10 ideas for paranormal websites for people still alive
So you want to create a website related to paranormal, ghosts or hauntings, but you have no specific idea for the website? Specially for those seeking inspiration I've prepared a list of ideas for paranormal websites.
Just keep in mind few rules for creating paranormal website and in a matter of days you will have something more than just "your ghost stories" site :).
1. Paranormal Investigation Coordination
Let's start with some web app. A website allowing teams and groups and single investigators to coordinate their work and share their results with others could be very useful. AJAX'ify user interface allowing writing notes, uploading photos, and supporting sharing and public forum, supporting mobile devices would make an investigation easier and more coordinated, moving it to higher level. Take a look at all these "Project Coordination and Management" kind of websites and use these ideas.
Such website could even make money online with subscription plans :).
2. Paranormal Report Form
Take a look at Formspring.com, then create similar website for paranormal investigators. Allow them to create forms for their "customers" to report supernatural activities and place these forms on their own websites using API. Use some short domain name, and put each form within subdomain. This will make things easier and nicer. Don't worry about templates, just allow people to change logo for their own. Also, allow them to translate every visible text on the form page, so your website will be used internationally. Use AdSense to gather money for server and domain name.
3. Paranormal Knowledge Database
Or if you want, you can create
a half-wiki database of knowledge ranging from paranormal to occult to
cryptozoology. Allow only trusted investigators to add and edit
content, but allow everyone to explore the database after registration.
Make it support mobile devices and create two colour versions - first
normal, bright and clean, and second - black with red borders and fonts
- so called "night vision" for people using the database on their
mobile devices in the dark.
4. Paranormal Aggregator
Create a magazine-like website aggregating all paranormal content from the web, from Twitter to Paranormal.about.com, to headlines of paranormal blogs. All supernatural information in one place, can you image? :)
5. Paranormal News Center
simple newspaper/magazine layout can help you create a huge news
website focusing on paranormal and supernatural. No need for long
articles, just short news and headlines, some images etc. Gather a
group of "news hounds", people whose task is to search for news on
other paranormal sites, in local newspapers and local TV. Create a form
on your site to allow people (anonymously or not, leave the choice to
readers) to send you news. This way you will get even more fresh and
Build an advanced subscription system based on specific tags and categories and locations. This way people will be able to subscribe to only those news from specific category (ghosts, poltergeist etc.) or from specific location (specific US state or country in Europe). And the tag cloud will show in nice way which phenomenon is actually the most popular :).
With a little bit of work, you can accomplish such website using WordPress with some plugins. Just make sure you're goal is to create a news center. This will force you to develop features directly focused on better news serving.
6. Haunted Places Directory
have seen dozen of online directories of haunted places, yet almost all
of them focuses on United States only, sometimes including information
about haunted places in Great Britain, yet I have never seen any
international directory of haunted places. And trust me, there are
haunted places elsewhere on the planet, United States and United
Kingdom does not have a monopoly for this :).
Therefore, it might be a good idea to finally create an international online directory of haunted places. Create primary categories, for each continent (you can skip the Antarctic), then create subcategories, for countries (system can create these subcategories automatically, when a haunted place within a country will be submited).
Allow people to submit places without a mandatory registration, as if people won't be obligated to join, they will be more willing to help the database grow. Make sure the system support the following data for each place:
- name of the place
- thumbnail image (will attract visitors)
- shorter or longer about text (with long history of the place)
- status of the haunting (so you can mark if the place is still haunted, is it just a rumor or maybe it was already cleansed by some psychics, heh)
To ease the pain of your server, instead of collecting images on your host, allow people to submit Flickr set. This way, someone can create a set on Fickr with images of this particular haunted location, and attach the link to it to the place on our website - our script will do the rest.
Finally, allow people to freely comment each haunted place within directory, without requiring registration from your readers - such comments would act as classic comments on blogs. People could participate discussion, and this would create a feel of community in this directory.
How to earn money on this one?
Pretty simple - strategic placement of AdSense, and sponsored listing. Trust me, there are many hotels or other public places considered as haunted that would pay you for place their location above the fold on the front page. Some text link ads would also prove to be profitable, but remember, the reason your directory would be so great would be the simple fact you would not place too many ads. In case of monetizing a directory - the less ads the better.
7.Ghost Hunters Groups Directory
There are many Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Investigation groups in the
world, most of them operates in the United States and United Kingdom.
It would be a good idea to create a directory of these groups, to
finally enlist them in one place. Again, we're focusing not on the USA
only, but on the whole international community of ghost hunters andparanormal investigators.
First, you need to create categories for continents and countries. When you're done, here's the data such directory should be displaying for each group:
- the name of the group
- some about information and history of the group
- the logo of the group
- the area of operation in the specific country
In addition, you can allow groups to present their members and experience (something like portfolio), some photos etc. Finally, make sure the comments system is up and running, allowing visitors to post comments for each group.
But, while the comments can be posted by anyone, even not registered users, group profile can be edited only be registered user. This user should be a confirmed member of the group, so there will be no problems with creating a profile for a group when this group does not want the profile within your directory.
Another cool feature would be to allow managers of group's profiles to add photos from Flickr.
Additionally, you can allow groups to post their private ads in their profiles (and grab some "manager" fee), and you can also offer groups to post TipJoy donation buttons, so users could donate to these groups directly from your directory. And with a simple script, you could allow people to rate groups (up or down), so people would see immidiatelly what people think about the group. Finally, you could create a small blog where you could be publishing tips for creating and managing ghost hunting groups and recommend equipment and books for them.
When the directory will get bigger, all of the above will not only give you some income, but also it will force groups to increase their professionalism and standards - no one will be willing to contact them if their rate will be -10 in 6 point scale :P.
8. Our real experiences
are many websites like "real ghost stories" out there, but if
properly done, another website like this will quickly become the best
website presenting realparanormal experiences in the web. There are few
things you should remember when deciding to turn this idea into
Too may categories are making people confused, therefore you should stick to basic categories like "ghost encounters", "cryptozoology" or "UFO encounters" - with this method, you will end up with 10 categories, instead of 100 of them. Definitely it will be much more user-friendly.
Each story should be tagged - here is where you should allow people to put more detailed keywords like "chupacabra", "poltergeist" or "ouija", as well as allow them to "geotag" their experiences, so website users could search for events and experiences in their area.
Allow people to post their stories without requiring registration - create a moderation queue, plug in Akismet and no spam should be bothering you. Next, allow people to comment on each story and rate it. Organize contests and give away prizes to people with highest rated stories - it will increase traffic. Earn money on classic AdSense and text ads.
Yahoo! Answers is a great website! Yet people seeking answers to their paranormal-related
questions should not expect them there, as most people answering these
thinks they're some kind of a scientific guru and they're using every
single opportunity to present their thoughts like "you're stupid,
ghosts don't exist!". Let's not feed their egos, let's make our own
Therefore, create a question-answer website focused on everything paranormal, where people screaming "this doesn't exist" would be banned without warning - don't misunderstand me, sceptics are good, and realparanormal investigator should be a sceptic, yet pseudo-sceptics are really useless for such website.
Give people a way to ask questions without need of registration, but keep in mind that people answering these question should register to do so - this way they will be able to earn points. The best experts would be promoted on front page, people with negative points balance would be blocked automatically. Each person, whether an answerer or just a visitor asking questions would get a pool of points to use (visitors would rely on cookies in this case) - each person would be allowed to use 10 points per day - give "this" guy 1 point, and give "that" guy 6 points.
Additionally, you can allow answerers to post their links to Amazon Wishlist, TipJoy donations and their own website and Twitter, so both sides (person asking and person answering) will benefit. Don't forget about contests - give prizes for most fascinating questions posted by people, and for best answers to given questions.
How to earn money
Classic AdSense, Text Ads and affiliate programs, as well as paid promotion of experts - i.e. if a psychic want to get to the frontpage to promote her services, she have to pay for this - pure classic way of earning money on websites these days :).
Which website would you like to see online?
10. Paranormal Bookmarks
Websites like Delicious or Digg are very general, for this reason they aren't worth much for people interested in the paranormal and the occult. Why not creating a website focused on bookmarking and promoting good paranormal content?
Create a website where people could save and promote links to paranormal-related websites they like.
Any more ideas?
What do you think? Would you like to see such websites available? Do you have more ideas for paranormal-related websites? Share them in comments!