How To Call Out To Spirits On A Ghost Hunt

This article is more than five years old and was last updated in October 2021.

I’ve been interested in the paranormal for as long as I can remember, but I’m relatively new to ghost hunting. The one thing I found a little weird to start with was calling out to the spirits, it took a bit of getting used to.

In case you don’t know what I mean by “calling out,” it’s when a paranormal investigator speaks aloud in an attempt to encourage any spirits which might be present to communicate with them. The classic ghost hunter’s trope is, “hello, is anybody there?”

On my first couple of ghost hunts I felt a little self conscious asking basically no one to talk to me. But, the great thing about going on ghost hunts with experienced supernatural sleuths is that they have their patter down. Listening to what ghost hunting veterans says during vigils at haunted locations helped me gain the confidence to call out myself.

If you’re looking to learn the ways of a ghost hunter, then there are a few rules which I can share with you.

1. Encourage, Don’t Demand

You need to get the spirits on your side. If you’re on a ghost hunt then you’re probably in the spirit’s former home, or a place that means something to that person, so treat them with respect. Tell them you’re not there to mock them, the you want to communicate.

Chances are, you’re not the first paranormal investigators on their patch. They might already feel like performing monkey. If spirits truly do exist, then it’s unlikely that they’re going to be happy existing in spirit form for no purpose other than to amuse you.

Instead ask the spirits if they need help or have a message, ask them to show them a sign they are here so that you can talk to them, perhaps even to help them move on.

2. Say Thanks

Ghosts are usually only able to give very subtle clues to the fact that they are present. They might use our energy to communicate through a ouija board, knock over an object, tap on a hard surface, or whisper in someone’s ear. It’s unusual to hear a loud noice, a clear voice, or see an object deliberately being moved for any sustained period of time.

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So, we can assume that spirits have to muster up a lot of energy in order to give us these signs. Therefore you should thank the spirits for their efforts if they do something that you’ve asked them to do. Give them encouragement, let them know that what they’ve shown you is great, but ask them to do a little more if they can.

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3. Don’t Use Jargon

I hear a lot of ghost hunters talking about their equipment and gadgets when calling out, often they’ll say things like “try to affect the KII-meter” or “can you make the lights flash on the REM Pod?” If I mentioned a K-II or REM Pod to most of my friends they wouldn’t know what I’m talking about.

Even if a ghost did understand what a EMF detector was, it’s unlikely they’d actually understand how they can affect its circuitry, I know I wouldn’t as a living person. But the belief is that a spirit’s energy can trigger these devices. So if you want the lights to blink on your ghost hunting gadget, it’s much better to say something like “can you move toward the lights on floor,” or wherever your equipment happens to be.

The other jargon I’ve heard ghost hunters use is words like “entity,” “spirit,” “presence.” They’ll say things like “if there is an entity here with us, can you show yourself?” I’ve never been dead, I’m assuming you haven’t either, so we can’t know what it’s like to be dead. Ghosts may not realise they’re dead, if you call them a ghost, spirit, entity or whatever else, they might just stand there watching and wondering who you are talking to.

Refer to the spirits as people, “is there anyone here with us, make yourself known.” Give that person, that consciousness, the confidence to step forward and communicate, give them a reason to reach out to you. Treating a spirit with respect and not as a “presence” or a thing will help with this.

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Similarly, don’t assume that spirits will know to tap twice for yes and once for no, you might need to teach them how to communicate in this way, make it clear what you are asking of them.

4. Don’t Shut It Down

One thing that fellow ghost hunters used to moan at me about when I first started trying to call out to spirits was that I was shutting the conversation down. You almost need to think of it like a sales pitch, you’ve got to keep the conversation flowing, and don’t give the spirits any chances to leave.

One common mistake is to say things like “give us a sign that you’re here, then we’ll leave you alone.” To be true to your word, if the spirit does then give you a sign then you’re going to have to pack up and end your investigation. Otherwise you’ll have lied and the spirit is unlikely to trust you again or do as you ask.

Similarly don’t use phrases like “don’t you want to talk to us anymore?” Because you’re giving the spirits the chance to say goodbye.

Putting It To Use

There are several situations where you might need to call out to the spirits. Mostly commonly it’s during a vigil where you might try to contact spirits using one of the following techniques.

All of these methods involve asking the spirits questions, the only difference is how you listen for answers.

With EVP you are listening for spirit voices which are captured in a digital or analogue audio recording. On a ouija board the spirits answer by sliding a glass or the planchette around the board and spelling out words. When using tapping as a method of communication, the spirit is usually encouraged to knock twice to indicate yes, or once for no. A pendulum can be used in a similar way, those trying to make contact will usually try to make the pendulum swing left to right to indicate yes, or forward and backwards for no. Then there’s mediumship where a clairvoyant will receive answers to their question through their psychic abilities.

Whichever technique you use on your investigation, the questions you ask will be the same. Below are a list of example questions and phrases that you can use to try to encourage the spirits to communicate with you. You shouldn’t copy these exactly, it is better to be yourself and talk in a natural and open way as you normally would.

  • If you can hear me, tap on the floor.
  • Can you make a noise to let us know you are here with us?
  • If you’re here can you show yourself to me?
  • How many of you are with us right now? Tap it out.
  • Can you make a noise?
  • Can you throw something?
  • Can you copy me? [then tap on a surface or whistle]
  • My name is XXX, can you tell me your name?
  • Tell us who you are, introduce yourself please.
  • If there’s somebody here with us now, can you walk towards us?
  • Are you happy for us to be here? Two taps for yes, one for no.
  • Can you come and talk to us?
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Of course, if you establish a dialogue with a spirit then you can ask more in depth questions, perhaps to establish how the spirit died or to confirm their identity. Try to ask questions that no one in the room would know the answers to so you can rule out fakery or people subconsciously effecting the outcome.

The main thing is to have fun and do all you can validate the claims of the paranormal.

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