Standards and Protocols

The International Ghost Hunters Society, the largest ghost research organization in the world, has developed a set of standards and protocols for conducting field investigations based on experience and common sense. These standards and protocols establish a baseline to judge photos obtained by eliminating the common errors of most beginners. The International Ghost Hunters Society Standards & Protocols provide guidelines that ensure professionalism by International Ghost Hunters Society members. We encourage you to follow them and to so indicate when you send us your photos. Visit us at

  • Ask the spirits of the dead for permission to take their photos or to record their voices.
  • Respect posted property, ask permission, and do not trespass.
  • Always conduct your investigations in a professional manner.
  • Show reverence and respect in cemeteries, battlefields, historic sites, etc.
  • No running or horse play in cemeteries or historical sites.
  • Positive Mental Attitude is very important for all investigations
  • Skeptical minds will generate negative energy during an investigation. Do not bring along skeptics or those who are negative or want proof that ghosts exist.
  • Follow the lunar cycles and solar storms for conducting investigations for best results. Paranormal events occur during peak geomagnetic field conditions.
  • Do not take photographs during adverse weather conditions, such as rain, mist, fog, snow, windy, or dusty conditions.
  • Remove or wear the camera strap so it does not hang loose.
  • Take photos of dust particles, pollen, moisture droplets to see how your camera records these kinds of orbs.
  • An orb is not special or unique. An orb is only a description of shape. Most common orbs are airborne dust particles. Multiple orbs in photos are almost always dust particles, never spirits.
  • Do not take photos from moving vehicles on dusty roads.
  • Do not take photos while walking on dusty roads.
  • Remove all dust, spots, fingerprints from camera lens.
  • Remove or wear the camera strap so it does not hang loose.
  • Avoid shooting into the Sun for resulting lens flare.
  • Avoid shooting with flash at reflective or shinny surfaces.
  • Keep fingers away from the lens of the camera.
  • Keep long hair away from the lens of the camera.
  • Avoid shooting when foreign objects are floating near camera.
  • Compare anomalous prints with negatives for confirmation.
  • Flash is only good for 9-12 feet from camera so focus on that range.
  • Always use fresh audio tapes for tape recordings.
  • If digital, record in one or two minute tracks.
  • After twenty minutes, the spirits will get bored, no need to record longer in one area.
  • Do not rub the side of the recorder while recording nor walk while recording. Stand still to record.
  • We do not consider Ouija boards, dowsing rods, pendants or séances valid investigation tools
  • No smoking, drugs or drinking during an investigation.
  • If someone is angry, they should not be involved with an investigation. They will draw angry spirits and the other spirits will avoid them.

Learn More