Yeah, ghosts tend to be intangible except when they need to be all angry and poltergeisty. There's not a lot to do to ultimately protect yourself because hey, you've seen Ringu or Ju-On, right? Those ghosts are like spooky little juggernauts that spread like viruses or horrific LIVING IDEAS! Sorry, I've been reading a lot of Grant Morrison again. Hopefully, what I can impart to you might save you if your buddy tells you to "watch this cursed tape" or "let's move into a cursed house."
A powerful flashlight - Hey, kids, light up a dark room before going in! Confuse the ghosts! Never not know where you're going! You walk into a room and you can't see everything? Stand in the doorway, hit the mini-floodlight in your hand, and do a complete sweep. Look at the ceiling to see if there is any splashes of blood or hair hovering up there. Check under any furniture. Look in the corners twice. Then maybe go in.
Research notes - Provided you aren't in a ghostly place by accident, do a little research about the history. Home of a former serial killer who took the term "asshat" a little too literally? Find out. You'll need to know these things.
Super-lost in Grave Encounters.
Blueprints - This really only applies if you know the haunted house you're going into. Get a floor plan and map out an escape route. Prop the front door open in case there are bars on the window. Clear the hallways as you go. Always know where you are. Yeah, I know that some houses might end up like the endless hallways of the asylum in Grave Encounters. If that happens, you can use the blueprints to cry into.
Mirror - Give that ghost a taste of its own medicine. Who knows, maybe they need to face facts and realize they're scaring the bejeezus out of everyone.
More than one cellphone - Oh, no, the cellphone you're using just cut out? The ghost struts off triumphantly, warming up for an escalating series of scares, not knowing you have a backup in your pocket. Call for help and power-walk to the front door.
Attitude - Even if you're the nicest person in the world, develop a tough attitude that tells the ghost you're not going to be that easy. I'm not saying be a douche. Douches tend to meet rather unsightly ends in these movies. I'm saying laugh at the ghost, be sarcastic ("Oooo, I'm so terrified!"), give the specter the middle finger with both barrels. It's said that the evil ghosts will feed off fear. Don't show any.
Anti-attitude - On the flip side, maybe all the ghost needs is some understanding and a hug. Probably not, though.
Horror film knowledge - I think the most knowledgeable people that could survive a horror film are those who know them inside and out. It's not a guarantee but they're going to know not to watch that tape or go into that house or party on that grave. Watch a lot of them and get to know your adversary!
Adult diapers - This should be pretty obvious.
Thank you, Saturday Night Live.
Well, I hope I helped a bit. You may not have good odds against ghosts and living curses but maybe now you'll have a fighting chance.
Thanks to Man Crates for reaching out to me to have some fun with a list that really got me thinking and also got me wanting to revisit some old favorites.
Time permitting, I'll be back next time with a special Halloween edition!