It may seem like I loathe many paranormal TV shows (because I do) but I will say that Grant Wilson is a genuinely good guy and these tips actually are somewhat helpful so I don’t feel bad in reposting them.
- Treat ghosts like the humans they are. This is a big deal. Take what you know about interacting with people and apply it to those who are invisible people. Do you want to bully them and then ask why they won’t come out in play? You are a guest in this spirit’s home (as are the current residents). Do you often walk into your friends’ houses and start poking, prodding and yelling? No, because it’s rude. It is equally as rude when you do it to spirits. Furthermore, a spirit is often confused. It doesn’t know why it is there or why its house has changed or who those strange people are that are living in it or talking to it. If you can’t respect the confusion that must ensue, you can’t possibly have a successful investigation.
But what if you have a demon, you’re thinking. What if this thing has made my life a living hell and doesn’t deserve respect? One approach is to become Buddhist about the whole thing, so to speak. All beings deserve respect. I would also add that you don’t know why this thing is making your life a living hell. Maybe you put a compost heap over her beloved rose bush. Maybe your stinky home gym is where he proposed to the love of his life. Maybe the spirit hates your drape and carpet scheme. Maybe you look like an ex-lover or the evil landlord. There could be a million reasons why this thing is being a pain in your butt and not one of them means you should disrespect it.
- Speak their language. This seems like a no-brainer but it can slip even the most conscious of investigators. In the excitement of contacting the other side, you may slip into your normal dialect and some slang may slip from your tongue. Grant mentions that the word “Okay” doesn’t mean the same to a civil war soldier as it does to us. I find this tip interesting, because it seems that if you go to a foreign land you don’t necessarily have to learn their language to communicate with the dead. I’ve noticed it seems to help but it’s not absolutely necessary. So either spirits can get the general idea of what you’re trying to say and ask, or they don’t. It doesn’t seem logical that they can understand a foreign language but they can’t understand the word “Okay.” Maybe the tip should be more that you should just choose your words wisely. Maybe plan out what to say before you go.
- Don’t make promises you can’t keep. In this instance Grant means don’t try and bribe the spirit into giving you an experience with things that you can’t provide. Don’t promise THE LIGHT or eternal peace or a judgment – free afterlife. This is a good tip for life as well as investigating. If you want the spirit to touch you, manifest, make a noise, throw a toaster- just ask. The spirit has no problem making up its own mind about where it wants to go, who it wants to touch and talk to and when or where it will throw things (if at all). Bribery gets you nowhere, except maybe jail. Besides, what if the spirit buys in to your awesome promises and you can’t deliver? If you come back, the spirit will NOT be happy. If you don’t come back, you’re going to have one unhappy client.
- Create a comfortable environment. Grant means the ghost, not you. The essence of ghost hunting is a lot of people walking around, taking pictures and talking. If everyone crowds around one area the ghost will feel that you are all sitting around waiting for a show. Spirits are not one trick ponies to perform on demand. Spread out, be casual. Make it more like a party and less like a hunt.
- Search for the truth. Grant says this more like a warning that if you are only searching for full-bodied apparitions, you will burn out quickly. If you search for the truth, every case will be like new. I would like to add my own two cents on this tip. I think searching for the truth will make you a better investigator. If you accept the client’s word that they are haunted, and that everything is the result of a paranormal occurrence you will earn a bad reputation. You will be a fool and untrustworthy. You need to differentiate between a drafty window and the cold chill a spirit can bring with it. If you can’t tell what is real from fake, you will never be able to find the truth and bring it to light.
- The REAL Truth- Investigating costs money, it doesn’t earn you money. There are thousands upon thousands of paranormal groups but only 2 making money on television. This means you need a “real” day job. Grant recommends studying towards a diploma that can help your paranormal investigations like psychology, electrician, photographer- the possibilities are nearly endless. These are also jobs that pay the bills you acquire while ghost hunting (think of equipment, gas, uniforms). Grant and I agree- cemeteries are overrated. They’re boring; if you were dead, why would you hang out there? You wouldn’t. No one visits, nothing happens. You’d go somewhere that made you happy, somewhere familiar. Grant also encourages people to “stay legal,” meaning ask permission and don’t violate “no trespassing” signs. As a lawyer, I tend to agree. Nothing says you’re not trustworthy as a person, let alone an investigator, as ignoring warnings. Finally, Grant recommends pretty basic equipment and word of mouth to get started. I tend to agree. Evidence isn’t always caught with the most expensive high-tech gear, it is only the right place at the right time.