When we think about ghosts and hauntings, we usually assume something tragic happened. However, what’s “tragic” today might be very different from tragedies of the past. For example, in 1850, life expectancy in the United States was 39 1/2 years. So, if someone lived to age 50, people of the mid-19th century might think he or she had lived a good, long, full life.
These are the kinds of issues ghost hunters need to understand in an historical context. It’s one of the best ways to maintain perspective and credibility.
I’ve written a three-page report about this topic. In it, I share essential points to help you understand ghosts and their stories. I’ve also suggested resources to make your research easier.
This is a free report (PDF) released with a Creative Commons license. You can copy it to share it with your team members and others.
Also, if you have specific historical questions about resources or events in past eras, ask them in comments below this article.