Well, there's a couple of ways to look at this. I also partly disagree with Krazysh0t, which I'll get into after the first bit. Note I say
What defines a "Professional Ghosthunter"?
If we look at the definition of a Professional we have a few options:
a) A professional ghost hunter is a professional simply because he is associated with the profession of "ghost hunting"
- but that requires us to accept "Ghost hunting" as a true profession.
b) A professional ghost hunter is a professional because it is their "Primary Paid Occupation." That one is pretty clear - they make their living by
The challenge with both of those is due to the massive variety in opinion by the, I guess, "Paranormal Community." Ghost hunting may or may not be
considered a profession, depending on who you ask. An interesting hobby, a fun diversion, exercise in insanity - take your pick. I doubt any person
who has no interest or belief would consider ghost hunting a profession. Even inside our community many people think it's bunk and would also agree
it's not a profession.
But what if you're paid to do it? Well, that does make you a professional...but now you're also a shill, at least in the eyes of the majority of
believers and skeptics. If you can make your living off of it, ala Ghost Hunters, I would rightly say you are a ghost hunter professional...but
because everyone, on BOTH sides of the fence, have a hard time believing you - it's still hard to say you're working in a professional field.
As for Krazysh0t's view that it's not a scientific field, or at least doesn't qualify as scientific research, I disagree. Scientific method can, and
SHOULD, be applied to ghost hunting. The problem isn't with the technology, much of our science has been a case of hypothesis, testing with existing
equipment, then testing with equipment developed specifically to test hypothesis because it was determined the previous existing equipment wasn't
In my humble opinion the only real reason why this field continues to be pseudoscience is because of the lack of a centralized hypothesis. Look at
any paranormal thread here and there's a dozen different thoughts as to what they are. "Ghosts", "Spirits", "Extra-dimensional visitors", "Demons",
"Angels", "Aliens", "Faeries", etc, etc.
Worse yet, few people want to apply true scientific method or rigor to it because of the believe that "science can't explain everything." Many are
unwilling to subject their methods to true scrutiny.
If we started with the hypothesis "Ghost are the energy left behind when a human dies" then we could apply our existing knowledge and technology to
disprove that. If we can or can't doesn't necessarily change anything - but it allows us to move on to the next hypothesis. Let's say it gets
disproved. It doesn't mean "ghosts" aren't "real" it just means they are not the energy left behind from a dying human. We have so many beliefs
about what they are there are plenty variations to test.
But no one is willing to go through that process because there are so many possibilities, at least that's my opinion. Also there is challenges with
timing. Since invariably most encounters are random, it's a challenge to apply repeatable, controlled, testing to it.
But I still stand by the fact that it COULD be truly scientifically researched, it would just take a lot of effort by the world community at large to
create some specific hypothesis to start with.
Back to the OP's question though: For this field, to me, a "professional" ghost hunter is anyone who devotes the bulk of their free time to the study
and field research of "ghosts", while employing a broad range of the best tools currently believed effective, in the effort to capture and document
the phenomenon we call ghosts. Emphasis on documentation.
edit on 12-2-2015 by UnmitigatedDisaster because: (no reason given)