When I talk about my ghost hunting excursions with friends outside the paranormal community, a lot of them say how scared they’d be to go to a haunted place. I always think, “What’s there to be afraid of?” After all, ghosts are still mere theories. They haven’t been proven to truly exist. (Well, the first thing I always think is, “You’ve likely already been to many and either weren’t aware of the ghost stories or ignored them.”)
Interestingly, it always seems the unknown scares people the most. The possibility that they could encounter something else, something unseen, and have to face it. Either because it bothers them while they’re wherever they’re visiting or they’re afraid of bringing something dark and/or unclean home with them.
However, the chances of either happening are smaller than miniscule. I mean, some people have reported visiting a haunted place and feeling as if something attached to them, something they couldn’t get rid of after they returned home. Anything is possible and I don’t want to diminish or make light of such circumstances, but in actuality such instances are the exception rather than the norm.
In truth, there are other dangers when ghost hunting. Real dangers. Tangible ones that people don’t think of, or, if they do, often ignore, such as:
- No trespassing signs – It’s a matter of proper ghost hunting etiquette to get permission first before investigating on private property. Sadly, the thrill of being somewhere you’re not supposed to be is part of the fun for some.
- Environmental hazards – Hazards can range from unstable walls or rotting floorboards, to unmarked wells, toxic chemicals or materials (think asbestos or lead paint), contaminated soil or air, etc.
- The locals – I’m not talking inbred, banjo-strummin’ hillbillies who may or may not have cannibalistic tendencies. (Although, that would be concerning and if you ever encountered such a thing outside of a movie, you’d definitely want to beware.) I’m more referring to an area’s culture. Like when we went to Mexico a couple times last year. When we visited the ruins outside of Chacchoben, we definitely saw the military, but luckily didn’t see them in action. That region hadn’t been as affected by all the drug war troubles. However, when we went to Ensenada, that was a much different story. There were more police and military, we didn’t see any fighting or violence, but we witnessed a massive brigade of emergency vehicles screaming through the city, and it just felt unsafe there.
My friends from the New York Shadow Chasers shared a link to an article one of their members, Phil Nye, wrote called “Ghost Hunter Dies After Investigation.”
Unfortunately, a woman named Sara Harris, who was part of a ghost hunting group out of North Carolina, developed a lung infection following the investigation of a vacant house due to breathing in contaminated air. She died a month later.
Ghost hunting is no joke. My heart goes out to Mrs. Harris’s husband and their friends and family. Her husband actually reached out to the New York Shadow Chasers to help spread the word about the real dangers of ghost hunting. They wrote their article and then shared it with me, asking if I could help spread the word too.
My contribution is this post. It might sound cliche, but when ghost hunting, always put safety first. After all, you want to live to hunt another day, don’t you?