This article is more than five years old and was last updated in October 2021.
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
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.
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.
Advertisement ‐ Content Continues Below.
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.
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.
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.
- Electronic voice phenomenon (EVP)
- Ouija board
All of these methods involve asking the spirits questions, the only difference is how you listen for answers.
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?
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.
Want To Become A Ghost Hunter?
Get a diploma in the paranormal.
Sign up today for an online Diploma in Practical Ghost Hunting and Scientific Analysis for just £15, down from the regular price of