As I mentioned in another post most cemeteries in my state are off-limits to ghost hunters. The main reason for this law is because at one time in New Mexico’s history grave robbers were prevalent. There are some cemeteries that we do have access to but we always make sure we have permission, and we always alert the local police so if a neighbor near the cemetery reports suspicious activity at night we are covered. We always have something in writing that states we have permission, we also always carry personal ID’s with us—actually we do this for every ghost hunt we do.
My stance on hunting in cemeteries is different than most hunters. I have found over the years that cemeteries are not any more likely to be haunted than other historical places. But some are haunted. If you want to participate in a cemetery investigation consider the following advice.
Just like every ghost hunt the priority should be to treat spirits or ghosts with respect. This is especially important if you plan to investigate a cemetery. Some cemeteries are only open from dawn to dusk so it important is to be quiet while you investigate. Don’t carry on loud discussions about what you are doing because if there are family members of the deceased in the cemetery they often believe their loved ones have moved on to a better place--which in most deaths is the case. Keep in mind not everyone believes in ghosts and these visiting relatives might not want to address the concept that spirits might linger. Of course if you are investigating at night you will also need to be quiet. Note: not everyone believes in an afterlife--I do--so my opinion of course reflects this.
Joking is another issue. It is never appropriate to joke around in a cemetery. A first hand account that was told to me this past year illustrates that this is never a good idea. A friend’s husband while in high school decided to take his date on a walk through the local village cemetery. To impress her he started to joke around, he dared the spirits in the area to appear. He was standing off the main path near a headstone as he called out his challenge. The grave craved in under his feet and he dropped down. He felt this was not a coincidence.
When in a cemetery it is important to stay on designated paths as much as humanly possible. Do not lean on walls or gravestones. Do not bring food or drink into a cemetery, do not smoke in a cemetery. Actually if you have smokers in your group request they do not smoke during any investigation. This can create a false anomaly in your photographs. My group always announces our “good intentions” before we start any investigation. This is especially important in a cemetery. You should always ask permission before you start taking pictures etc.
Happy Ghost Hunting!