How to Catch Ghosts

Three Parts:Locating GhostsConfirming the Presence of a GhostCatching Ghosts

Catching ghosts is a tricky business -- you need to know where to look for them, how to confirm their presence and the best ways to capture them. You also need a strong tolerance for fear! If this sounds like fun to you, keep reading after the jump.

Part 1
Locating Ghosts

Before you can catch a ghost, you first need to know where to find one. Luckily, most places will have an abundance of haunted spots -- from ancient cemeteries and abandoned schools, to old battlefields and former insane asylums.

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    Look for ghosts in old houses. Old houses (like 100 or 200 years old, not from the 1970s) are good places to look for ghosts.
    • Sometimes when a person dies, their spirit will return to the place where they died or a place they can't bear to leave behind, which is often their family home.
    • These spirits are not usually malevolent (unless their death was violent), so household ghosts are a good place to start for the rookie ghost hunter.
    • Just be sure to get permission before you go ghost hunting on private property.
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    Look for ghosts in cemeteries. Cemeteries are another good location for ghost catching, even if they can be a little creepy at night!
    • Sometimes, ghosts cannot bear to leave their physical bodies behind after death, while other spirits (particular those who haven't been able to move on) come to visit the graves of their family and friends.
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    Look for ghosts in old schools. Some of the best locations for ghosts are places where large numbers of tragic deaths occurred, such as old schools, prisons, and asylums.
    • Not all schools are haunted, but you may have an old school building in your area where students or teachers died due to tragic accidents like fires or smoke inhalation (this was more common in the days when classrooms were heated by iron stoves).
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    Look for ghosts in old prison buildings. Old prison buildings are places where many prisoners may have died due to old age, illness, murder or the death sentence.
    • Even if prisoners didn't die there, prison may have been a place of intense loneliness, fear and anger for some people, causing their spirits to return there after death.
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    Look for ghosts in former insane asylums. Insane asylums were notorious for their mistreatment of patients, using inhumane treatments such as shock therapy, water submersion and lobotomies and causing much unnecessary pain and suffering for the unfortunate victims. This makes the sites of old insane asylums a prime location for ghosts.
    • Be warned, however -- these spirits may be angry and violent, seeking retribution for their poor treatment in life.
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    Look for ghosts in former battlefields. Sites where a large number of deaths occurred are a popular location for ghosts, especially if those deaths were violent. This makes the locations of former battles (even if they have since been built over) prime ghost-hunting territory.
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    Look for ghosts at the site of a murder or accident. As mentioned already, people who died tragic or violent deaths are more likely to return to our world as spirits.
    • Therefore, if you are familiar with the location of a murder or a tragic accident (such as a car crash, drowning or fatal fall), this could be a good spot to test your ghost hunting prowess.
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    Listen to local folklore. The most haunted locations in a specific area will depend on the history of each place and the number of paranormal experiences local people have reported.
    • Therefore, it's a good idea to listen to talk to people and do some research in the local library to find out where to look.
    • Many cities and towns will have their very own haunted bridge, road or tunnel where decades-worth of unusual activity has been reported.[1]

Part 2
Confirming the Presence of a Ghost

Even if you find the most haunted place in town, a ghost isn't just going to announce its presence (well, most of the time). Therefore, you will need to gather a selection of ghost-hunting equipment which you can use to confirm the ghost's presence and pinpoint its exact location before catching it.

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    Use a manual camera. A manual camera is preferable to a digital one as you will have greater control over the exposure, making you more likely to catch a snap of the ghost. The ghost may appear as a blur or streak of light in the developed photograph.
    • In addition, paranormal activity tends to interfere with the operation of electrical equipment, making a digital camera unreliable.
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    Use a camcorder. A camcorder can also be used to catch a glimpse of any unusual shapes or activity at your chosen ghost-catching location.
    • Make sure to start recording at the beginning of the session and leave the camcorder running until the end. It will be easier if you set the camcorder on a tripod for the duration of the session.
    • If your camera has a night-vision feature make sure to turn it on, as this will make spotting a ghost that much easier.
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    Use a tape recorder. Sometimes a tape recorder will pick up on sounds that you wouldn't normally be able to hear. These sounds will only reveal themselves when you play the tape back.
    • Keep in mind that you may have to slow down or speed up the playback or use headphones in order to make sense of what you're hearing.
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    Use an EMF detector. An EMF (electromagnetic field) detector measures changes or disruptions to surrounding electrical fields, which may indicate the presence of a ghost.
    • Good EMF detectors can pick up on disturbances across a wide range of frequencies.
    • EMF detectors can be purchased online, for anywhere between $20 and several hundred dollars.
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    Use other specialist equipment. Other specialist equipment that may benefit the serious ghost-hunter includes:
    • An infrared thermal scanner, which is used to detect hot or cold spots caused by energy-sucking ghosts.
    • An air ion counter, which measures the number of positive and negative ions in the air. Ghosts are believed to emit a high quantity of positive ions.
    • However, these items are expensive and will require a certain amount of specialist knowledge in order to interpret the results.
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    Download a ghost hunting app. In recent years, many ghost hunting phone apps have become available, which claim to do the work of expensive, specialist ghost-hunting equipment.
    • The more advanced apps include EMF detectors, audio detectors and EVP (electronic voice phenomena) instruments and other ghost-detecting capabilities.
    • The reliability of these apps is the subject of heated debate, and many people consider them just scams or jokes. However, if you're not willing to invest in more expensive equipment, you might want to try them out.[2]
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    Look out for any paranormal activity. Aside from relying on electrical equipment, you'll need to be alert to any physical indications that a ghost may be present.
    • Watch out for items falling or moving location, seemingly of their own accord.
    • Keep an ear out for unusual and unexplained noises, such as bangs or thumps.
    • Pay attention to any sudden changes in temperature, or for general feelings of unease or feeling "spooked".

Part 3
Catching Ghosts

For some people, identifying the presence of a ghost is enough to satisfy them, while others will want to go one step further and actually capture the ghost. Make sure you think long and hard before attempting to catch a ghost -- you don't want to end up haunted for life! If you do decide to go ahead with it, use one of the two methods outlined below.

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    Use the box and burial method. If you want to lay a troubled spirit to rest, you should use this method.
    • Take a metal container with a tight-fitting lid and cover the bottom with a layer of soil taken from hallowed ground, such as a church or cemetery.
    • Leave the container open at the location where you found the ghost. The sanctified soil will draw the spirit in.
    • Once you have used your ghost-detection apparatus to confirm that the spirit has entered the container, slowly and gently replace the lid, then sprinkle a pinch of salt on top.
    • Bury the container in hallowed ground.
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    Use the candle method. The candle method is good for trapping pesky spirits who are causing trouble around the home.
    • Take a large glass jar, open the lid and place a candle inside. At midnight, light the candle and place the jar in a central point at the haunted location.
    • The ghost will be attracted by the energy emitted by the burning candle, but this energy will also trap the ghost inside the jar.
    • Once you have confirmed the ghost's presence inside the jar, tightly replace the lip. The candle will burn out on its own.
    • Keep the jar tightly sealed as long as you wish to hold the ghost captive. If the jar is opened or broken, the spirit will be released and might come to exact revenge on its captor! [3]


  • Always stay with a friend! Your imagination may overcome you so you need a friend to stay with.
  • Have a journal. Now if you are talking to the ghost, use body language like waving your hand to say hi. Never say something mean to a spirit, because it may be an evil spirit.


  • Evil spirits can give you concussions and break bones. Exercise caution when you discover yours is a strong spirit.
  • Your paranormal happenings may grow stronger. That is when you call the professionals.
  • If your paranormal happenings grow stronger, stay out of the house, or somewhere in your house that isn't haunted.

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