Editor's Note: If you have an Amityville horror in your own town, you can't take care of it lickety-split with these handy ghost-catching instructions someone was kind enough to upload to wikiHow.

How to Catch a Ghost

There may be many reasons for wanting to catch a ghost. Personal glory, proof of the paranormal or just ending an annoyance. But how do you go about it?


1. Know your type of ghost. Different types of ghosts have different characteristics, and thus need different treatment for control over these entities. This will affect the basic equipment you use.

  * Poltergeists - Can be recognized by their habits of moving things around at very inconvenient times, sometimes to make a nuisance of themselves. Some more rowdy poltergeists have been known to throw things at people and make loud wailing noises. These generally have a solid form, while being able to move through objects at other times. Poltergeists tend to have an inability to move through glass, which is incidentally their weapon of choice.

  * Apparitions - Momentarily apparent spectres, often used as couriers of religious messages. They are docile and generally elective mutes, choosing to spread their message by leading their viewer to various cryptic clues. They are usually translucent. The only known way of catching an apparition is through divine powers. If you are regularly visited by an apparition then you probably possess the divine powers to capture one, knowingly or not.

  * Doppelgängers - These are solid beings which usually have the ability to take the shape of any person or animal they choose. While effectively being impossible to find visually, they are easily spotted by their bad temper, love for causing misery and their low level of intelligence. These can be trapped using any solid trap.

  * Gjengangers - Commonly found in northeast Europe, gjengangers take on a solid, corporeal form, allowing them to be easily caught. These return to the realms of the living to take revenge on people who tormented them when they were alive, and are best left to their own devices.

  * Spirits - A lost part of the soul, wandering the earth aimlessly after death. Unlike most forms of ghost, these have a limited lifespan. They are, however, far more difficult to catch. Only blessed or magical objects can be used to catch spirits.

  * Phantoms - Generally formed from the remains of people who have disappeared mysteriously. In their solid form they can be trapped by anything solid, however they are very intelligent and are stronger than the average human, making them somewhat difficult to capture. They tend to follow their single cause almost blindly.

2. Obtain the object needed to trap your ghost.

3. Find several objects or people that were important to the ghost while the ghost was alive. Ghosts usually remain recognizable after death by their physical (if some-what insubstantial) features, voice or characteristics.

4. Place the objects within the trap.

5. When there are signs that your ghost is inside, seal the trap off using more of your ghost-proof material.


* Keep holy water near by in case your spectre turns nasty. Holy water kills most ghosts.

* Be prepared to act quickly, especially against poltergeists.

* Stay in large groups. Many ghosts enjoy picking on loners.

* Some ghosts leave a trail of gooey cytoplasm. Watch out for it, it may tell you where your ghost is, and can sometimes be used to find out more about your ghost.


* Ghosts are dangerous. Store in a safe place.

* Be careful not to trap a soul on its way to the afterlife. The soul is the everlasting part of a person, and as such can have catastrophic consequences on those that try to catch them.

* Never try to possess a ghost by going into an induced trance. The ghost will have much more experience at being out of its body than you, and will undoubtedly overpower you. The ghost may even possess your vacated body. You may also find it difficult to relocate your body and all of your mind.

 Things You'll Need

* Holy water.

* Possessions belonging to the ghost.

* A container of the appropriate size made from varying ghost-proof material.

* Patience.

Article added: 18 August 2008

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If you can't catch that
ghost, take it to court!

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