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Steps for how to Prepare for a Ghost Hunt

Updated on October 30, 2012

You want to go on a hunt for ghosts. What do you need to do? First, you need to emotionally prepare for a ghost hunt. Then you should take the following steps:


First of all, you will want to complete research on ghosts in the area that you are interested in studying. This will help prepare you as to what you might want to look for during your ghost hunt. Additionally, it will give you the background information that makes up the history of the area and provides you with the setting of any stories that you might discover for yourself on your trek. This research will also help you in narrowing down the locations that you are interested in exploring for your own ghost hunt, if you have not already done so.

For example, people who want to explore the ghost history of San Francisco might choose to organize their ghost hunts based on neighborhoods. The city is one which is designed specifically by neighborhood, with each small segment of the area having an entirely different feel (and a mostly different history) from the rest of the city. More than almost any other city in the world, San Francisco is a place where you can travel just a few blocks in either direction from the location in which you are situated and be able to find yourself almost magically transported to what feels like a different world. From Chinatown it is possible to quickly walk to North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill, the Financial District, the Tenderloin, Nob Hill and the SoMA area. This ability to experience different types of locations within such close geographic quarters creates the perfect setting for the merging of cultures and lives which helps to make San Francisco the type of place where spirits may wish to linger. By organizing a ghost hunt around different neighborhoods here, you can truly experience each neighborhood in greater depth. Also, if you are planning to explore a number of different haunted locations during your ghost hunt, you may find that organizing your ghost hunting plans by neighborhood facilitates the process of moving smoothly from one location to another.


In addition to doing your background research, there may be some materials which you want to take along with you to help you to enjoy the ghost hunt experience to the fullest degree. No special tools are actually necessary for a ghost hunt. As long as you have determined what the location is that you want to explore and checked out the logistics to make sure that the location is indeed a place which you are free to visit (a hotel open to the public as opposed to a private residence, for example), then you can go and indulge in the ghost hunt experience without additional accoutrements.

However, if you wish to document the experience or if you wish to more completely search for ghosts that may be located in the area of your exploration, there are certain tools which are recommended by experts in ghost hunting which might be right for the amateur ghost hunter. These tools may include:

·      CAMERAS. Ghost hunters who are interested in attempting to capture their ghost hunting experience on camera have a few decisions to make. First, what needs to be determined is whether the desire is to photograph the ghost hunting experience as a whole or simply to try to catch images of ghosts on film. Secondly, the decision needs to be made as to whether still photographs or video camera work is the more preferred option of documentation.

Ghost hunters who wish to use photography to document their entire ghost hunt experience, for the purposes of a personal photo album or web page perhaps, will likely find that the standard digital camera that they already have in their possession is sufficient. This type of camera should be able to take decent pictures of the exterior and interior of any buildings or sites that are visited. However, ghost hunters who hope to capture actual images of ghosts on film will find that other camera equipment may be more useful to their project.

Experts in the field who have had successful photo documentation of ghosts generally recommend that a film camera be used rather than a digital camera. It is suggested that some experience be gained in the use of film which is sensitive to light and will allow for low-level light photographs to be taken without additional lighting being necessary. Film which is above 800 ASA is what is most commonly recommended. However, it is possible to document your ghost experiences using varying film, different types of cameras (including digital and Polaroid cameras) and adding the use of tripods and other equipment to enhance your photographic ability. Ghost hunters who become serious about the activity may wish to consider these options, but those who are just getting started may not want to invest the money up front.

Likewise, if you already own a video camera which can be used to document your experience, you may want to take it along. However, if you don’t own one and are just getting started in your ghost hunting, you may want to hold off before making the investment. Different video recorders will offer a variety of options including timers, auto-focus options, and angle variation which can all make a difference in the quality of the video which you produce.

·      AUDIO RECORDER. In addition to photo and video recording equipment, some ghost hunters take audio recording equipment with them. Tape recorders that are equipped to cut out background noise and enhance foreground sounds are frequently used by people who enjoy ghost hunting. Sound-activated recorders and remote-location microphones are options which will allow the ghost hunter to record activity without being present in the location. These latter options are generally not needed by the amateur ghost hunter, as they are unlikely to be allowed or legal in the public spaces which the ghost hunter is accessing. However, in rare cases where the ghost hunter is able to gain permission for the use of such items, they can certainly enhance the ghost hunting experience.

·      HIGH END NIGHT VISION GOGGLES. These can assist you in searching through dark locations which is typically what you are doing when you are looking for ghosts.

·      THERMOMETERS. There are thermometers designed to assist you in measuring temperature changes in a room so that you can confirm the chill that you think you feel when ghost hunting and determine whether a presence might be there.

·      SAFETY EQUIPMENT. Finally, you do want to take safety-based equipment, including a cell phone and a first aid kit in the event that something goes awry during the ghost hunt experience and the ghost hunter needs to be prepared.


Doing your own ghost hunting is relatively easy. There is a plethora of information available to assist in the research portion of the preparation for ghost hunting. There are professionals and tours in the area to assist with getting to know and access certain areas in the city. There are people willing to provide the emotional support necessary to do ghost hunting for those individuals who do not already have a strong support system in place in their lives. And there are plenty of haunted locations. The ghost hunting experience should be enjoyable, so get yourself prepared and then get out there and enjoy!


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Good information. Thanks for putting this out there.

  • Adam9000 profile image


    9 years ago

    I think I'll just call the Ghost Busters

  • ceholmes profile image


    9 years ago from Chicago

    ooh, spooky :) great read, this is a really good subject...I don't think I would personally go ghost hunting, but for those that are brave enough, this is great info to get started.

  • jayjay40 profile image


    9 years ago from Bristol England

    Great hub, very useful, well written and well researched. I have rated it up

  • Joshua Kell profile image

    Levi Joshua Kell 

    9 years ago from Arizona

    Great hub. I would hunt ghosts, but there are already so many in my life, that I am growing weary of their constant complaining. I am very serious. Thanks for the great read though.

  • prowork profile image


    9 years ago from Marietta , Ohio USA

  • Sara Tonyn profile image

    Sara Tonyn 

    9 years ago from Ohio, the Buckeye State

    Very well-written, interesting hub concerning a subject I find fascinating and entertaining (if nothing else). Great job! :)


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