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Public Ghost Hunt

Investigation ghost ghosts hunt free education

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#1 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 05:43 PM

Hello everyone,

I come here mostly to receive criticism and rational opinions about evidence I'm debating and in this case an idea that I've been considering.  We as a group have been discussing having a public ghost hunt to introduce members of our community to what our team does and how we do it.

We have a location available for it on the dates we are considering.  We've investigated the location and despite having no visual evidence, we have had a few EVP's and some luck with K2, flashlight experiment and dowsing rods.  Unfortunately the location isn't commercial, nor is it known around town for its paranormal activity.  Having been on a few ghost tours and an excellent public investigation at the Stanley hotel, I thought trying to emulate it would be positive publicity for the team, especially with Halloween coming up.

What does everyone think?  Thoughts, opinions, advice?

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#2 Tantric KittenGStudy

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:07 AM

I think public events are very different from working with one's group.

I have worked more than one public event (a group I was involved with did ghost tourism).  You need to have a cogent, interesting lesson plan, you need to have a cogent, interesting history on the place worked up (you're entertaining and instructing people here), you need to have a really good game plan with all your ducks in a row and you need to know what you as a team and as individuals can handle.

I was not on the "boss" end, doing the lectures.  I was one of the team and ran around babysitting random people, soothing fears, watching for potential freakouts to head them off before they happened (because these people, while they were with us, were completely our responsibility even though they were all adults), doing impromptu equipment training and troubleshooting (because they all have some toys and no one ever seems to know how to use them), doing my own entertaining...

It is a ton of work for everyone involved.  Since you mention that the location is a private one... do you have the absolute permissions of the owners/proprietors and do they understand that they will now be "outed" and might suffer some blowback from people who don't respect private property and boundaries?

I sound like I'm trying to discourage you.  I'm not.  I'm trying to think of all the things you have to consider before doing something like this.  I've seen people do a half-mmm-ed job at it and they have wound up with a lot of really unhappy customers.  I've also seen/been a part of it done right and while it has it's own rewards I can't stress enough it's a TON of work and you really need to know what you're doing and what you want to communicate and have everyone working it completely on board.

ETA:  Oh, and the drama...  dear Bob the drama...

Edited by Tantric Kitten, 31 August 2013 - 06:09 AM.

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A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. --Herm Albright

#3 CDS

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 06:37 AM

View Postdmitchellcsum, on 30 August 2013 - 05:43 PM, said:

Hello everyone,

I come here mostly to receive criticism and rational opinions about evidence I'm debating and in this case an idea that I've been considering.  We as a group have been discussing having a public ghost hunt to introduce members of our community to what our team does and how we do it.

We have a location available for it on the dates we are considering.  We've investigated the location and despite having no visual evidence, we have had a few EVP's and some luck with K2, flashlight experiment and dowsing rods.  Unfortunately the location isn't commercial, nor is it known around town for its paranormal activity.  Having been on a few ghost tours and an excellent public investigation at the Stanley hotel, I thought trying to emulate it would be positive publicity for the team, especially with Halloween coming up.

What does everyone think?  Thoughts, opinions, advice?

Not a setting that makes for "good" evidence capture. My recommendation would be to ban flash photography. No good can come of it.

#4 dmitchellcsum

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 08:19 AM

Tantric,

Thank you for all the good advice.  We ran a kind of dry run about two weeks ago with a new member that had zero experience on the investigation side of things (his experience is in parapsychology and journalism so he is a huge help when it comes to interviews and understanding people.

We thought things flowed smoothly but there was only one of him which made it easier to direct his actions. But we did go into it with an outline of how the evening would run, everything from pre-investigation training to which sessions would be done in which rooms and when.  We felt that by knowing this ahead of time it would be easier to keep the attention of our new member as well as show off a team that was professional and knew what they were doing.

As far as the property itself, the house is the house we currently live in and it is insured.  The area we live in tends to have people who are respectful of private property but given that ghosts for some reason make people crazy, we understand that there might be people trying to come back looking for more.

What types of training sessions did you do with your guests and did you break them into small groups or keep them together (we were only considering taking a group of 5)

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#5 Tantric KittenGStudy

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 12:34 PM

We did a lot more than five -- maybe 50?  

What would happen is we'd be working some resort or something, go in the day before the event, set up all our equipment, run lines, test stuff, scope out the place and pick out hotspots (the setting up any video equipment is pertinent).  We also set up large trigger experiments at that time.  Sometime that evening or the next day before the guests arrived we would figure out approximate teams (someone always didn't show up or brought a friend last second) that consisted of two seasoned investigators and not more than four guests.

Then we'd have a group meeting with all the guests where we'd have a lecture on the location, a lesson in "Investigating 101" and a Q&A session.  

We ran (and the group I'm in now uses the same protocol) a tight ship.  45 minute sessions, 15 minute regroup in the control room (wherever we had the monitors, etc. set up).  And do a round robin in the locations so we'd cover at least three different areas in a night.  The second night (if it was a weekend) was looser but we all stayed with our "home" group unless there was some drama (there was always some drama... I usually spent second nights with six or eight guests).

The lesson should be a general overview of what's OK and what's not so smart (like provoking), the equipment your group uses, how you use it and how you interpret what you get.  Also different EVP styles, what constitutes the different classes of EVP... a little bit of photo analysis... you know, the stuff we do only keep it to short, easily digested sound bites.
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A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. --Herm Albright





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