Could Ghost Hunting Be Your New Career?

Probably not. Although there is no shortage of ghost hunters out there—or of people who believe in ghosts (according to one poll, 22% of Americans have seen or felt a ghost)—the industry appears more for hobby than profit.

Stacey Jones, a former cop of 12 years who is the founder of Central New York Ghost Hunters, takes her research seriously and laments the recent flood of “ghost groupies” who attempt to do paranormal investigations without doing their homework first. She has read more than 5,000 books on the subject, given lectures and even hosted “ghost walks”—serving as a guide for tourists seeking the supernatural. Four years ago, her own son underwent an exorcism. Her organization boasts more than 100 active members and receives, on average, eight requests a day for help with ghost issues—she normally takes on about two of those cases each day, but she doesn’t charge for her services. “Any ghost hunter that charges is being ridiculous because there’s no proof that this exists,” Jones explained.

Generally, her clients are “people in crisis”—some of whom have scratches and physical harm done to them by nonphysical entities.

L’Aura Hladik of the NJ Ghost Hunters Society says her group has 674 members and offers a four-hour intensive training program (from 10 p.m.-2 a.m.) where students learn about EVP, improve their videography skills and try out the latest EMF and thermal scanning techniques—both of which are used to track down ghosts. Those who successfully pass the program can call themselves “Certified Paranormal Investigators,” although it is important to remember that there is no official accreditation body for ghost hunters. Expect to pay $125 for Hladik’s supernatural crash course.