Ghost hunting is a process of investigating paranormal claims. It is a ghost hunter’s responsibility to gather and preserve evidence during the ghost hunt, but what exactly constitutes evidence? Evidence is defined as a piece of data that supports a conclusion. Ghost-hunting data can be gathered in different forms such as EVP, photographs, videos, confirmation changes in electromagnetic fields, eyewitness interviews, etc. The gathered data by itself is not proof. An EVP by itself is not proof. Eyewitness testimony is not proof. However, when all of these different forms of data come together, the evidence can indicate an accurate conclusion.
There are inherent flaws when dealing with most forms of ghost-hunting evidence. The data gathered during a ghost hunt can never be considered absolute proof. Photographs, videos, eyewitness testimony and EVPs are clues to an event. The event itself can be natural or paranormal. The individual pieces of data cannot prove that ghosts exist. To prove the existence of ghosts absolutely without doubt requires tangible evidence such as the ability to capture and hold a ghost for study.
Ask and answer the following questions after gathering data from a ghost hunt.
- Does the data constitute evidence? (Evidence is information that supports a conclusion.)
- What is the data evidence of?
- If the data is not evidence, then why not?
- What analysis can be performed on the evidence?
- What speculation has been drawn from the evidence?
- Are we asking the wrong questions? (Asking for physical evidence of a non-physical entity?)
Evidence collection is an area that ghost hunters need to focus intense thought and debate. If a ghost hunter sets up an experiment and it fails to capture evidence, does that mean that the methods of the experiment failed or that the equipment failed to capture evidence? Ghost hunters must ask if the test procedures are flawed and if the standard of evidence collection is high enough to minimize errors. There are almost certainly unknown conditions that exist and influence the results of experiments in some manner. Ghost hunters must speculate if the wrong questions are being asked.