• Colin Browen

4 Ghost Hunting Tips from a Paranormal Investigator | LEARN PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION TECHNIQUES

Payton and I explaining the devices we use in one of our episodes.

So, you want to be a ghost hunter? Are you looking to begin, sitting there thinking, "Where the hell do I start?" Being a paranormal investigator that has been to hundreds of haunted hotspots over the years, I've learned a thing or two about what this unknown energy seems to respond to, what it likes, and what it doesn't like. Here is a quick run-through of just a few things I've learned from my own experiences about the best ways to conduct investigations.


The biggest mistake that I see most often in people new to the paranormal investigation field is make is being impatient. Going on these paranormal investigations, you are NOT going to see women in white dresses floating around graveyards, you will NOT hear extremely clear spirit voices whispered in your ear and you will NOT be attacked by demons. At least not at first.

I've spent nights in some of the scariest places in the world, from the world's "most haunted forest" to the "most haunted home in America", and during half of those nights, I've barely experienced any activity whatsoever. There will be times during your investigations where hours will pass and absolutely nothing will happen. You probably won't feel anything either- the area will just seem dead, and you will want to give up.


I've spent hours in places in search of activity, gotten no responses from the spirits and caught myself thinking "I just want to go home". However, every time I tell myself "Just wait five more minutes, it's going to happen, they're going to come out", and almost every time, after waiting for a while, something will happen, and often times the longer you wait for the activity the crazier it ends up being.

Just be patient. Allow the spirits or the energy to warm up to you and your group, and if they don't show their presence right away, don't take that as a bad sign. Just keep pressing on, and eventually, I'm sure that something will happen (but even if it doesn't, that's OK too).

#2. Don't expect too much.

As I stated in the previous tip, don't go into these paranormal investigations expecting to see mind-bending paranormal activity. Even if you travel to some one of the "most haunted" places in the United States, you aren't very likely to have an insane life-changing experience in the few hours that you are at the location that day/night.

If you are looking to begin your own personal journey into the world of paranormal investigating, you have to realize one common truth early on- nothing is going to be as crazy as you think it is going to be. You just have to get used to it. Hollywood portrays the

Checking out EMF fields with our meters.

paranormal completely opposite of what it is in real life. Often times, investigations can be a bit boring. A little dry. It's hours of waiting for even the smallest of signs. But to me, it's when you capture these minute signs that really do mean something that you finally feel like you are apart of something bigger.

I'm not religious, but after doing years of investigations I know that there is something out there, no matter what you want to call it or what label you want to attach to it. There is an energy, and it does manifest in various places. It may not be as violent or palpable as you are hoping it will be, but even getting the smallest of signs should excite you as you are connecting with something beyond our plane of existence, something that nobody understands.

#3. Use your head! Debunk frequently.

Most of the "activity" that you are going to think that you are capturing during your investigations is going to be caused by something much scarier than a ghost- human error.

I know that it's not very fun to constantly debunk everything that happens, but you are in this to find real proof of the paranormal, to find these truths out on your own and to discover things that no one has ever discovered before, not to claim every noise you hear was caused by spirits or that every sound on your voice recorder you hear was as ghost.

To be the most effective paranormal investigator that you can possibly be, you just need to constantly be on the lookout for things that could be causing the activity that you are seeing. If you're getting a huge spike on your EMF meter, maybe hold the meter to the walls or the floor to see if there are any electrical signals that could be causing the spike. If a door or window opens by itself, go manipulate it and experiment to see if maybe the wind or a faulty hinge could have caused it to swing open.

At the same time that you must be skeptical, however, you must keep an open mind. Just because you could potentially explain an event, that doesn't mean that you've chosen the correct explanation. The human brain finds comfort in explanation and rationality, and by choosing to be a paranormal investigator, at times you are going to have to step beyond the threshold of reason and begin to reason on your own, to draw your own conclusions.

#4. Take a step back, and recognize patterns.

At this point in my life, I don't believe in coincidences anymore. I've had too many bizarre things happen in my life to still believe that none of them have meant a thing.

For example, one thing that Payton and I always bring up in our videos is the fact that we have lights turn off above us all the time. It happens every week, multiple times. Street lights will shut off, lights in buildings will burn out, lamps will suddenly die. We don't know why this happens exactly, but after it happened the first ten or twenty

Using a K2 meter.

times, both Payton and I took a step back and thought about it, then recognized that there was a pattern to this activity and have now begun to study it. This is going to be integral to your paranormal research.

What I say to everyone that asks for advice in researching the paranormal is to always look for patterns. Maybe when you're out investigating a building, you record a spike on your EMF meter at the same time that you hear a bang from the other room. When you record more than one unexplainable event at a time, you can begin to correlate these events and draw conclusions. Then, once you recognize the pattern, begin to test it out in person. Ask for the energy to manifest another noise or sound, and at the same time keep your eyes fixated on the EMF meter, watching for another spike. It's in these correlations between events where paranormal activity lives and breathes.

At the end of the day, just get out there and start investigating. There is no "how-to" guide for investigating the paranormal. You just have to feel it out for yourself, develop your own methods of poking and prodding the energy then figure out the best way that you can record your findings. For some, a camera is necessary, for others, a journal where you can write your experiences or even simply the paranormal experiences themselves which live on in your mind are enough. Just get out there, and get hunting, and as always, STAY SPOOKY.

COLIN BROWEN is the host of "THE PARANORMAL FILES" on YouTube.

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