As paranormal investigators, it’s natural for us to have a love of cemeteries. Heck, it’s natural for us to be fascinated with anything and everything having to do with death. Let’s just be honest, we all have our favorite local cemeteries that we love (*cough* Atlanta Oakland Cemetery *cough*). I don’t know about you, but cemeteries are always guaranteed to be quiet places where you can think, reflect, and reconnect with yourself. Cemeteries have also become favorite paranormal investigation locations, especially in the warm, summer months. It makes sense. Lots of dead people plus wide-open spaces with no high walls or barbed wire or locked doors equals instant ghost hunting magic! But, regardless of whether your favorite cemetery is a large, garden cemetery, in the center of town, full of historical markers and famous people who have passed on or if it’s a small, forgotten family plot in the middle of nowhere, there are rules you MUST follow before you load up with your favorite cameras and voice recorders for a night of spook hunting.
Most cemeteries are privately owned.
Even if the cemetery looks abandoned, it’s still on property owned by someone, somewhere. You really don’t want to be roaming around someone’s property, in the middle of the night, without permission. And when the cops show up, demanding answers as to why you’re there, they’re going to think vandalism before they think paranormal investigators. And even if you are there, just sitting quietly, recording the sounds of crickets, they’re most likely going to shoo you off the premises and ask you never to return. It’s always important to secure permission before you investigate a cemetery. Do a little research and find out who owns it. Explain what it is you want to do and how you intend to investigate. Invite the owners to come along with you if they are so inclined. You’ll catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar and you’ll investigate more cemeteries if you do it the right way and ask before you go.
Your audio is going to be full of bugs. Literally.
We’ve all been outside, at night, at some point in our lives. During the summer, the night is alive with crickets, frogs, bats, and bugs. Even in the winter, the leaves are being pushed around by the wind and nocturnal animals out for the hunt. The night isn’t still, not by any means, and that means your audio is going to be full of those noises. Once you’ve secured permission to investigate your chosen cemetery, be aware that your audio will be iffy. Make note of every sound you hear and be aware that when you go over your audio later, footsteps and other sounds that aren’t voices must be discounted.
Your video and photographic evidence is also going to be full of bugs. Literally.
Your video and photographic evidence that you carry home from your cemetery investigation is going to show a lot of dust, dirt, pollen, water droplets, and BUGS! Also, that mist you captured? Probably not paranormal, but rather your breath, especially if it was a cold night. If you investigate during the day, be aware that polished granite headstones will reflect the sun like nobody’s business. You’ll want to go over all your pictures and video with a fine-tooth comb and be more skeptical of anything out of the ordinary than you would during an indoors investigation. Just remember that Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your camera lens.
Nighttime. Daytime. Any time is a good time!
Who says you can’t investigate a cemetery in the daytime? If it’s a public cemetery, in the middle of town, that welcomes visitors during daylight hours, grab your voice recorder and go to work! Ghosts really aren’t concerned with the time of day. That’s our problem. But, again, if it’s a private cemetery on private property, you will still need permission to investigate, even during the day.
Just remember all these tips and your next cemetery investigation can be the best one yet! Enjoy your summer!
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