Finding Haunted Locations
Once upon a time, my buddies and I would ride our bikes around the outskirts of our small Texas town, looking for haunted stuff. By our incredibly high standards, something was “haunted” if it was dark, covered with ivy or debris, set far off a main road, or just had a certain look to it. As sophisticated as our method was, we didn’t always hit pay dirt. Often we would break in to our “haunted house” only to find an abandoned gas station or, maybe even scarier, a hobo’s house.
Finding haunted locations can be much easier these days with the help of the internet. There are a number of websites that can lead you to haunted hotels, houses, businesses, etc. And believe me, there are a lot of haunted places in America.
The aptly named HauntedHouses.com offers search tools for locating haunted house “attractions” (like the haunted house ride at your local amusement park) as well as legitimately haunted spots. You start your search by state, then zero in on locations close to you when that state’s menu pops up. I must say I was more than a little disappointed at their small number of results for Texas, but once I clicked the links I found a wealth of information for each haunted location.
If you’re looking for more results at the expense of information, check out realhaunts.com – my searches at there less than elegantly designed site brought up many more hits than through HauntedHouses.com, but there was scant info about the haunt after finishing the search. Of greater interest are the large number of “user comments” at realhaunts.com – people debating the validity of certain hauntings, giving their testimony about specific sites, and discussing haunting and ghosts in general. A little community of haunting fans appears to have sprouted up here.
A huge list of haunting resources on the web is available at the About.com haunting page. These sites range from reviews of haunted house movies to specific haunted location pages. You will most certainly be able to find a haunted house or two here.
But you don’t have to rely on information gathered from the internet – there are other ways of determining if a specific spot is haunted or not.
For starters, check out your own house. That’s right, the place where you live and sleep could well be infested with spirits. The only way to know for sure is to conduct your own investigation. Before you call in the paranormal investigators, there are a few steps to take.
1. Keep a Haunting Log
Write down every instance of strange phenomena that you experience. Did you hear a woman singing in another room? Write it down. Footsteps with no explanation? Put it in the log. House creaks one too many times? Yep, that goes in the haunting log too. Document the event, describe it in detail, write down the time and date, and take whatever evidence you can – photos, audio recordings, video, etc. Attach this evidence to your haunting log. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up on one of those Discovery channel haunted house shows, and you’ll want to have plenty of evidence. Also, you may be able to discover patterns of haunting behavior by looking back over your log.
2. Research Your Home’s History
Go down to your local library and look for any newspaper article involving your address – you may have to wade through mountains of microfilm, but should you find something interesting, it will be worth your time. Perhaps there was a suspicious death in your home, a grisly crime, even multiple murders . . . any kind of violent act that occurred in your home would be good evidence that you may live in a haunted location. Get a copy of any information you find.
3. Contact the Authorities
No, I’m not talking about the police. If you’ve gathered a good amount of evidence in your Haunting Log, and you have reason to believe that there was an event in your home that might incite a haunting, take this information to a team of paranormal investigators. The internet is a good start – it is unlikely that you’ll find a group of ghost hunters in your yellow pages. The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS, has an amazing amount of resources and information at their website. On the homepage, you can find contact information for various paranormal investigators. Before you call in the ghost hunters, make sure your pursuit is a serious one. If you have a serious concern about a haunting at your home, the paranormal team will be able to tell, and they are there to help.
The next time you’re in for a good spook, try finding a haunted house or hotel. Use the internet for what it is, an incredible fact finding resource, and seek out a true haunting. Happy hunting.