During the séance I attended that pivotal night in the Goldfield Hotel, a woman sitting beside me said the ethereal entities around us found us entertaining. She saw a mental picture of our investigative team on a stage and the spirits in the audience, happy.

In a time where some paranormal investigators make constant demands on the ghosts, others seek out unique ways to engage unseen energies.

Anne and Sharon Leong at the Goldfield Hotel, August 2011.

Every time I work with Anne and Sharon Leong (co-directors of technology for the San Francisco Ghost Society), I’m tickled by their out-of-the-box investigation techniques. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Sing happy birthday, but when it comes to saying the person’s name, be silent. The Leongs have captured electronic voice phenomena with the spirit’s name inserted into the song.
  • Play music from the era that resonates with the spirits you seek. You may hear someone singing or humming on your digital recorder.
  • Recreate the activities that took place in a certain room or building. As I wrote in my post, Dancing with the Ghosts, Sharon instructed us to dance with our arms outstretched in the ballroom of the Millionaire’s Club.

Sharon has received positive responses when bringing plants, especially flowers, to spirits or telling a fun joke. “Many have a good sense of humor,” adds Sharon.

Anne suggests two other tactics to entice spirit interaction. One is to dress in period attire and engage in role play. The other is to place trigger objects in a haunted location that ghosts might relate to. Anne told me that while her sister put out cigarettes and water for the spirits, Anne shot an amazing photo of a Civil War soldier apparition at Triangular Field.

Be creative. Be silly. Have fun. If you’re enjoying yourself, you’re spreading that happiness to the Other World and are more likely to reap positive results.

Do you have any unusual paranormal investigating techniques? Please share them with us!