If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, if there’s something weird and it don’t look good… are you the one your neighbours call to deal with it?
Well, then you have just the right type of disposition to become a ghost hunter or, if you want to sound slightly more legit, a paranormal investigator.
Sound like fun? Let’s take a look at the nitty gritty details of this truly terrifying profession.
Ghost hunters offer investigative services to people who suspect paranormal activity may be taking place in their homes, places of work etc.
Contrary to what we may want to believe from growing up on Ghostbusters, paranormal investigators typically don’t actually get rid of any unwanted presences. They merely conduct various tests to establish whether an area is haunted or not (assuming you believe in such things).
Of course, ghost hunting is an extremely niche service, with many people being rather sceptical about its worth and the actual ‘science’ behind it. So, having a thick skin is of the utmost importance for this job.
Okay, so you’re pretty serious about being a ghost hunter, but first, want to educate yourself properly.
Good news! There are actually quite a number of ghost hunting courses you can sign up for.
Here are a few to consider:
Diploma in Ghost Hunting from Open College UK
Details: This distance learning course is an ideal and practical guide to ghost hunting and exploring haunted houses. A suitable course for anyone wishing to set up and organise your own ghost hunting exercise providing an essential list of must-haves in the way of investigative equipment. Step-by-step guide on ideal locations is provided.
Check out the Open College UK site for more info.
How to Become a Paranormal Investigator with Paranormal Academy
Details: The course covers everything from the types of spirits you are likely to encounter, the equipment you will use, how to carry out an investigation, handy downloadable templates you will need to document your findings and how to set up your own paranormal group and business.
Check out the Paranormal Academy website for more info.
Introduction to Ghost Hunting with Hallowfields
Details: In December 2017, Hallowfields Ghost Hunting Academy opened to new students. All of their courses are written by Fiona Broome and accessible for free online. The first (and most complete) is Introduction to Ghost Hunting. It is a four-part course. Most students will complete those lessons in about four weeks – one week per lesson.
Check out the Hallowfields website for more info.
Shadowing an experienced ghost hunter
Details: As with most other jobs and trades, the best way to learn is to work closely with a mentor who has been in the industry for many years. If you don’t know any ghost hunters personally, there are various paranormal investigator societies you can join. This is a great way to connect with fellow newbies as well as experienced and even celeb ghost hunters!
Start by checking out The Ghostfinder Paranormal Society.
So, now that you have that qualification behind your name, it’s time to equip yourself properly and set up your business.
These are a few of the most common pieces of equipment serious ghost hunters use on a regular basis:
- Electromagnetic field (EMF) Meter
- Laptop/tablet to record data from the EMF Meter, as well as to conduct your research
- Various cameras, including digital, night vision and infrared
- Digital and analogue voice recording equipment to pick up any unexplained noises or voices. But also to record interviews with people living/working on the possibly haunted property.
- Infrared or ultrasonic motion sensors. This can help detect possible unexplained movements within a given area.
- Geiger counter to measure fluctuations in radiation
- Access to a reliable vehicle. How else are you going to get to haunted locations?
As you can tell from the lengthy list of equipment above, setting up your ghost hunting business certainly will not be cheap.
In a 2016 interview with The Telegraph, celebrity ghost hunter Barri Ghai said: “ I’ve spent thousands on this stuff over the years. You can buy the equipment on Amazon now, but you’re talking £200-£300 a pop. It’s expensive kit. Especially if you drop it.”
Apart from the cost of the equipment, bear in mind that your jobs may take you well beyond your neighbourhood, which means you will also be spending quite a bit of money on fuel and travel.
In other words, the best way to start your own ghost hunting business is to do it on the side, while still working a normal daytime job. This way, you have the guarantee of a steady income and can work towards saving up for more expensive equipment.
Don’t forget that you will have to register your business before taking on any clients!
Okay, so here’s the thing. It seems to be bad ghost hunting protocol to charge clients for your work.
According to a piece by Fiona Broome on Hollow Hill, most professional ghost hunters only charge for the travel costs involved.
“If the site is planning to use my research to improve their business (such as a restaurant or hotel that wants to claim they have ghosts), a fee may be involved. It depends on whether I’m intrigued by the location,” she writes.
So, basically, you need to think of ghost hunting as a kind of service to society. Like you’ve signed up to be a volunteer cop or a fireman.
There are, of course, loads of other ways you can make money from your ghost hunting knowledge.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Run ghost hunting workshops/courses
- Take people on ghost hunting excursions
- Start a blog or YouTube channel and actively work to get sponsors
- Write a book about your ghost hunting experiences
That way you can do your duty for free and still make money from it.
Good luck out there!