1 basic description of the community
The Ghost Hunting community is a gathering of those who believe in the paranormal and want to find some sort of proof. They all have a faith in the unknown and are out to gather evidence of it for themselves and for the world. The range in involvement in the community goes from actually trying to contact things from the afterlife all the way to sitting on the couch and watching it happen on television. The spectrum is huge of those who are involved.
2 activity information such as physical boundaries/setting, what's/who's involved, equipment, etc
Most groups of ghost hunters are fairly small; 5 to 8 members maximum. Most of them stay around their hometown. Knowing the history of their own environment will allow them to tap into more places to hunt for ghosts and more opportunities to find proof of otherworldly activity. Traveling to the hugely well known spots is now often done within the regular community. This is due to the lack of sponsorship and time for most hunters. There have been a few examples of hunters going professional such as “TAPS”, who have their own show on network TV. For the rest of the community the activity is mostly done in free time or on the weekends. Also, along with the time constraints, there is a huge cost to travel to other locations that comes with the fuel to get there, the actual vehicles for all of the equipment, and the hotel expenses. The amount of enthusiasts available and their level of enthusiasm (its scary in those places) within a hunter’s area may also hinder the how much he or she can get accomplished.
The main portion of the teams is male. They range in age from 25 to 55. While mostly men actually participate, girls are the main demographic watching the television shows.
The equipment used is mainly a broad range of electric recording devices; everything from microphones to full spectrum digital cameras.
Mostly weekend warriors
Mostly men do it
Mostly women watch it
The equipment and travel expenses are large: mostly stick to hometown.
Rarely are they superstars
Large variety or equipment from electronic to divine
Top ten devices
1. EMF Meter - Used to detect fluctuations in the electro magnetic field. Many believe that these fluctuations could be the result of paranormal activity. The Northern Kentucky Paranormal Group uses two types of these; the Tri-Field meter, which is one of the more popular models. And the K2 which uses LED lights and is very sensitive.
2. Thermal Scanner - Uses an IR laser to detect the air temperature. Used to detect "cold spots" which are believed to be spirits drawing the energy of their surroundings in order to manifest.
3. Digital Recorder with Microphone - Used to pick up EVP's, disembodied voices heard on the recording that were not heard during an investigation.
4. Camera - Both 35mm, digital and camcorders are used. Helps document the area of an investigation and to try and provide proof of the paranormal.
5. Pen and paper - Used to document everything that happens in the investigation, from the research to the actual on site hunting.
6. Dowsing Rods - Used like the EMF meter
7. Motion Detector - Used to detect motion that we wouldn't be able to see otherwise.
8. Flashlight- A team from University College London finds that when we gaze around in a poorly-lit context, it can fool our brains into seeing things that are not really there.
9. Two Way Radios - Two Way Radios are recommended if the investigation involves splitting in to teams. This way you can easily communicate with the other team. Check that all radios are communicating on the same channel.
10. Batteries - Often batteries mysteriously lose their charge at an investigation. We recommend you bring at least one extra set of batteries for each piece of equipment that requires them
3. shared values of the group
The most important value is the belief of something unknown out there.
They all have faith in what they are doing
Most are not looking for fame but to have a connection to something more than this world.
4. How influence works (provide an example)
Influence is gained in this community in several different ways.
One way to become a respected member is to gain tangible proof of a ghost. This could be photographs, footage, audio, or some object directly related to the presence of the entity in question. There are many examples of this happening on the internet but they are scattered and their direct owner may not be easy to find. This evidence is filtered through the viewers of it online and eventually it will end up on a website relating to Ghost hunting but there is usually no owner attached to it. So there is respect for the work but not towards the person who captured it.
Being a tool in the paranormal field is another respect gainer. Someone with a heightened sense for the unseen is highly valued. For example; A Clairsentient is a person who has the ability to feel things that are not normally felt. This is highly influence within the community because they have a better or at least a different view on the unseen world.
Having good advice and skills that pertain to the field is a good way to be a heightened member of this society. If you have a specialty that other people are interested in, then you will become something of more notoriety. A expert sound technician who is also interested in getting into the community may move up in influence because of his special skill and advice that he can provide. Also just being in the game long enough will build tour influence as you meet more people and your name travels more you become more influential though word of mouth.
5. how shared emotional connection happens (provide examples)
Shared emotional connection comes mainly from the experiences that they share. Many of the members have very similar stories and through these they can relate to one another.
Actually going and hunting will also form bonds between fellow enthusiasts. Having to trust them and them trusting you will build a strong relationship. The conditions that most of these hunts are under may also lead to bonds forming. In a place of high stress (a haunted house) there is a natural want for security which you will find in your teammates That is, if they are good teammates.
Shared prior experiences
Sharing the experience of a hunt together
Being scared together