The Unexplained: How to Hunt for Ghosts

Seminars on ghost hunting have been held at The University of Arkansas.

In the last 60 years, science has entered the mysterious field of paranormal research.

What deems a place to be haunted by spirits?  Instead of trying to prove something is haunted, paranormal investigators have learned through time that it is first best to find all of the possible things that could be causing the haunting. 

At the top of the list is fraud, then comes hysteria or mental impairment, then comes the natural workings of geophysics.  There are these and many other possibilities to eliminate first, in determining paranormal vs. normal.

So many haunted buildings and structures exist in Olde London Towne, that investigators decided that a common process could be causing the haunting in all of them—some geophysical process, possibly.  It is known that at least 20 of  London’s  haunted structures are resting atop deep subterranean waterways. 

Could periods of heavy rain have caused hydraulic pressure to build up underground?  It could cause the structures to rise up, even tilt, then, settle back down during pressure-drop.  This could easily generate creaking, popping, or rumbling noises.

If one side had lifted up, then settled back down, this could even cause movement inside the structure and actually cause items inside to fly about, move, or roll.  

Many haunted places in Scotland are situated on shifting limestone which probably contributed to the many reports of ghostly activity there.  One of the most famous hot spots is Ballechin House that has a long history of both hauntings, and prominent residents.

In the last 60 years, science has entered the field of paranormal research.  John Cutten invented a machine called the Vibrograph.  It had the ability to detect movements in the air or on the ground.  In the mid-1960s, researcher, G. W. Lambert of the Society for Psychical Research enlisted the help of Cutten and his machine to detect vibrations and movements near the Tower of London and other creepy hot spots.

The Vibrograph did not disappoint.  It detected activity.  It discovered huge amounts of vibrational movement in, or near, these places.  In following the protocol mentioned above, their investigations led them to the fact that the ancient structures were shifting in response to subsurface hydraulic pressure.

The Vibrograph was designed to suit many purposes, but early paranormal activity detection was one way that it was applied.  It could be considered an early ghost-detector. 

There are many more now, and some you can order from Amazon or other outlets.  Specialty companies make even more sophisticated equipment, but you can get set up with basics for under $150.  If you want to find a real spirit entity or evidence of a haunting, who you gonna call?  See below.  Online outlets have for you:

  • • Infrared thermometer gun that helps you detect hot or cold spots in a room.  Aim the gun for a digital read-out.
  • • Digital voice recorder—tiny and efficient
  • • Electromagnetic field detector (EMF Sensor)
  • • Night Vision Camera—for sharp images, even in total darkness
  • • Ghost Box (this one is new to me)—sweeps AM, FM radio frequencies to clear a pathway for ethereal voices
  • • Your standard Ghost Meter
  • • S-Box Scanner with Spirit Box an EVP Recorder
  • • The Whole Shebang—you can get an amateur Paranormal Kit that includes variations of many of the above gadgets in a nice case for about $149.  This kit does not get the great reviews that some of the individual gadgets get.

Don’t overlook some good books on ghost hunting, with that very title, by Melissa Martin Ellis and Rich Newman.  There is even one called Ghost-hunting for Dummies by Zak Bagans.

Until we have the subterranean hydraulic pressure angle worked out I guess my favorite hauntings will be the ones where lights come on by themselves—like say in an ancient lighthouse, or when a ghost decides to do some slate-writing, right in front of me.     -SMH

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Quite Curious, a collection of true stories about the unknown and unexplained. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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