Talking to spirits seems like an easy concept, right? You just talk to them like you would any other person. Throughout my time as a paranormal investigator, I’ve learned that it isn’t that easy. If it were, we would be a lot further in the field than we are now. But what is interesting is that in order for me to learn how to better communicate with spirits, I did have to work on my people skills. Meaning, I had to consult my notes from my communications class in college. See Mom? I’m using my college degree!
If you want to dive deeper into the practice of ghost hunting and spirit communication after this, I highly recommend checking out my book, The Brave Mortal’s Guide to Ghost Hunting.
A lot of these tips were influenced by my years of investigating and working with a variety of different people. One of the heaviest influences was John Sabol’s “Ghost Excavation” method. If you’re looking to elevate your paranormal investigation, I highly recommend checking him out!
History of Modern Ghost Hunting
As we dive into the topic of how to talk to ghosts, it’s important to know where the current style of spirit communication and ghost hunting comes from.
The earliest form of ghost hunting that we know of goes back to the Spiritualism Movement and the Fox Sisters in New York. When they made contact with an alleged spirit by the name of “Mr. Splitfoot”, they were asking the spirit to make rapping sounds for “Yes” and “No” and naming letters of the alphabet. This later caught on as the Spiritualism Movement gained momentum.
Of course, we know now that the Fox Sisters fabricated a lot of their experiences and stories, but that didn’t stop Spiritualism from becoming a full-out religion.
Seances had a similar practice; knock one for yes and two for no.
How many ghost hunters still use that technique? A lot. In fact, ghost hunting on TV hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years since “Ghost Hunters” premiered.
A Rich Man’s Pasttime
As years go by, we have folks like Harry Price, Harry Houdini, Hans Holzer, Maurice Grosse, the Society for Psychical Research, the Ghost Club, Ed and Lorraine Warren, all of these different people were trying to find answers to the supernatural mystery of spirits. They were all doing in their own way.
Harry Price is regarded as one of the original ghost hunters. While he didn’t have a degree in science, he was a researcher and very much a promoter of his own work.
For example, Hans Holzer used a medium during his investigations as a tool and to be that bridge between the spirit world and the physical world.
So fast-forward, and the TV show “Ghost Hunters” hits television, and everyone realizes that they too can become a ghost hunter.
Much of the style we see on the show not only goes back to Spiritualism but with the addition of tech, it seemed that “sciences” had made its way into the field. Well, it’s always been there it’s just that the TV show made it super obvious.
K2 meters were flying off the shelves at hardware stores. Radios were selling out at Radio Shack. People were flocking to this new hobby and it has stayed that way basically ever since. Because TV has been so prominent in it, much of the way that we investigate today is influenced by TV.
Tips for Spirit Communication
These are some of the most common statements you’ll hear on TV. In turn, you may hear this during a ghost hunt.
- “Give us a sign of your presence.”
- “Is there anyone here with us”
- “Do you know that you’re dead”
I don’t like that last one.
It seems that we forget that ghosts are people too. They engage and interact with us the same way that human beings do.
We just can’t seem them. But just because we can’t see them, it doesn’t mean that we turn them into science experiments that don’t have a soul.
So when you’re trying to make communication with a ghost, I always say that the first thing you should do is introduce yourself. Say your name, why you’re here, reassure the spirits that you’re not there to harm them. Also, set your intentions. Speak out loud that you’re only going to communicate with the spirits of the property and only spirits of love and light.
Super important, set your boundaries. If you don’t want to be touched, say so. Unless you want it to be a free for all, then maybe not set those intentions, but things may get messy.
Share Your Story Too
Tell the spirits about yourself. You’re going to be spending the rest of the night asking THEM questions and invading their personal life. It’s only fair that you share some things about yourself too. For example, are you married, do you have kids, did you serve in the military, do you like baking, did you go to school, are you a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, were you and your family affected by a major moment in history…things like that.
What this does is not only does it allow the spirit to get to know you better, but the spirit might find some common ground with you. Like, maybe they too served in the military, or they like baking, or they are bisexual like you are. If a spirit can see a part of themselves in you, they will be more open to talking to you.
Secondly, when you ask your questions, ask them like you would ask a friend. I wouldn’t get too formal with your questioning because it changes the dynamic of your position. You don’t want to come across as too authoritative, especially if the environment doesn’t call for it.
Also, pay attention to how the rest of your group is feeling. If someone is feeling cold, getting touched, etc. and no one else isn’t, then switch gears and have that person ask the questions because the spirits may want to talk to them instead.
Thirdly, when you do get responses, always say thank you and praise the spirit for the communication. We don’t know how much energy it takes to communicate so always show appreciation for the effort.
Don’t be afraid to use trigger objects like toys, alcohol (don’t drink it), music, sewing needles, posters, artifacts or replicas of items from the time period, anything that could be familiar to the spirits of that time.
Again, you want to bring something relatable to the spirits so that they feel more comfortable talking with you.
These methods may not work for every location. You want to make sure you’re flexible and can switch gears to adapt to the spirits you’re communicating with. This is why going with the flow is super important.
Write your questions down too. I’m actually working on a list of questions to ask during EVP sessions. That way, you won’t get stuck if you get spirit communication.
Really listen to the interactions you’re having, and try to mold your questions from that too. Follow up. Be careful asking stacking questions too, meaning don’t ask three questions at once, “What’s your name? How old are you? Do you live here” Be sure to leave about 15-30 seconds in between each question so the spirit can answer. You don’t want to talk over them while they’re answering.
Finally, have fun. You’re going on an amazing spiritual adventure. Be in the moment and see how much information you can learn. Check historical records after to see if anything you picked up can be backed up by history.