Tuesday, 9 March 2010

How not to be a ghost hunter

Recently The Sun newspaper ran a piece called 'A Ghost Hunters Guide'

It touched upon the fact that "wanna-be" ghost hunters can pay to go on a course with Ciaran O'Keefe and Steve Parsons that will teach them how to investigate the paranormal. However, the article left me scratching my head a bit and wondering if the tips in the article had come from Ciaran and Steve, and if they had, why.

*edited* I ought to point out that I honestly don't believe the tips were sourced from Ciaran or Steve, but in fact just from The Sun. Sorry for any confusion

Lets take a look at the tips the paper provided, I've written them in bold with my thoughts in normal font beneath each one.

Tip #1 - Take warm clothes. Ever tried sitting outside all night? As ghosts usually turn up in the most obscure, inhospitable places, warm clothes, food and drink are key to getting through the night. Don't warm up with whisky though - you don't want to miss the action by passing out.
In my opinion, and from what I've witnessed and investigated over the years this isn't true at all. Yes, you should wrap up warm and take food and drink if you're going to be at a location for a long amount of time. However ghosts don't usually "turn up in the most obscure, inhospitable places" at all. That's where the ghost stories turn up because those sorts of places tend to look more spooky and scary.
Although I've visited such locations in the past, a majority of the locations that I have investigated have been modern buildings and homes that don't fit the 'haunted building' cliche that thrill seekers tend to love.

Tip #2 - Take a torch. Fumbling around in the dark will not look good, and having a torch can offer some welcome reassurance should you get a little nervy. 
Although some people do witness what they believe to be a ghost in the dark, a lot of ghosts are seen during daylight hours - or with the lights on. The idea that you have to sit in the dark to see a ghost is silly and simply deprives you of your senses. Sitting in the dark, you are more likely to interpret something quite mundane as spooky. One thing that has come to amuse me greatly over the years is the habit some investigation teams have of visiting locations at night time when the ghost they are supposed to be looking for has been seen during the day. That makes no sense at all unless you're doing it purely for the thrill of the hunt.

Tip #3 - take a voice recorder. For all those baffling and unexplained noises. Ghost hunters often play back recordings at home, only to hear whispers or threats they didn't hear at the time. Spooky stuff. 
Yes, it can be spooky to play back a recording and hear a supposed voice that you didn't hear at the time. However, any open minded investigator would know that it's impossible to rule out every possible logical explanation for the recording and that it can't be classed as paranormal because of this.

For more information about the logical causes of such recordings visit my research teams article on the topic by clicking here.

Tip #4 - Take a camera. Many an eerie figure has been snapped on camera.Plus you want something to take home and show your mates.


  1. Slightly surprised that you thought anything in the Sun was attributable to anyone except the so-called journalists who invent most of their stories, and that it even crossed your mind that the quoted statements would have anything to do with Para.Science.
    There is some accidental truth in tip number 5 however, we have found over the years firstly that if you sit people down and tell them to sit and be alert for any happenings, they will just hypnotise themselves into a stupor. Secondly witnesses almost never report that they saw a ghost when they were sitting looking for one, and part of the replication process is to carry out the type of activity that the witness was doing when they had the apparent sighting.

  2. "However, the article left me scratching my head a bit and wondering if the tips in the article had come from Ciaran and Steve, and if they had, why."

    It didn't really cross my mind that the tips had come from Para.science or Ciaran O'Keefe. Thus my surprise. I probably should have worded the opening paragraph a bit better.

    Point no. 5 I agree with you on, though to combat it when we're on location WPR take regular breaks rather than reading etc.

    To each their own I guess.

  3. I wrote something on this a long time ago - well nearly twenty years ago now! I'm not sure if my advice is any better than Ciaran's and Steve's, and with experience I would maybe modify bits, but hey its here if you want to have a look and critique it Hayley --


  4. Im one of Ciaran's alumni from the course, there is nothing with that wording anywhere on the official website, its not Ciaran's style, it was probably written by a sun editor. These courses are very indepth and they don't dish out certs willy nilly.