ghost with flashlight shining on it
Photo Illustration Mark Hooper
Troy Taylor is the author of more than 40 books on all things paranormal—most notably haunted houses. He's also the founder of the American Ghost Society, a network of ghost hunters who collect stories of sightings and hauntings, then use investigative techniques and equipment to track down evidence of the supernatural. Here he explains how you can find the right ghost buster to rid your old house of its specters and spirits.

In my line of work, I often deal with people who have (or claim to have) ghosts in their houses. Inevitably, most of them ask me what they should do about it. Should they move out? Should they talk to the specters, or just ignore them? But the most common question I get is whether or not they should contact a ghost hunter to come to their houses and investigate.

First let me say that over the years I have been involved in ghost research, the vast majority of the cases I've investigated have had perfectly natural explanations. That is not to say that some haven't puzzled me, or left me feeling the house in question was indeed haunted.

Even if you're house is not haunted, it's easy to get caught up in the idea that it is, thinking every bump and creak you hear is something ghostly. And it's not long before your family picks up on your fears, and begins hearing the "unexplainable" sounds and seeing the resident "ghost."

As witness to a series of what could be considered ghostly events, you must first determine whether or not those events are natural or supernatural. In order to do this, try to relax and be a good observer. Even if you're scared by what you've seen or heard, it's important that you first give the occurrences some rational thought. Are those "phantom footsteps" you heard simply the house settling, or the floorboards creaking? Was that "cold chill" merely a draft? Was that "ghost" you saw out of the corner of your eye nothing more than a trick of the light?

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