So you don’t have a sixth sense, or keen perception, but you would like to find and study your own “fresh” haunted location. Hauntings are a lot more common than one would think, so there really isn’t much to it. Here are just a few steps you can take to find your own spot.
- Ask around. One of the best ways to come up with leads is by talking to locals. Every town, neighborhood and city has a story or two floating around about a haunting. Go into a local bar or restaurant and strike up a conversation. If you’re lucky, that restaurant or bar may have stories of its own. Before you know it, you’ll have more than enough leads. Try to avoid following up on things you may have heard about or sound eerily familiar, look for more personalized accounts that seem sincere. Do not underestimate teenagers either – they usually have the best insight into the stranger happenings around town.
- Find an old, creepy looking location. Sounds kind of hack, I realize, but chances are if a place is old it has a lot of history. If it gives you the heebie-jeebies just looking at it, there’s probably a reason. Most buildings that are over a few decades old, statistically speaking, will have been the setting of a death or tragic event at some point. Find someone who lives or works there and politely lead into a conversation about what may be taking place. If you approach the situation the right way, you may get a lot more information than you bargained for.
3. Find a historical area. Historical locations where battles, fires or other tragedies have occurred are usually great places to find a haunting. If you hear a likely scenario that may sound like the background to a haunting, start asking workers and visitors around the area questions to see if they lead into anything strange.
4. Newspaper clippings. Go to the local library or university and sift through old newspapers or microfiche for stories of fires, murders and the like. If you find a good juicy story that is a likely candidate for a haunting, go seek out the location and start asking questions.
5. Cemeteries. Cemeteries are almost always a given for a haunting. Find a cemetery off the beaten path, older, that has no locked fence or caretaker on the premises as these locations usually work out best. Go in at night and start taking photos, you may be surprised at what you see when the pictures come out. Keep in mind, trespassing is illegal.
6. Abandoned buildings / houses. Often times a ramshackle house or building is left that way because either the owner died, had financial troubles or there was some irreversible damage done to the property. All in all, there is a pretty good chance something screwy happened that may be the cause of a haunting, and they shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, abandoned places are sometimes the most interesting to explore; finding artifacts, letters and pieces of people’s lives left behind. Make sure to take special caution for trespassing is not legal, and addicts and transients don’t always appreciate company.
A combination of all these techniques can prove quite fruitful for putting together a good haunted picture of a town or neighborhood. One of the most important aspects of good research is talking to the locals. People that live and work in the area have insight and information you’ll never be able to find in county records. A recorder is a useful tool when interviewing people, just always remember to bring a pencil and some paper because recorders malfunction and ink dries up. Be respectful and courteous and do not come off as an interrogator. Try to convey yourself as a researcher working on a paper or report. You’d be surprised how talkative some people can be about their area’s local lore.
If you do find a new haunt, let us know and we can help you out. Contact us at: Submissions@sos-radio.com