Ghost Hunting 101:  Anyone can be a ghost hunter

By Jackie Tomlin

Often I am asked, "Does the paranormal really exist?" Followed by, "Is there such a thing as ghosts?" My name is
Jackie and I am the founder of CVAPI, Central Virginia Paranormal Investigations. I work as a full time psychic,
paranormal investigator, radio host and freelance writer.

CVAPI consists of a group of working professionals to help families and businesses with their experiences from the
paranormal. Most of the investigation requests that we receive are "confirmations", that they are actually having a
paranormal experience. It is very rare, but we also have a few instances of what we would refer to as a "negative
haunt."

I would also like to state that most of our clients are working professionals as well as carrying a college education.
When requesting an investigation it is very common for them to state, "I am not crazy." We carry the utmost
respect for our clients in what we release on the Internet. We do not disclose the locations that we have entered
without their written consent, nor do we release photos or videos that may contain the family in them.

It is important that you can recognize the difference in the different types of haunts. This should be your first step if
you want to pursue ghost hunting. I would like to give you the signs of what we refer to as a normal haunt.
Common reports including feeling a presence around, unexplained noises, and electronics that power on and off.
Also very common are, voices that can be heard, disappearing objects, or seeing something on a consistent basis
out of the corner of your eye.

Signs of a negative haunt can include the experience of a normal haunt but there are other reports that you should
look for. These experiences include physical attacks, reports of being scratched or bitten. You may also hear
reports of foul odors or smells, such as decay. With these negative experiences a growling sound is often reported.
I do recommend involving clergy in these cases.

Ghost hunting is not as difficult as one might think. It does consist of more than running around with a flashlight at
night. (Even though that is part of it.) Getting started is fairly easy as long as you know the precautions that you
should take. You also do not have to own expensive equipment to get the job done.

You would be surprised how many items that you can pick up locally to get started. A flashlight is recommended,
with an endless supply of batteries. The paranormal will drain batteries at a rapid pace. Due to this, I would also
recommend a small LED flashlight. For whatever reason, the paranormal does not appear to drain these as quickly.

You will want to have a camera, either digital or film, or if you prefer, both. If you plan on using a hand held
camcorder I do recommend one that offers some type of night vision. The Sony Night Shot seems to work well for
short distance recording.

Next, you will want to look at an audio recorder. You can choose either an analog or digital recorder. The analog
recorders run on small cassettes. If you choose a digital recorder I recommend that you shop the price. There are
many different varieties on the market with varying prices. You may already own one of the best audio recorders
and not even realize it. The Blackberry. This cell phone has a strong recording device built in it. There are other
brand name cell phones that are pretty close in quality of the recordings. Your recordings are known as EVP’s.
(Electronic Voice Phenomenon)

For your audio review I would recommend "Audacity" software. There again, be careful. This is a free download
to everyone. There are sites out there that sell this software.

Spirits are considered to project magnetic fields. There are many EMF (Electronic Magnetic Field) meters on the
market today. Most have to be purchased online. If you are seeking an EMF meter, I would recommend ebay or
Amazon. If an EMF meter is out of your budget, you can purchase a regular handheld compass from your local
camping section. A compass will spin, the same, as an EMF meter will spike.

CVAPI carries an extensive amount of equipment to include a nine channel DVR with nine IR cameras. This is not
a requirement to get you started. If you find that this is what you want to do, then this would be a good long-term
investment for you.

As I stated earlier there are certain precautions that you should take when ghost hunting. First, never hunt alone.
Take someone with you and let someone know when you plan to return. I cannot stress enough to stay away from
abandoned houses, as tempting as they may seem. First of all, I am sure you do not desire a trespassing charge.
Second, abandoned houses come with abandoned wells. In addition some of the flooring and stairwells are not
structurally safe. Also, do not enter a cemetery at night without written permission. Most of them close at dusk and
you can be charged with trespassing.

In addition to determining what type of haunt you are dealing with, you will also want to know what type of spirit
you are dealing with. A human spirit generally appears in the afterlife as they did in their human life. If they were
aggressive, unhappy and disgruntle in their human life, that has not changed now. If it is something of the
supernatural, rest assured that they have supernatural strength. Something of the supernatural puts yourself, the
family and your team in danger. This is why I cannot stress enough that you should never provoke a spirit.

When running an EVP session by asking questions, please remember that this is also a form of provoking. Show
respect in what you ask. Do not demand an answer or action.

CVAPI consists of members of varying religions. I only ask that each member do what he or she chooses in order
to protect him or herself. We have had instances of something following them home.

As a professional psychic, I am very discouraged in the amount of people that utilize the ouja board. This is a
source of communication and an open door to the other side, good and evil. I do not recommend them, and I
certainly would never recommend them being used in any haunted location. If you are seeking to use something of
the metaphysical realm, dowsing rods are a safer bet.

You do not have to be a psychic to be a ghost hunter. My abilities are primarily used when entering a location. I
am checking to see if it is active, a human spirit, and if it warrants an investigation at all. There are instances that the
paranormal can be explained, and even instances of a past love one that "drops by". These cases would not
warrant a full-scale investigation.

Paranormal activity does not just happen at night. An active location generally reports activity during the day as
well. We prefer to investigate at night, due to our infrared cameras. They have the ability to pick up more at night.

All members of CVAPI are constantly on standby. They are there to assist those in need as well as to share
experiences in getting you started in ghost hunting. You may contact any of them at our website at
www.cvapi.
com. Also feel free to join our public forum for open discussions.

Only you can determine how you will conduct yourself with the spirit world. Are you a paranormal investigator or a
thrill seeker? There is a difference.

© 2009-2019 Jackie Tomlin..  Examiner.com.  August 2009.
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