In this paper we investigate the implementation of the so-called freezing method for second order wave equations in one and several space dimensions. The method converts the given PDE into a partial differential algebraic equation which is then solved numerically. The reformulation aims at separating the motion of a solution into a co-moving frame and a profile which varies as little as possible. Numerical examples demonstrate the feasability of this approach for semilinear wave equations with sufficient damping. We treat the case of a traveling wave in one space dimension and of a rotating wave in two space dimensions. In addition, we investigate in arbitrary space dimensions the point spectrum and the essential spectrum of operators obtained by linearizing about the profile, and we indicate the consequences for the nonlinear stability of the wave.