancing the truth from fraud. His expert knowledge in conducting tricks and figuring out how unknown phenomena could be duplicated has helped the field of parapsychology filter out fakes and hoaxes.

Joshua P. Warren

Joshua Warren is a young man who wrote books on ghost hunting and on a local phenomena called the Browne Mountain Lights where he lives. He is the director of the L.E.M.U.R. group. Josh goes on investigations around the world and writes articles and is a regular guest in the circuit of paranormal conventions where he speaks and is paid for his knowledge base. He is a rare case in the field of paranormal investigation.

So in conclusion I'd say if you want to investigate the paranormal you should do so if you have the time, the money, the knowledge base, and the want to know more about things that don't have an explanation. I was the main director of the Ghost Paranormal Research Group in Southern California and we never made a dime. Most of my time was spent just teaching and hanging out with people that came to our meetings. Yes we did ghost hunts and we caught strange anomalies on film and we had EVPs but it produced nothing concrete, not the proof I had hoped for in the beginning anyways. Today I am an amateur reading accounts and dipping my toe into the fold here and there but being a family man I have no time for field investigations and trips to haunted locations. I am happy reading about the accounts and giving my opinion and reporting these things to the public right here. In a sense I'll always be a paranormal investigator, in a way if you have that interest you are as well. Good luck reader!


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    • Cow Flipper profile imageAUTHOR

      Sean Jankowski 

      6 years ago from Southern Oregon

      Just head out with a digital recorder and a camera with a friend. Sound off on the recordings and do a audible time stamp. Ghost hunting and being a group doesn't cost you a thing unless you incorporate or charge for your services. If you are just doing it for fun or a hobby then have a blast and maybe you will get lucky. Good luck!

    • tattoodaunt1985 profile image


      6 years ago from Stigler, Oklahoma

      I would love very much so to get to be a group/club for people to join and hunt with me however I am not sure if I have to have some level of education like degrees in anything for getting started or just being able to get started because the Paranormal has been part of my life forever and that's just the base for it. Anyways if you have any suggestions please offer them on up Thanks a bunch.


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