This time of year always sends chills down my spine. I’m the type of girl that loves to get scared, but hate it at the same time. I love scary movies, I love to psych myself out at night with the odd noises that may or may not be going on outside or even in the closet.  Something that I enjoy doing in my free time is going on a good ghost hunt.

Yes, I am a believer in ghosts. I have never seen an apparition, but I have seen some odd photos and heard some unexplainable things on tape.

I started ghost hunting for fun when I lived in Texas. A friend of mine went out once a week to old places, cemeteries, even to someone’s house that had strange things happening. I was excited because I was a fan of Ghost Hunters. Jason and Grant made me want to go out and find the ghosts too! After watching Zak Bagans on Ghost Adventures at The Palmer House in Sauk Centre, I really want to go out on my own ghost adventure here in Central Minnesota.

First, what you will need to do is realize that what you are about to do can be scary. I have never been hurt ghost hunting, just scared. Mostly scared because I psych myself out more so than actual ghosts scaring me. Most things you won’t even know about until you get home and listen to your recorder or go through your pictures.

Before you go, get a recorder of some kind. I have heard that the “old school” cassette tape recorder works best. Why? I can’t remember, but I have had lots of luck using it. Maybe the spirits are curious about the device and want to interact with it. You can find them online for cheap. You will need to use a cassette tape if you decide to go with this option of voice recording. Using your phone’s recorder isn’t the best option, easier to have odd noises recorded if you are holding it in your hand and it moves around a lot. If you don’t want to spend any money it’s worth a shot. If you can’t find a cassette recorder, you can always hit up the electronics department and get yourself a mini audio recorder. They range in price from $20-$300. Go with what is in your budget, you don’t have to get the super expensive one to make it work. If you have a digital camera, bring it. Make sure the batteries are fully charged. You will be taking lots of photos.

Now that you have your recorder and camera, it’s time to head out and find some ghosts.

Go to an area that you feel comfortable being a little scared. If you have the time, check out the place during the day light so you can get a feel for the area and not get lost at night. It doesn't have to be dark out when you go, it doesn't have to be a cemetery, it can be anywhere. Maybe it's in your bedroom. Hit record and just start asking questions. Make sure to pause long enough so if something were to speak, you can hear it versus having it drown out in the background with other talking. If you are going to be walking around, make sure to state what you are doing so you don't think it's something that it's not. Or if you drop something, note that on the recorder that something fell so you are not asking what was that noise later when you listen to the recorder. Also bring extra batteries, spirits drain the batteries to get the energy to have themselves be heard or seen.

If you do get a voice that wasn't there while you are recording, it is known as an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) You won't hear it while you are recording, you hear it when you are listening back. That's why it's important to state things that are going on while you are recording. If someone jokingly makes a weird noise that you might think might be a spirit later, it's easier to decipher if it's real or fake if you noted that Joe said something. Some of the audio you may hear might scare you. If you provoke the ghost to act out and are rude to them, they may be rude to you as well. I have heard some scary EVP, but I just remind myself that I am not there to harm the ghost, I am simply there to ask questions and help them if they want it.

meanshman, Flickr
meanshman, Flickr

When taking pictures, the most common thing to come though are orbs. I am personally not the greatest at knowing the difference between an orb or dust, but if you see a bright circle that looks like it's in motion, that is more than likely an orb. Also note dark shadows that may appear to be a spirit versus a shadow when taking pictures. If you are going with someone who smokes, do not take pictures while they are smoking. The smoke can often times get mixed up with a spirit.

If you decide to go out on your own ghost hunt, have fun and keep an open mind! Stay safe, don't climb into anything in the dark that you can't get out of. It's wise to carry several flashlights with you, again with extra batteries just in case they suddenly don't work. Wear appropriate clothing, it is Minnesota and you may be outside in the cold. Sneakers are better than flip flops! Bring a jacket if it gets cold. Keep a first aid kit handy if you do get hurt while hunting. I have tripped and bumped into several things when it's pitch black!

For more tips on ghost hunting, check out

If you missed Ghost Adventures and their investigation at The Palmer House, check it out below. Beware: Some may find the images or sounds in the clip to be bizarre and extreme. Watch at your own risk.