Pictured Above: The Pickman House is located on Charter Street in Salem, Massachusetts, behind the Peabody Essex Museum. This is where Caleb Pickman lived when he tortured and killed his wife and daughter. Paranormal entities lurk near this house circa 1664. They are looming around this structure which remains from the Salem Witch Trial Days.
Photography Information for Salem Ghost Hunting Photography
DSLR Camera: We like DSLR cameras best, but ghost hunting can be done with non-DSLR cameras. Cameras that allow you to change all the settings listed are best. Cameras cannot see in the absolute darkness. You must bring a light source of some kind for focusing.
DSLR Camera Lens: The ideal lens to use while Ghost Hunting is a wide-angle lens. It is also best to use a lens with an aperture such as 2.8 or below so more light goes into the camera since we will be in dark locations most of the time. High-quality images with high-end cameras are better, but lower-end lenses and cameras can also be used. We are here to document paranormal activity, so prioritizing quality may not be the priority when ghost hunting.
Gear: Bring your tripod with your infrared illuminating light and your shutter release. Bring your driver’s license if the police question you. Be prepared for that. Be sure there aren’t any NO TRESPASSING signs where you are—trespass at your own risk.
Salem, Massachusetts Ghost Hunting
Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the most blood-curdling locations for Ghost Hunt in the USA. Apparitions are looming at every corner, waiting to vaporize you and send you into the depths of hell, never to return. Just kidding, but this is an insane location for a colossal amount of paranormal activity. The story behind the area certainly sets the mood as you quietly walk through graveyards and around building known to have entities lurking in the night. Your head will be in a tail-spin with all of the activity you capture in Salem, Massachusetts, while Ghost Hunting.
Several of the images below were taken during our Ghost Walk with Salem Night Tours. Paranormal Pam highly recommends you attend this 75-minute captivating, spine-chilling ghost walk, which takes you through the town of Salem, Massachusetts, to meet all of its ethereal beings.
Salem, Massachusetts Ghost Hunting Photography
We traveled to Salem, Massachusetts, for a little bit of Ghost Hunting on our way back from shooting milky way photography along the coast of Maine. We enjoyed the change of pace along our ten-day journey. One of our first stops in Salem was the Burying Point. The Burying Point is the oldest burying ground in Salem, Mass. Justice John Hathorne, an ancestor of Nathaniel Hawthorne and one of the Witchcraft Court judges, haunting these grounds.
The Burying Point
When we arrived at the location in the middle of the day, we were drawn to the rear of the cemetery. Carol was lingering around this big old tree for quite some time, so we trapesed over to see what she was up to. We sensed something immediately lurking around the tree.
Carol said she heard a young girl or a baby crying. Stopping to be still for a moment, Paranormal Pam also felt the presence of a man. A very nasty man of sorts in a highly abusive way. The presence of a woman crying quickly became apparent, and Carol was speaking to her out loud.
We stayed at this location for quite a few minutes, communicating with her. We knew that something had happened to her baby/child, and she seemed to be stuck in this purgatory of a dimension, in pain and looking for answers and devastated about something happening to her child. Carol did know it was a young girl, but she was not sure how old she was.
Paranormal Pam sensed the nasty man very quickly and focused on him in great detail. (Possibly because if there is a bad man out there, she will find him.) Was it because this man was indeed a man of evil terror who emitted a toxic soul so intensely it could not go unnoticed? She kept focusing on how abusive he was to a woman.
Take a look at some of the images of The Burying Point and scroll down for the rest of the searing story. You won’t believe what happens next.
The Salem Night Tour
So we wandered around Salem, Mass, all day long. There was an invasion of paranormal activity at almost every turn. After an exhausting travel and exploration expedition, we mustered up the energy to go on The Salem Night Tour, and we were so glad we did. It was a great group with a very competent guide. He knew his Salem history, and we became very engrossed as he told the haunting, riveting stories along the walk. This is a great tour to do Salem Mass Ghost Hunting Photography.
Back to the Burying Point
We had arrived at the Burying Point at night time. Remember, we had already spent quite some time there earlier in the day. We wandered away a bit, but suddenly, Carol’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “Did you hear what he just said?” she yelled so nearly everyone could hear her. We could not believe our ears as we quickly got closer to listen to the horrific tale. He was telling a story about The Tree! We were flabbergasted! He had said something about a woman, a man, and a baby. With our eyes popping out of our heads and our complete attention on every word that came out of his mouth, we stood there with our jaws dropped.
The Horror Story and The Ghost Hunt
He told the story of a husband, wife, and a 7-year-old daughter. Demons had overcome Caleb Pickman, the husband who had gone insane, as he chained his daughter up in the attic. The compelling story continues as he describes how he had tortured, starved, and tied his wife up to Carol’s tree and killed her. Sadly he goes on to say that the young girl also died!
We took photos of the house, and Pam was still sensing the evil man she felt earlier when she knew nothing of the story. The ghost of the seven-year-old girl is sometimes seen looking out the attic window. We found an enormous orb floating in the area, and we were all sensing apparitions and a deep sense of staggering pain in the air. We had communicated on a very intense level that night. You can see the images of the Pickman house at the very top of the page and in our galleries.
We Set Her Soul Free – Ghosts in Limbo
The same woman followed us around for several days while in Salem. We commanded that the evil man Pickman did not follow us, and thankfully, he did not even try. At the end of our travels, after leaving Salem, Mass and being almost back to our home base, we suddenly heard, “NO! You cannot come with us! You must go back to where you belong!” We all thought maybe Pam had yet another stalker, but no, Carol was yelling at the woman. We then explained that there was a better place waiting for her. We told her that her daughter was there to entice her to leave the area between two worlds and move on. We suddenly felt a sense of peace as if she understood, and she realized there was another side and went there to look for her daughter. We assured her that she would be safe there, and her daughter was patiently awaiting her arrival. We all felt relief and knew we had helped her to be free.
Images below show a plethora of paranormal activity along the Salem Night Tour Ghost Walk. Buy Ghost Walk tickets at their website.
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Lessons in Photography or Ghost Hunting
Hire Paranormal Pam to bring on the apparitions or join her on a Ghost Hunting Photography Tour.
Essential Ghost Hunting Photography Step by Step
Use a Tripod – You must be on a tripod. Turn off vibration reduction whenever using a tripod.
Manual – Set your camera to manual.
Lighting – You cannot shoot a DSLR in total darkness. You will need some light sources such as a flashlight, church lights or a full moon.
Focus – Use live view. To focus in the dark, use your camera’s live view and focus on a bright spot. You can also use the infinity setting on your lens. You can also shine a flashlight, focus the shot then, without touching anything else, change the lens to manual focus; if it is so dark, there is nothing to focus on. Each time you move the camera to refocus, you would have to do this. This may disturb the apparitions, though. You can also use infrared light to help your camera see.
ISO – Start with ISO 1600. This is just a common starting point, and you will adjust from here. The higher the ISO, the more grain, but these are ghost pictures, not milky images. See ISO Settings for more info.
Aperture – The depth of field isn’t significant in these shots, but letting the light into the camera is; therefore, you shoot wide open. We like 2.8 or (The lowest aperture your camera will allow). Aperture Details.
Shutter Speed – after setting the aperture, roll the shutter speed, so the exposure level indicator goes to ‘0’ on the exposure scale on the bottom of the screen.
White Balance – In live view mode, you can change your white balance settings and see which looks best for you on each shot.
Ghost Hunting Info for Salem Mass Ghost Hunting Photography
When to Go: Any time is okay, but traditionally, the best results have been documented after 9 p.m.
Full Spectrum Digital Camera: – This camera takes quality Full Spectrum photos and video. They have been professionally modified to accept deeper Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) light to allow pictures deep into the usually unseen spectrum of light. It features an easy-to-use interface that makes your job easier and captures evidence more effectively.
As with all cameras, this is best used with an external light source such as a UV light, IR light, or Full Spectrum (white) light.
Infrared (IR) Digital Camera: – Takes quality IR photos and video with the convenience and ease of a compact digital camera
EMF Meters: Measure fluctuations in electromagnet fields (or EM fields). These fields directly result from electrical appliances in a home, cell phones, power lines outside, and even fluctuations in solar activity and weather. Beyond that, a primary theory in the paranormal world is that entities can manipulate these fields in their attempt to manifest themselves or interact with our world. When your meter goes off, do a long exposure on your tripod.
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Learn your Ghost Hunting Terminology 🙂 for your Salem Visit
- Apparition – A ghost or ghostlike image of a person.
- Automatism – an action performed unconsciously or involuntarily caused by spirits.
- Banshee – A female spirit whose wailing warns of impending death in a house
- Collective Apparition – A rare type of sighting in which more than one person sees the same apparition or phenomena.
- Digital and analog audio recording – Capturing any unexplained noises and electronic voice phenomena (EVPs).
- Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP) – Voices spoken to the Medium at a séance.
- Earthbound – A term referring to a ghost or spirit that is attached to the earth and unable to leave this dimension.
- Ectoplasm – a supernatural viscous substance. It is supposed to exude from the body of a medium during a trance.
- EMF Meters – Measures the fluctuations in electromagnet fields (or EM fields). These fields directly result from electrical appliances and can be cell phones, power lines outside, and possible fluctuations in solar activity and weather. Most noteworthy, a theory in the paranormal world is that entities can transform these fields to manifest themselves and contact this world.
- Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) – Voices and sounds from beyond that are recorded.
- Ghost – A generic term referring to a form of an apparition, which is typically the visual appearance of a deceased human’s soul.
- Ghost Hunting – A research project in which various methods and equipment are used to investigate reports of ghosts.
- Ghoul – A Demonic or parasitic entity that eats human remains.
- EMF Meters – Measures the fluctuations in electromagnet fields (or EM fields). These fields directly result from electrical appliances in a home, cell phones, power lines outside, and even fluctuations in solar activity and weather. Beyond that, a primary theory in the paranormal world is that entities can manipulate these fields in their attempt to manifest themselves or interact with our world.
- Orb – The term orb describes unexpected, typically circular artifacts in photography—sometimes with trails indicating motion.
- Paranormal – Refers to something beyond the range of everyday human experience or scientific explanation.
- Phantom – It is seen, heard, or sensed but has no physical reality (See Ghost).
- Paranormal Vortex: A vortex in everyday life is a whirling mass of either air or water. Some believe a paranormal vortex is a space where apparitions can travel between our world and theirs on the other side.
- Radio Voice Phenomenon (RVP) – Receiving the voice of a spirit through a regular radio.
- Reciprocal Apparition – A rare phenomenon where humans communicate directly with spirits back and forth.
- Retrocognition – An experience where a person finds themselves in the past and can see events they knew nothing of.
- Shaman – A person who acts as a medium between the visible and spirit worlds. They practice healing and divination and are believed to have control over natural events.
- Spiritual Vortex: – These metaphysical dimensions are said to be areas of energy that enhance psychic abilities and can heal the spirit.
- Spiritualism is the belief system that the dead can communicate with the living through a medium.
- Vortex – An anomaly that appears in photographs. These images are sometimes thought to represent ghosts, collections of orbs, or gateways that travel to a wormhole in time-space.
Salem Mass Ghost Hunting Location Information:
Salem Night Tour
We highly recommend going on this tour!
Salem Local Hotel Information
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Salem Weather Information
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Don’t forget that you can use a rain sleeve on your camera if it is raining. If it is bright and sunny, you want to use a low ISO, such as 100.
If you are doing photography along with your ghost hunting on cloudy days, you can do running water or waterfall photography to avoid the glaring sun. You can also use an ND filter to get a long exposure for dramatic effects, even in the sunshine. If you ghost hunt indoors in abandoned places, be careful!