(Frequently Asked Questions)
General IGT Questions:
Who are the Indiana Ghost Trackers?.
The "Northwest Indiana Ghost Trackers" (Now
"Indiana Ghost Trackers, INC") officially formed in July of 2000. We
are now a STATEWIDE Not-for-profit organization. We go out to haunted places
once or twice a month and do ghost "Hunts" use group owned equipment to track
anything unusual, take pictures, video, sound recordings (EVP), and see what
we end up with.
We investigate homes and businesses free of
charge. We have monthly meetings where we talk about local hauntings, look
at video, photos and listen to recordings. do historic landmark and cemetery
restoration work. We end up getting into some really exciting places with
out hunts and investigations (many NEVER show up online !). We cover the state
of Indiana and Chicago IL.
What are the benefits of the organization?
We find out about and are able to get into
places most people don't know about or aren't able to investigate on their
own. Resources shared throughout the group allow us to visit haunted places
all over the state with other experienced ghost hunters. You will become
part of a statewide network of ghost hunters all working together and be
able to participate in ghost hunts in ANY of the areas that are a part of
the Indiana Ghost Trackers network.
How do I join/become a member?
Review the CONTACT US
section of our web site. Email the chapter(s) of your choice and watch the
upcoming events board for the next meeting or hunt in your area. We need your name, age, what city and state you live
in, and what got you into ghost hunting.
Attend a meeting, come to a ghost hunt and
pay your dues. We'll teach you what you need to know about ghost hunting.
We are open to the public. Although meetings are always free we do require
that dues are paid to participate in ghost hunts and investigations.
How do I get notified of future hunts,
meetings and investigation training?
Review the CONTACT US
section of our web site. Email the closest
chapter(s) and get added to their mailing lists. Be sure to include the
following: Your name, your age, what city and state you
are from and what got you interested in ghost hunting.
Also watch the pages marked "Upcoming Events"
so you know what is coming up.
How often do you have meetings? Are they
required for membership?
Meetings are usually once a month. They
are not required but it is expected that members will attend about 50% of
the yearly meetings.. We often have guest speakers, talk about locally haunted
places, handle club business, watch video clips, look over photos and talk
to other ghost enthusiasts. Another advantage of going to these is sometimes
we allow attendees in on ghost investigations or hunts where we have a size
limit. These will be announced from time to time at meetings.
Where are your meetings held? How do I
Each Chapter of our group holds meetings at
different times and locations. Be sure to watch our website upcoming events page. We do not offer transportation to or from our events.
Do you have training?
Yes, we train our members in proper investigation
procedures. Training sessions are announced at various times. Training is
necessary to participate in investigations. Ghost hunts (which are less scientific)
do not require this training. We offer Ghost hunting classes 101(basic), 201(advanced)
, psychic protection and other specialized topics.
What are the age limits?
Minimum ages: Under age 16 MUST be accompanied
by a parent or guardian, age 16 & 17 must have parental permission or
be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The minimum age of someone attending
a night time ghost hunt is 12. Exceptions may be made for daytime ghost
hunts. Young children are easily impressionable and more likely to be frightened.
They also have a tendency to run around and play instead of paying attention
to what they are doing (I have kids). Some areas we go to may require a bit
of caution. It is very difficult for a parent to take pictures and watch their
child at the same time. Exceptions may be made on a per case basis.
What makes your organization unique (as
opposed to other area organizations) ?
We welcome those with little or no experience
in this field. All we ask is that members are serious about learning, follow
procedures, and have an open mind.
Do you ever utilize psychics or mediums
? Why or why not ?
Yes we do have Psychics, clairvoyants and sesitives
in our group.
Although some have varying opinions about them,
many of our group would agree that their insight is valuable in understanding
what we are dealing with. You hope to get more of an in depth idea of what
is behind or not behind reported hauntings. Scientific equipment is
used for hunts and investigations but it’s not a bad idea to get a different
perspective on things. Often, through what psychics can tell us, we can define
our research to more specific areas and use their insight to find the factual
evidence behind the haunting.
How much are dues? How often?
$25/person, $40/couple, $50/family (5 or less, same household), payable once a year by your anniversary
date of joining.
Why do you charge dues?
There are costs involved in running a non-profit
organization and ensuring that we have scientific equipment available to
investigate hauntings. So when dues are paid we have equipment to share between
members on ghost hunts and ID badges so our appearance is professional. It
pays for things like booths at fairs, copies of handbooks, office supplies, insurance, postage,
Isn't $25/year steep?
If $2/month is too steep, stay home. You
can't afford the gas.
So if I have my own equipment do I still
Can you tell me how to get to "Blank"
cemetery? OR Is the old such n
such house just off whatever street in whatever town?
We don't advertise the locations of old
cemeteries because they are vandalized too much. We
also can't release private property information over the internet
to non-IGT members.
Join our group, come on ghost hunts with
us and you'll get to know where a lot of these are. All members sign an agreement.
This agreement specifies you will not cause damage at any place we visit. We
then visit these places with permission.
Do Ouija boards really work?
Some people think that Ouija boards can work.
If in fact they really do, there may be a risk factor involved.
A good book to read on the
subject is by Stoker Hunt, "Ouija, The Most
Dangerous Game. IGT doesn't use them in our quest to investigate the
paranormal. They establish no credible proof of a haunting.
Ghost Hunting Techniques:
Will I see a ghost if I go ghost hunting?
Maybe, maybe not. More than likely if you take
lots of pictures AT A HAUNTED LOCATION you will eventually take a legitimate
photo of a ghost. As you learn more about photography you will also learn
to critique your photos. Many in the group have yet to see a ghost in anything
other than pictures that they have taken, a few have actually had the fortune
of seeing apparitions or orbs with the naked eye..
What do I bring ghost hunting?
Always, Always, Always a flashlight
and camera if nothing else! Even a disposable camera is better then nothing.
Dress for the weather!
How do you differentiate between poltergeist
activity, imprinting and a conscious "interactive" manifestation ?
In a nutshell, poltergeist activity is caused
by a living person unbeknownst to them. The person involved is usually a young
teenager under a certain degree of stress. The signs of this include
many of the same signs of a haunting such as objects moving, loud noises or
apparitions. These can be distinguished from other types by careful research.
Imprinting, or a “residual haunting,” is
basically like a movie that replays itself. There is nothing here that interacts
with the living. The energy of the event has been imprinted on a place or
object and can be triggered by certain conditions.
Interactive manifestations. You may see apparitions,
hear things, feel things, or s mell things that all lead to this entity's
presence. The entity may be unable or unwilling to move on to the other side.
They may be there trying to deliver a message or look after a loved one. In
many cases these entities try to make their presence known to the living but
in doing so cause some terrifying moments. This is the normal type of encounter.
Although these encounters are usually harmless, there are situations that
can become dangerous.
What is an orb and how can you tell if it is a "real orb" you have captured
An orb is what we believe to be a ghostly
entity on film. It's caused by the spirit drawing itself together into some
sort of cohesion creating a cold spot at times. This occurs rapidly and is
often only caught by photography but not visible to the naked eye. The differences
can be tricky.
You must be aware of all conditions that
can create false orbs, (reflective bounce back, dust being stirred up, water
particles in the air, etc). The more explainable of the orbs are generally
very light and hard to make out on the photo. They are almost perfectly round
but translucent (Digitals cameras are notorious for getting these!).
The paranormal type would consist of solid
round globes with rougher edges without a center nucleus. Sometimes they
can be seen with streaks, as if in motion. They are most often white but not
Will a ghost hurt me?
Most ghosts can't or won't hurt you. Sometimes
the incidents of people being hurt are related to people who are living
with a ghost in their home. The entity becomes psychically bonded with the
occupants and this phenomenon then occurs in which injury may occur. Ghosts
are like people (since they once were), and if you get them upset enough
you never know what could happen. Your best bet is to be respectful at all
times, and if you hear something growl "GET OUT !!" and you know it wasn't
the people with you, turn around and leave. Demons or evil spirits are another
subject all together. We tend to leave these alone and let the priests or
psychics good at "cleansing" deal with them. If you have a spirit that is
attacking you email me and we'll put you in contact with a good psychic that
can try to help you out.
How can I find out more about being a ghost
hunter or buy some equipment?
, or www.zerotime.com
Personal Questions about Mike McDowell, President of the Indiana Ghost Trackers
How did you get involved with Ghost Hunting
I’ve always been interested in ghosts. I used
to sit out in the cemeteries late at night as a teenager and tell ghost stories
with my friends. A few years ago I took a picture near the gravesite of Daniel
Boone with what is referred to as an "Orb" in it. I had simply cleared
some leaves off some old headstones and taken this picture. The Orb had what
appeared to be a face in it.
I then went on the Haunted History tour in
New Orleans and that sparked my interested further. I was President of NIICC,
an Internet Chat Club that met once a month to get together and do things
activities. It was a large group and a lot of people in it were into
ghosts like I was. I then started taking some of these people out at
Halloween time on ghost "Tours" of NW Indiana to places written about in the
books and other local folklore. I would tell them the stories and we came
away with photos that showed some paranormal activity!
I studied a lot about ghost hunting online
and in books at this point. There were no other ghost groups around when
all this was happening so we decided it was time Indiana got a ghost group.
A local reporter followed us out on a ghost hunt in July 2000 and we made
the paper. Since then we've been growing in numbers. When people from other
parts of the state started joining our group, since there was nothing around
them, we started thinking about a statewide network of groups.
I don't consider myself a Pro. I just do
my best, read a lot, try to learn as much as possible and make this group
professional and enjoyable at the same time.
Why did you start this group ?
My interest was ignited when I took some strange
pictures in an old cemetery while playing site seer. I have always been interested
in ghosts but when I got these unexplainable photos I couldn't help but try
to learn more. My interest in this subject lead to a few ghost hunts with
some friends of mine. As more people became interested in what we were doing
I realized there was a need for this type of group in this area. Some of the
past ghost hunting groups from this area had disbanded and there were a lot
of people out there with questions. There were people who were curious about
ghosts and others who needed help.
When did you have your first paranormal
experience and what did you do?
The pogostick Kid:
I just started looking for ghosts and they
found me, haha. I have seen my first "earth light" or possible ghost in Booneville (Near
Evansville in June 02'). I saw my first apparition in June 03' in a Muncie
cemetery. Sometimes I can feel the presence of a ghost, I capture them on
film or video and also capture voice phenomena known as EVP.
Is this a full time job or do you do something
else during the day?
It seems like a full time job at times, haha,
but it's just an interest since I don't make any money from this. I work for
SARA LEE FOODS in Chicago during the day and attend Purdue Calumet in the
evening part-time in pursuit of my B.S. in Computer Systems Analysis. I currently
hold an Associates in the subject.