How to Tell if You Can See Ghosts

Three Parts:Discovering the ParanormalGoing on a Ghost HuntUsing Your Own Abilities to Detect Ghosts

Some people believe they can see ghosts, or they have experienced something they can't explain. Science may offer answers for these paranormal phenomena, but that isn't enough for believers. If you're a believer, and you think you may be able to see ghosts, the only thing to do is search for the truth. Find a place to search, bolster your courage, and start exploring the other side.

Part 1
Discovering the Paranormal

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    Research paranormal activity. There are centuries of findings to look through on the topic of hauntings. Before you go running off to find ghosts, make sure you know what you're looking for. You will want to research the common forms ghosts come in, and places where they are typically found.[1]
    • A basic definition of a ghost is a human or animal figure that has been seen, but can't be physically present.
    • When several unexplained experiences happen in one location, a haunting occurs. Hauntings are often associated with a specific location.
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    Read about haunted places. Familiarize yourself with the stories behind each place. Most of the stories will feature death and grisly details. Make sure you're comfortable doing this kind of research. In the last decade, there have been a string of self-published books on the local level which talk about hauntings in lesser known regions of the country.[2][3]
    • The Tax Assessor's Office can give you historical information about places in your area.
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    Determine what is and isn't a ghost. If you see someone in "old fashioned clothes," or a figure which looks transparent, it may not be a ghost. If you're in a locked room, alone, and you see a figure, it's much more likely that you've seen a ghost.[4]
    • Many accounts describe ghosts as being unaware of, or unconcerned with people. If the figure is doing something odd to get your attention, it may not be a ghost.
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    Find out what type of spirit it is. There are two major types of spirits: lingering human presences and residual hauntings. The first type is 95% of ghosts, which are the typical relics of a human presence. The second is much more dangerous, a ghost which has stayed in the location for retribution. Talk to people who live nearby the location, or read their blog entries online. If they are talking about physical attacks, then most likely a residual haunting is present.[5]
    • The importance of this is that while residual hauntings are more dangerous, they are also more pronounced. This means that they will be easier to detect when you go on a ghost hunt.
    • If you decide to find a residual haunting, make sure to take extra safety precautions. This might mean wearing goggles, gloves, extra padding under your clothes, etc. Always carry a safety kit with you.
    • Often times people mistake dust, or creaks in the floor board for ghosts. You have to be extremely critical when it comes to determining whether what you see/hear is a ghost.
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    Talk to paranormal societies. There are paranormal societies all over the place, many of which conduct investigations. If you can't find a paranormal society in your area, check online and find a group to correspond with.[6]
    • A paranormal society does more than investigate hauntings. They work with the community to help those that have experienced a paranormal event.[7]
    • Paranormal societies will be able to help you determine the best places to look for ghosts, and what exactly to look for.

Part 2
Going on a Ghost Hunt

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    Plan your trip. The only way to test your ability to see ghosts is to go look for them. For the best results, find a place that has reports of ghost sightings. If you can't find a haunted place in your area, try visiting a graveyard.[8][9]
    • Don't go ghost hunting alone. Take some friends with you. Let someone who isn't going know where your group is investigating. This way you will have protection, as well as another pair of critical eyes.
    • Make sure you aren't trespassing on anyone's property. If you're going to be in an outside location, such as a graveyard, observe the posted rules. If you want to investigate private property, contact the owners to ask for permission. If they say no, then find another spot.
    • Visit the location during the day to get a feel for the place. You may want to plan an escape route in case of emergencies.
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    Get your gear together. You don't need fancy equipment to detect ghosts, though you may want to invest in some if you plan to do this often. For starters, a camera (video and picture), a flashlight, and a notebook should be just fine. An audio recorder is highly recommended. Don't forget a first-aid kit as well.[10]
    • Make sure you have a completely charged cellphone with you. However, keep your phone turned off so it doesn't interfere with any audio equipment you may be using.
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    Visit the site. Walk around the area with your group and take note of the surroundings. Take pictures, start recording with audio devices, and make note of anything strange. Document the weather and what time you started investigating.[11]
    • Take turns investigating different areas to give everyone in your group an opportunity for discovery.
    • Ghost hunting can take a considerable amount of time and it's possible you may not get any real results. Keep an open mind and know that most of what you see is the result of a natural occurrence.[12]
    • Ask witness of their experiences with the paranormal at the location you chose. This can harrow down your focus so that you aren't looking everywhere for ghosts; you can focus on a couple of rooms.
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    Set your equipment up. First, choose certain rooms you want to focus in. Place your video camera on a tripod in your top priority location. You can place audio recorders elsewhere in three or four places. Make sure that there is no visible or audible obstruction.[13]
    • Thermal scanners are great for detecting temperature variations in a room. Place one in a room where the temperature is room temperature, about 70 degrees. It will be easier to detect fluctuations here, rather than in a cold basement or hot attic.
    • You can use motion detectors as well. Place them on the wall about chest level. Once more, make sure that there is no obstruction.
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    Review everything. Look at every picture and read through all your notes. Share everything with your group. If you recorded anything, now is the time to watch and listen to it. Expect the review process to take at least as long as the investigation. It will probably take much longer.[14]
    • If you discover anything odd, compare it to your other notes. If you hear strange sounds in the audio, note the time. Cross-reference it with any video you may have recorded in the same area. Look at any photos taken at the same time.
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    Be patient. The review process is a long one. It's important to stay focused during analysis to ensure you don't miss anything important.[15]
    • Not everything odd will be paranormal. Most things you encounter will be natural occurrences. Don't jump to conclusions just because you want to discover something.[16]
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    Keep investigating. In your effort to discover if a place is haunted, search for solid evidence. If you find something you believe to be paranormal, make a plan to return to the site. If you can observe the same activity again, you may have a lead.[17]
    • Go back and talk to some of the eyewitnesses. See if what you discovered matches what they have seen in the past.
    • Try different locations nearby. Set up cameras and sensors around the grounds. Go to nearby abandoned homes and see if the paranormal go from site to site.

Part 3
Using Your Own Abilities to Detect Ghosts

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    Detect fuzzy air around you. This usually means a change in the density or texture of the air. Just like heat waves move over the hood of a car on a hot summer day, so too will the air fluctuate as ghosts pass by. Keep the lights in the room dim. You can also use infrared lighting to see the waves more clearly.[18][19]
    • Keep your eyes open, without blinking for 15-20 seconds. You want to spend time just staying calm and looking.
    • Search in hot button areas. Don't stare for long periods of time unless you have a suspicion (sound, haunted history, gut feeling, etc.) that a ghost is present.
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    Look for flashes of light. These are commonly detected on mirrors, or next to windows. Different spirits that visit might express themselves in different colored tones of light. Look with your eyes to your right, while keeping your head forward. Your peripheral vision is most likely to detect these changes in light, especially when ghosts don't think they are being watched.[20][21]
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    Check for movements or shadows. Rather than appear in full body form, ghosts will often seek to change their appearance. This could be in the form of a shadow. Look at areas where you have lights set up. You may see dark marks go by, dimming certain areas. If you see shadows or movements, begin to calmly speak to the ghost.[22][23]
    • Ask them basic questions like "Why are you here?" and "What is your name?" Give them a minute to respond.
    • Ghosts might not respond, or respond in unusual ways. This could be by making a sound, or creating more movement through their shadow selves.
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    Use your mind's eye. Everybody is split between their Spirit and human physical body. It is almost impossible to train yourself to use your Spirit, or mind's eye, as it is largely a product of your subconscious. You need to know what to look for. Your mind's eye will detect certain images in flash form, like that of a camera. When you are in the presence of an allegedly haunted house, these images will appear as long-passed human beings.[24][25]
    • You can also detect images using your mind's eye through your imagination. Your Spirit works to create images in front of you which could be apparitions. Sit down and let your mind wander as you are in the haunted house. Daydreaming can relax your mind's eye, and allow it to be more susceptible to ghostly input.
    • Ghosts also like to influence memories. Think of some of your now dead, older relatives, such as your grandparents or great-grandparents. Ghosts like to flash before your mind's eye when they pick up on this.
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    Observe full body apparitions. These usually will appear for a short time, around 3-15 seconds. Similarly to shadows, keep your head forward as you check your peripheral vision. Sometimes ghosts materialize from top to bottom, side to side, or only partially. Begin speaking to them, asking them to materialize again. Ask the ghosts "What do you desire?" "Why are you here?" and "Is there anyone else here with you?"[26]


  • Be safe when you ghost hunt. You'll do most of your investigating at night and it could be easy to get lost or hurt.
  • Keep an open mind during your investigations. It's good to be a skeptic, but don't make your mind up before anything has happened.


  • Never go alone. You do not want an interaction to occur which could result in injury. By bring along partners, you will have someone nearby in case of an emergency.
  • Never trespass and be aware of local laws. Simply because a house is abandoned, does not mean that you are free to roam the property. The property still belongs to someone, whether it be an owner, a bank, or the state.

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Categories: Ghosts