Does the time of day or night influence ghost hunts or paranormal investigations?  Can you investigate during the day?  Or do we need the forces of darkness?

Team Member – Gareth Lello shares his thoughts and some theories behind the myth that ghost hunting and investigations must be completed at night!

“Ghost hunting and the time of day you go, has been debated numerous times over the years. People tend to ghost hunt at night because it’s traditional.  Sometimes it’s for convenience; a night time investigation is ideal, especially if you’re busy at work during the day.  Some ghost hunters believe that spirits have more power after dark.  Some ghost hunters have better luck hunting after 9 or 10pm; others prefer to investigate around midnight, or even 3am.  Logically thinking, ghost hunting at night helps to reduce light and noise pollution.   

However, a lot of people say that you can only ghost hunt at night because that is when ghosts come out to play!

The truth is activity can happen at any time whatsoever.

Many ghost hunters, including me, like to start investigations before dusk. You’ll be able to see more of the physical details around you.  You’ll become more acclimatised to the environment.

Then, as night falls, you’ll be more comfortable in the setting. You know what’s where.  You can focus on any anomalies. 

However, a true ‘Paranormal Investigation’ should take place at the time reported phenomena has happened, whether its 11am or 11pm!

The Stone Tape Theory…

Part of the reasoning behind this is thanks to a theory called ‘The Stone Tape Theory’, which speculates that ghosts and hauntings are comparable to tape recordings.  The mental impressions during emotional or traumatic events can be projected in the form of energy, ‘recorded’ onto rocks and other items and ‘replayed’ under certain conditions.  The idea draws inspiration and shares similarities with views from 19th Century intellectualists and psychic researchers.  Belief soon followed that ghosts were not spirits of the deceased but were simply non-interactive recordings similar to a movie.

So, at a haunted location, if a ghost of a maid walked from the kitchen to the laundry at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the replay would happen at this time regardless.  The replay won’t change time to happen at night just because it’s dark and it’s a little bit spookier!

Speaking from experience…

I have been to an incredibly amount of venues, buildings and locations – not just for ghost hunting, but for pleasure – on days out with friends.  Places like National Trust sites hold so much historic energy and during my visits, I have experienced some incredible activity. This is in part because for activity to happen it needs energy, and the energy is provided by us – it’s the energy that we give out naturally. Hence an historic building with possibly hundreds of visitors a day provides more than enough energy for activity to feed off and possibly why people see and feel a lot of ‘unexplainables’.

Day vs. Night…

Ghost hunting at night, or in the dark does have its merits too, however.  This enables ghost hunts to take place after hours so generally the only people involved will be the people there as part of the ghost hunt reducing the chance of evidence contamination which you would get during the day at a busy site.

Because of this you can split into smaller groups and move in sequence around set vigil areas giving a greater control and order to the manner in which the ghost hunt is run. This also helps reduce contamination of evidence and also serve to corroborate similar experiences and provide further validation – which is the aim of the ghost hunters experience.

We know that ghost hunting involves a variety of senses.  During the day, visual distractions can be an issue.  When in darkness, the absence of light has the effect of helping to heighten our other senses. You are no longer reliant purely on what you can see which is one of your primary instincts.  You’ll now have to rely on other senses, allowing you to hear, smell and feel in a more enhanced way.  This, can help gather some great evidence.

And finally….

Like anything, there are pros and cons to ghost hunting at day and night.  What I will say; no matter what time of day you go to an active location, you will experience something. Please remember though, spirits are not here to perform when you ask.  They are not performing sea-lions!  They will choose when and how hence why activity can take place at any time – day or night.

May advise would be, if you’re an early riser, try researching at dawn. That’s when a building or landscape can be eerily silent. It’s one of my favourite times for research, but it can be more difficult to find others to ghost hunt at that hour.”

No matter when you go ghost hunting — at dusk or dawn, day or night, or even in between — please stay safe.

Gareth Lello

Team Member – Paranormal Discovery

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