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I think it is safe to say that these days the stars of YouTube are a source of inspiration for so many of us. Whether it is gaming, make-up tutorials or even ghost hunting, there is someone out there who were are proud to call our heroes. I'm no exception. I have my ghost hunting favourites, and in the lead-up to my first investigation I spent several long hours watching their videos with something close to obsession. After time, my attention turned to the equipment they used. I'd pause the videos and try to get the name on their cameras, the make of their EVP recorders, and then cry silently as I discovered the price.
At first I was somewhat naive and thought: "How can I even begin to investigate when I've got no money?" Translate that to: "Why would ghosts talk to me when I haven't spent any money?" and it begins to sound somewhat ridiculous and eye-opening.
The truth is, if spirits want to come forward and speak to you they will. They will find a way regardless of what equipment you have. Don't have a fancy camera? Ah well. Your mobile phone camera will do just as well for picking up evidence of paranormal activity. How about the fancy lights those guys use instead of torches? You don't necessarily need them, but granted they do come in handy in dark places — you can pick one up for about £20 from Amazon.
When I went out for my first investigation, all I had was my mobile phone and nothing more. I recorded albeit shaky footage — later I had the sense to get a selfie stick, and that didn't even cost me anything! (No, I didn't steal it. I noticed it at the charity shop I work at and the manager didn't know what to price it. I was given it alongside other things I bought). But the quality of the footage did not matter, I still picked up evidence that the graveyard was indeed active with several spirits.
Back at home, I edited the footage I myself thought was pretty pathetic. It was reinforced by the fact my YouTube hero had just uploaded a video of his own with crisp, clear image. So it was with a somewhat disappointed air that I went through the footage I had recorded. But my concern for lack of quality was soon proven to be a minute concern.
We approached the crumbling grave of a young girl. In an attempt to see the name more clearly, my mum wiped dirt away from the stone. She commented on how it was filthy, and I heard in my own footage, as clear as day, the word: "Dirt." It sounded as if it had been whispered by a child.
Moving on, I stood reading out the name and residence of a gentleman out loud. In the footage, as if in confirmation, I heard: "Yeah."
During my second visit to the graveyard I picked up even more. Standing at the grave of a soldier, I heard either "Hey" or "Pain." I hoped it was the former — I do not like the thought of some poor spirit feeling pain still after passing.
One particularly baffling event happened as I was walking towards the rear of the graveyard. For one reason or another, a stone to my left caught my eye and I stopped for just a second or two to read the name. Later, while watching the footage, I caught a tiny whisper that sounded remarkably like my name. It came from the left, and I turned and looked just a second later.
Finally, as I walked down the pathway in the middle of the graveyard, I voiced out loud how I felt as if something was watching me. A very tiny voice replied: "Maybe."
Now, I'm not saying that you will get crystal clear results with no equipment every single time. And if you don't, I encourage you to remain patient. Remember that spirits may not take kindly to you losing your rag and commanding responses! Just keep revisiting areas, and if a spirit wants to communicate they will one way or another.
Don't feel that you cannot go exploring and ghost-hunting just because you don't have cameras, Spirit Boxes or whatever else the other investigators used. All you really need is your belief and anything to document and record your findings — that's it.
In the future, if I do get enough money, I may go ahead and get a proper camera. But so far my little phone has proven beyond a doubt that I do have a knack for finding spirits, that they are happy enough to come forward to talk to me, and for now that's good enough for me!
Happy hunting everyone. Stay safe!