Who qualifies to call himself or herself a ghost hunter?
What does a person have to do to become a ghost hunter?
Those two questions are easy to answer. Anyone's qualified to be called a ghost hunter. The spectrum ranges from the professional who travels the world with high tech equipment to the weekend ghost hunter trying to tape-record the strange noises in the attic. Anyone curious enough to explore the supernatural unknown is a ghost hunter. Fancy degrees and academic awards are fantastic, but they alone will not make someone a "good" ghost hunter. Ghost hunting is a profession. It's a technical craft where most of the knowledge will be self taught and learned directly on the job. If you're going to be successful as a ghost hunter you'll need to study and understand the theories and methods of ghost hunting and learn how to apply them in the field. You will need to practice using the tools of the trade, and most importantly, you will have to learn to develop a keen guiding instinct. Most ghost hunters already believe in ghosts. It's the drive to understand the very nature and origins of the human soul and spirit world that lead people to this field. The toughest part of becoming a responsible ghost hunter is learning how to go into ghost hunts thinking and acting like a skeptic. That's right a skeptic. It's the ghost hunter's duty to be open-minded and examine the facts for any logical explanations or possible frauds. The word open-minded does not mean solely believing in the existence of ghosts and not excepting any other theories. Ghost hunters must be fair, rational and always searching for the logical explanation. The ghost hunter's job is to uncover the absolute truth, no matter what that truth may be. There are thousands of ghost hunters, but only a handful of good ghost hunters.
What are ghosts?
Ghosts present science with its greatest puzzle. They elude the reality of the real world. They play tricks on the human senses, confusing the mind with unexplained noises in the middle of the night, doors that lock from the inside when no one is in the rooms, and dark apparitions that fade in and out of existence.
Science has no current way of examining or experimenting with ghosts, and history has showed time-and-time again that when mainstream science cannot explain something that it immediately rights it off as unbelievable nonsense. Then what is happening? Creditable witnesses see ghosts everyday. Ghost stories have been told and retold since the dawn of history. Smart, well-educated people have reported strange encounters with the supernatural. Whether science wants to admit it or not, something is happening.
Rational ghost hunters have studied and investigated supernatural phenomenon for decades and have been able to provide some clear-cut theories that mainstream science was unwilling to do. Many of the theories made by early ghost hunters still stand today even under the intense scrutiny of science's claims that there isn't a supernatural world. It's true that not much is known about ghosts, but the work continues.
Do reasonable people believe in ghosts?
Over 80% of people polled believe in the existence of ghosts. Mainstream science and the hardcore critics tend to make up the remaining minority percentage that wants to make the rest of the public feel crazy or uncomfortable about coming forward with ghost sightings. As ghost hunters always find, there is no shortage of people with ghost stories to tell. Some people may have never told their story before out of fear that their friends and peers would ridicule them. It's important for those people who have seen ghosts or had a supernatural experience to know that they are not alone. When people begin to share stories they will find out very quickly that others have had the same types of experiences. We are not alone!
What makes up a good ghost hunter?
Ghost hunters should enter ghost hunts as a detective would, taking notes, doing interviews, researching locations and background, taking pictures and video, and finally conducting a stakeout or in our case a ghost hunt. The detective side of a ghost hunter has to be aware of all logical and natural explanations and do their best to find a reasonable conclusion. The forensics side is the part that most ghost hunters fail to develop. A ghost hunter should treat each alleged haunted location like a crime scene. They must meticulously go over the area and carefully gather any physical evidence while not disturbing the scene's environment. Drawing maps and diagrams of the layout, staging reenactments. Analyzing even the smallest of clues that may have been left behind. The final side of a good ghost hunter is the public debating side. Once all the information and evidence has been gathered the time comes to defend your conclusions. You must have a vast working knowledge of not only your case, but also any other similar cases. What it comes down to is a ghost hunter really has to know their stuff to make it past this point. Critics and scientists are not easy opponents, and if there are flaws in the investigation or the final conclusions they will make sure to point them out in a non-constructive manner.
Are there rules that apply to all ghosts?
When hunting for ghosts don't look for any rules or absolutes. There are circumstances that seem to create a more ghostly atmosphere, but there are no guarantees on predicting when and where a ghost will appear. A ghost may appear once in a hundred years or once every Tuesday. Ghosts can haunt houses or dwell in a small spot in an open field.
Even with the perfect conditions for a ghost it doesn't mean that one will ever show up. In fact, even the ghost's appearance doesn't seem to follow any special pattern. Sometimes a ghost is nothing more than a sharp chill. In other cases the ghosts cannot be distinguished from a living person. Ghosts can be in the forms of animals, headless bodies or even something as simple as a ghostly hand carrying a book through a dark hallway.
Ghosts have been known to interact with the living or just make acknowledgment with a quick glance or eye contact. In other accounts the ghosts seem unaware of the presence of living people and appear to be acting out some part of their own past life.
When it comes to ghost hunting the only rule is, be ready for anything!
-Ghost Hunters Bible