Saturday, March 5, 2011

Modern Day Ghost Hunting

There are no qualifications for becoming a ghost hunter. Ghost hunters can range from the weekend hobbyist to the semi-professional groups that you may have seen. There is no test to become qualified to ghost hunt, all you need is credible information, simple equipment and the desire to do it. Over the past six years ghost hunting has taken America by storm. Everyday people, without fear of being mocked, are now sharing their paranormal experiences. Scientific methods have also broadened the horizon, making it easier to tell what is real and what isn't. Where in the past the general public would have to rely on sketchy psychics and mediums to confirm their paranormal experience, now that science and mainstream interest have combined those days are over.

Ghost hunting is a relatively recent occupation, only going back a little over 100 years. In the past such would be paranormal investigators used unconventional methods to detect the paranormal, such as ouija boards and dowsing rods. In modern times most ghost hunters investigate using the most high tech equipment available to them. In the past where you would have to take someone's word for it, that an occurrence happened, you now have equipment that can detect and store information on things such as sudden temperature changes, EMF anomalies, and changes in the barometric pressure.
You also have the ability to document visual evidence with video cameras and thermal imaging devices. Today's ghost hunters rely heavily on Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) as a way to document paranormal activity and a great way to communicate with the unknown. Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors have also become extremely popular with ghost hunters. This devices ability to detect electromagnetic fields have convinced some ghost hunting organizations, it has the ability to detect ghosts themselves. Most researchers believe when a ghost manifests itself it disturbs the electromagnetic field around it and this detector will register that fluctuation. In recent years it has even been dubbed "the ghost detector" in the paranormal community. However, even with all this high tech equipment you still need a haunted location to hunt, and Cold Spots delivers those locations.

Cold Spots gives you the unique opportunity to brush up on your basic ghost hunting skills allowing you to experience the paranormal first hand. So whether you wish to be a weekend hobbyist or are planning on forming your own group, Cold Spots will help you along the way. We offer a wide range of insightful information, carefully crafted to suit all your ghost hunting needs. We offer 24-7 online support to help you review evidence, how to find the best deals on equipment, and daily updates to easily accessible haunted locations. You've been watching for the last six years as other groups showed you their experiences and findings, now its your turn to enter the hunt.

Getting Ready to GHOST HUNT

First things first, you'll need to find a haunted location. Whether you know of a local haunted location or you use one provided, its best to start by gaining permission to enter said location. After permission has been granted you should head to the location with your team and all your ghost hunting equipment, which should at least include, two-way communication devices, flashlights and pens and paper. If your a little more advanced you may also wish to bring digital\35MM cameras, EMF detectors, Digital Thermometers, Audio Recording devices, and possibly DVR equipment. And never forget to bring the most important thing of all, patience. Ghost hunting can be very tedious, but remember that your trying to catch evidence of a ghost and you should never be lax in your endeavor.

Know your location:

Start by doing a complete walk through before starting the investigation, taking notes along the way to keep track of the reported claims in certain parts of the site. Explore every room. If the location is large, you should try to video tape the walk through. You'll be able to review the tape in detail and become more familiar with your surroundings. After the initial walk through is complete, start setting up a base of operations. Your choice of area should clearly have the lowest level of ghost activity.

Setting up:

Before setting up the equipment it is a good idea to reflect on the notes that were taken earlier. This will ensure that you are only placing the audio\video equipment in the reported hotspots throughout the location. Make sure all wires and cords are taped down and kept out of the way. Try not to touch or remove anything in the location, you should leave the natural environment alone. If there are reports of furniture or objects that move, carefully place a piece of tape next to these objects. If the objects happen to move you'll have a marker to judge and measure the exact distance. It is also important to take note in which direction the object is moving.

The investigation:

Always keep track of everyone participating in the investigation. Never allow anyone to wander alone. The group should be divided into groups of two or four depending on the size of the group and one person needs to stay behind to monitor the investigation and safety of the group. Everyone involved needs to have two-way communication devises, pen and paper, and flashlights without exception. If you or your group are performing an advanced investigation, start by sweeping the area with your EMF detectors, and temperature readings should be taken at the same place and time by your team mate. If there are no noticeable EMF distortion or temperature fluctuations begin an EVP session. All dialogue should be directed at the alleged entity. You should also keep monitoring temperature changes and EMF spikes during the session. If you are not satisfied with the readings but are convinced there's an unearthly presence nearby, take more photos. Always log every event that seems out of the ordinary, doors that lock, electrical problems, chandlers swaying, strange lights, etc... Video tape everything for proof. Remember not all entities can communicate in a way we think they ought to. It is your job as a ghost hunter to examine every possibility on an investigation.

Ghost hunting research:

Begin researching the history of the location. Your first source of information is your client, you should find out as much history about the location as possible. With older locations it is probable that the client will not know the full history of the location. In these cases public records and\or local historical societies can be quite helpful in finding information. Allow yourself enough time to deal with these city\state agencies to cut through the red tape. Local public libraries are also a great source of local public history, they should have newspapers and other documents dating as far back as the early days of the area.

Searching thought newspapers can help you identify any traumatic event in the locations history. If anyone has ever died at the location, whether naturally or otherwise, the local newspaper should have a record of it. Once you've found out who occupied the location during the time frame the supposed entity is from you can check birth, marriage, and death records at most county court houses to try to identify the entity.


What is a Residual Haunting?

A residual haunting is a paranormal phenomenon that appears to have no intelligence. The energy will appear at the same time, place, and\or weather conditions as if it is a video being played back by some force of nature. You cannot interact with a residual haunting. A residual haunting's energy will appear completely oblivious to its surroundings and will even walk through objects and walls that weren't there at the time of the "recording".

There are many theories as to how\why these recordings occur. The most common theory is building materials or crystalline deposits acting as a recording device for the energy. Like an analog recording devise uses magnets to capture images and sound and places them on an iron oxide surface. So force seems to allow this to occur naturally, old slate and rusted iron objects seem to be the most commonly seen "recording" materials. Its also believed that the energy manipulating qualities of crystals, such as quartz, can also allow it to act as a "recording" device.

Unlike some other types of haunting's, you have nothing to fear from a residual haunting. Since there is no intelligence a residual haunting cannot harm you and you may observe it at length. The best way to investigate this type of a haunting is a "stake out" method. Where you set up cameras and audio recording devises where the alleged "recording" replays itself. It may take quite a while and more than one trip for you to be there when whatever triggers the event occurs, but it will be well worth your invested time and effort.

What is an Intelligent Haunting?

An intelligent haunting is very different from a residual. The largest difference between the two being, an intelligent haunting can interact with its surroundings. This means they can touch people and move objects. This type of a haunting is usually thought to be the spirit of a once living person and has chosen to let its presence be known. The interaction can range from simple to extreme. Starting with simple knocking or lights flickering that you may not even think is paranormal, to objects disappearing and reappearing in unusual places, to unexplained odors, and in the most extreme cases the appearance of full bodied apparitions.

In most cases the personality of the person in life will be reflected in death. These spirits can be benevolent or mischievous depending on the reason they are haunting a location. There can be many reasons why a spirit is haunting a location, it may have been a place they once lived at, or they may have died there. They can also be attached to a familiar object or loved one. They are also attracted to the living who have the ability to see them, or they could be searching for someone or something, and in other cases they may be unaware they are even dead.

The majority of paranormal activity can occur day or night. Most paranormal investigators lean towards evening research due to the simple fact that the living are less active and the haunting's become easier to notice. Dealing with this type of a haunting can be an unique experience. You must try your best to remain calm during an investigation. Your clients will be looking towards you for help and being unprofessional won't help the situation. Also, be aware that these are human spirits, so religious provocation will have no effect in removing them from a location. Unfortunate, not much can be done to remove them from a location.

What is a Demonic Haunting?

A demonic haunting is a form of an inhuman haunting. They are considered to be strong, smart, and evil supernatural beings. Main stream religion says that these beings were once angels that fell from grace after a tremendous battle over the creation of humanity. Signs of this type of haunting usually start with the same signs of an intelligent or poltergeist haunting, simple banging and knocking and simple noises, but rapidly increase to far stronger activity. They seem to target people under extreme emotional stress, or who have their cognitive abilities impaired by alcohol or drugs. These non-human entities like to take advantage of people in these states, and will torment them to no end.

These beings have the ability to take any form they choose. So trying to identify one can be difficult. They are smart and witty so even realizing you have one on your hands, before it wants you to, is nearly impossible. These creatures are extremely strong as well, in some reported cases people have been thrown around rooms or had objects thrown at them.

Unlike other forms of ghostly activity, however, once you realize you are dealing with a demonic haunting there are steps you can take to rid yourself of the creature. Things like religious provocation (an exorcism) usually work in these cases, or you can try smudging your home. Smudging is a native american ritual where you take a bundle of dried sage, aka a smudge stick, light it on fire, and carry it around your home in hopes of removing evil spirits from the location. If you think you've come in contact with a demonic haunting, PLEASE DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER, leave the location and please contact Cold Spots. We know of a demonologist that can handle these situations. Just give us the name of your client and their phone number and we will contact them and we will help them.

What is a Poltergeist Haunting?

The basic definition for a poltergeist was founded in 1838 in Germany, and it means a disembodied spirit or supernatural force credited with certain malicious or disturbing phenomena. Reports of this phenomena include, unexplainable noises, breaking of household items, windows and doors slamming shut, and also loud rapping. In other cases, poltergeists are also blamed for violent actions throwing large items or setting fire to furniture or the dwelling itself. Keep in mind poltergeists are very unpredictable and when they do occur are most often repetitive. In other events a poltergeist haunting can be connected to a teenager, male or female, who underwent some kind of major trauma in their past. Some spirits will be attracted to the negative energy that person is feeling and displaying. That can allow paranormal experiences to begin. Some groups or families have reported their experiences started with unordinary smells, sounds, and feelings. Cold spots ,that cannot be explained, are also reported in cases such as these.

Pets are also effected in this type of a situation. They can display sudden random movements or unjustifiable sparatic behavior. As time goes on the odd noises can escalate to whispers, laughing, to clear understandable words. Not all spirits will chose to display its actions as mentioned. You can run into a very severe haunting, where a poltergeist is at this highest level of strength. Windows and mirrors may shatter, levitation's of multiple objects can occur, and objects such knives or glass may begin flying with the intent to harm. Being slapped, hair pulling, biting, and even being held down have all been linked to poltergeist activity.

Signs of a HAUNTING

Whether your a veteran ghost hunter or just learning the ropes there are many things you need to consider when determining a location to be haunted. Not all haunting's are alike. There are a wide range of indications that you must consider in your evaluation. Such as windows and doors slamming shut repeatedly, unexplainable sounds, and unknown odors. These are all legitimate signs of the phenomena. Some haunting's feature a single phenomena, such as objects moving on their own. While other haunting's offer the feeling of being touched or hearing disembodied voices. In some very rare cases you might even run into a full bodied apparition.

Here's a list that covers most indications that your location maybe haunted:

A general uneasy feeling: like you are not alone, or the feeling of being watched are common in most reports of a haunting

The feeling of being touched: some investigators report that either their hair or an article of their clothing has been tugged on or something touched them, usually on their arm, hand or leg

Unexplainable movement: such as a shadow or light, the more extreme is to witness an object move on its own. For example chairs, tables, books, etc... The most common report is of something walking by them when no one else was there.

Strange pet behavior: A dog growling or repeatedly barking at something you are unable to see, or sudden refusal to enter a particular room or area of the location when in the past there was never a problem. You may even see the dog dart or dash as if something is chasing it away. Cats are another good indicator. They will occasionally sit there and their heads will move as if they are watching something invisible walking across the room, and sometimes they may get up and follow whatever is there. Cats personality are different from dogs, they are more likely to stick with a possible entity rather than run away. Animals also have sharper senses than humans, and many paranormal researchers believe their psychic maybe more finely tuned as well.

Electrical and appliance issues: Reports of TVs, stereos, lights and other electrically powered items, turning either on or off when the witness knows it was left the opposite way.

Unexplained Noises: such as foot steps, knocks, banging, and scratching sounds. Sounds of something being dropped or shuffled. The sound of doors and windows opening or closing. Sometimes these noises can be subtle or extremely loud.

Items disappearing and reappearing: Personal or commonly used items, such as car keys, hair brushes or cell phone, that suddenly disappear. Most people search high and low for a missing item but have no success. In some cases the items will go missing for days or even weeks, only finally to be found placed back in its original location. Some paranormal investigators call this "the borrowers" phenomenon.

Unexplained shadows: The sighting of unusual shapes or shadows moving at a fast rate, usually seen out of the corner of the eye. At times these shadows resemble a human form, with a dark gray or black color. Most people who witness this say, they see a flash moving in various directions.

Disembodied voices and whispers: a phenomena where a witness says they heard a voice saying something to them when no one is around, or multiple witnesses hearing the same thing with no explanation for it. Not only does this come in the form of voices but occasionally people will hear music coming from nowhere. Also a disembodied voice is heard with the naked ear, where as something such as an E.V.P. is only heard after playing back a recording device.

Unexplained temperature changes: These are also know as "cold spots". Usually a fluctuation of 10-20 degrees in a localized area indicates some either tryed or did manifest itself. Cold Spots are a classic symptom of a haunting.

Unexplained smells: the appearance of smells in the home, usually that of unfamiliar perfumes or colognes, that the witnesses do not recognize. This usually accompanies more severe phenomena such as full bodied apparitions. Odors such as rotten eggs are also reported.

Apparitions: the appearance of a physically visible phenomena, such as a mist or shade all the way to a being that looks solid and alive until it disappearing into a room or walks through an object it shouldn't be able to. These types of phenomena are very rare and if encountered should be documented as thoroughly as possible.

Physical Assault: hard shoves, slaps, and scratches are extremely rare, but if encountered leave the premises immediately.

Above are the most commonly reported occurrences of people who believe their residence to be haunted. We are not saying that all of the above will occur, and its possible that some things we did not mention could happen as well. It can get far worse, or there maybe a simple natural reason for what you or the client maybe experiencing. Odd noises don't have to be a spirit, it may just be a house settling, bad pluming, or possibly a wild animal. Check for problems with the structure, such as holes in the foundation, you may find a family of some creatures living inside the internal structure that can wreak all sorts of havoc. The same applies for investigating a business, if the property owner is complaining about windows and doors opening and closing, it could just be rusty hinges or a strong draft if the structure isn't properly insulated. This can explain away cold spots as well. At the end of the day, the majority of occurrences have a reasonable explanation, so before you tell a client they're haunted make sure you have the evidence to back it up.


Interviewing witnesses is the key to a successful investigation. The information gathered from the eye witness will generally determine what direction is necessary for conducting a proper evaluation of the reported claims. The information must be obtained properly in order to be useful throughout the entire investigation. Personal relationships or general differences should never be allowed to contaminate the interview.

Before any interviewing can begin get the number of witnesses. If there is more than one always conduct separate interviews. The reason for this is to be able to have the witness relive in detail what they experienced without being influenced by other witnesses testimony. The interviewing process only works if the individuals are willing to cooperate. Always insure the witnesses that their identities and other personal information will remain confidential. At no point should anyone be asked for their date of birth, social security number, or banking information during the assessment. It is the interviewer's responsibility to retrieve as much uncontaminated testimony from the witness as possible. Also, keep in mind that ordinary people who have just had a paranormal experience usually are frightened and should be handled carefully. If they are made to feel comfortable they will be more likely to agree to be interviewed. At any point, the witness may request to stop the interview. If this does occur, respect their wishes and ask to do a follow up at a later date.

The interview must take place in a confusion free environment. Make sure the witness is seated comfortable in a well lit area. If the witness gave their consent to be recorded\videotaped during the interview, you will be able to reference the data for body language and examine facial expressions that will aid you in your final conclusion for the written report.

The interview will begin with the witness telling you what they viewed during the event. Its the interviewer's job to listen and not interrupt the witness while taking detailed notes. All questions should be asked after the witness is finished telling you what they experienced. Your questions should be based on the witnesses paranormal experience, nothing else.

After the witness is finished recounting the event, it is the interviewers responsibility to get the details in order, but first you need to understand what the details are. Each witness has their own unique sense of perception. This means that a huge part of information from the witness will be based on what they SAW, HEARD, FELT, and SMELLED. So in order to gain a better perspective on the details in the witness account, your questions should target their perception of the event.

The questions below are designed for this purpose:

1. How many occupants at location:
2. Occupants names and ages
3. Occupants rent or own
4. Time of occupancy at the location
5. How many rooms in the site
6. Age of the site:
7. How many previous owners (if known):
8. History of site: (tragedies, deaths, previous complaints)
9. How many pets
10. Has there been any recent remodeling (if so, what and where):
11. Is anyone on prescribed medication (anxiety, depression, pain, etc)
12. Is anyone using illegal drugs
13. Is anyone drink alcohol heavily
14. Are you interested in the occult
15. Are you currently seeing a psychiatrist or in therapy
16. Is anyone with frequent or unexplained illnesses
17. Has there been any media involvement
18. Have there been any other witnesses
19. Have there been any odors:
20. Describe to me what you felt
21. Describe to me what you heard
22. Has there been any movement of objects
23. Describe to me what you saw
24. Have there been any uncommon cold or hot spots:
25. Have there been any problems with electrical appliances:
26. Have there been any problems with plumbing:
27. Are you having trouble sleeping
28. Have there been any physical contact
29. Are your pets being affected
30. Describe the first occurrence of the phenomena
31. Who first witnessed the phenomena:
32. What time was the first occurrence of the phenomena:
33. What is the witness's reaction during the phenomena:
34. Were there any other witnesses during the first event:
35. How long is the average duration of the phenomena:
36. How often does the phenomena occur:
37. Do you feel the phenomena is threatening?
38. What do you believe is happening?
39. Does everyone agree on what is happening?
40. What would you like to see accomplished from our visit?

Tips and Techniques for Interviewing Witnesses

Always conduct yourself in a professional manor

Your key role in the interview is to show compassion and make the witness as comfortable as possible

Pressuring or badgering a witness, will only result in misinformation

Gaining the trust and confidence of the witness, will ensure more accurate results

Never allow yourself to believe the witness is lying during the interview

Judgment of an eyewitness solely based on race, education, economic standing, sex, age, or appearance, is unethical and also unprofessional

Always explore every possibility when conducting interviews, keep an open mind, never make a conclusion before all the evidence is gathered and the investigation has been completed

In general, the majority of paranormal claims reported have a logical explanation. That is why doing the initial walk through of an alleged haunted location, gives the investigator time to sort through the details and take a reasonable approach to discovering what is factual and what is not.

Unfortunately, you are going to meet eyewitnesses that love to cry wolf. Some do it intentionally while others feel the need to exaggerate. A good way to be sure you are receiving accurate information is by reinventing what the witness said to you. For example, the witness: "The lights were turning on and off, and I heard a voice say "Hey, you!". Interviewer: "Ok the lights were flickering, your dog was barking, and you were sure the voice said "Hey, you!" ?". If the witness agrees and continues you are going to realize phantoms are not the only problem.

Before, during, and after the interview, be careful what you say to the witness. You should never discuss any other paranormal events outside of what the witness has experienced. Do not give them any ideas.

Uptain the witness consent before recording or taping. Consent is needed whether this is to be done by phone or in person. Recording or taping a witness without their consent is unethical and even illegal in some states.

How To Find HAUNTED Locations, CEMETARY Etiquette, and 5 Common GHOST HUNTING Mistakes

How to Find Haunted Locations - Plus 5 Locations that Are Almost Always Haunted

It can be easier to find paranormal locations in your local area than you might think. Most areas have local ghost stories about locations and these can be a good place to start. With a little research to see how true these stories are, you could be well on your way to discovering paranormal activity.

Ask the Police

Believe it or not, police departments across the U.S. receive countless reports on possible paranormal events that are usually overlooked because of their nature. You can locate events such as these by looking in your local newspapers police blotter, or by paying a visit to your local police department. They will probably be more than willing to point you in the right direction.

New to Ghost Hunting?

If your new to ghost hunting, starting with public venues with little to no permission required for access is the best idea for your investigations. These easy to access locations such as graveyards open to the public and local parks, are usually public property so you can access them without running the risk of trespassing. Rule number one for a beginning ghost hunting group is, Do Not Trespass. Here are some locations you can look at for starting you investigations.

Locations That Are Almost Always Haunted

1. Cemeteries — Cemeteries are a good source of paranormal phenomena. Most have at least mild spirit activity and the older the cemetery the more likely you are to possibly catch something. You should always start with the oldest part of a cemetery as it is the most likely area for paranormal activity to occur. Most cemeteries are open to the public during the day but close at night. If this is the case in the cemetery your interested in hunting, you can try speaking with the administration of the cemetery and seeing if they will allow an investigation. If they will not, please respect their wishes and DO NOT TRESPASS.

2. Colleges and Universities — Colleges and Universities are uniquely suited to two types of paranormal activity. Residual haunting's, and poltergeist haunting's. Because of the age of a lot of universities, they tend to have at least a few dramatic\traumatic events in their history which can lead to paranormal activity most commonly in the form of a residual haunting. Poltergeists are also common in colleges due to the fact there are so many people aged 18-26 in the area that it tends to attract poltergeist activity. In some rare cases, intelligent haunting's have also been reported.

3.Hotels —These days, more and more hotels are advertising haunted activity. With the thousands of people that constantly pass through them each year, its not a stretch to think an occasional death would occur. Some older hotels have been reported to be EXTREMELY haunted due to tragic events that have taken place over their history, but even local motels in your area may have some mild paranormal activity you could investigate. You will have to pay to stay in the hotel\motel overnight to be able to investigate but this will allow you to investigate uninterrupted.

4.Battlefields and Crime scenes — These two types of locations are usually good sources of paranormal activity due to the nature of the events that took place there. Battlefields especially due to the sheer number of human lives lost at a singular location. Some of the most haunted locations in the world are old battlefields or crime scenes.

5.Churches —Many Churches are known for spirit activity, and they are a great place to hold a paranormal investigation if you can gain access. A lot of churches will not allow ghost hunting groups access to them, but in recent years a good number of churches have shut down and are now vacant or being remodeled into something else. These places that were once churches still retain their history and any paranormal activity that occurred while they were churches will still be there, and could possibly be even more active due to the fact they are being remodeled.

Cemetery Etiquette for Ghost Hunters

Here are a few suggestions for your visits to cemeteries:

*Paranormal activity isn't the only thing your going to find in cemeteries when investigating. You are sure to come across other people visiting dead loved ones, along with possible genealogists, historians, and photographers. Remember, not everyone believes in ghosts, and most would rather not believe that their loved ones spirit is sitting in a cemetery. Running around making noise and disturbing people is a good way to find your way out of a cemetery. Its best to stay subdued while investigating a cemetery, and try not to disturb others.

* Joking is very inappropriate. While investigating a cemetery its very inappropriate to start making jokes about the dead. This is a very easy way to find yourself out of the cemetery. This may also anger the dead making them more likely to do something about it. This may actually sound like a good thing at first, but having a spirit upset with you isn't going to help capture evidence, its only going to make things more difficult.

* Protect what's in the cemetery. Do not touch headstones or other monuments that maybe within the cemetery. Most of these are old and decaying and do not need you contributing to it. If you wish to read a headstone that is older, using a halogen light at a sharp angle should reveal whatever your looking for.

* Respect the dead. Any spirits residing in your cemetery may think of the cemetery as their home. As such, you should treat it as if your in someone's home and try to be as respectful as possible. Being loud and disruptive or touching and moving objects is a good way to get some spirits upset with you. Also, never step on graves, its extremely disrespectful.

* Don't take your pet to a cemetery. Its highly inappropriate to have an animal running around in a cemetery with you. Especially if they are spooked easily by the paranormal. Animals won't understand what is going on, and if scared may run away, causing havoc in the graveyard.

* Do not move or remove anything. This can range from very simple things, such as flowers, or more important things like personal items left on a grave. Its very disrespectful to the living and the dead to touch, move, or take something that has been left for a persons grave.

* Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the cemetery. Step outside the cemetery if any of these pastimes are necessary.

5 Common Ghost Hunting Mistakes - What NOT to Do

1. Trespassing.

Always get permission before investigating private property. Several years ago, there was a news story about a ghost hunter who trespassed on private property to investigate a haunted house. The person who lived in the house thought the ghost hunter was a burglar, pulled out a gun, and shot him. (Fortunately, the ghost hunter was OK.) This is NOT a situation that you want to experience, so always get permission before exploring private property.

2. Ghost Hunting Alone.

Investigating the paranormal requires at least 2 individuals at all times. Safety should be your primary concern. It is, also, a good idea to bring someone else along to assist you when experimenting with the paranormal. For example, logging information, equipment transfer, personal experiences, and to validate rare occurrences such as coming in contact with a manifestation. Remember capturing evidence is great, but proving your evidence is really the most important thing. Having someone with you to back up your claims will improve your credibility when showcasing your evidence.

3. Know the area before investigating

The initial walk through is necessary. Before any investigation can take place you need to map out the area. Most people new to ghost hunting don't take the required time to explore their surroundings, and that is where the troubles begin. Safety comes first. You and your team need to know if there are any hazardous conditions and take note of them, especially when hunting at night. This method also allows to debunk any natural occurrences that maybe reported as paranormal. Why invest the time and resources into investigating an area, when a simple walk through could have debunked all of the reported claims?

4. Ghost Hunting, a serious business

If you are a thrill seeker or just looking for a good time, then we strongly suggest that you participate in an organized ghost tour, or some other supervised event. Investigating the paranormal needs to be conducted seriously and professionally at all time. There are things that could go wrong when dealing with the unknown. Joking and pulling pranks on a location is unacceptable. The use of illegal drugs or intoxicants is also unacceptable. Thrill seekers beware there are both physical and psychological dangers that you may encounter. Physical assault such as hair pulling, scratching, or being pushed and psychological assaults such as sudden depression, anger, anxiety, and nausea have all been reported when encountering the paranormal. This is why caution needs to be used at all times, and the use of good common sense should always prevail. Leave the site immediately if you and your group encounter any of the above assaults. You can always retrieve your equipment or personal items at a later time or date. You and your groups safety should always be your number one concern.

5. Daring or threatening spirits/ghosts to appear.

Never dare or threaten spirits to appear. You might get your wish, and spirits aren't always friendly if you have threatened them. Always show respect for others around you - this includes ghosts/spirits, and property owners.

Ghost Hunting EQUIPMENT

Digital Camera

THEORY: In theory you will take a random photo, prompted by possible EMF anomalies or temperature changes and you discover something in the image that wasn't at the location at the time.

HOW TO USE: A digital camera can have many different aspects to it. Depending on the camera you buy you can adjust a multitude of settings, from simple focus all the way to image stabilization which will remove image blur caused by motion and is very useful in a paranormal investigation. You will want to take photos at random intervals or when your equipment is showing something may be present in your location. Another good time to take photos is during EVP sessions as it may be able to catch a ghost while its trying to communicate with you.

RANGE: The range of your camera depends on the amount of optical zoom your camera has. Most have 3x-4x optical zoom but we suggest a camera with at least 8x-10x or even 12x optical zoom for best results.

READINGS: When reviewing your photos you should be looking for anything out of the ordinary. You should be careful when reviewing, because many ordinary things can be mistaken for the paranormal. Such as bugs or dust in the air being mistaken for orbs. You should also remain aware of reflective surfaces, such as mirrors or gravestones, when using a flash, they can be mistaken for paranormal evidence.

35mm Camera

THEORY: In theory you will take a random photo, prompted by possible EMF anomalies or temperature changes and you discover something in the image that wasn't at the location at the time.

HOW TO USE: Your camera should be filled with a fresh roll of 400 speed film. 400 speed film has reasonable picture quality while imprinting the image onto the film quick enough to be used effectively at night. You will want to take photos at random intervals or when your equipment is showing something may be present in your location. Another good time to take photos is during EVP sessions as it may be able to catch a ghost while its trying to communicate with you.

RANGE: The range of a 35mm camera depends on the lens you have for it. If you have a telephoto lens you can get multiple times zoom effects. Some cameras come equipped with a telephoto lens but most will need you to add one on.

READINGS: When analyzing photos you have taken with a 35mm camera you have an advantage over a digital camera. The negatives used by a 35mm camera are nearly impossible to fake or change without it being recognized. So if you capture evidence you are much more likely to be believed with the negatives.

Audio Cassette Recorder (Analog Recorder)

THEORY: The audio cassette recorder can be used for picking up and recording Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). EVP's are voices and sounds picked up by a recording device that you didn't hear at the time of making the recording. They are picked up by the recorders microphone and it can be useful to have an external microphone to remove any sounds the device may emit.

HOW TO USE: First make sure you have a brand new tape in the recorder. Then be sure that the recorder is set to record at regular speed. When your ready to start an EVP session, turn on the recorder and wait ten seconds, than stat your name, the time, the date, and your location to "tag" the tape. You should place the recorder down on a sturdy surface to remove any breathing noises and such it may pick up from you. When asking questions you should leave a 20-30 second gap between each question for a possible response. For a list of questions please refer to our EVP page. During the session, if you make any sounds that would come up on the recorder, such as a cough or sneeze, make sure to "tag" it on the tape so during the review its not mistaken for paranormal activity. Once you've finished your EVP session "tag" the ending with the time and that the investigation is complete.

RANGE: You should stay approximately 2-3 feet away from the device during EVP sessions as to not contaminate the evidence.

READINGS: During the analysis of a tape, you are looking for any sounds that were not present during the investigation. This is where effective tagging comes into play. You should try to tag all obvious sounds during a recording as to not mistake them for paranormal activity during the review. If you heard a dripping noise all night coming from the roof you should make a note of it on the tape so its not thought to be paranormal later on.


THEORY: A barometer measures barometric pressure, also known as atmospheric pressure. Its thought that a spirit trying to manifest itself may interfere with this pressure.

HOW TO USE: You want to start by using the barometer to find the base reading of your area. Than during the investigation write down any increases\decreases the meter registers.

RANGE: The range of readings on this meter is from 580mb to 1050mb.

READINGS: Barometers use a unit of measure known as millibars. If the barometric pressure changes 20 or more millibars, it maybe paranormal activity. If the meter reads lower than 980mb it could mean a severe storm is coming towards your location, and if it reads higher than 1005mb it could mean a low pressure system is moving away from you.

Digital Thermometer

THEORY: A thermometer is a very useful tool when hunting ghosts. Its ability to detect thermal fluctuation in an environment allows you the ability to detect one of the most common aspects of a haunting, possible manifestation. It is believed that when a spirit is trying to manifest itself it will absorb ambient energy from the environment making a cold spot that your thermometer can detect. A digital thermometer is not the best to detect this but it will do in a pinch.

HOW TO USE: First thing you want to do is make sure you thermometer is working properly. So take your own temperature and make sure its correct. Once verified, unravel the probe and cord to make sure you get the most accurate readings possible. Than use the probe to get a base reading of the area. During the investigation move the probe slowly around the room making notes of any temperature changes of more than 10 degrees.

RANGE: The range of the cord with the probe is 10 feet. The range from the probe to the active field is 0 to 1 foot.

READINGS: A non-paranormal fluctuation in a given environment is approximately 5-10 degrees. If you get a sudden drop in excess of 10 degrees be sure to make a note of it and you may also want to start taking photographs of the area or start an EVP session, as a drop of that degree can mean a spirit is trying to manifest.


THEORY: A compass uses magnets to detect the electromagnetic field given off by the earth. If another strong magnetic presence, like one from a possible ghost, comes close to the magnet it can make the compass point away from north or begin spinning wildly.

RANGE: The range of the compass is from your location to the magnetic north pole. Any magnetic fields surrounding the location could alter the direction the needle points in.

HOW TO USE: First you must find normal magnetic north, the direction the compass should point naturally. If during your investigation the compass moves away from north, at all, make sure to note this and possibly take pictures of the area.

READINGS: A normal reading is always North. Possible paranormal activity is when the compass is reading the wrong direction or if it begins to spin or show erratic movement.

Digital EMF Meter (Electro Magnetic Field)

THEORY: In theory, ghosts give off an electromagnetic field which can be picked up by an EMF meter.

HOW TO USE: The first thing you need to do is get a base reading of your environment. You should walk around slowly scanning the area with your EMF detector trying to gather as much data as possible. Once you've gathered an average reading for the area, you should start checking for any anomalous readings. If the meter jumps unexpectedly try to figure out what could possibly be causing it. If you can't find anything you may want to start taking pictures of the area and\or start an EVP session

RANGE: The unit of measurement for most EMF meters is milligauss or mg. The range on the meter is 0mg to 199.9mg. The range from the meter to the active field is 0 to 8 feet, depending on how strong the electromagnetic field is.

READINGS: A base reading for most locations is between 0.0 mg and 1.5mg. Most paranormal activity is usually found between 1.5mg-8mg, any higher and it usually means there is some kind of outside interference. Paranormal activity is possible with a reading under 1.5mg is the base of your locations is near 0mg. If your base reading is 0mg to .5mg than a spike of 1.4mg comes up you may have paranormal activity.

EMF Cell Sensor

THEORY: In theory a ghost may give off an electro magnetic field that can be picked up by an EMF meter (electro magnetic field detector).

HOW TO USE:The first thing you need to do is get a base reading of your environment. You should walk around slowly scanning the area with your EMF detector trying to gather as much data as possible. Once you've gathered an average reading for the area, you should start checking for any anomalous readings. If the meter jumps unexpectedly try to figure out what could possibly be causing it. If you can't find anything you may want to start taking pictures of the area and\or start an EVP session.

RANGE: The unit of measurement for most EMF meters is milligauss or mg. The range on the meter is 0mg to 5mg. The range from the meter to the active field is 0 to 6 feet, depending on how strong the electromagnetic field is.

READINGS: A base reading for most locations is between 0.0 mg and 1.5mg. Most paranormal activity is usually found between 1.5mg-8mg, any higher and it usually means there is some kind of outside interference. Paranormal activity is possible with a reading under 1.5mg is the base of your locations is near 0mg. If your base reading is 0mg to .5mg than a spike of 1.4mg comes up you may have paranormal activity. This type of EMF detector only reaches 5mg but it will begin flashing a red light when it enters a field greater than 1.5mg and it is also far less expensive then the other types of EMF detectors.

Digital Audio Recorder

THEORY: Digital Audio Recorders can be used to pick up EVP's. EVP's are voices and sounds that are picked up by a recording devices that weren't heard at the time of the recording. You can also use an external mic to give your digital audio recording device a better range.

HOW TO USE: It's much more convient to use a digital recorder over an analog recording device. Digital recorders have many more features and have the ability to store much more data than an analog recording devices tape. Its also much easier to review the data on a digital recorder due to the fact you can just download the information directly to your computer and listen to it from there. Also, you can start recording as soon as you start the recorder and record constantly for much longer periods of time using a digital recorder. You should start any recording by "tagging" the tape with your name, the date, the time, and your location. During the investigation make sure to have the recorder on constantly so as not to miss any possible evidence. Once you've finished recording, make sure to tag the ending with the time and that the investigation is over.

RANGE: You should stay approximately 2-3 feet away from the device during EVP sessions as to not contaminate the evidence.

READINGS: Analyzing a digital recorder is much simpler than analyzing an analog tape. You can download the material straight to your computer and use sound analysis software to make the task go a lot quicker. Making sure to effectively tag is also a major priority whether using a digital recorder or analog recording device.

K-2 Meter (K2, K-II)

THEORY: In theory this EMF detector allows you to capture EMF readings, but unlike other EMF detectors it may be possible for the K2 meter to allow you to communicate with the dead, by allowing them to light up the LED lights on the top of the device.

HOW TO USE: You must hold down the button on the front of the device for it to work. However, over a long period of time your finger may become tired and this can cause false readings, so you may wish to put a coin in it to keep the button down. Once active you should sweep the area for any anomalous readings. If you find anything out of the ordinary, retrace your path and try to figure out what could be affecting the device. If you don't find a source for the disturbance you can try putting the meter down and allow the possible spirit to try to communicate with you by manipulating the LED lights.

RANGE: The range on this EMF meter is 1mg to 20+mg. The range from the meter to the active field is 0 to 6 feet.

READINGS: As with all EMF detectors, the K2 meter uses the milligauss scale. The K2 meter scales from 0mg up to 20+mg. A normal reading is somewhere between 0mg and 2mg. Anything from about 2mg to 10mg could be a sign of paranormal activity. In the past few years the K2 meter has been added to the paranormal tool box because of its alleged ability to allow you to communicate with an entity. When purchasing a K2 meter you should look to buy a modified K2 meter. This version has been changed from the original version for paranormal research. The reason for the modification is, a regular K2 has the ability to pick up radio and cell phone signals and show them as an anomaly reading, thus making an unmodified version's readings almost impossible to prove as paranormal.

IR Thermometer (Infra Red)

THEORY: A thermometer is a very useful tool when hunting ghosts. Its ability to detect thermal fluctuation in an environment allows you the ability to detect one of the most common aspects of a haunting, possible manifestation. It is believed that when a spirit is trying to manifest itself it will absorb ambient energy from the environment making a cold spot that your thermometer can detect, and an IR thermometer has a much easier time detecting anomaly in a wide area due to its laser detection system.

HOW TO USE: The first thing you need to do is get a base reading of the area. Hold down the trigger and slowly scan the area. Once you have your base, move around your location slowly making sure to take note of any anomalous reading. Its far easier to use an IR thermometer than a probe thermometer in this situation. The IR thermometer uses an infrared beam to detect temperature changes at a distance, making it much more convient and it is less likely to be obstructed by body heat or other local sources than a probe thermometer your holding.

RANGE: Normal range of an IR thermometer is about 100ft. Although the beam can reach greater distances than this, it tends to get a little unreliable past that range.

READINGS: A normal reading is within 5-10 degrees of your base reading. If a fluctuation occurs over 10 degrees it may be possible paranormal activity. At this point you will want to check your EMF detectors for any disturbances or start taking photographs of the area.

Video Camera

Video cameras have proven themselves to be invaluable during paranormal investigations. They have the ability to allow the investigator to review their evidence in real time. As technology has progressed the video camera has been upgraded with many unique recording options. One of the most convient options for ghost hunting included in most cameras today, is night vision. Night vision allows the camera to see in very low light situations where our eyes cannot. Having an IR (infra red) light attached to your camera can increase the effect of night vision without contaminating the investigation. A lot of video cameras also no longer use tapes, thus the evidence is all digital and can be sent directly to your computers hard drive for analysis and storage during the investigation.

2-Way Communication Devices

Depending on your budget, there are a wide array of 2-way communication devices you can choose from. Ranging from simple hand-held, 1 mile radius walkie-talkies, all the way up to headset models that allow much greater range and ease of use while investigating. Make sure to shop around when purchasing these devises, and get the best option for your group. There are 2 basic bands used by walkie talkies, FRS and GMRS. FRS stands for family radio service, has a range of 1-4miles and can be used without any extra permissions. GMRS stands for general mobil radio service. These have a range of 5miles and up and require permission granted by the FCC to be used. Depending on the band you use, some 2-way communication devises can be used to do something's you may not expect. Because they use radio frequencies to communicate with each other, its possible for these frequencies to manipulate other devises on the same frequency, such as turning a TV on or off, or opening a garage door.

Flash Lights

A flashlight is the most important piece of equipment to bring to an investigation. Trying to conduct an investigation in the dark without flashlights is impossible. Every member of your team should always be carrying one for safety reasons as well as making it easier to get readings from your equipment. You can also buy lens for your flashlights that will change the color they emit. Red is the easiest color for the human eye to adjust to in the dark and it is our suggestion.

DVR (Digital Video Recorder)

A DVR system is the backbone to any paranormal investigation. Its ability to allow multiple cameras to run simultaneously while recording everything they capture is undoubtedly the greatest asset a ghost hunting group can have. Most DVR systems comes with 4 IR (infra red) cameras and a large hard drive to hold hours of video you'll gather during an investigation. There are 2 main types of cameras used with a system like this. Wired cameras which you have to run wires too and wireless cameras which can be set up without extensive wiring. The wired cameras have a range only limited to the amount of wire you have and they tend to not lose signal, where as the wireless cameras are far easier to set up but occasionally will lose signal and may not have the range necessary for all investigations. The main objective of a DVR system, as with all your equipment, is to help catch proof of paranormal activity, and with its multiple cameras and storage capabilities it gives any investigator the flexibility to document the paranormal.

Thermal (Thermo) Imaging

A thermal imaging camera is the most advanced piece of ghost hunting equipment available. It is also the most expensive and for that reason most ghost hunting organizations do not use it. Its camera allows you to see an area through heat sources. Since most paranormal activity has some kind of temperature anomaly coinciding with it, this camera will allow you to actually see the temperature change. The base colors of a room (the colors that represent ambient temperature) are orange and yellow, so if any hot (red\white) or cold (blue\purple) spots appear on the camera you know there's a possibility there's paranormal activity taking place in that area.


Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) is an audio phenomena in which the supposed voices of spirits are heard on recording devices. It was originally thought that these voices were just part of the background sounds or hissing of tapes, but in recent years they have appeared on digital recording devices as well. Their appearence on digital recording devices, along with recent updates to digital analysis of sounds, have made them far more credible as legitimate paranormal activity.

Evolution of the EVP

In the 1920's in the United States, there was a large spiritual movement taking place. People were looking to all the new sources of technology and psychics to try and understand the afterlife. One of the biggest people main stream society was looking towards was the most prolific inventor of the time, Thomas Edison. In fact in two separate interviews to American Magazine and Scientific America in October of 1920, Edison told interviewers he was working on a devise capable of communicating with the personalities of people who have passed away. Although a device for this purpose created by Edison has never been found, many people believe he did create one and it has been lost to time.

The first true EVP on record was recorded by Friedrich Jurgenson, a filmmaker and artist from sweden, in 1959 while he was making a recording of bird songs. He was so intrigued by the voices he heard, he began taking numerous recording of silent locations trying to catch EVP's. He eventually even published a book on the subject called Voices from Space, in 1964. In 1967 he also published another book called, Radio-Link with the Dead, after having an EVP call him a private nickname that only his dead mother knew.

In 1964 a man by the name of Konstantian Raudive read Jurgenson's book, Voices from Space, and was so intrigued by it, he arranged to meet in person with the author. When they met, Raudive helped Jurgenson conduct his research, and although nothing useful was found for quite a while, Raudive wrote that one night he was listening to a tape and he clearly heard a number of voices speaking in multiple languages. After this Raudive began conducting his own experiments, which lead to over 100,000 audio recordings and took up much of the last 10 years of his life. Over this time period he conducted these experiments with the help of over 400 people and each one of them swears to have heard the voices. This lead to him publish a book in Germany in 1968 named "What is inaudible becomes audible", which was later translated to English in 1971 and the title changed to "Breakthrough". The majority of EVP collecting techniques were invented by Raudive, and in fact EVP's were originally called Raudive Voices. These men's research and study into EVP's and they're sources has helped propel the paranormal field of today.

Tips and tricks on how to record EVP:

1. If your using an analog tape recorder, be sure to purchase name brand tapes. The difference in price between the name brand and the generic store brands is well worth it. The named brand tapes offer higher quality play back.

2. Using an external microphone can help while recording EVP's. Sounds that attached microphones, such as motor noises, can be eliminated by using an external mic being held away from the recorder.

3. When starting an EVP session place your recording device on a level surface away from window and doors. Make sure its also not near any device that may emit sound that could be thought to be paranormal.

4.When beginning a session, stat your name, location, time, date, and weather conditions. Always use a clear, understandable voice tone. All dialogue during an EVP session should be directed towards the entity. Also, try to avoid any voice tone fluctuations, because any low or high pitched sounds could be mistaken for paranormal activity.

5. When recording outdoors, weather permitting (no wind), is a bit more difficult than recording indoors. This is where tagging becomes instrumental because there will be a lot more natural occurrences taking place that will need to be noted. This is good advice when investigating a location such as a cemetery.

6. Remember, ghosts don't come on queue. It can take many hours of EVP sessions to document credible activity. Getting frustrated won't help the situation, always remain calm and be patient.

7. Always be sure to "tag" any natural sounds made by the environment or yourself during an EVP session. So during the analysis these are not mistaken for paranormal.

8. Knowing your recording device's settings is a must. Anything that can amplify its recording ability, you should use.

9. Always remain as quite as possible after asking a question. The frequency spirits speak on is hard enough to hear without having to try to filter background sounds.

10. Many programs have the ability to help you listen and edit your EVP's. We have provided once such program for you to download in our downloads section.

11. The questions below are designed to get results when doing EVP sessions. It is never appropriate to challenge, threaten, or shout during the session to try to get activity going. Always remain calm and patient when asking questions. Don't forget to give the spirit time to answer your questions as well. We suggest waiting about 30 seconds between asking questions.

Is anyone here with us?
If you are here could you make your presence know?
Can you tell us your name?
Can you tell us how old you are?
Are you from this area?
How did you die?
Can you show yourself to us?

12. How to use your digital video recorder while doing EVP's

Make sure your video camera is on either a tripod or a sturdy surface, with the entire area in view. You and your partner should be standing away from the taped area while taping in order to give the spirit room to manifest itself. Ask your questions and be sure to request the spirit manifest itself, and you should be using your cameras to take snapshots of the area in the same direction your video camera is filming. Make sure shadow casting doesn't occur on your tape as well, by standing off to the side while filming.

13. Reviewing all the evidence you've collected can be a daunting task at times, especially when reviewing EVP's. Make sure your familiar with the audio program we've provided. It has many special features for enhancing sound, so be sure to read through the instructions thoroughly. It will be a major asset to your review. Always make sure before proclaiming anything valid evidence of the paranormal, to get multiple opinions and to rule out ALL possibilities of it being a natural occurrence.

Tagging is very important during review of the evidence. Sessions should always be tagged at the beginning and end. When you start a session you need to say your name, location, time, date, and weather conditions. During the session you need to tag any sounds you make or hear that have a natural explanation so the reviewer of the recording doesn't mistake something for the paranormal. You should also tag the end of a sessions, with your name again, location, and that the session is over.

Note: If your in doubt of your findings, you may always contact us here at Cold Spots, and we'll be more than happy to assist you.


Ghost photography 101

This is a basic review of ghost photography, and tips and tricks you need to know. All ghost hunters should know at least the basics to ghost photography, and this information will allow you the best chance to catch photographic paranormal evidence. Its also points out common things to do and not to do when trying to take photographs.

Getting started

Paranormal investigating in general is a gamble and trying to catch photographic evidence is no different. Just because it appears you have going to catch something doesn't mean you will. However, photos are still the most common way of capturing evidence of a ghost. Your camera should always be in good condition and with you at all times during an investigation. Its equally hard to catch photographic evidence whether its day or night, depending on the activity of the location and the natural conditions.

Type of camera's to use

You can use almost any camera to try to capture paranormal activity. Although we don't suggest it, even disposable cameras can be used in a pinch. The average consumer uses the "point and shoot" digital cameras that have some unique features. They range from 8 megapixel to 14 megapixel and they tend to be affordable. We believe its well worth the investment. You could also purchase a reasonable 35MM camera, it won't have all of the features the digital camera does, but it has the added benefit of using actual film which produces a negative.

Digital Camera's are a great tool for ghost hunters, but...

Digital cameras have many features 35MM cameras do not. They allow you to take far more photos in a given timeframe. They allow you to view your photos immediately. Plus they do not require film. However, since they don't have film its far harder to prove an image to be real that was taken with a digital camera. The negative produced by a 35MM camera can prove the most valuable photographic evidence you can have when trying to convince others your photos are real. For this reason its usually best to use the two types of cameras together. Using the digital camera to find any anomalies and then trying to use the 35MM camera to actually document them. No matter which camera you use, you should also be aware of certain weather conditions, such as strong wind, dust, pollen, and water vapor, which can give your cameras false anomalies. Trying to take photos in these conditions will make your evidence less credible.

Here are nineteen helpful tips:

1. You can find ghosts anywhere. They're not just limited to graveyards or that old house on the edge of town. They can be at your local library or recreational parks. Bring your camera with you everywhere you go at night and take a few shots. You maybe surprised with the results.

2.If your ghost hunting at night, make sure you have any night vision abilities on your camera active. If you don't, the images may come out distorted.

3. Make sure all your photos have a focus. Try not to take images of just open spaces. Having an object to focus on adds quality to your photo and allows light to have something to reflect off of.

4. When on an investigation take as many pictures as possible to up the chances of you catching an anomaly. Make sure to take photos if you have any strange EMF spikes, temperature drops, or hear strange noises.

5.Always remember never to take photos of shiny surfaces, such as mirrors, glass windows, and gravestones. These can create false images to appear in your photographs. Taking an image through a window can have the same effect, so try your best not to.

6.Keeping a clean lens is mandatory. If you have dirt or a smudge on your camera lens it can easily show up as an anomaly while reviewing the photos. Also remember this when reviewing the photos as a possible explanation for mist-like images.

7. Always keep track of your camera lens cap and camera strap. You don't want to see a apparition and take its photo, only to later realize you've left the lens cap on your camera, or the strap has obstructed the lens. Watch how your holding the camera as well, because a finger on or near the lens can also create a psudeo-paranormal anomaly.

8. Other ghostly anomalies can be caused by long hair falling in front of the lens. If you have long hair make sure to tie it back before starting to take photos.

9. Hazardous weather conditions can cause anomalies on photos that can appear to be orbs or other ghostly phenomena. Beware and look for things such as fog, rain droplets and dust in the air.

10. When taking images in the winter, take pictures away from you. Your breathing can cause anomaly such as mists or orbs to appear in your photos. Cigarette smoke can also cause these anomalies.

11. You should never take a photo in the direction of the sun or any other direct light source. This can cause an image anomaly called a "lens flair". Lens flairs are often mistaken for ghostly phenomena, so to avoid having any, try to keep whatever your light source is behind you.

12. Its always a good idea to take photos during EVP sessions. Spirits tend to become more active during EVP sessions making it more likely that you will catch something.

13. When taking photos, try to get as much of the area in your view as possible. Spirits are not limited to walking across the ground and a lot tend to hover several feet from the ground.

14. Its rare but can occur while taking photos, but you may come across an evil entity. Never dare a demonic entity to manifest itself. Never taunt or encourage any type of negative being. If you think an evil spirit is nearby, leave the area immediately.

15.Trusting your instincts when investigating can pay off. If you have an uneasy feeling in a location, take photos.

16.Remember ghosts were people too. They're willingness to communicate with people isn't that uncommon. Tip: when taking photos you can use a member of your group to try to attract ghosts to a location. Take photos of the person leaving enough space around them in the photo to make sure there's enough room to detect any anomalies.

17.The winter months tend to be more conductive for paranormal activity, as the atmosphere is more charged during those months, making it theoretically more plausible for ghosts to manifest themselves. Everyday activity slows down as well, making it easier to notice paranormal activity.

18.You must remember when taking photos at night, your flash has limitations to it. Usually in the area of 15 feet. If your trying to take a picture of something further away then that, its most likely going to come out extremely dark or not at all. Most cameras have an attachment that can add distance to your flash by making it brighter if you choose to use one.

19. Photographing the paranormal can be a rich and rewarding experience. Take careful note of the information above and you'll be well on your way to collecting your own photographic evidence of the paranormal.


There are many terms used to describe the paranormal and paranormal investigations. Some of the phrases and abbreviations can be very confusing to someone unfamiliar with ghosts and the paranormal. This list is provided by Cold Spots to help you understand some of the more common terms, phrases, and acronyms commonly used to describe ghosts, spirits and paranormal activity.

APPARITIONS: The spirit of a deceased person manifesting itself. The rarest form of paranormal phenomena, an apparition can appear as a full bodied person, part of a person, or as a white to gray to black mist. These are so rare, that only a handful have ever been documented.

AUTOMATIC WRITING:Generally attributed to external or supernatural forces. This phenomena can occur in an alert waking state or in a hypnotic trans, usually during a seaonce. Psychics and mediums are know to use this method when making contact with the dead.

COLD SPOT: A small, defined area of intense cold (at least 10 degrees colder than the surrounding area) that can not readily be explained by other natural or mechanical causes (e.g. air conditioning, a drafty window, ice or snow). In paranormal research the prevailing theory is that when an entity is trying to manifest itself it draws on many sources of energy. One of those sources is the heat energy in the air. As the entity draws the heat out of the air the area in that specific immediate location becomes unusually cold.

CLAIRAUDIENCE:A version of Extra Sensory Perception (ESP) where a person has the ability to hear things beyond the range of a normal person. People with this ability have the ability to "hear" the dead and is much less common than the claimed ability to see the dead.

DEMON:Religions and paranormal investigators have very different concepts of what demons are. The catholic faith defines demons as angels who fell from heaven and now reside in hell and have no greater purpose than to drive the living insane. Some paranormal research groups however believe demons to be a being from outside our realm of existence, they never walked the earth as most other spirits but they choose to torment people.

DEMONIC HAUNTING:A demonic haunting is caused by a non human spirit. These spirits tend to be violent and want nothing more than to cause trouble. Signs of this type of haunting usually start with the same signs of an intelligent or poltergeist haunting, simple banging and knocking and simple noises, but rapidly increase to far stronger activity. They seem to target people under extreme emotional stress, or who have their cognitive abilities impaired by alcohol or drugs. These non-human entities like to take advantage of people in these states, and will torment them to no end.

DEMONOLOGIST:A type of paranormal researcher who specializes in demons and non-human entities. Demonologists are usually tied to a religious group, as faith is believe to be able to rid people of these types of haunting's.

ECHOLALIA: A professional clinical word that means to repeat back what you hear. As applied to the paranormal field it means when a ghost or spirit repeats back something you have just said in order to show they are there and are trying to communicate with you. The words repeated back could be EVP questions or just casual conversation. It is not clear why an entity might repeat back your words rather than respond on their own. Perhaps it is easier/simply for an entity to repeat what it has heard rather than form new words.

EMF - Electro Magnetic Field: In it's natural form it is the natural electric field (sometimes thought of an an aurora) that is generated by all living things and many inanimate objects such as metals and certain minerals. EMF is also generated by man-made electric sources such as lights, radios and wires. In paranormal investigations the theory is that entities are largely composed of energy which may be electrically based. By trying to detect EMF it may be possible to locate an otherwise unseen entity. The stronger the EMF detected the potential greater the paranormal phenomena.

ENTITY: A generic term used to describe any ghostly being. Because its uncertain exactly what type of being causes each of the different types of haunting's, entity is used to describe all of them.

EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena: The hearing of unexplainable voices during the playback of a recording made on a electronic recoding device. The voices can not be readily identified as persons speaking or events (mechanical sounds, background noise etc) that took place while the record was being performed. Can be encountered on both tape and digital recorders. Sometimes also found on video recorders (not film however). See our articles on EVP theory and classification.

FEAR CAGE: A term used to describe a confined area such as a walk in closet, hallway or basement with very high EMF readings. The combination of being close and confined with in an area of strong EMF often brings out extremely great feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia and/or uncontrollable fear. When this occurs the best thing is to quickly and calmly leave the area and go to a more open area with lower EMF.

INTELLIGENT HAUNTING (GHOST): This type of a haunting is usually thought to be the spirit of a once living person and has chosen to let its presence be known. The interaction can range from simple to extreme. Starting with simple knocking or lights flickering that you may not even think is paranormal, to objects disappearing and reappearing in unusual places, to unexplained odors, and in the most extreme cases the appearance of full bodied apparitions.

IMPRINT (IMPRINTING): It is theorized that events and strong feelings/emotions can leave a copy or record of themselves on places (tunnels, rooms, fields etc) and objects (furniture, buildings, personal affects etc). Most notably this occurs when a sudden and violent death occurs such as a powerful accident, a murder or other crime, a war or battle area etc. The energy that is left can result in a non-intelligent haunting, usually a residual haunting. In these cases people often report seeing and hearing the same thing over and over like a tape playing, rewinding and playing again. Sometimes the event seems to be recorded on the specific location rather than a building, room or object. There have been cases reported where an imprint haunting has occurred in a building, the building is later totally demolished and a new one built (or the area just left vacant) but the haunting still continues. In the situation of imprinting on an object the haunting can follow the object through several owners. This is often reported with items purchased at a yard sale or flea market.

IR (INFRARED): Infrared light is light from the lower end (long wave length/low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum (between the visible light spectrum and microwaves). IR light is not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special equipment. IR is not to be confused with thermal imaging. While IR and thermal energy are both on the short end of the electromagnetic spectrum they are not the same thing. There is evidence that ghosts/spirits and other paranormal entities may be more susceptible to being viewed (including video and image photography) using the IR light spectrum. IR sensors are also often used for measuring temperature and detecting movement.

KINETIC ENERGY: Energy needed to force an object at rest into motion. Objects in motion have kinetic energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. As the kinetic energy diminishes it changes into potential energy.

"LIGHTS OUT" INVESTIGATION: A term for a paranormal investigation that takes place indoors at night with all the power to the area turned off. The reason for this is with all the power turned off, its far less likely you'll get false positives with the equipment and also allows for a subdued environment for the ghost to begin its activity.

MANIFESTATION: A spirit is believed to be made of pure energy. When that energy try's to bring itself into our realm, its said to be manifesting itself. This manifestation has been know to cause power drains from equipment, EMF spikes, and cold spots.

MIST: Some people believe a mist is a form of energy created by an entity. There are many theories about what a mist actually is, and some mists have been documented showing some signs of intelligence to them by the way they move. Unfortunately, its still unclear as to what mists actually are.

NECROMANCY (NECROMANCE): The attempt to conjure, summon or raise the dead in order to learn secrets and insights from the spirits. Usually intended to gain personal advantage or fortune over others. The person who is trying to perform the necromancy process is called a Necromancer. This deals heavily into the unsavory realm of magic, spells, and dark/forbidden witchcraft rituals. Can also be attempted with Tarot cards and Ouija boards. Regardless of the process used, necromancy is highly dangerous from the point of view that you are opening a doorway and have no idea what thing may come through and into your life!

NIGHT SHOT: A setting common on hand held video cameras. Originally it was a term used to describe the night vision (total darkness) recording capability of the Sony Handicam series of camcorders. This term has since become synonymous with meaning any night vision/total darkness video camera or recording device regardless of the manufacturer. The night shot feature uses a built-in IR (infra red) illumination source. An external IR illuminator can often be attached for additional viewing range.

NONHUMAN or INHUMAN SPIRIT: An entity (ghost or spirit) that is not the result of a human person that once lived on Earth. This category also includes angels, demons, devils etc. It is not known exactly where these kinds of entities come from but it is reasonably well accepted by the paranormal community these spirits are not from people who had lived on Earth and have since died. Encounters with non-human spirits is rare and usually dramatic. Extra care should always be used if dealing with a potential inhuman spirit!

ORB: Orbs appear to be a form of energy of an unknown origin. An orb can take different shapes. They can also be seen by the naked eye, but most of the time you only get orb sightings in photographs, and on video tape (VHS). They seem to defy gravity and change directions quickly. They seem to also twinkle. The presence of people make them react. They appear both indoors and outdoors. False orbs tend to be transparent and pale white, or blue. Real genuine orbs tend to appear dense or brighter on film. To increase the probability of you getting a photograph of a genuine orb, it is good to take the photograph at the same time as other unusual phenomenon are experienced, such as sharp changes in temperature, and increases in electromagnetic energy. In a genuine orb there is a nucleus. It has concentric circles or bands within. It can be active in visible realm, but more active in infrared. They appear abundantly in supposed haunted locations. Drops of rain, specks of dust, insects, reflections, as well as many other things can be mistaken for orbs.

PARANORMAL: Events above the normal or everyday experiences. Events that can not be readily explained by known conventional reasons and/or commonly accepted science. Not to be confused with Supernatural that implies a deity explanation.

POLTERGEIST: The basic definition for a poltergeist was founded in 1838 in Germany, and it means a disembodied spirit or supernatural force credited with certain malicious or disturbing phenomena. Reports of this phenomena include, unexplainable noises, breaking of household items, windows and doors slamming shut, and also loud rapping.

RESIDUAL HAUNTING:A residual haunting is a paranormal phenomenon that appears to have no intelligence. The energy will appear at the same time, place, and\or weather conditions as if it is a video being played back by some force of nature. You cannot interact with a residual haunting. A residual haunting's energy will appear completely oblivious to its surroundings and will even walk through objects and walls that weren't there at the time of the "recording".

SHADOWS: (Shadow Beings, Shadow Entities) Shadows refer to the possible paranormal apparition which appears as a dark human-form manifestation. We say "possible" paranormal apparition since the true nature of this type of paranormal event is still unknown and the subject of much research.

SUPERNATURAL: Events or happenings generally attributed to the will of a deity. Usually includes the concept of angels, demons/devils, and other G-d-like creatures.

TELEKINESIS (Telekinetic power): The ability to manipulate physical objects using the body’s static electrical charges. Chi is the Asian term for telekinesis. Psychic extension of the person transported through the electrical field surrounding the individual. More commonly known as a persons' ability to move object with just their mind and thoughts.

TOUCHED: The act of experiencing physical contact from a ghost, spirit or other paranormal entity. Can be as simple as a tug in your shirt or pressure on a part of your body to scratches, burns or being pushed/shoved. However, serious physical injury is very rare.

ULTRAVIOLET (UV): Ultraviolet light is light from the upper end (long wave length/low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum. As with Infrared light, UV light is normally not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special viewing or photography equipment. Some paranormal investigators have experimented with using UV light to take video of ghosts and other paranormal entities. The results have been indeterminate. Other paranormal investigators have claimed UV light is an effective barrier to block demonic entities.

VORTEX: Vortices, Vortexes: A concentrated yet brief area of high electromagnetic energy often found in photographs taken at paranormally active locations. The often appear as sold (opaque) white or silver tubes, rods, or elongated ovals. They can also appear to be braided like a rope or chain (care has to be take to ensure it is not a rope, chain, camera strap etc). A vortex is not an entity. However, some paranormal researchers believe a vortex is a momentary doorway or portal to another realm that allows entities and other paranormal phenomena to come into our world. Some researchers also believe vortexes are linked to the Earth's own electromagnetic field which at least in part help determine when these portals open/close. It is also believed that some locations are more prone to having active vortices due to the alignment of the Earth's magnetic field and local geological structure.

WHITE NOISE: White noise is the random nondescript static sound produced by various electronic devices. The sound covers and combines all wavelengths and frequencies. In this way it is like the color white which is really a combination of all colors. Hence the name white noise – the combination of all sounds. Examples of common white noise sources are the radio or television static when set to an empty channel, the hum of an electric fan motor and the babbling sound of a fast moving stream or brook.