A cemetery is probably the most unhaunted place you can find
When you want to go out and start doing your own investigations, a cemetery usually comes to mind. You don't have to pay any money, there is one pretty much in every town, and quite a few of them allow after dark access (always check, remember trespassing is a no no). I'm sure that mine isn't the only Dad that drives past a cemetery and says ' oh look it's the dead center of town!'. It is even a good place to start out investigating during the day if you are scared to go at night. On paper it seems like the perfect place to look for ghosts. The thing is though, in my experience and when you think about it, why would a cemetery be haunted?
For starters, we don't even know what a ghost is. We can speculate and we all have our own theories, but realistically we don't know what a ghost is. Is it the spirit of someone who has passed? Is it the residual energy that we all leave behind on a daily basis. Are the EVP's we pick up just a play back of someone else who was there a week ago. Is it something from an alternate dimension? Is it someone from the future - or even the past. Is it an alien? I could keep going but you get the point. We really don't know.
I work on the basis that a ghost is the spirit of someone who has passed. That is how a lot of investigators conduct their investigations but ultimately we are trying to find out, because again we don't know. I guess it is part of why we investigate. I am just talking my own beliefs now based on what I have experience and what my thoughts are. This is just my opinion and nothing more and remember, we all think differently so you may or may not agree. Running with that belief, I guess in my eyes there could be 3 types of spirits (aside from elementals and demons and all those other things that people have different beliefs on). I feel that when we pass, we could still be here because we have unfinished business or for whatever reason we can't move onto to where our soul is supposed to go we are here. I don't like to believe this is the only possibility though. I guess for comfort reasons I also believe that when we pass, if we do move onto that next place, we can come and visit. That is why we get messages from loved ones or see them from time to time. They are just coming to check in on us. Then of course there is the residual energy of a person in a place playing over and over. Again we don't know, these are just my thoughts.
Unfinished business probably won't be at a cemetery
If we look at the first scenario of a spirit being someone who has passed that has been unable to move on. There are a few reasons why we speculate this could be. Quite often it seems we communicate with spirits who may not realize they have passed. They have died so suddenly they didn't get to say goodbye or they have some unfinished business. Maybe they are scared to move on because they have done some horrible things. Maybe something or someone is keeping them here and they can't leave. Again there are a alot of different scenarios I could keep going with, but in all of them, they most likely are not going to be sitting and waiting at a cemetery for an investigator to come along with a k2 and ask them to light it up. I think they are more likely to be at a place that was significant to them or feels like home. If someone for example spent a lot of their time in a prison or asylum, they don't know anything else and that is why they remain there. If they loved their family home, they are going to be there. If that is the site of so much trauma or they passed suddenly, that is where they may stay. I have often found that morgues in the same way as cemeteries are fairly quiet activity wise because really, they were just a place that stored people who had passed away. I believe our soul leaves our body when we die and wherever it is goes, it is no longer with our body. What is buried is really just our body. It is not us anymore we are not in there.
If someone is just visiting, they aren't going to visit a cemetery
Looking from the angle that someone who has passed has come back to visit with some sort of message or just to check in or even to look over you. In most cases, they will not be at a cemetery. There could be a case of course where there is a message to do with the cemetery or their grave which could lead you to a cemetery. If you are going to a cemetery for a random paranormal investigation, you most likely won't intercept one of these messages.
Residual Energy is unlikely going to cause a haunting in a cemetery
We know that residual energy works like a recording on playback. Say I fix myself a coffee at 3pm every day. I am making an imprint of my energy. In many years to come, it is possible that the imprint of me making my coffee could playback at 3pm every day long after I'm gone. (except I don't drink coffee). A lot of theories believe that residual energy is only based on traumatic experiences. The energy from the trauma is absorbed by the walls etc and played back. It is why with a lot of residual hauntings you may hear a gun shot or see an apparition running from something etc. Most of the time, this would not have occurred in a cemetery. It doesn't mean it hasn't because it is certainly possible, but it most cases, there will not be a residual haunting in a cemetery. You could of course maybe get the energy of a caretaker doing their usual round but again, maybe not the kind of stuff you pick up on a random paranormal investigation.
It is of course possible to get activity
I am not saying that it is not possible to get activity at a cemetery because it is. I know some people who have some pretty crazy stories or what they consider to be some great evidence. There are some things to keep in mind. The power of suggestion of being in a cemetery can be pretty un nerving. I have been in a cemetery with there has been a blanket of fog rolling in and I swear I would not have been surprised if zombies rose and chased me. That is what it felt like anyway. It definitely has a massive creep factor and it is easy to psych yourself out. Most people heading to a cemetery will be fairly new at investigating so being in a dark spooky cemetery could start playing tricks on the mind. You may feel you aren't alone (I guess technically you aren't) and it is quite common for people to say they see shadow figures darting between the trees and gravestones. Could they be shadow figures or is it your eyes playing tricks on you. These are things as investigators you will need to work out.
Respect for those grieving
Which brings me to the final point. We also need to look at a cemetery for the reason they exist ..... a place where people are laid to rest in peace. Grieving families don't want to see people running around with equipment trying to contact their loved ones. A lot of people like myself like to wander cemeteries just to pay respects to people. Some people like to take photos of graves and I do it as well as I find them beautiful. I don't post them on social media for privacy reasons as a lot of people do not like their privacy violated in that way. They certainly then wouldn't like a video of an investigator trying to make contact with that specific person posted on social media. There is a way to do things respectfully and there is a time and a place. You need to choose your moments wisely and how you conduct yourself and make sure you respect those who are grieving - especially if you are there during the day.
I guess I feel like investigating at a cemetery is a little bit like a wright of passage for new investigators. We all did it at some point because we didn't know where else to go. I am not saying there is never any activity at a cemetery because there could be, in my experiences apart from freaking myself out, there usually isn't too much going on. You need to also make sure that you can be there (some don't allow after dark access even if the gates are open). It is a little cliche I guess and there are a lot of false expectations. People seem to think that cemeteries must be super haunted. In reality though, they are not. If you are going to goto one, use it as a training opportunity. Practise EVP and understand your equipment. Learn how it works. You never know, you may even capture something when are aren't looking.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you think cemeteries are haunted? What do you think a ghost is? Why would someone stay to talk to us? What are you thoughts?
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