Ghost Hunting Team
Typically, a “ghost hunting team” will involve four to eight individuals who work as a team in an attempt to collect evidence of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters often employ electronic equipment of various types, such as EMF meters, digital thermometers, infrared, thermographic, and night vision cameras, handheld video cameras, digital audio recorders, and computers. Organized teams of ghost hunters are also called paranormal investigation teams.
Besides the right equipment a good ghosting hunting team needs the right organization. In fact, the organization is actually more important than the equipment if you want to have a safe, productive outing.
So, here is a suggested organization for a small team, but there are no hard and fast rules. The idea here is to get as much documentation as possible from several tools and team members. One of the most common mistakes many teams make is getting too spread out. You want to be close enough together so that each piece of equipment can scientifically substantiate the other equipment. That’s the only way that the 35mm can back up the DVR and so on.
Outdoors this is probably a radius of about 40 yards and indoor it will usually be closer. Otherwise, there will be no way for each team member to individually verify the observations of the other member. Teams tend to love to spread out, but if you are going to do that just send everyone out with a DVR. The goal of this plan is to collect good evidence of a paranormal incident from as many instruments and individuals as possible.
One key point on this system is that no one should carry more than one large piece of high tech gear, such as a night vision scope or DVR, because in certain situations the devices can interfere with one another. This breakdown is for the basic five person team, but you can certainly add up to about perhaps three or four more members each with a cameras or DVRs, but more than nine people begins to become unwieldy.
It’s hard for a group of friends to agree, but it’s really best for safety and efficiency to have one person that everyone agrees to stay close to and follow on each outing. The leader should carry the night vision gear and one other piece of equipment, such as a thermometer or barometer, preferably the low tech version. However, the leader’s main goal should always be looking for any safety concerns and anomalies.
In a lot of ghost hunting clubs the leader changes with each outing and the leader is which ever member took the initiative to suggest and plan the trip. So, the leader of an outing is the one that contacted the landowner or agency that controls the property and planned the agenda. That keeps it fun for everyone and means that no one gets burned out from the planning and organizing.
DVR Camera Operator
This is pretty much the only job this person can do, because they need to spend most of the night looking through the lens.
35mm Still Photographer
This person can also operate one piece of high tech gear such as the EMF detector. You can have more than one 35mm camera on a team.
Digital Still Photographer
This person should probably also have one or two pieces of low tech gear such as the thermometer and barometer. You can have more than one digital camera on a team.
There have been ghost hunting expeditions where the secretary’s notes recorded events that no one remembered later and where not recorded on any equipment either. When that happens the white hot moment of terror on a hunt may occur hours later at a Denny’s as the team is reviewing their notes, particularly, when even the secretary does not remember writing the note.
The secretary is the one team member that should carry no electronic equipment and should not be asked to keep track of any reading, because the secretary should constantly be recording the readings of the other team member’s instruments. Also, be sure and use waterproof ink.
The idea behind this organization is to always have back up for every indicator. That’s why it is generally not good to have less than five people, but often the spirits seem spooked by too many people, so nine is about the limit. However, you can sub divide a larger team into several squads that work together.
The DVR operator and secretary should not have a lot of other functions, but the rest of the jobs can be divided up among the other team members.
Safety plan: Be sure to know the location of the nearest hospital, have a first aid kit, and it is always best to have someone stay with the cars if you are working outside where the team will be covering a lot of ground, because that can really speed up the time required to get someone medical help. This is not usually an issue on indoor hunts. Also, remember to allow the night vision person to lead the way and to move slowly and deliberately in the dark.