Ghost hunting has certainly become a very popular spectator sport in the last couple of years. Shows like the Sci-Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters have gained quite a large following. But their approach leaves a lot to be desired. For the most part they are disrespectful and in some cases almost rude in the way that they talk to ghosts. Although they have had some good results at times I have no doubt that "ignorance" plays a large part in the lack of response.
Ghost hunting is a task that requires patience, tact and understanding. Patience is key. Although (with tact and understanding) you may get quite a quick response from a ghost, most times it may take several visits before they "show" themselves in any way at all. It's all about trust - a fact completely overlooked by the Ghost Hunters show - and until they trust you you are unlikely to get a positive response from them. Think about it. If someone walked into your house uninvited would you trust them? Of course not! You'd most likely call the police.
If you are a medium you may well pick up on ghosts without artificial aids or tools. Even if you're not you may still feel a sudden deepening of the coldness where you are. Most people though, will benefit from the use of some basic tools and these are covered in our Ghost Hunting Tools section. Ghost Hunters has the benefit of being well funded by a TV station and hence their equipment is top of the range and for most of us too prohibitively expensive to consider. There are cheaper alternatives though and you can still get good results from these.
Where to look? Well, again, unlike Ghost Hunters, you are unlikely to be granted access to most, if not all, the locations they have visited. That's not to say that you have no options. There are many hotels for instance (even in an infant country like the USA) that have the reputation of being haunted and there is nothing stopping you booking into such a place and conducting your own investigation. There are other options though. Local graveyards can be a goldmine for a ghost hunter.
When to look? Just about any time really. Although a physical manifestation is probably easier to see at night or in semi-darkness a ghost doesn't disappear just because it's broad daylight and the sun is beating down. They are still there and you may well detect them with any of the tools you have with you.
Ghost hunting is not a game so remember to always be respectful when you are entering a potentially haunted place. Speak to them but do so in a polite way and remember that from their point of view you are an intruder. Apologize for disturbing them and hopefully they will respond.