How much paranormal researchers make depend on whether they hunt ghosts as an amateur pursuit or as a professional business, and even as a pro it’s unusual for someone’s main source of income to come from paranormal investigations.
Most paranormal researchers seek out spooks as nothing more than a hobby, often as part of a local paranormal group or with friends. This will often be at organised ghost hunting events, historic locations, businesses, or private homes. These sort of ghost hunts are a great way of gaining experience, making contacts within the paranormal community, and potentially experiencing some paranormal activity for yourself.
When starting out in the field of paranormal research, the question isn’t so much “how much will I get paid?” but more “how much will this cost me?” Ghost hunting can be an expensive hobby, there’s going to be plenty of kit you’re going to want to get your hands on, including EMF meters, cameras and audio recorders for capturing EVPs.
Ghost hunting events can also be fairly expensive to attend, it’s anything from £20 to £80 per person for an evening in a haunted location with a paranormal events company. There’s the option to hire a location privately but this will set you back several hundred pounds.
Once you’ve got past this initial outlay, there are a few ways you can make a little bit of cash as a paranormal investigator. But, unfortunately none of them are going to be easy and there’s likely to be a lot of competition.
Become A Ghostbuster
Charge clients for private investigations. The tricky thing here is that you can’t really give any guarantee that you’ll be able to catch a ghost like the boys in grey, or declare “this house is clean” like Tangina in ‘Poltergeist’. However, you might be able to help your clients come to terms with their haunting and find out a little more about the spirits who haunt their home.
But how much should you charge? Well, this is where it gets tricky as most paranormal research groups don’t charge for an investigation. Some groups may as for a donation, or ask for a contribution to travel costs in order to visit the location. With free options around, it may be near impossible for you to charge, unless you can go above and beyond and offer a service the others don’t, or if you become well known in your field.
You could also offer remote services such as telephone consultations and analysis of photographic or video evidence. You could charge by the hour to examine this evidence and provide your client with a detailed report of your findings.
Teach Others To Hunt Ghosts
Another way to make money in the paranormal field is to train those just setting out in paranormal investigation, this could be classroom-based training or practical training on location. But again, you’ll encounter the problem of competing with free services as the easiest way for a beginner to learn about ghost hunting is to join a paranormal group or attend events.
Host Your Own Paranormal Events
In recent years ghost hunting events have been on the rise, and more and more venues have opened their doors to ghost hunters. Once you are a confident paranormal investigator, you could host your own events. This can be lucrative, but it’s not as easy as just showing up in a haunted location.
You’ll obviously need to pay the venue in order to host your event there, for health and safety reason you’ll probably need someone else to help you too so you might need to be them, you’ll also need to think about public liability insurance. You’ll also need to provide plenty of equipment, which will have a large upfront cost. Most people attending your events will be amateurs and won’t have their own equipment.
Write A Book
Once you have plenty of investigations under your belt, you could write a book or self publish an eBook and share your paranormal experiences with the world. Obviously the world of publishing can be tough to break into and there’s not big bucks to be made in a niche genre like ghost hunting books, especially if you’re self publishing.
There’s also a big upfront cost and huge time investment with writing. In order to gather enough subject matter for your book, you’re going to have to go on a lot of ghost hunts. As these can cost anything up to £80, you could be looking at spending thousands of pounds in order to get enough source material.
Make A Ghost Hunting Show
This is by far the most lucrative option, but it’s also the hardest to achieve. There are already a lot of ghost hunting shows being made around the world, and while there’s always room for something new, your take on paranormal television will need to have a point of difference, and you and any team members you bring with you will have to have strong characters.
While mainstream television channels might not be an option, don’t underestimate the potential of YouTube. Making your own paranormal web series for YouTube could earn you a little cash if you post good quality videos regularly in order to grow your audience. It could even lead to you being discovered by a television network.
Whichever option you attempt, you’ll need to become a confident and knowledgable ghost hunter, and having a PhD in parapsychology will really help. But, getting a degree in parapsychology can be tricky, parapsychology is sometimes included as a final year option in regular psychology courses at some universities in the UK, which means you might be able to specialise in parapsychology in some universities.