Interest in the paranormal increases and wanes over the years.  The height of interest was in the Victorian era, with the Spiritualist Movement.  We are experiencing another surge of interest today, spurred by the popularity of the many paranormal shows on television. 

You might be interested enough to want to join a paranormal group, or start one of your own group of "ghost hunters."  But how?  Or, as one person asked me, "What qualifies you to do this?"

First, don’t just go out and start tramping around in cemeteries and abandoned buildings.  You could get hurt, and you just might get arrested.  That would put a damper on your night, wouldn't it? 

Your first course of action is to feel out your area, and find out if there's an established group that might accept you as a trainee.  If there's a building in your area  that has for years had a reputation for being haunted, you might ask them if they have had an investigation, and could they give you contact information for the group.  Do an internet search for "paranormal" coupled with the name of your town, or the general area (West Tn., South Western Ky, for example).  It might turn up several groups in the area you weren't aware of.  Use their contact information to ask if they are accepting trainees.  If not, there's another avenue open to you.

If you look at the internet, you'll notice there are a few sites promising that for money, they can  make you a "certified ghost hunter".  Now here's the thing, no one really knows if ghosts do exist, what they are, where they are, and how to find them.  It's a field made up of theory, and a lot of hope.  We theorize ghosts are energy, or we theorize they are right here with us on a different plane of existence, or we theorize some are just energy stored in the very fabric of our buildings and land.  That's part of what makes the field exciting for many,  any theory might be the right one, or the wrong one!  You may elect to take one of these certification courses.  However, everything in those courses is readily available, for free, on the internet.

With a little surfing, you can find quite a few forums.  Do a search, something like, "paranormal forum" or "ghost forum".  Find one that the members seem to be mature, serious, and  knowledgeable.  Serious forums are there, full of experienced investigators and the people are more than willing to help you learn.  Read through all the archives, join the forum, and, most important, participate.  They can guide you through how to investigate, suggest reading material, share theory and information on all aspects of investigation and equipment.

After a lot of research and reading, find a friend that's also interested, and there's the start of your group.  Sometime, somewhere, you will run into someone that will let you investigate.  In the mean time, hold practice investigations.  With every practice investigation, you will learn more and more.  Research, network, and practice are the key words.

Articles are copywrited.  Contact WISP for permission to reproduce, with credit to the author.  
How To Get Started In A Paranormal Group
By Paula Clark
June 5, 2009