10:03 p.m. Mon, Feb. 27th

Oddball hobbies: Ghost hunting 101 for absolute beginners

Mar 23, 2012, 9 a.m.

It seems everyone wants to spend his or her golden years traveling the world. Some want to travel route 66 or climb the heights of Kilimanjaro. Others are content to spend time with the grandkids or sit in the sun and sip iced tea. For others, there are more "out of this world" hobbies to be pursued.

Ghost hunting is an exciting, albeit somewhat odd adventure that can be just what the (voodoo) Doctor ordered for those suffering from the doldrums of the dull. Ghost hunting is not hard to begin; all you need are the will, a few toys and a few tips to get you going.

The basics

You will want to start with a basic digital recorder, or even an older analog or tape recorder. The older ones work just fine, but it is harder to rewind and review than with a digital recorder. A digital camera is another must have piece of ghost hunting equipment for investigations. Practice taking pictures around your house or backyard to become familiar with the settings and learn to tell the difference between dust and other common items.

Always wear comfortable clothing while you are ghost hunting as well. You will want some loose fitting sweat pants or jeans, comfortable shoes that are good for running. You never know when you will be scared by an over anxious ghost hunting partner. There is also a reason why there is a figure of speech called "scared out of their shoes." It comes from someone going ghost hunting long ago and not properly tying his or her shoes.

Find a close but scary spot to hunt

According to this ghost hunting guide for beginners , cemeteries are a great place to get started. Cemeteries are close to everyone, even if you are outside of a suburban area. They are a great spot to get started. For every town, there are easily a dozen supposedly haunted spots that are waiting to be explored. Mostly everyone knows someone else that has a haunted house or has heard a haunted story. Check around with friends to see if there is anywhere close to explore -- and see if they want to join you! Many historic places and sites are great spots to explore and you can call to set up a tour and become acquainted with ghost hunting during the day.

Ghost hunting is a fun and potentially fulfilling pastime that is easy to start, but nearly impossible to give up once someone is hooked.

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