Salem Mass Ghost Hunting Photography

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 both 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.

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Salem Massachusetts Ghost Hunting

Salem Massachusettes is one of the most blood curling locations to 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 again. Just kidding but this is an insane location for a colossal amount of paranormal activity. The story behind the location 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 will capture in Salem Massachusettes whilst 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 Massachusettes to meets all of its ethereal beings.

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Salem Mass Ghost Hunting

Salem Massachusetts Ghost Hunting

We traveled to Salem Massachusettes 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 judges in the Witchcraft Court are haunting these grounds.

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 with a highly abusive way.  The presence of a woman crying quickly became obvious and Carol was speaking to her out loud.   We stayed at this location for quite a few minutes communicating with her. All we knew was 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 easily and seemed to focus on him in great detail. (Possibly because if there is a bad man out there she will find him.) 🙂  Or was it because this man was truly 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.

Photography Information for Ghost Hunting

DSLR Camera: We like DSLR camera 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 the emphasis on quality may not be the first priority when ghost hunting.

Gear:  Bring your tripod along with your infrared illuminating light and your shutter release. Bring your drivers license just in case you are questioned by the police. Be prepared for that. Be sure there aren’t any NO TRESPASSING signs where you are. Trespass at your own risk.

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Basic 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. You would have to do this each time you move the camera to refocus.

ISO – Start with ISO 1600.  This is just a standard starting point and you will adjust from here. The higher ISO the more grain but these are ghost pictures, not milky way images. See ISO Settings for more info.

Aperture – The depth of field isn’t very important on 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 – When in live view mode you can change your white balance settings and see which looks best for you on each shot.

More Good Info

When to Go: Any time is fine 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 photos deep into the normally unseen spectrum of light. It features an easy to use interface with plenty of features to make your job easier and capturing evidence more effective.

As with all cameras, this is best used with the aid of 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 are a direct result of 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.

Basic Ghost Hunting Photography

Use a Tripod – You must be on a tripod.  Turn off vibration reduction whenever using a tripod.

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. You would have to do this each time you move the camera to refocus.

ISO – Start with ISO 1600.  This is just a standard starting point and you will adjust from here. The higher ISO the more grain but these are ghost pictures, not milky way images. See ISO Settings for more info.

Aperture – The depth of field isn’t very important on these shots but letting the light in is, therefore you shoot wide open. We like 2.8 or (The lowest aperture your camera will allow).  Aperture Details.

Shutter Speed – Now looking through the camera, roll the shutter speed so the exposure level indicator goes to ‘0’ on the exposure scale on the bottom of the screen.

White Balance – When in live view mode you can change your white balance settings and see which looks best for you on each shot.

Shooting night sky photography is actually very simple. It may appear to be complicated at first glance but if you read our section on Dark Sky Photography you can see how it is not as overwhelming as you would think.

There is also some good information that will be useful on our Dark Sky Photography Information page.

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Learn your Ghost Hunting Terminology 🙂

  • 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 an 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 attached to the earth unable to leave this dimension.
  • Ectoplasm  a supernatural viscous substance that is supposed to exude from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and form the material for the manifestation of spirits.
  • EMF Meters – Measures the fluctuations in electromagnet fields (or EM fields). These fields are a direct result of electrical appliances and can be cell phones, power lines outside and possibly fluctuations in solar activity and weather. Most noteworthy, a theory in the paranormal world is that entities can transform these fields in an attempt to manifest themselves and event to 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 feeds upon human remains.
  • EMF Meters – Measures the fluctuations in electromagnet fields (or EM fields). These fields are a direct result of 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 that occur in photography—sometimes with trails indicating motion.
  • Paranormal – Referring to something that is beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.
  • Phantom – Something that 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 – An extremely rare type of phenomenon where humans communicate directly with spirits back and forth.
  • Retrocognition – An experience where a person finds themselves in the past and is able to see events in which they knew nothing of.
  • Shaman – A person who acts as a medium between the visible world and the spirit world. They practice healing, divination, and believed to have control over natural events.
  • Spiritual Vortex: – Sedona in Arizona is an area known to have vortexes. These metaphysical dimensions are said to be areas of energy which enhance psychic abilities and can heal the spirit.
  • Spiritualism – It is the belief system that the dead are able to communicate with the living, through a medium.
  • Supernatural –  Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
  • Vortex – An anomaly that appears in photographs. These images are sometimes thought to represent ghosts, collections of orbs or gateways which travel to a wormhole in time-space.

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Location Information:

Salem Night Tour

We highly recommend going on this tour!

Address: 127 Essex St, Salem, MA 01970
Phone: (978) 741-1170
Appointments: salemghosttours.com
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