Ghost investigations




4. Methods & Equipment

There are many different methods for investigating haunted locations. Haunting phenomena have traditionally been researched through observational and quite personal, experience-focused methods. This would frequently entail entering a haunted location and attempting to have the same experience experienced by previous eyewitnesses. The first research that attempted to assess, in a more scientific way, the personal (subjective) experiences, occurred about 40 years ago (Schmeidler, 1966).

This work was the first to approach subjective reports through the use of quantitative statistical analyses of adjective checklists and floor plans. The approach has subsequently been improved by other researchers. It should be pointed out, however, that the majority of this work is limited to the analysis of subjective reports and not objective measurement. Given the sceptical explanations discussed previously, it is recommended that observational and survey methods are used along with specialised monitoring equipment capable of detecting small variations of the environment.

There is a prevalence of evidence of haunting phenomena, which includes physical examples such as a photograph or film and personal ones such as feeling a presence or sensing a drop in temperature. For this evidence to stand up against scientific scrutiny an investigator needs to have discounted all possible alternative explanations.

For example, a witness who reports a sense of presence in a haunted location could be experiencing naturally occurring infrasound, they may have been affected by temporal lobe epilepsy, they may be interpreting a quite natural drop in temperature as the presence of a spirit, they may be prone to the suggestion that the location is haunted and, as a result, their mind ‘runs riot’ (to put it scientifically!).

It’s important, therefore to accumulate as much information as possible to make the evidence count.

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