I hope you’ve been enjoying my weekly short stories. This week I’m shifting gears. Why? Because…
This means you have lots of time to go swimming, ride bikes, and — hunt for ghosts! Ghost hunting isn’t just about sneaking into abandoned buildings late at night. Actually, some of the BEST places to look for ghosts are historic sites you can tour with family and friends. Places like Alcatraz Island in California or the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania. If your family is planning a trip this summer to some cool, historic sites, it might be fun to search for ghosts, too! To make the most of your ghost hunting adventures, S.P.I.R.I.T. kid, Agnes Smit, put together this great article with helpful tips and information.
Hi fellow Ghost Hunters! I’m Agnes Smit. I help our team, the S.P.I.R.I.T. kids, gather information about all the places we investigate. What you might not know is we use the S.T.E.A.M. lessons we learn in school to help us solve all kinds of mysteries, from UFO sightings over Lake Strano, to, of course, ghost sightings!
S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. These lessons have taught us how to search for clues, gather evidence, and find answers! These skills are so easy to use, I’ve created these 5 simple tips on how to hunt for ghosts in places you can visit with family and friends.
TIP #1: KNOW YOUR HISTORY!
EVERY haunted location has a history. Knowing that history can help you plan the “science.” What do I mean? Let’s say you take a trip to Chicago and tour Wrigley Field. You might think it’s just a ballpark. But, it’s actually the most haunted ballpark in America! Some people claim the dugout is haunted by the ghost of former Cubs manager Charlie Grimm, who managed the team in the 1940s. By knowing this before you visit, when the tour stops in the dugout you can be ready to search for clues of the ghost of old Charlie. No matter where you visit, this kind of research can help you figure out:
- What rooms to focus on
- What time of day the ghost is most active
- What kind of ghost to look for
It’s so easy to find information nowadays. Your local librarian, your parents, even your teachers, can help you find anything you need both online and in books.
TIP #2: QUESTION EVERYTHING!
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions.” That’s the motto of my friend, and fellow S.P.I.R.I.T. kid, Matt Romero. His mom was a news reporter and so he knows how important it is to ask questions and get answers. If you find yourself touring a place like Independence Hall in Philadelphia, for example, make sure you ask your Tour Guide questions like:
- How old is the building?
- Who lived and died here?
- Has anything strange ever happened here?
And, if you’ve followed tip #1, you may already have an idea of what haunts the location. This is a good time to ask your Tour Guide about it! Tour Guides love to answer ghost questions and, sometimes, will even share with you personal ghost stories, or stories they’ve heard over the years.
TIP #3: USE TECHNOLOGY!
If you Google search “tools for hunting ghosts,” you’re going to be very confused. There are many different tech tools out there that professional ghost hunters like to use. For example, an Electromagnetic Field Meter, or EMF Meter, can detect disturbances of the electromagnetic field of a room. What does that mean? It’s not easy to explain, which means this is NOT a tool for you…right now. To get started hunting ghosts, you only need two simple tech tools:
- Tape recorder
Now, if you have a smart phone you may have both in one. But sometimes having a true tape recorder and camera can be better. You can use these tools to help you record sounds and snap photos in haunted places so you can go back later and see if you found anything that you may not have seen or heard in person.
TIP #4: EXPLORE & INVESTIGATE
Now that you know where you’re investigating, got answers to your questions, and have your tech tools ready, it’s time to start exploring! Remember, every place has rules! So make sure you understand and follow them. Some places may not allow you to roam around on your own, but if you’re lucky, the places you visit might let you. One of my FAVORITE places to visit is Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. It’s an old prison filled with ghosts! Here you’re allowed to explore the prison on your own. You can go inside prison cells and wander the old prison yard. It’s a great place to hunt for ghosts! As you explore, take pictures, turn your tape recorder on inside haunted rooms to pick up strange sounds, and take notes. And, if you’re brave enough, try asking the ghosts questions and see if they answer.
TIP #5: RECORD AND ANALYZE!
Everyone does this differently. I use my computer tablet to record all my notes while on an investigation. My brother Hans has a very detailed spreadsheet on his computer at home. Maya jots down all her observations in a notebook (with drawings!). And Matt speaks his notes into his tape recorder. But no matter what your method is, it’s important to record your findings.
When you get home, go through all your pictures and listen to all your recordings. Things to look for are:
- Strange clear balls floating in photos
- Knocking or tapping sounds on recordings
If you find anything unusual and don’t know what it is, do some research or ask for help! Your parents might be able to solve your mystery. So can a teacher, or maybe even a friend’s parent or other relative. Don’t be upset if many of the weird stuff you find is proven to be something like a squirrel in a wall (yes, that has happened). It’s very hard to determine what might be caused by a ghost — but that’s why we keep investigating!
If you visit some historic haunted sites this summer, be sure to follow our Ghost Hunting Rules and the tips in this article. Also, remember to NEVER go any place you’re not allowed, and ALWAYS go with a friend or family member.
Hope you enjoyed this article! Come back next week for a BRAND NEW story.