Ghost Hunting for Dummies

Hey, do you want to be a scientist, but have no real scientific training?  Do you like spending your nights sitting in dark rooms, asking questions, and looking for cold spots?  Do you want to make a difference in the world but don’t feel like becoming a cop or a social worker?  Good news, everyone!

You can be a ghost hunter!

Ghost hunting is a fun and exciting hobby!  All you need is to read a book with sciencey sounding words, a camera, a willingness to believe in any crackpot “hypothesis” thrown your way, and a near complete lack of common sense.

Ghost hunting is like science!  Except you don’t actually have to know any genuine science.  All you need to know is the ghost hunter basics:

EMF:  Electromagnetic fields are all over the place in today’s modern world.  But in the world of ghost hunting, EMFs get to become portals of wonder.  Why bother with the boring ol’ understanding of sub-atomic particles when you can see the terror of the undead in every jump of the needle?

EVP:  Electronic Voice Phenomena (or EVP as ghost hunters like to call it because A) initials are cool and B) it sounds more sciencetastic) is the capturing of ghostly voices on tape.  If you can listen to hours and hours of tape and still be excited to hear a vaguely recognizable sound then ghost hunting just might be for you.

COLD SPOTS:  Ghosts use energy.  Don’t ask us how we know that.  We just do.  Do you feel that drafty areas are voids of sinister malevolence?  Welcome to ghost hunting.

SHADOWS:  Remember when you were a child, and you’d huddle in your bed, seeing sinister figures in the strange shadows cast on your walls?  Turns out that you were right.  The disembodied dead love to manifest as shadows.  Or lens flares.  Or blurry mists.  Why don’t ghosts become something recognizable?  Because if they did that, anyone could hunt them.  And ghosts like to keep you guessing.

The point is that anything can be a ghost, which makes the ghost hunter’s job all the more challenging and rewarding. 

PSYCHICS:  Not every ghost hunter uses psychics.  The more sciencey teams avoid mediums in hopes of being taken more seriously.  But let’s be honest.  They’re just wasting their time.

Mediums and psychics are a great resource for any ghost hunting team.  Not only do they provide an appropriately spooky feeling, but they also save a lot of time.  Why bother waiting for phenomena when you can just have a psychic announce they have a “bad feeling” or a “weird vibration”?

Don’t know a psychic?  Not a problem.  You might be a psychic yourself.  (Everybody is, according to some reliable sources.)  Here’s a good test.  Think of a color.  Is it blue?  If so, then you’re probably psychic.  If not, don’t worry.  You’re probably psychic too and just having a bad day.

DISCLAIMER:  Ghost hunting is not for everyone.  To be a truly successful ghost hunter, one must be able to assign intelligent agency to any and all events that happen around them, no matter how small or improbable.  This is harder than it sounds.  Until you have proper training, it’s too easy to miss the fantastic supernatural phenomena all around you.  So here’s a simple test to determine if you have the aptitude to hunt ghosts. 

Question 1:  Did your flashlight batteries just die?  Do you think a ghost could be responsible?

Question 2:  Did you feel something cold / hot / itchy on the back of your neck?  Do you think ghosts are responsible?

Question 3:  Do you experience unsettling feelings in dark and spooky locations?

Question 4:  You hear an unexplained noise.  Can you quickly and arbitrarily decide that it is supernatural in origin?

Question 5:  Do you enjoy using the word “energy” a lot?

Question 6:  If someone tells you they’re being menaced by demons, is your first response to hold an exorcism?

Question 7:  Do you just assume that ouija boards can open doorways for evil supernatural “energies”?

Question 8:  Do you really, really like using the word “energy”?  I mean, really, really a hell of a whole lot?

Question 9:  The team psychic tells you they are sensing a spirit named Gary.  Some research confirms that a person named Gary lived in the same neighborhood about a hundred years ago.  Do you find this compelling proof that your psychic is in contact with the other side?

Question 10:  Really.  “Energy”?  Do you like the word?  Do you think you can use it, even when you’re not really sure what it means?  I’m not kidding around here.  If you can’t get behind this word, you aren’t going to make it in the ghost hunter world.  I’m just going to be honest here.

If you answer yes to all of the above questions, you have what it takes to be a ghost hunter.  Please send $5 to your local ghost hunter’s union.  Due to high demand, you’ll have to wait 5 to 12 months for your basic cable television show.  We apologize for the delay.

And let me be the first to wish you good hunting!

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,


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  1. SpaceBattle
    Posted October 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    The Real Ghost Hunters…

  2. Wisdom
    Posted October 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    This reminds me of the version of Ghost Hunters displayed on South Park.

  3. Posted October 18, 2009 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    That South Park episode was genius. Best show on television by far. Love it 😀

  4. Posted November 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    OMG, I’m ROTFLMFAO!!! I LOVE this article! Sir, I will promote this to high heaven, not because I completely agree with it, (close though) but because the sarcasm is so delicious that I can’t help loving it!

  5. Posted March 1, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Very funny article, indeed! As with any group, there are people that go over the top, and can be very annoying during a ghost hunt with over active imaginations and assuming that everything that happens that night is ghostly. I am an avid ghost hunter myself, and our group is “scientific” as well. Many nights will go by without anything “exciting”, but on occasion we DO pick up very interesting photo’s and very clear, unexplainable evp’s. The good side to ghosthunting, along with the hope of maybe getting something astounding, is that it is a fun and sober activity and you meet new people and make friends. I really like our ghost hunting group and we enjoy each others company and it is a night out.

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